Why is the first name field being pulled into the email not accurate and other issues

  • 17 August 2022
  • 1 reply

Userlevel 1
Badge +4

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve experienced at least 5 instances of bugs that either stopped me from generating revenue or increased chargeback rate.


It wouldn’t be a big deal if the attitude of the support agents weren’t so blatant and unhelpful. I have experienced the instances of Klaviyo not being able to provide me with basic functionality, and all I was offered was to cancel my subscription (also, read Terms and Conditions since they don’t issue a refund if their tool doesn’t work for you.) Thanks Maggie, but no thanks.

What happened? 

  1. Well, where do I begin… How about populating a random name in the subject line and email body text. By saying random, I mean it. Somehow, the {{person.first_name}} field populated one of our Klaviyo’s user’s (not customers) name into email for 5% to 10% of our user base (thousands). Maggie, from customer support, told me that it works as expected and that for total accuracy, I’ve should’ve used {{ first_name|default:‘Friend’ }}. Obviously, I asked her to issue a refund, because this is damaging to our brand image, but what Maggie offered was for us to cancel our subscription and stop using Klaviyo. The best part is, I’ve tried using her example in the campaign and I received an error that did not allow me to proceed (requires two arguments instead of 1). What other options that are left for me, lol?
  2. Analytics. I’ll just leave it here. It just doesn’t work. Open Rates and Click Rates are never add up (for example: comparing flow statistics, analytics and benchmarks). We’re using Google Analytics and other monitoring tools, so I’m quite sure we’re not in the false here.
  3. Error 500 in flows. Just out of nowhere, I couldn’t access my flow for five straight days. That seemed like no big deal for Klaviyo. I was offered to duplicate/make new flow. Oh, yeah, maybe you’ll pay for me the hours I spend working on workarounds for Klaviyo?
  4. Email Previews doesn’t work on new Template builder. Yeah, not a big thing right? No, when you’re administrating tons of templates on five different accounts, it is a big deal. 
  5. New template builder bugging out and moving blocks up and down after you save them. If you’re decent email marketer, you understand the need to have a responsive email. I can’t count the times I needed to re-edit my template just because after pressing save, the text or image blocks just randomly pops-up somewhere in your template. 

This is but a fraction of what I had to deal with throughout a year with Klaviyo, but it cost me hours that I’d rather have spent optimizing my flows, campaigns etc

We do not have the resources for the transition right now and I’m still holding on to Klaviyo because it has top of the line deliverability and sending infrastructure, but… I’ve used tons of tools (Hubspot, ActiveCampaign, MailerLite, Omnisend, Mixmax, Yesware etc.) and I’ve never encountered something that broken as Klaviyo in terms of user experience. 


Best answer by David To 18 August 2022, 18:58

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Userlevel 7
Badge +54

Hello @moodxmanager,

I just want to extend an apology on behalf of our colleagues for your negative experience

  1. In my experience, I’ve encounter this sort of behavior where the recipient is being identified with the incorrect name several times when using the {{ first_name }} variable. When this occurs, its usually caused by an odd syncing behavior stemming from another tool or software that’s connect to either Klaviyo or your platform. One example of this that’s really common is how BigCommerce forms will default a first name field as “BC”. When I encountered this, a visitor had filled out a Klaviyo flyout form which saved their first name correctly so the {{ first_name }} property being pulled into the emails had no issues. After some time passed, this same customer inadvertently filled out a standard BigCommerce form thinking they were no longer subscribed to the list. This lead to their first name field to get updated to now be “BC”. You can imagine the confusion this caused when the customer received an email that read “Hello BC...”. 

    This sort of behavior wouldn’t be solely restricted to BigCommerce either. I’ve seen this occur through several different integrations and custom API setups as well - including some where the first name would actually be reverted to the correct first name. This was primarily due to how their website was setup to have multiple different events and identify calls being made. So overall, I would recommend double checking if there was a leak somewhere in your data as Klaviyo by itself, would not update, change, or adjust any data points. Klaviyo overall is an ingestion tool - especially when you’re trying to reference profile and event variables - where Klaviyo will only re-display the data thats been shared with it. 

    In terms of that error you’re receiving when you’re trying to use the {{ first_name|default:‘Friend’ }} variable syntax, did you happen to just copy and paste the snippet provided? If so, chances are in the process of copy and pasting, you also brought up some latent formatting. For this reason we highly recommend copying and pasting without formatting. You can paste something without formatting by Ctrl+Shift+V instead of Ctrl+V when pasting. If you’re using a Mac, you would use the Option+Shift+Command+V commands. 
  2. Truth of the matter is that both Klaviyo and Google Analytics are not going to match 1:1. This boils down to how both Klaviyo, Google Analytics, and other analytics will have different attribution models and methods to how data is counted. One of our champions, @Bobi N. action explained this a bit in a recent Community post which I’ll link below alongside another response of mine that goes over a similar subject:
  3. I haven’t seen any reports recently regarding to any downtimes in our platform, have you by chance cleared your cache and restarted your browser recently? A 500 error typically indicates a server error but can also be caused by local devices. A very common cause would be a time our error stemming from a lack of resources such as your browser cache. For example, if you have a large number of flows build out but you haven’t cleared your cache in a long period of time, the resource may take a long period of time to load, but will eventually time out leading to a 500 error. Another reason why this would happen is if you manage multiple Klaviyo accounts and may have inadvertently switched accounts. Say, for example, you have two tabs of Account A open, but then decide to log into Account B in another tab or window to do so work. After completing your task in Account B, if you switched to Account A to continue your original work, you’ll actually be greeted with a 500 since you’ll no longer be logged into Account A, but rather you’ll be logged into Account B. 
  4. Can you explain further what preview functions don’t work? Would love to hear more on this to be passed to our Product Teams as we do have plans to further improve our preview capabilities. 
  5. Similar to the third point above, caches is a common cause to odd behaviors like this due to the lack of resources not catching up with the intended save actions. I would also advise ensuring you don’t have multiple tabs of the same email template open. Since the new editor offers an auto-save feature, there is a chance that when you’re making changes to the template in one tab, the same template open in the second tab would save in the background leading to some inconsistencies. In the same vein, if you work with others, I would try to make sure other members of your team aren’t trying to work on the same template as this would lead to the same behavior mentioned prior. 

Hoping this clarifies some things!