Klaviyo pricing plans explained

At first glance, Klaviyo pricing may seem quite expensive. Particularly when compared to other email marketing platforms, like Mailchimp.

But the purpose of this post is not to compare Klaviyo to other email marketing platforms.

The aim of this post is to explain how Klaviyo charges and how to avoid paying more than you should.

Understanding ‘Active Profiles’

The most important thing to understand about Klaviyo pricing plans, is that they are based on the number of ‘Active Profiles‘. They are not based on the number of ‘Subscribers‘.

This is often a source of great confusion for ecommerce merchants.

Many new converts to Klaviyo are surprised by just how many Active Profiles they have in their account. The result being they find themselves in a higher pricing plan than they expected to be.

So what is an Active Profile?

When you click on the ‘Profiles’ link in the left hand navigation of Klaviyo admin, you will see the total number of profiles broken down by Active and Suppressed.

Active vs Suppressed Profiles

Active Profile simply means any email contact that is not suppressed. It includes subscribers and non-subscribers, as well as customers and non-customers.

In the example below, many merchants would expect to pay for the 4,208 active subscribers. But in fact, the pricing plan would be based on all 7,102 active profiles.

Profiles you pay for

At this point, most merchants start asking who are all these other profiles and where did they come from?

All profiles or email contacts come from two primary sources:

  1. From opting-in via one of the Klaviyo sign up forms or subscription page on your website
  2. From engaging with any other platform which has been integrated with Klaviyo. Typically, this is an ecommerce platform like Shopify.

Watch the short video below, to understand how Klaviyo adds contacts to your account.

Who's in your Klaviyo account?

So how much does Klaviyo cost?

Like most SaaS platforms, Klaviyo uses tiered pricing.

If you 250 Active Profiles or less, Klaviyo is free.

There are some feature limitations with the free plan. For example, you cannot remove the Klaviyo branding at the bottom of emails. Also, you cannot remove the double opt-in function, which in almost every case is a good thing.

Nevertheless, it’s possible for any start up store to get in at the ground level.

It’s also worth noting that all other functionality is included, such as integrations, data science, certain automation, etc, which other email service providers charge separately for. This is important if you want to understand the total cost of your ESP.

The paid plans then range from US$20 to US$650 per month, which covers 251 Active Profiles to 45,000 Active Profiles. Within this range, there is no limit to the number of emails that can be sent per month.

Between 45,001 and 210,000 Active Profiles, the monthly plans range from US$700 to US$2,000 respectively. These plans allow between 500,000 and 2.1 million emails to be sent per month.

Beyond this and you’re in the big league and pricing is by negotiation.

Use Klaviyo’s pricing calculator to estimate what it will cost your business.

Is Klaviyo worth it?

Based on the first tier plan, US$20 per month works out to 8c per contact. On the top tier plan, this drops to 1c per contact. Compare these numbers to how much you typically pay per click on a Google Ad campaign.

But the real value of Klaviyo will be realised when you understand that it is much more than an email platform. The amazing segmentation Klaviyo offers, particularly for ecommerce sites, sets it apart from regular email platforms.

How to avoid paying too much

The key to reducing your Klaviyo cost is understanding that ‘active’ is not the same as ‘actively engaged’.

Try segmenting all active profiles (subscribers, non-subscribers, customers, non-customers), by their actual level of engagement. You will be amazed by how many of them have shown very little or no engagement whatsoever.

There are two good reasons for suppressing these unengaged profiles:

  1. By reducing the number of active profiles, you will probably be able to downgrade your pricing plan. I have helped many clients reduce their monthly fee by 50-75%.
  2. By removing unengaged profiles, you will start to get better open and click rates. This will improve your list reputation and deliverability going forward.

It’s a win-win!

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of how Klaviyo pricing works and how you can minimise the cost. Once you understand how to manage the pricing plans and use the segmentation and automation, you will really begin to see the value of this awesome platform.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Related Klaviyo help centre documents:

6 thoughts on “Klaviyo pricing plans explained”

  1. Interesting read! So if you suppress a profile and they then come back and say make a purchase or subscribe will the become active again?

    1. Great question, Dave.

      If someone with a suppressed profile returns and decides to purchase, they will not automatically become un-suppressed unless:
      – the ‘Accept Marketing’ option in checkout is checked by default*,
      – or they choose to check it by themselves.

      In either case, you will also need to have set Klaviyo to “Subscribe customers who Accept Marketing to a Klaviyo list.”

      *Personally, I advocate not having the optin checked by default. But that discussion is for another post!

      Alternatively, if someone with a suppressed profile submits a Klaviyo form to subscribe to a list, they will also become unsuppressed.

      Hope that clarifies?

  2. You’ve read my mind, I’ve been trying to clear this up and this blog of yours has done that – thank you! Can i ask – at what point and how do you suppress the unengaged profiles.

    1. No real ‘one size fits all’. It will differ for every site, because the definition of ‘engaged’ will differ from one site to another.

      Some sites are going to have higher levels of expected engagement than others, depending on what they are selling. For example, if you sell beds, you wouldn’t expect the same frequency of engagement as if you are selling groceries. So I would suggest some segmenting to determine at what point someone has most likely become ‘unengaged’ for your specific site.

      There is another way of looking at it… I had one client a couple of months ago who said they could only afford $X per month for Klaviyo. So we literally segmented the profiles from most to least ‘engaged’, then drew a line at the point where their budget matched the plan. They then suppressed all those below the line.

    1. finlaysondigital

      Very welcome! So common to find clients in a higher plan than they should be, because unengaged customers are not segmented out.

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