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Design Klaviyo Emails Like a Pro

Updated: July 2, 2024
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Klaviyo email design may not be the first thing you think of within your omnichannel blueprint—but don’t underestimate its importance.

Well-thought-out and strategic email design serves several crucial purposes, including but not limited to brand recognition and reputation, driving traffic to your product pages, and staying top-of-mind for your subscribers. Keeping a consistent design across all your channels doesn’t just make your brand more recognizable—it also boosts the performance of everything you do.

The great news is, a slick and effective email design is surprisingly easy to achieve with Klaviyo. We’ll share our favorite tricks and best practices for developing your Klaviyo email design skills for success.

Develop a Klaviyo Email Master Template

An email template is an HTML file that includes placeholders for various elements like content, links, calls-to-action (CTAs), and user-specific information. A well-designed Klaviyo email template allows for easy copying and reuse in different email marketing campaigns.

Experts recommend that brands maintain a master email template to ensure consistent font and size for headers, subheaders, and text in all emails. It’s also useful to have multiple master templates tailored to different types of emails you send.

In these early planning stages—before beginning the design process—focus on crafting your subject lines and preview text. Use your unique voice and tone, and don’t hesitate to be playful with your copy to create memorable brand moments.

Building Klaviyo Email Templates

  • To begin creating your Klaviyo email template, log in to your Klaviyo account and go to Content > Templates.
  • You can choose one of the templates included in Klaviyo’s Template Library, or design your own from scratch by clicking Create a blank email. Or, if you wish, you can import a completely custom HTML template.
  • Review the template in the popup window that appears, then click Create Template. You will then be directed to the template editor, where you can design and save your template.

Editing Klaviyo Email Templates

Making changes to your Klaviyo email templates is fairly simple.

  • First, go to Content > Templates.
  • Select Saved templates to see your existing templates.
  • Click the icon of the template you want to edit.
  • In the popup window, click Use template.

This action will open the template editor so you can modify your content and save your changes.

Use CTAs Purposefully

An email CTA is a clickable link or button in an email that guides recipients to an online destination like a landing page or product page. CTAs aim to capture interest and encourage engagement with the email’s content, whether for feedback, viewing content, or making a purchase. Using action-oriented language in Klaviyo email CTAs helps increase click-through rates.

You probably don’t need us to tell you how competitive email marketing can be. To lead readers to your product pages, you need to create appealing CTAs for your Klaviyo emails if you want to see positive results.

Use Simple CTAs

The simpler, the better. You want your Klaviyo emails to be easy to scan.

  • Limit the number of offers or CTAs.
  • Ensure the offers are relevant and aligned with the season, your subject line, and headlines.
  • Use a clean and clutter-free email layout.
  • Avoid overwhelming readers with too much information or too many images.
  • Place a CTA “above the fold” so readers see it as soon as they open the message.

Additionally, avoid including more than three CTAs in your email. Having too many can make the email lengthy and harder to digest, which increases the chances that users won’t click on anything at all.

Use Low-Pressure CTAs

A common mistake marketers make with CTAs is using them solely to push sales. But think how you would feel if the minute you set foot in a store you were bombarded with sales reps screaming in your face, “Buy this now!” Would you stay? Neither would we.

The variety of email CTAs is endless, depending on what you want your subscribers to do. This reflects the online world, where focusing only on purchase-driven CTAs neglects other aspects of Klaviyo email automation.

There is a clear difference between high-commitment CTAs (e.g., “buy now”) and low-commitment CTAs (e.g., “learn more”). By offering low-commitment CTAs, you can engage readers without pressure, catering to various interests and behaviors.

Use Live Text and Buttons—Not Text Over Images

We recommend that Klaviyo email marketers use live text and buttons instead of embedding text in images. This simplifies A/B testing and enables quick adjustments to campaign elements without the need to engage the design team for new images or text blocks. In Klaviyo’s template editor, implementing these changes is easy.

Make Sure Your Klaviyo Emails Are Mobile-Compatible

Today’s consumers mainly check emails on mobile devices, so brands should focus on mobile-first email design. Despite being simple, this advice is often ignored, as many emails are still designed only for desktops. Making your Klaviyo emails responsive to different screens and orientations is vital to your success.

