Sticky Tutorial

Welcome Series Setup and Best Practices

  • 21 September 2020
  • 30 replies

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What Is a Welcome Series Flow and Why Use One?

A welcome series is a sequence of emails sent directly after someone signs up to hear from your brand. This is a critical moment in the customer lifecycle because it's your opportunity to introduce new, interested prospects to your business and product offering. With a welcome series, you should strike while the iron is hot and capitalize on this display of interest.

A welcome series is crucial email automation, and Klaviyo provides a pre-built welcome series out-of-the-box. You will find a standard welcome series listed in the Flows tab of your account. If you want a more advanced welcome flow, you can browse different ideas in our Flow Library.

How Does a Welcome Series Flow Work?

Unlike many other recommended flows, a welcome series is a list-triggered flow. Whichever list you choose should be the list that new subscribers are added to when they sign up. There are four key ways that new contacts can be added to a list to trigger a welcome series:

  • By signing up through a signup form

  • By signing up through a subscribe page

  • By being manually added to a list

  • Via the API

How Many Emails Should I Include?

Based on research from thousands of Klaviyo ecommerce customers, we have found that sending three emails in your welcome flow leads to optimal performance.

What About Timing?

We recommend the following structure for your Standard Welcome Series Flow:

  1. Email #1, send immediatelyIntroduce new subscribers to your brand and collect their email preferences. To send subscribers an email immediately after they opt in, add an email directly after your flow's trigger with no time delay before it.

  2. Email #2, after two daystwo days after they sign up, encourage your subscribers to like or follow you on social media.

  3. Email #3, after four daysFour days after someone signs up, showcase your best-selling products.

How Should I Try to Improve My Welcome Series Flow?

The Browse Ideas tab is a great place to look for new ideas and inspiration when leveling up your welcome series and includes many of the best practices we recommend.

Additionally, we offer additional Best Practices that provide examples/recommendations for targeting different audiences for your welcome flow(s).

30 replies

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*****EDIT: Solution found - please disregard!**** When I add people manually to my list, it is not triggering the welcome flow. Any ideas? Thank you!

Userlevel 6
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Hi @veeaubrey - thanks for sharing both your question, and that you have found a solution! As this Community forum is aimed at everyone learning from one another and growing together, if you have the time, we’d love it if you could share your findings so that other members may also see it in the future! 

Thanks so much and hope you’re having a lovely week so far,

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Thanks Cassy - I’m not too sure, but I think because I had one email in the flow accidentally in draft that the whole flow wasn’t sending correctly. I hope that helps!

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I’m totally new to this.  Is there a place that helps you understand how to edit each of the welcome emails?  For instance, on the 3rd email under each of the 4 blocks it says “ Read More” with hyperlink.  How do I add the reminder of the information to that block of information?

Is there a very basic step-by-step guide to working on each of the emails?

Userlevel 7
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Hi. I have created a welcome flow that sends emails 7-days after the order fulfilment flag in Shopify to allow time for the product to arrive and be used.

One email is for active subscribers (based on a shopify tag value) with a split that sends an email variant to non-subscribers (single purchase).

The non-subscribers receive a welcome email that highlights the benefits of a subscription.

My question: how can I measure the effectiveness of the flow for non-subscribers i.e converting them to a subscriber? If they subsequently place a subscription order, the shopify tag will be updated to show this has happened but I can’t see a way of attributing that status change to the flow.

Possible to do this? Any ideas appreciated!

Userlevel 7
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Just to follow up with the question @Wslade asked, on top of the information that Julie shared above, I would also recommend that others who are experiencing something similar should take a look at the Creating a Welcome Series article which includes a video guide to build out the Welcome Series flow content.

@blueoxford  - you may have already received an answer for this, but in case others also have a similar question in the future, this sort of flow you are explaining seems more like a Post-Purchase flow or a Winback flow as opposed to a Welcome Series flow.

