Study: Klaviyo, Text Messaging Drives DTC Ecommerce

Klaviyo’s text messaging service was surprisingly popular in an anecdotal study of 50 direct-to-consumer brands. The review also found that most brands use pop-ups in emails. to capture emails, but doesn’t seem to use a greeting string.

I recently looked into how DTC brands are deploying email marketing. I created a list of companies based on Jasper’s AI chat and Google search. Then I randomly selected sites from each source.

I signed up for each brand’s email using their home page form and a free AOL email address for this purpose. I used BuiltWith to determine a brand email service provider.

I logged into each DTC site only once. But many had A/B testing software installed, according to BuiltWith, indicating that I might experience a different sign-up process on subsequent visits.

Although it’s not scientific, a review of these DTC sites revealed four patterns: widespread use of text messages, ubiquitous pop-ups, extensive promotions, and a lack of welcome sequence messages.

Brand: URL: Encouragement Text: Pop-up window ESP:
Cuts clothes yes yes yes Clavio
Marc’s Magic Rub No No No MailChimp:
Cellulose pantry yes yes yes Clavio
DEUX: No yes Yes, but text Clavio
The Ridge No No No Clavio
MUD\WTR: No yes yes Clavio
Parties No yes yes Clavio
Blueland yes yes yes Clavio
G FUEL yes yes yes Clavio
Comet No yes yes Clavio
Biossance: yes yes No Clavio
Ten Little Ones No No No Clavio
Was appointed yes yes yes Clavio
Cucumber yes yes yes Clavio
JuneShine: No yes yes Clavio
Hint No yes yes Clavio
love No No yes MailChimp:
All the birds yes No yes Repeatable
Saatva No yes yes MailChimp:
The peloton No No No By order
Irony yes yes yes MailChimp:
External yes yes yes Clavio
Nutrafol yes yes yes Other:
Far away yes No No Other:
Warby Parker No No No Other:
Casper No No No Other:
Zoology yes No yes Clavio
Bombas yes yes yes Other:
MVMT: yes yes yes Other:
Position No No No Clavio
WP standard yes No yes Clavio
ROKA: yes yes yes Other:
Pura Vida yes yes yes Clavio
American giant yes yes yes Clavio
GROTTO yes yes yes Clavio
Bonobos No No No Other:
Buck Mason No No yes Clavio
Martial gentlemen yes No yes Clavio
Kuyana yes yes yes NetSuite:
Kudos and colleagues! No No yes Clavio
Frank and Oak yes yes yes MailChimp:
Indochina yes yes yes Other:
Who? yes No yes Clavio
Sacrifice yes yes yes Clavio
truck driver yes No yes Clavio
Chubby yes yes yes Clavio
HVMN: yes yes yes Other:
Day No No No Clavio
ArtLifting: No No yes MailChimp:
Hubble No No No Clavio

Klaviyo Driving Text Messages

31 out of 50 DTC e-commerce sites used Klaviyo for email marketing.

Shopify invested $100 million in Klaviyo by 2022, so it’s no surprise that every Klaviyo site used Shopify as well. Amazingly, a whopping 80% of Claivo’s sites asked for my mobile number. Of the 19 brands not using Klaviyo, four asked for my mobile number, bringing the total number of text seekers from 50 to 29.

Image of Cuts pop-up screen asking for a cell phone number for a 15% discount.

Cuts, the DTC clothing store, offers a 15% discount for providing a mobile phone number.

This does not mean that there is any brand collect mobile numbers, but of course they want them. One brand, Deux (cookie dough), asked for my cell number in a popup, but not my email address. I had to find the form in the footer to subscribe by email.

Image of the Deux pop-up screen asking for a mobile phone number.

Duex asked for a mobile number in the popup, but not an email address.

DTC brands use text messaging like email. mail, including shipping and delivery notifications, promotional offers, abandoned cart reminders, etc. The difference is in the response. Although they often have multiple email addresses and receive many emails every day, So those same shoppers are usually more responsive to mobile, at least for now.

Even before I reviewed these 50 sites, I was convinced that text messaging was the best opportunity for e-commerce companies. Now it can be imperative.

Pop-up window rule

Despite reports that consumers didn’t like them, 38 out of 50 online stores had pop-ups.

Some pop-ups appeared when my browser loaded. The others were waiting for me to scroll. Often the pop-ups would load on multiple screens, meaning I had to interact with them up to four times asking for my email address, mobile phone number and why I had visited.

A screenshot of the Bombas popup offering 20% ​​off for new email subscribers.

38 of the 50 DTC stores used pop-ups. This pattern is from Bombas, a clothing brand.

Many offer an incentive

The next trend was that most DTC brands offered an incentive to subscribe to email marketing. Twenty-nine of the 50 offered a discount, free shipping, or a chance to win something. Allbirds are even offering a chance to win a holiday to New Zealand.

The best incentive experiences came from sites that provided a coupon code in the same subscription popup. Kuiu, a hunting gear retailer, added my coupon code to the site header, ready to use at checkout. It was the best experience out of the sites I visited.

Email Welcome Series

When I set out to review DTC sites, I was most interested in the email welcome series.

So I signed up for email lists and waited. Then I waited more.

Only four of the brands had welcome messages. Quip (electric toothbrushes) dropped an email message in my AOL inbox when I clicked the subscribe button below. Frank and Oak (stable clothes) and Kuyu sent messages within seconds. Roca (sunglasses) texted me twice in the first 20 minutes.

The other 46 took a long time. After six hours, only 25 had sent a welcome message, including many who had promised to use the coupon code on their first order. One in 25 messages went to my spam folder.


My anecdotal research into the use of email marketing by DTC brands left me with three takeaways.

First, e-commerce businesses should experiment with text messaging. It’s easy for DTC brands using Klaviyo to add a mobile number capture form to their websites, but that doesn’t mean they’re doing it well. So, implementing a text messaging plan can help you keep up with or even outpace your competition, perhaps by using a special texting tool to facilitate sales in addition to sending links.

Second, use a flyer with a clear incentive. If these DTC brands are any indication, the flyers are worth contacting.

Third, there is an opportunity to communicate with new subscribers through a welcome email series. About half of the brands tested don’t use one.

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