Test and Preview Flow Messages

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After you've created a flow and configured the trigger, filters, and messages, you may want to test the first few messages to make sure they look exactly right, especially if the email templates contain dynamic variables. There are two types of tests you can run:

  • Preview an individual flow message to verify that the content is correct using the built-in email preview tool. This tool allows you to preview the email with real data from your account.
  • Test your flow and flow filter logic to ensure emails are only sent to the people you want to receive them. You can accomplish this using the Flow Trigger Preview Setup tool to ensure that people are being correctly evaluated when they take the trigger action.

Test and Preview Email Content

Testing and previewing email content can be quickly and easily done while you're editing each email.

When you click on the Preview icon while editing your email content, you will be able to preview the email with real data from your account. If your flow is triggered by someone taking an action, you'll be able to choose from the 10 most recent trigger events to preview your email as these customers.


Select the event and person you want to use and choose whether you'd like to preview the email directly in Klaviyo or have it sent to your inbox. This will allow you to preview your emails exactly as your recipients will see them.

For flows triggered when someone subscribes to a list or is added to a segment, the preview settings will contain a search box. This will allow you to preview the email as any profile in your Klaviyo account. You can search by someone's name or email address. You can preview the email with any profile, meaning you can preview the email as someone even if that person is not in the list or segment that flow is triggered by.


Test and Preview SMS Messages

Like emails, testing and previewing SMS messages can be done quickly as you’re editing your message.

In a flow, click on the SMS message you want to test. Click Edit on the left-hand side.

In the SMS editor, there are three important areas:

  • Left: A space to configure your SMS content
  • Center: A preview of how this message will look upon delivery
  • Upper-right: A card providing preview details with profile or event information


Under Message Add-ons, you have the option to have Klaviyo automatically include an organization prefix in your message, which helps SMS subscribers know who the message came from, and opt-out language, an essential part of SMS marketing strategy.


When creating and configuring your message, you can see what it will look like once it’s sent to a mobile device. As shown above, the Organization Prefix and Opt-out Language are added to the beginning and end of the message, respectively.

In the upper right-hand corner, a tab will appear that shows the 10 most recent, qualified profiles or events that you can navigate between. For metric-triggered flows, this card will show the events for the flow’s trigger; e.g., for an Abandoned Cart flow, the 10 most recent Checkout Started events will show here. For date property flows, this screen will default to profiles with that date property set. If no one meets the qualifications for a flow, the tab will show a message that indicates there are no available profiles.

As for list- and segment-triggered flows, the tab will show those added to the specified list or segment, but you can search for any profile in your account. You can search for someone by name, phone number, or email address. You can preview the message with any profile, meaning you can preview the message as someone even if that person is not in the list or segment that triggers the flow. 

Select the View details button to see more information.


For metric-triggered flows, this dropdown will contain information related to the event that triggered the flow, including the event variables. Hover over any line of data and click to copy the variables to your clipboard. 


With list-, segment-, or date property-triggered flows, this menu will show details about the profile, including their first and last name, email, location/timezone, and any profile or custom properties. (For more information about the profile shown, click the name to open the profile in a new tab.) All of the Profile Properties will appear, even if they are empty on a certain profile, while the Custom Properties section only displays the custom properties that are applied to that profile. To use any variable for these properties in your text message, simply click to copy the property. 


Additionally, you can send a test SMS to yourself to ensure your message looks as expected. From the editor, select Send Test, type in a US number, and select Send Test SMS. You will not be charged to send SMS messages. However, the links don't appear shortened for test SMS messages.


If the option to Send Test SMS is grayed out, you should check that you set up SMS properly. Head to the article on Getting Started with SMS to make sure.

Test Your Flow Logic

If your flow has complex filters, you may want to review the first few messages before all enabling your flows to start sending automatically. To test your flow logic, use the Trigger Preview Setup tool. This will help you understand how contacts are entering the flow and how the filters are being evaluated.

If you would like to test a specific message, you can use another method. First, change the message you'd like to test to Manual mode. Flow messages in manual mode will be scheduled in real-time as if the message were live. However, instead of being sent automatically, the message will be marked for you to manually review.

After you've set your message's status to Manual, you can watch your flow for a set period of time to observe who is queued up in the Needs Review tab. When someone first enters a flow, they will be placed in Waiting until the scheduled send time. At send time, contacts will move from Waiting to Needs Review if they pass your flow's filters.

When messages accumulate in Needs Review, you will have an option to manually send individual messages, manually send all messages, or cancel one or all messages.


Best Practices for Testing Flow Logic

  • If the flow you've created is based on a built-in Klaviyo idea or it's very simple and doesn't need flow filters, for example, a Welcome Series when someone subscribes to your newsletter, you can set all messages in the flow to live and skip testing the flow logic.
  • If you set a flow to Manual and notice that nobody is entering your flow, it likely means your filters are too restrictive or the logic is keeping everyone out. Try creating a segment that mirrors your flow's setup and see if any contacts populate. 
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