This includes optimizing the subject line and preheader text for mobile inboxes and ensuring images are suitable for mobile viewing. A single-column layout works best for mobile devices.

Personalize Your Klaviyo Emails—and Always Segment

Tailor your emails for a personal impact by segmenting your audience effectively. Personalization through segmentation outperforms generic email blasts, allowing you to communicate your brand’s unique voice to each customer. Simply put, providing a unique experience can significantly increase engagement.

Target top customers, brand enthusiasts, and high-value clients with personalized Klaviyo emails to maintain positive relationships. Segment your audience based on criteria like previous purchases, sales funnel position, geographic location, and information from surveys.

Craft personalized messages for each group to make your communication feel tailored and relevant. Enhance personalization by using customers’ first names, recommending products based on browsing behavior, scheduling emails strategically, and acknowledging special milestones.
Implementing these strategies will make your emails more engaging and personal for each recipient.

Practice Email Branding

Email branding—not to be confused with email marketing—involves creating a consistent and recognizable brand identity within your company’s emails. This ensures that your emails align seamlessly with your branding across various platforms, as well as showcase your brand’s personality.
To achieve this, incorporate your company’s visual and textual elements into your Klaviyo emails:

  • Engaging visuals
  • Consistent use of brand colors
  • Email content reflecting your brand’s voice

How does email branding differ from email marketing? While standard email marketing aims primarily to build relationships and drive sales, email branding is about aligning your emails with your brand’s overall identity and voice.

Include an Unsubscribe Link—It’s the Law

Always, always, always include an unsubscribe link. This is required by Gmail and Yahoo since February 2024 and by regulations like CAN-SPAM. Providing an easy way to opt out is crucial to good email practice. Without it, recipients may mark your Klaviyo emails as spam, hurting your deliverability. Make sure the unsubscribe link is visible, usually in the email footer. Some brands also put the link in the email header for easier access.

A/B Test Your Klaviyo Emails

Measure twice, cut once. Email A/B testing, also known as split testing, includes sending two different email versions to sample groups within your list. The version with the most opens and clicks, known as the “winning version,” is then sent to the rest of your subscribers.

Some marketers skip email A/B testing due to uncertainty about how to proceed or what to test. If you’re in this situation, don’t fret. It’s simpler than it appears and can greatly improve your email campaigns.

What to Test

Crafting visually appealing emails is just one part of the process. Testing their effectiveness is equally crucial. Even a small change in your email design can significantly impact performance. You can run these tests to find out answers to questions like these:

  • Which style of subject line gets the most people to open the email?
  • Do emojis catch the eye of our target audience?
  • What button text makes people click more?
  • Which images make people more likely to buy from emails?
  • What preheader text gets the most people to open the email?

By doing A/B tests in email marketing, you can improve your metrics, increase sales, understand your audience better, and figure out what makes people buy.

How to Test

Doing these tests is pretty simple. In Klaviyo, make two emails that are exactly the same except for the element you wish to test, like the subject line.

An easy way to do this is to create the email—or variation— you wish to test and click the Clone icon on its right. This is located beside the variation name. The newly cloned email will appear below the original. You can then make changes to the clone in order to test different elements. Then, when you send both messages, you’ll be able to compare the metrics from the original version (your control) and the variation (your tester).

Additionally, send these emails to a small group of your subscribers to see which one works better. Half of this test group gets Email A and the other half gets Email B. The one that performs better based on what you’re measuring wins. For instance, if you’re seeing which version gets more people to open the email, use the open rate to decide. If Version B has a higher open rate, it gets sent to the rest of your subscribers because it did better than Version A.

For accurate results, test one element at a time.

However you proceed, after sending each version, track metrics like open and click rates to determine the more effective design. Use Klaviyo’s conditional splits in email flows for better A/B testing.

Ready to Design Some Klaviyo Emails?

Well-crafted Klaviyo email designs boost brand recognition, direct traffic to product pages, and maintain subscriber engagement. Consistent branding enhances recognition and improves marketing effectiveness.

Mastering Klaviyo email design is achievable with practice. Create a master template that ensures consistent branding across campaigns. Compelling CTAs, clear layouts, and A/B testing enhances engagement and conversions.

Klaviyo email design focuses on creating engaging experiences for better results. Embrace these strategies to maximize your email marketing potential and elevate your brand.

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