What is Email Marketing?

In the age of social media, far too many people are quick to write off email marketing. But with incoming changes to IOS that will impact paid ads, it’s time to think again.

Email Marketing is a highly effective digital marketing strategy where you can reach your customers directly, build relationships, promote ideals and sell your products to people. Email offers Shopify store owners the ability to create ‘owned’ marketing. Email is your direct line of communication with your most engaged customers. No social media algorithms, no Google updates, it is just you sharing your stories with the people who actually want to hear from you, at the time they want to.

In addition to it being a primary source of communication, email marketing yields the highest return on investment (ROI) with the medium ROI for Email Marketing being a staggering 122% - four times higher than any other digital marketing channel.

Need some numbers to go with these words? Have a look at our blog on Email Marketing ROI and download our ROI Industry Benchmark Guide to see what kind of return your business could be making.

Do marketing emails work?

The simple answer is yes.

Facebook might have over 1.5 billion users daily, but email has over 3.9 billion daily active users - with 99% of those users checking their emails daily. Even better, studies show that users don’t just check their emails on a daily basis, they check their emails continuously throughout the day.

The complicated answer is, sometimes.

On paper, the potential for email marketing is always there. However, in practice, most businesses don’t know how to use email marketing effectively. So instead of asking “Does email marketing work? You should be asking “Am I willing to put in the work?”. As you’ll see from one of our previous articles on Klaviyo benchmarks, there’s a lot to do, but taking small and regular steps is key as we’ll look at below.

What are the challenges of email marketing?

Audience Writing on Whiteboard

The challenges you may face when it comes to email marketing come in the forms of deliverability, engagement, personalisation, acquisition and retention. But all these challenges can be overcome with smart email marketing strategy and relevant content.


Email deliverability describes whether your not your email is making it to your subscribers inbox, and where your email will land in your subscribers inbox. Deliverability consists of three parts; Identification, Reputation and Content, all of which determine whether your email makes it to the Spam folder or whether they make it to the inbox at all.

Identification - This is determined by the set of protocols that prove who you say you are when you send an email, such as Sender Policy Framework (SPF) DomainKeys Identified (DKIM), and Domain-Based MEssage Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC)

Reputation - Reputation is a score that signals how trustworthy your emails are. Each organisation and Internet Service Provider (ISP) may have different scores for you, but this ultimately is determined by generating positive subscriber behaviour, (marking you as a trusted sender) - this is the best way to earn a great sending reputation.

Content -Is your content appropriate for your audience? Is your content valuable? Sending irrelevant messaging, poor copy and formatting or spammy language can impact your deliverability based on previous sending patterns. Make sure your content is tailored and personalised to what your subscribers want to see and what may be interesting for them.


But customer engagement via email marketing can be challenging for marketers, because their email marketing needs to be planned for all the stages of the customer lifecycle. You need to have a strategy for a future stream of emails. The higher your engagements, the higher your chance of conversion. Email Marketers know that the key to great engagement is to create more relevant content that will connect to your subscribers.

Customer Acquisition

When you are writing and planning your emails, it's important to remember that you are writing to a person, not a list. Building and nurturing that connection between your brand and your subscribers can be tough but is most certainly rewarding. That challenge comes in the fact that you are not writing to one person, you are writing multiple unique individuals.


Retention and customer experience go hand in hand, if your customers have a great experience interacting and engaging with your brand. Here at Blend, we partner with Shopify Apps like Recharge and LoyaltyLion that can and WILL increase your customer retention and help you create a loyal community of subscribers who love your brand.

For example, when using Klaviyo and LoyaltyLion, we help our clients integrate these two systems to help retention. Here’s an example from one of our clients, Hunter and Gather.

Hunter & Gather Email Template showing Loyalty Points

How can I improve my email marketing?

List Cleansing

Having large numbers of inactive and unengaged subscribers can dramatically affect your emails deliverability and offset your engagement metrics. Consider asking your unengaged subscribers for feedback or to update their preferences or ultimately removing suppressed and unengaged profiles after a period of time. Regular List cleansing will help you avoid spam traps, invalid emails and improve your overall deliverability and trustworthiness.

Some suggested steps to follow to list cleansing include:

  1. Identifying unengaged profiles by creating a segment
  2. Suppressing Unengaged Profiles (Suppressed profiles do not count towards your monthly Klaviyo plan, retain all your customer data and can be unsuppressed if they re-engage)
  3. Give users an opportunity to update their email preferences before they unsubscribe
  4. Cleaning Soft Bounces

Why is list cleansing so important

  1. Reduce unsubscribe rates and increase open and click rates
  2. Increase your deliverability scores with email providers Most major email service providers (like Google and Yahoo) track how recipients interact with emails from your domain — how many emails are marked as spam, how many are opened, etc. ESPs use this information to determine whether your emails are classified as spam. Having lots of unengaged people on your list hurts your efforts to reach those that actually do want to receive your emails.
  3. Retain and engage customers By knowing when people start to disengage with your brand, you can know when to send targeted campaigns to re-engage them.
  4. Personalize content based on your best customers By knowing that your list is full of real, active, and interested potential customers, you can start to personalize content around those people.

Advanced Segmentation

Segmenting your lists based on your recipients browsing and purchase history, demographics, interactions and preferences is a surefire way to ensure that you are sending them content that they want to see.

Some great examples of segmentation possible in Klaviyo are:

  1. Product Interests
  2. Email Engagement
  3. Location
  4. Gender
  5. Website Engagement


Segmentation and personalisation go hand in hand. The more personalised the content that your customer is seeing, the more likely they are to engage and ultimately convert. Personalising your email content with the customer’s name, preferred products will make for a friendly and inclusive environment that your customer will want to be a part of.

A/B Testing

Email marketing enables us to quickly analyse and understand what approaches are effective and what is not. A/B testing subject lines, images and experimenting with timing will help you find the perfect balance for your particular customer base.

Here’s 10 A/B tests we highly recommend that Klaviyo and Shopify users try out:

AB Testing Ideas

Mobile Optimisation

Phone Showing Email

According to statistics, 86% of email are opened on mobile devices, which is why we always recommend ensuring that your emails are optimised for mobile. Klaviyo gives you the option to build your email templates and toggle between mobile and desktop view to make sure your customers have a seamless email experience from desktop to mobile. Things like Image size, Header text and length, stacking your columns are just a few things to keep in mind for mobile optimisation.

Email and SMS

Using Klaviyo SMS and email together allows you to communicate directly with your customers via multiple channels. Klaviyo’s SMS marketing platform combines the immediacy of text messages with the effectiveness of advanced personalisation. SMS affords you the ability to reach your customer where they want to hear from you, right in the palms of their hands. SMS marketing has become one of the most effective marketing tools with its almost instantaneous and high open rates, high conversion, 500% ROI and its ability to boost other channels.

And it’s now available in the UK!

How Blend can help with Email Marketing

Klaviyo and Email Marketing allows companies of all sizes to further grow their business by implementing some of the methods we have mentioned above. From having more control over your marketing and building solid and meaningful customer relationships to driving more conversions and discovering additional sales opportunities. That’s where Blend comes in, our team is here to help you reach and exceed your Email Marketing goals.

Our Klaviyo team has become your email marketing team, and we’re making continuous improvements based on the biggest need. This gives you the peace of mind to focus on the bigger picture for your Shopify store. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

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