Klaviyo

Ecommerce marketing platform Klaviyo, which recently secured a $9.5 billion valuation while raising $320 million in Series D funding, is the epitome of a company obsessed with its customers. By identifying user pain points and building experiences that help solve them, the Klaviyo team delivers an exceptional experience that keeps customers coming back. With empathy at the center of its growth strategy, the company has acquired over 70,000 paying customers to date.

We recently sat down with Klaviyo’s Director of Self-Serve Growth, James de Feu, to see how the company structures and operates its 10-person growth team.


Team Structure

The growth team at Klaviyo is centralized under one leader: James de Feu. Today, it’s a functional organization that reports into marketing leadership. Core team members, known as growth managers, have diverse backgrounds but share a comfort with data and empathy for the customer. They’re joined by a product manager, who directs their engineering and design resources, a product marketing manager, who keeps their messaging on point, and a data scientist, who helps with segmentation.

James is currently working together with product leadership to create cross-functional growth pods, which he hopes will be established before year end. His vision for these agile tiger teams is that they would exclusively go after low-hanging fruit and other high-value opportunities. Klaviyo also has plans to transform the whole company into a matrixed organization, with individuals reporting up to functional leaders while working cross-functionally toward common goals.

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James de Feu, Director, Self-Serve Growth, Klaviyo

“We aim to be the most experimental team at the company. Having a really robust experimental methodology is crucial to making that ambition a reality.”

Growth Processes

Following a repeatable process is critical to how Klaviyo grows. Here’s a high-level look at their approach to driving growth.

1. Understand your users

To learn as much as possible, the Klaviyo growth team first turns to other teams within the business to gather customer intel. Once they have a sense for the user lifecycle, they analyze customer data to develop personas, pinpoint key touch points, and identify opportunities for growth.

2. Set clear and tangible goals

Next, they set actionable goals and establish targets that help orient the team.

3. Build an all-star team

James then works to acquire the talent and resources required to execute on the company’s growth strategy. He looks for customer-centric professionals with analytical mindsets who are skilled at problem solving.

4. Develop cross-functional relationships

The next step is to foster strong relationships with people from product, engineering, and design with whom the growth team has shared goals. At this stage, it’s important to sell the vision of growth.

5. Execute and optimize for growth

Finally, it’s time to brainstorm tactics, conduct experiments, digest the learnings, and keep iterating until the team reaches their targets.

Tool Stack

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James de Feu, Director, Self-Serve Growth, Klaviyo

“Customer needs—that’s what I think about when I think about growth… Empathy is everything.”

Secrets to Success

1. Following the data

Before doing anything else, the Klaviyo growth team conducts a full landscape analysis. After digging through the data, they reach out to other teams within the company to help explain the trends they find. Between the quantitative and qualitative data, the team is able to build an accurate picture of what any given customer experiences and discover how they can optimize that journey.

“Just follow the data,” recommends James de Feu, Director, Self-Serve Growth, Klaviyo. “The data will tell you where the opportunities are, where the problems are.”

2. Evaluating new tools

The Klaviyo growth team understands that leveraging cutting-edge tools can be a competitive advantage in and of itself. The right tool can streamline processes and make things more efficient. It can also supercharge their growth. For this reason, they are always on the hunt for new software.

“We’re always on the lookout to see what can make our lives a bit easier,” says James de Feu, Director, Self-Serve Growth, Klaviyo.

Learn from the best in the business

Our research reveals key insights about how to build and operate your team for optimal performance. From team structure to growth processes, you’ll learn from companies like Hubspot, Shopify, and Lyft on how to lead your team and company to rapid growth.

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