Email Marketing: Customer-First Data for Customer Retention with Klaviyo’s Gemma Banks (episode 096)

by April Buencamino-dy

Gemma Banks is the Senior Marketing Director for the EMEA and APAC at Klaviyo, and she’s been helping brands like you improve their eCommerce marketing since 2013! She really knows her email marketing eCommerce stuff!

This episode is a simulcast (of sorts!) with our brand new eCommerce MasterPlan Virtual Summit that goes live today!

10 hand-picked experts are sharing the key tactics you need to grow your business in this challenging year – 5 sessions on acquisition, and 5 on retention.

If you want access to the whole event for FREE– just head to where you might be in time to catch some live sessions, but where you’ll DEFINITELY be in time to catch the replays.

Listen now for free:

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Defining Customer-First Data

Customer-first data is data that you own. It is data you’ve collected which you have an explicit consent to use.

This data benefits your business, and it matters to both you and your customers. It allows you to give your customers the best customer experience they can have in their buying journey with your brand.

Why Is Customer-First Data Important?

Gemma says that with all the changes happening on Facebook and Google Analytics, there are now more blocks to owning your own data. In addition, it’s expensive to place ads on these platforms and you still don’t own the data.

With customer-first data, brands are empowered to own the data in a way that will benefit their business as well as their customers. Customers will keep coming back to you because you’re giving them something that’s beneficial and specific to them, rather than something that’s generic.

Maximizing The Power Of Data

The power of data lies in its ability to give your customer a better experience, so use it and maximize its benefits.

Look at the information that you’re getting and tailor your communications based on the data you’re seeing. When you can personalize each email you send to your customer in a way that resonates with them, they’re going to open it and interact with you every time.

If you don’t own your data, you won’t be able to do this. Use customer-first data and act on it in a way that’s going to benefit both you and your customer.

A Customer Retention Strategy

It costs less to keep a customer you already have and continue selling to them than to acquire a new customer.

With Klaviyo, you collect data at the point of sale so you’re able to know what the customer’s preferences are and their habits. When you acquire this customer-first data, learn from it to offer more to your customer, and give them a better experience.

Gemma says data is gold if you treat it right and when you own it, no one else can take it from you.

Pay Attention To Your Customers And Prioritize

Be strategic in using the data you have and bring it in where it’s going to make the biggest impact on your brand.

Every business is different, so whatever unique experience you have with your customers plus the data you have, use what you know to build the best relationship you can with them. Show your customers that you’re listening to them and that you’re also taking into consideration external issues and factors.

Taking Cues From Klaviyo’s Research

If we are going to take our cue from the results of Klaviyo’s research, everything starts with the customer. But the data you have will only be as good as the experience you activate for them.

Think of your customer’s email interaction as being similar to an actual shopping experience. People shop with certain brands because they like the way they’re treated, and this should be translated into the email you send and everywhere else you interact with your customer.

This will help you build a stronger connection with your customers, increase sales, and even beat the competition.

Gemma’s Final Message

Technology is your friend. It can help you automate, make your life easy, analyze data, and make suggestions on what you should do to improve your business. It can also help with customer retention.

And while there’s definitely a cost to implementing the right technology, it can benefit not just you, but also your customers.

Insider Tips

If we’ve inspired someone to take their first step with email marketing – what do they need to know to give themselves the best chance of success?

Truly understand what you want to do with email marketing.

Whether it’s data collection, customer acquisition, or customer retention, define what you want to achieve and focus on that.

Once you’ve started of course you’ve got to ‘keep optimising’! So what’s your favourite way to improve email marketing performance?

It’s always going to be about the data. Take the information you have and use it to optimise your communications and achieve your targets.

If someone listening wants to learn more about email marketing is there one cheap/free resource you’d recommend?

Grab Klaviyo’s customer-first data guide to learn more about data and why it’s gold, and how you can use it better in email marketing.

Crystal ball time – what’s coming up in the next 6-12 months that we should be getting ready for in email marketing?

Prepare for changes that are coming such as inflation and cost of living crisis.

Make sure you’re listening to your customers and talk to them based on what’s relevant to them and when it’s relevant to them as well.

Interview Links

Gemma on Social media:

Sponsored by…

Klaviyo is a leading customer data and marketing automation platform dedicated to accelerating revenue and customer connection for online businesses. Klaviyo makes it easy to store, access, analyze and use transactional and behavioral data to power highly-targeted customer and prospect communications.

The company’s hybrid customer-data and marketing-platform model allows companies to grow by fostering direct relationships with customers, without giving up their valuable data to popular big-tech ad platforms. Over 80,000 innovative companies like Unilever, Custom Ink, Living Proof and Huckberry sell more with Klaviyo. Learn more at

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