Sending a winback or transactional email to non-subscribers

  • 12 September 2022
  • 1 reply

Userlevel 2
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  • Active Contributor I
  • 10 replies


We’re looking into potentially sending a transactional/flow email to active profiles that are unsubscribed.

We’d love to add something a banner about an upcoming sale. I made a segment of “purchased all time” and “not subscribed”, and it’s almost double what our “purchased all time” and “subscribed”.  Wondering if i’m able to send them an email if they’re not opted into our marketing emails. Would this be a winback, and would that be okay to send if they’re not subcribed?

We have a pretty high open rate, so I don’t want this to ruin our deliverability, but would love to re-engage our purchasers who don’t want to receive marketing emails.

A few questions:

  • Will this affect our deliverability?
  • Has anyone done this and found success?

Best answer by retention 13 September 2022, 01:09

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Userlevel 7
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Hello @LM0721, welcome to the community!

As a general advice, you should refrain from putting in marketing messaging in “transactional messages” because then it wouldn’t be a transactional message - it would be marketing related.  There are some loose interpretations of that, and you *might* get Klaviyo to approve it, but it’s a dangerous road to go down because it’ll work until one day it doesn’t, and then it’ll be tough to start over.

It’s hard to pin point the exact definition of a transactional message (it’s all just email, right?), but to me, a transactional email is a utility message to complete or fulfill transactions (hence the term).  I’m not a lawyer, so there are definitely better legal interpretations, especially in certain regions (e.g. GDPR in the EU), so you should consult with counsel for regional rules and legal implications. 

But from a practical standpoint, anytime you send emails for those that did not opt in, risks the ill-fated “Mark this as Spam” complaint in the recipients’ respective inbox providers.  These are very strong signals (as opposed to simply ignoring or not engaging with an email), and can impact deliverability despite your high open rate.  In fact, it’s probably because you only send emails to those who expect it (and want it) is why you have a great engagement score to begin with - don’t ruin it!

For those who haven’t engaged or opted-in, use retargeting popups on your site targeted to those who are in that Segment of not opted-in or Sign Up Form Teasers.  Find other value exchanges or incentives for people to opt-in (if they haven’t already).  Earn their trust, and their permission and you will not only build a more valuable List, but also sleep better at night!

Hope this helps.