Introduction to Strava

Strava is the premier social fitness app that tracks running and cycling activities so that you can track runs and bike rides, compete with friends and other users, and see what your favorite athletes are doing.

They began sending transactional email through SendGrid in 2011. Since then, they’ve scaled exponentially, and they continue to use SendGrid’s cloud platform to communicate with their users about different Strava features, including:

  • Kudos and comments on activities within the Strava app
  • Group conversations and updates
  • Challenge completions, follow-ups, and exclusive offers
  • Account sign ups, settings, and notifications
  • Training plan updates and alterations

Strava’s Email Marketing Manager, Justin Fritz, notes that email communications are critical to the success of the app and the company, saying, “So much of what Strava strives for is engagement and keeping people interested and using the app. Email helps drive people back to the platform in addition to other key communication functions.”

An Ever-Evolving Program

When Justin noticed a decline in engagement in the daily digest email they were sending, he decided to perform a couple tests. First, he opted all Strava users out of receiving the daily digest email. Second, he changed the format of Kudos emails that users receive when another athlete gives their activity a kudos for the first time. Here’s an example of what users now see after the first kudos:

By paying close attention to Strava recipients’ behavior, Justin was able to reduce overall email volume and increase recipient engagement significantly:

  • 138% increase in click rate for Kudos emails
  • 30% – 40% reduction in overall email volume
  • 20% increase in overall open rate
  • 70% increase in overall clicks

The graphs below reflect how these changes improved Strava’s email program from a low point in April, when Justin implemented the changes, to August (the spike in clicks in June was due to a pause in their email that led to a lot of engagement because so few emails had been sent to users):

Driving Revenue

One of the unique ways Strava leverages the programmatic emails they send through SendGrid is by unlocking products and offers. Once a Strava Challenge has been completed, Strava uses SendGrid to send an email with a link to gear in the Strava Shop. The result is a successful messaging technique that drives significant revenue:


The Bottom Line

According to Justin, “SendGrid is critical to our business. Not only is it cost effective, but being able to visualize opens, clicks, and device usage is awesome, and makes pinpointing issues much easier.”

SendGrid is a perfect match for Strava’s transactional and programmatic email needs because it’s scalable, affordable, visual, and correctable. To learn more about Strava’s success using SendGrid and see the full case study, download the PDF of Strava Case Study: Consistent Changes Create Email Successes.


Warren is the Sr. Content Marketing Manager at SendGrid, specializing in email and content best practices, he develops many of the new guides you see SendGrid release as well as other pieces of content, including blogs, videos, case studies, and emails.