Post-Purchase flows and Winback flows are sent after a customer has purchased to either provide more information to the purchasers about their order, thanking them for the order, educating them on your brand, and/or upselling them on their recent purchase. 

You should be able to evaluate the effectiveness of your strategy by directly measuring the revenue attributed to the email sent to these non-subscribers. By default, Klaviyo has a five-day last interaction (open or click) attribution model. That means whichever email your contacts opens or clicks immediately prior to a recorded Placed Order event, so long as the email was received within the last five days, would receive the attribution for that specific sale.

With that in mind, you would be able to measure the effectiveness of your upsell strategy based on the conversion rate, number of attributed sales, and attributed revenue of this email you sent to these non-subscribers who purchased and converted. Should your email convince these customers to convert, they would make a subsequent purchase after reading up on the benefits of your subscription, which would be attributed to the email.

Thanks for being a part of our Klaviyo Community!


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Hi! I set up my welcome series and am testing it on myself by signing up to my list through my website. I received the first e-mail in the flow (Friday)(today is Monday). The second e-mail was supposed to send 2 days after the first e-mail at 10:00 a.m. I have not received any further e-mails from the flow as of today, Monday at 6:45 p.m. Did I do something wrong? Does it not send on holidays? To clarify: I received the first e-mail in the flow and nothing else. 



Userlevel 7
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Hello @nilakaymusic,

Out of curiosity, did you happen to enter the flow when there was only one email step within the flow, as in steps two and forward of the flow was not set up or not set to Live yet?

If you were testing your flow and you had entered the flow when only email one was set Live while the remainder of the flow was either not present or was set in Draft mode, it would be expected behavior to only receive the first email in the flow. To learn more about how contacts move through a flow, I would recommend taking a look at the How Contacts Move Through a Flow article. 

Also for clarification, Monday being a holiday would not impact Klaviyo’s sending as Klaviyo does not distinguish holidays within its flow sending schedules. 

I hope this helps!


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Thanks for the reply! I think I actually figured out what the problem was. I entered the flow, but then after I did that and had received the first e-mail I decided to change the name of the list that triggered the flow. Since then I joined my list again with a different e-mail so I could re-test, and it seems to be working! 

Hi, I created a welcome email(Flows),and added  shopify’s tag, the email is still in live. Why hasn’t a single email been sent?

Really hope your help.



I set it up according to the tutorial and ordered a monthly rent of $60. I don't know what's wrong.

Could you help me?


Userlevel 7
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Hello @Esther,

Thanks for your note. Sorry to hear about your trouble so far, let's get you back on the right track.

Keep in mind that when a user subscribes to a list (that triggers your welcome flow) by default, the user will have to confirm their subscription as per our double opt-in process in Klaviyo. Only after they confirm their subscription, will they be added to the list and receive the welcome flow email. If you’d like users to skip this double opt-in step entirely, and get added directly to the list and trigger the flow immediately upon filling the form, see our guide on enabling single opt-in for your list.

Also, in the flow message, make sure you don’t have “Smart Sending” turned on.  Smart Sending prevents emails from being sent if they’ve received another email in the time period you set in your Account Settings.  (Typically, it is 16 hours).

I also recommend double-checking any existing flow filters on the flow, that may be precluding profiles from entering the flow.

Lastly, you can click on any message in a Flow and review its Recipient Activity. To do this, select the message, and in the left hand side, click on “View All Analytics.”  Then click on Recipient Activity on the top.  At the top of this page, you can see all the emails that were sent. This is where you should be lookign to see if emails were sent or skipped for other reasons:

Sometimes emails are not sent because they are skipped because a user unsubscribed, emails bounced, or marked as spam, etc.  More details about “Recipient Activity” is in this doc: Flow Analytics : Review Recipient Acitivity.

These potential flow issues (and more) are also outlined the thread below

I hope that is helpful!

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the link is not open

Userlevel 7
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Hi @andrey skorev,

Thank you for bringing this to our attention!

