Lesson 5: Campaign Strategy & Segmentation

Lesson 5: Campaign Strategy & Segmentation


Guide to Email Clipping
Creating a Sunset Flow


Welcome to our lesson on Campaign Strategy and Segmentation. Our last few lessons covered Account Setup, Email Templates, Signup Forms, and Flows. If you missed any of those lessons, I recommend having some familiarity with those topics as it will be helpful for contextualizing some of the content in this lesson which will include the following:

  • Warming Your Sending Infrastructure
  • Key Segments
  • Building Campaigns
  • Retargeting
  • List Cleaning & Maintenance

Warming Period

Before you even think about sending out any email campaigns, stop. In lesson 1, we covered this briefly. When migrating from another email service provider, you’ll need to warm your sending infrastructure in order to avoid what could be some dire deliverability consequences. If you’re sending from a new email service provider, there’s an update to your DNS records. Inbox providers can flag a sudden change and this can cause your emails to bounce or be sent to spam and may cause emails to be flagged going forward so they don’t land in the inbox.

Ensure that you ease into your campaign sending cadence with the following steps:

  • Turn on high engagement flows
  • Migrate your engagement data
  • Begin sending campaigns to engaged segments
  • Monitor your performance

Make sure you have your Flows turned live 3-7 days ahead of beginning to send any campaigns. Specifically, your Welcome Series and Abandoned Cart Flows. These are going to be the best way to slowly establish a good sending record.

When you migrate from a previous email service provider, if you can, make sure to migrate engagement data - opens, clicks, all of that associated with your contacts. This way, you’ll be able to build engaged segments, these are the contacts who you already know have been opening and clicking your emails. By sending to them, they’re most likely to open your new emails from Klaviyo and will help you begin on the right track for deliverability by establishing a good sending reputation.

After you’ve had your Flows live for a week, give or take, you can start sending Campaigns, ideally utilizing that migrated data of engaged subscribers. We’ll cover building out this sort of segment shortly.

Of course, you’ll want to monitor the performance metrics to ensure everything is looking good. Here is a table from Klaviyo indicating some key metrics to always consider for deliverability. You’re going to want to make sure your Open Rate stays above 15%, your Click Rate is above 1.5%, Bounce Rate should be below .8%, Unsubscribe Rate should be below 0.3%, and Spam Rate should be less than 0.08%. 

We’ll be digging a bit further into analytics and benchmarks in our lesson on Understanding Performance.


To recap what we covered in a previous lesson, we discussed the difference between Lists and Segments. One way to think about it is that Lists are where the subscribers choose to organize themselves, but Segments are where you choose to organize them. That is to say, Lists are where your contacts are added when they opt into your email marketing. It can be through any form of opting into your emails like we discussed in our lesson on Signup Forms. You can have multiple lists and keep them completely separate. 

Segments, on the other hand, are where you apply certain conditions to your lists. You can combine multiple lists into a single segment, you can break down one list into separate segments, or you can pool different parts of lists together. You have free reign to get really specific or creative. For example, you can create segments of customers who have bought from a certain collection, subscribers who have never opened an email, or maybe subscribers who have recently visited the site multiple times and viewed a product without purchasing. 

Segmentation is one of the most powerful tools to leverage within Klaviyo. It really allows you to hone in on the right messaging for the right customer at the right time.

Key Segments

  • Master Segment
  • Engaged Subscribers
  • VIPs
  • Gender
  • Region

So, let’s look at some of the key segments to build. You’ll want to account for all of the contacts who have opted into email marketing as a master list. One thing that’s important to note, when you integrate with Shopify, all of your customer emails are imported into Klaviyo whether or not they’ve opted into email marketing. It’s important to be mindful of this when building your segments - otherwise you might be sending to people that didn’t opt-in. It happens to me all the time; I make a purchase online and I clearly do NOT opt into the email list, and yet I get marketing emails. Don’t. Be. That. Brand. 

Also, it’s highly recommended to utilize an engaged subscriber segment; a segment for VIPs who spend a lot or buy frequently; if you sell to different customer personas like gender, or if you have region-specific concerns. In all actuality, there are far more possibilities than we could feasibly cover.

Let’s look at creating a Master List with all of our imported contacts as well as any customers from Shopify that have opted into email marketing. We don’t want to include customers who have not opted in. We’ll want to make sure it includes all of our lists as well as those of whom have the Accepts Marketing Property.