I have updated the link in David’s post. We have integrated the video tutorial into the article, you can also find that link here:

Thanks for being a member of our community.

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I seem to have to 2 welcome series flows set up, one is just welcome series and the other is called welcome series - customer vs non-customer” 

What is the difference and which one should I use?

Userlevel 7
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Hi @Sunil,

Thanks for sharing this with us.

The difference is that the standard welcome series will send to everyone who joins your list regardless of their order history, whereas the customer vs non-customer welcome series will use a conditional split to distinguish users who have already placed an order (your customers) from those who have not yet placed an order, and sends each group a separate email. The latter type of flow is depicted in the screenshot below. Which one you use is totally up to you, however I recommend you use one flow or the other (not both at the same time), otherwise users who join your list will receive emails from both flows which may confuse them.

Welcome Series (Customer vs Non-Customer)

I hope that is helpful!

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@Dov so is it best to start with the customer vs non customer welcome flow first?

I am not sure what the advantages are of just using the welcome flow which doesn’t distinguish between customers and non customers. 

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@Dov in addition, there are only 2 emails in the welcome flow series (customer vs non customer). How do I add a 3rd email into that flow?

This is a very short flow so when that flow is complete, how do we stay in touch with them? Add more emails to that flow? put them into another flow?

I want to stay in touch with non customers for as long as possible through promotions and product tips, and obviously want to maintain contact with customers. 


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@Dov thirdly, I am confused by the welcome email in that flow to a customer. The only way to trigger that flow at the moment is with the £50 discount pop up 2 seconds after they enter the site, and on the exit pop up if they haven’t already subscribed. 

How can an existing customer see that pop up if I am only targeting the pop ups for non existing subscribers? So how could a customer possibly trigger the welcome series (customer vs non customer) if the pop up wouldn’t show up for them in the first place? Is it if they haven’t somehow subscribed to any list at all despite being a customer? I find that highly unlikely. 

Ok let’s say that somehow they haven’t subscribed to any list despite being a customer (which I find hard to believe) and they receive that 1st welcome email from the £50 discount pop up, should I be sending them the discount code promised in that pop up? 

At the moment, the 1st welcome email to a customer in that flow is very vague, saying we’ll be sending more product promotions, announcements and recommendations so it’s just fluff and nothing of actual value. 

So what do I send existing customers in the 1st email from the discount pop up, the discount code itself?

Shouldn’t those customers be segmented into a customer newsletter, and not a welcome flow, from where I can stay in touch with them more long term?

Yours confusedly. 




Userlevel 7
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Hi @Sunil,

Thank you for your follow-up notes.

On your first question, users use the standard welcome flow template as an introduction to their brand. A user may choose this template (rather than the customer vs non-customer template) if they do not care to target users with separate messaging based on their past purchase history. Or they may have already supplied a discount to their users outside of Klaviyo, and thus don’t want to include additional discount code-related messaging in the welcome flow. 

Also, keep in mind that these are flow templates are built for ease of use, and are completely customizable. In theory, you can modify these templates to include additional or alternative messaging, remove conditional splits, add emails, discount codes etc. to accommodate your goals (i.e. sending them a welcome discount). For more information on these topics I recommend checking out the articles below:

How to create a welcome series

Add a conditional split to a flow

How to manage messages within a flow

On your second question (adding emails to a flow), I recommend reviewing this article: how to add an email to a flow that explains this process. And in terms of keeping in touch with customers in general, that is a great question. There are many ways to achieve this. As I mentioned above, a welcome series is meant to be an introduction to your brand. While you can add additional emails to this flow, once a user reaches the end of this series they will exit the flow. Adding additional emails after a user exits a flow will not queue them up for those emails. In order to keep in contact with these users after they exit your welcome flow, you  should look into setting up additional flows and sending campaigns. Specifically from the flows library (the same place you found the default welcome flows), you will see a tiled list of essential flows. These are the initial flows that Klaviyo deems critical for customer nurturing and overall success. I strongly recommend reading through our article getting started with flows for more information. 

You’re also going to make use campaigns. An email campaign is a one-time send to a pre-established target group of contacts — think regular newsletters, sale announcements, or promotional sends. Here, you can specifically target non-purchasers or any other group. Campaigns can be sent to lists or segments or a mix of both. For some ideas on segments to target non-purchasers see our guide here. And also check out our guide on creating segments

On your third point, your point is well taken and yes it’s very well possible to have customers who placed orders and haven’t explicitly subscribed to one of your mailing lists. Typically, people do not offer discounts to existing customers. If you’re looking to filter out users from the flow who have previously placed orders, you can add a flow filter to your flow: what somebody has done > placed order > zero times over all time. That will filter out anybody from the flow who has previously placed an order.

Then, you can create a segment to target users who have previously placed an order using similar criteria: what somebody has done > placed order > at least once over all time Then you can set-up a discrete flow (triggered off of this segment) or send a campaign to that segment. The possibilities of flows and segments are endless, which is what makes Klaviyo such a dynamic platform.

I hope that is helpful!



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  1. So you are saying that the flow is just a short term engagement with non purchasers?  I want an email series that is more medium to long term providing ongoing tips and promotion emails. So how can I achieve that just with a flow that only has around 4 or 5 emails?
  1. How many emails do you recommend having in the welcome flow?
  1. You say that they can be put into other flows but the only way that can happen is if they trigger the action to go into another flow. The only other non customer flows are abandoned cart or browsing and the rest seem to be for customers. So how do I stay in touch with non purchasers more medium/long term if they don’t get into those other 2 flows? Is it purely through campaign messages? How often should campaign messages be sent/once a week, more?
  1. Also, I am still not sure of the value of having a welcome series flow that splits into customer vs non customer. In future, customers are already likely to be subscribed in which case the welcome series popup offering the discount won’t be available to them, but if it is, what am I supposed to write in that first email to a customer in the welcome flow? Offer them the discount code even if they have already purchased something as a customer? It makes no sense to me at all and I can’t see the logic of splitting a welcome flow in customer or non customer as they are only likely to be non customers at that point. 
  1. So what is the point of that split if it’s redundant at that stage? Surely customers should be segmented and getting their own tailored flows and campaign messages at the customer stage of their cycle. 
  1.  I have linked the signup forms to the “newsletter” but are messages only created within the flows and campaigns and not within the “newsletter” list itself?
  1. In the campaign messages section, I can see that the recipients of messages are “Potential Purchasers”, “Win-back Opportunities” and “Newsletter” what kind of flows should I be using to get people into the potential purchasers and win back opportunities? What kind of visitors are classed as potential purchasers, those who abandoned carts or something else? And who should be in my win back opportunities list, ie what does that include? 





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@Dov hi could you respond to my last message please? It will help me to clarify things. 

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Hi @Sunil


Apologies for the delay here! I would definitely love to hop on and offer some more clarity for you here! 


First, yes, the best use of Flows, and their intended practice, is to be used as short-term, automated messages triggered by a certain user event or action. As @Dov mentioned earlier, I would use campaigns for the purpose of giving users ongoing tips and promotions on whatever cadence is wise and best for your company and brand goals. 


Second, as mentioned above in the orignal content of the topic, based on research from thousands of Klaviyo ecommerce customers, we have found that sending three emails in your welcome flow leads to optimal performance. However, you can change this to four or five if it best fits your brand and you see this sequence performing well. The great part about your Klaviyo journey is you can continually iterate on your experience and fine-tune your strategies for optimal performances. 


Third, yes, those are some of the only non-customer flows that would be triggered by subscribers who haven’t placed an order yet, although you could create others if you wish. However, you primarily would continue sustained communication through campaigns as they are not triggering purchase-related flows. The question of the frequency in which you send campaigns depends on the segment or list of users you send to, how often they want to be/expect to hear from you and at what point you’re at in your brand’s age. It’s considered best practice to always want leave your subscribers wanting to hear from you more and looking forward to your emails then feeling bombarded with constant messages. If you’re just starting out and building customer loyalty, I would consider sending less than more often. Additionally, I’d check out our Understanding Deliverability Best Practices to gain more insight into this. I wonder if @retention or @NJVasic have any thoughts to add on sending frequency? 