Now let’s look at the Engaged Customers Segments. Again, this is critical for ensuring you maintain good deliverability. Remember that is one of the pillars of email marketing. You ideally want your open rates to be above 15% to ensure you maintain good deliverability. So, think about it. If you constantly email everyone on your contact list over and over and you have a substantial number of people who are just casually opening your emails once in a blue moon, you’re never going to improve your open rate. Instead, the idea is to focus on the contacts that are actively engaged. These contacts opening and clicking your emails are already a self-selected group that are likely to take an action and complete a purchase from your store. By excluding unengaged contacts, you’re generally not going to see any detrimental effects on your performance. So when it comes to your email list, stop thinking “more is better” and begin thinking “better is better”.

Building Campaigns

In our previous lesson, we walked through building out Flow emails. The process for building your campaigns is largely the same. Of course, these differ in that you are manually choosing to whom you’re sending and when. So, once you know what you want to send, figuring that out is pretty much the whole battle. 

Navigate to Campaigns from the menu and click the “create campaign” button. Carry on to create your email campaign. Name your campaign and it is helpful to use a descriptive name here. Choose your recipients from your lists and segments. You may want to exclude segments from your send as well. This can be useful for example to exclude recent purchasers, so you’re not reaching out too soon after completing a purchase

You can also use Smart Sending to skip recently emailed profiles. By default, this will skip anyone emailed within the last 16 hours, although this window can be updated in your settings. So let’s paint a bit of a picture. If a subscriber just received an abandoned cart email, don’t bury that unique email in their inbox with another general newsletter email. Let them focus on the automation triggered by where they are in the customer journey and don’t bombard them with too many emails unless it’s a promo or communication you truly want to get across. 

If you’re using Google Analytics, you may want to utilize UTM parameters, which you can enable. When you’re ready, select to “continue to content”

Now enter your subject line and preview text. Double check that your Sender Name and Sender Email Address are correct; the default can be overwritten here, but is populated from settings you used in the Setup Wizard and can be updated in your account settings. Typically, this shouldn’t need any updates. Then select to build your email by Drag and Drop.

Now navigate to My Templates and select the master template you’ve created. Proceed to update all of the email content: imagery, copy, etc. Make sure you view on mobile and preview the email first to ensure it looks good - unlike me right here. Select “Save Content” when you’re finished.

A/B Testing

From here you can choose to schedule or send your email OR you can choose to A/B test your email, which can be extremely useful. Select Create A/B test and you’ll now see an A and B version of your email. You can choose a few different options. You can test send times, open rates, or click rates. Make sure you update your sample size as well as the time frame for the test. Bear in mind that if you, for example, want to find the best subject line by noon, you have to subtract the time frame and send earlier. So, you might choose a 4 hour test window and will need to schedule the campaign to send at 8am. The campaign will then send to the selected sample size, and after the time frame is up, automatically send to the rest of the recipients with the version that had the better results.

Select “continue to review” to get ready to schedule your campaign send. Within the checklist, if you’re running an A/B test, it’s typical to see a warning that you might have possible content issues. This is because you may strategically not want to update the content in order to ensure you have good control variables for your test.

Select “Schedule or Send”. You now have options to choose when you’d like to send your email. You’ll see a checkbox to “determine recipients at send time” and this will allow Klaviyo to ensure that prior to the campaign sending, recipients are updated with all users in those segments at that point in time. Press “Schedule”. If you ever need to cancel a send. Back in the Campaigns, you can easily choose the red button to cancel. If you’re in mid-send it will stop from sending to the anyone remaining that has not been batched out in the campaign send, but it may be too late for some once it has already started sending out.

Retargeting Segments

Effective retargeting might just be your secret weapon. Using the power of Klaviyo’s segmentation, you can easily re-send or customize messaging to people who have or have not opened or clicked an email you’ve already sent. Let’s say we want to send out our Record Store Day promo in the morning, and also want to follow up with a second email in the evening, yet we want to exclude those who already opened the email. With the right know-how, it’s a piece of cake. 

First, you want to make sure you have the first campaign created or at least started. It doesn’t need to be scheduled. Click into the email and look at the page URL in your browser. You’ll see a specific code that identifies that campaign. You’ll want to copy that.