Fourth and fifth, hypothetically you could have a form and your website feeding into the same list. This would mean that purchasers and non-purchasers are being fed into the same list and same welcome flow. In which case a conditional split would be needed as two different subscribers are being fed into the same flow. Additionally, each path after the split could have a different tone, warranting the split function. Those who were fed into the flow after purchasing could receive a ‘thank you’ email as they are welcome into the brand, while the non-purchasers are further incentivized to place an order after they receive their discount. Additionally, some klaviyo users add the discount into the flow email, and do not show it immediately upon form submission, which would also warrant the split and non-purchaser vs. purchasers welcome flow. 


Sixth, I might need more clarify here, but your ‘Newsletter’ is the intended audience who would receive your flow messages and campaigns. You created the messages they would receive in when you choose to create a campaign and create flow messages.


Seventh, I would take a look at our article Understanding the Difference between Segments and Lists. Your Newsletter is a List you created, and your other two options are Segments that already created in your Klaviyo account. Segments dynamically pull anyone into a grouping automatically that meet the segment’s conditions. You can find out what their conditions are by clicking into the segment > Conditions or clicking to preview the dropdown in your Lists/Segments section.


You could create a ‘win back’ flow, where you would attach this specific segment to the flow. Anyone who joins this segment will be added to the Flow. A potential idea for the content would be to offer them a discount to entice them to buy again. A same theory could be used for your potential purchasers segment, you could attach it to a flow and whenever someone is added to the segment. ie. meets the segment criteria, your flow would send them a discounted email message that you finally entice these non-buyers to pull the trigger and place an order because they have an offer too good to refuse. 


Finally, I would encourage you to check our our Klaviyo Academy to gain more understand and mastery of the Klaviyo product. Our product can be diverse and our Academy provides incredible courses that can help clarify and recommend best practices for your business. Specifically, I think these classes would be very profitable to take:



Thanks for being a part of the Community! Hope this helps!


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Hi @Taylor Tarpley 

Thanks for your response. I would like to clarify some of your points and have some questions about something else too. 

  1. For the customer vs non customer welcome flow, how can customers be fed into that flow? The pop-up forms (1st one and exit popup) are only set to show to non-subscribers. so I am confused how a customer would enter that flow. They are likely to already be subscribed into a customer list and thus circumventing the welcome series popup. So in what scenarios would a customer be added to a split welcome flow when that popup wouldn’t show up for them if they are already subscribed?


  1. What are some examples of segment conditions, could it be someone who abandoned a cart or browse from clicking on an email link to the product with a discount offer? Any other examples of segment conditions? 


  1. Is a win back flow something that only applies to previous customers who haven’t purchased for a while? And is a “Potential Purchaser” segment someone who abandoned a cart or product page browse? Do I need to link subscribers to the abandoned cart/browse flows to a “Potential Purchaser” segment? If so, how do I do that? 


  1. What email structure should I use for the 3 part welcome series? Discount code in the 1st email with some links to featured products? About us as a company in the 2nd email and what makes us unique, plus a reminder of the discount and links to products? And in the 3rd email, some playing tips and the promotion...or are tips to be recommended for campaign messages?


  1. In the campaign email templates, I selected the Shine Off Template as I like the look of it. The problem is the text is split into 2 columns so one block only goes half way across the page. I want the text to go all the way across in 1 column. Can I customise that template for 1 column text only? If so how? ….or do I need to choose a template that only uses 1 column text to go across the whole page?

Thank you. 

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Hi @Taylor Tarpley could you kindly respond to my last message so I can move forward and set up the forms and messages in Klaviyo? I just need some clarity on those points so I can get started.