Now navigate to Lists & Segments. Choose to create a new Segment. Let’s build a segment of people who didn’t open the email.

Select “What someone has done (or not done)” with the metric of “Received email” at least once over all time, and we want to filter it where “message” equals and now paste the campaign ID code.

Next we want an “and” statement: “what someone has done (or not done)” with the metric of “opened email” at least once over all time, filtered where “message” equals, now paste the campaign ID code in again. That’s all there is to it. You now have a segment that will populate once the campaign has sent with subscribers who have not opened the email.

iOS 15

There might be a small catch or two. Apple’s iOS 15 has privacy updates where users are able to opt out of sharing some information, specifically open data may be hidden. So, your open rates could be a bit unreliable for users that adopt these preferences. With that said, it might be better to adopt a retargeting strategy for people that didn’t click rather than people that didn’t open. Non-clickers would include the non-openers and you can make sure you’re covering all bases and trying to put more compelling content in front of your subscribers if they didn’t take any action.

Email Clipping

Another thing to be wary of is emails themselves that are a large file size might be “clipped” for users that have Gmail as an inbox provider. You can read more on Klaviyo’s help documentation on clipping in the link provided. The long and short of it is that you want to keep the files and length of your emails down - remember when we said to keep it concise, not to be too image heavy, and also to keep your images under 150kb for fast loading - and in the off chance that things still might be problematic, you may want to change the setting for the position of the tracking pixel in your emails. This pixel is typically placed by Klaviyo at the bottom of your emails and will track opens and clicks, but if your email is clipped by Gmail, the pixel doesn’t load and may not accurately track any actions. You can navigate to your account settings and update to have the pixel loaded at the top of your emails by default.

List Cleaning & Maintenance

So, this is a bit of a bonus, the Sunset Flow. This lesson is on campaigns and segmentation and while this is a Flow and not a Campaign, it can be extremely useful for your campaign sends, segmentation strategy, and overall contact list health. So I decided to include it here.

What is the Sunset Flow?

The idea behind the Sunset Flow is this: you eventually will have unengaged subscribers who get beyond the point of no return. It may not make sense to email them anymore or it may not even make sense to have them on your contact list at all anymore. So, you’ll want to create a segment of these unengaged subscribers. You can use this segment as a trigger and send these contacts through a Flow where you try to entice them to come back and visit your site as a last ditch effort to get them engaged again. You can use a Flow filter to remove them from the Flow if they open or click an email. That way, if they become engaged again and begin opening emails, they’ll be added into your engaged contacts and won’t be flagged for removal. But if not and they make it through the Flow, at the end you can update their profile with a property. This property will be used as criteria to indicate that they are not to be emailed anymore by using it as an exclusion segment or by suppressing the users within the segment.

In order to suppress the contacts. Select “Manage Segment” and export the users as a CSV. The, navigate to profiles from the menu, select Suppressed Profiles and upload the CSV file.

It’s a good idea to continually monitor your suppression list - you can generally exclude it from all of your campaign sends, but you also may consider suppressing the contacts on a regular, quarterly basis or so.

Update Billing

Once you’ve suppressed users in bulk, they’ll be removed from the total profiles that impact the billing on your account. If you drop below a billing threshold by suppressing contacts, make sure you change your billing plan to be charged appropriately. Navigate to the account drop down in the top right corner. Select “Billing” and then “Email Plans”. You’ll likely need to select the link for “smaller plans” and then choose according to the new contact list total, which can be found in the Overview tab of your account settings.


So, let’s recap all of what we covered on Campaign Strategy and Segmentation:

In this lesson, we covered how crucial it is to abide by the warming period if you’re migrating from a different email service provider. 

The importance of certain key segments, such as engaged contacts, VIPs, and specific customer personas such region or gender were also covered.

We discussed how to go about building and scheduling your campaigns with A/B testing.

We also discussed how to approach retargeting segments in your campaign strategy while keeping in mind the challenges of email clipping and iOS 15 privacy updates that allow users to opt out of sharing info on some important metrics.

Lastly, we covered list cleaning and maintenance through utilizing the Sunset Flow and updating billing when your list size changes.

In our next lesson, we’ll get into Understanding Performance with Benchmarks and Analytics.

Lesson 5: Campaign Strategy & Segmentation