Add an SMS Action to a Flow

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The SMS component in the Visual Flow Builder is used to integrate SMS messages into any automated flow series, including a welcome series, abandoned cart, and more. After dragging a new SMS card into a flow, you'll be able to configure your content and update key settings on the lefthand sidebar. Some key flows you may want to add SMS messages to include:

In this guide, we'll walk through how to add an SMS action to any type of flow.

Add an SMS Action

To add a new SMS into a flow, drag the SMS component from the sidebar and drop it on any green drop point. After adding a new SMS action to your flow, the next step is to configure your content.


When you click Configure Content, you'll be taken to a page where you can update the following for your new SMS message:

  • Content
    The message itself. You can also choose to automatically shorten any links you include in the message to conserve space (recommended).
  • Organizational Prefix
    To better identify yourself to your subscribers, you may want to set an organizational prefix. This will be prepended to the beginning of the message you send and is configured at the account level. In the example below, our store's name is Sincere Flattery, which is represented in the organization prefix.
  • Opt-out Language
    Similar to an unsubscribe link in an email, this is the text that someone will see indicating how to unsubscribe from text messages.


Message Add-Ons

There are two message add-ons to configure for each SMS action you add to a flow, outlined below.

Organization Prefix 
Unlike when you send an email—where you can identify yourself in the From Address—when you send an SMS message, there is no default way for the recipient to identify who you are. The phone number you are sending from does not identify you as a business, and your message will often appear anonymous or from an unknown sender. Including an organizational prefix is a best practice, as it provides a clear way for your recipients to identify you as the sender of a given message. 

When this add-on is enabled, Klaviyo will automatically prepend the organizational prefix set in your account settings to the start of every SMS message.

Opt-out Language
When executing an SMS marketing strategy, recipients must have a way to opt-out of receiving future SMS messages from you. If you don't make it clear how recipients can opt-out, they are more likely to report your number as spam. This can lead to fines and the permanent blocking of your number by providers like AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Including opt-out language along with every message is essential. 

When this add-on is enabled, Klaviyo will automatically append opt-out language set in your account settings to the end of every SMS message.

Configure SMS Settings

There are two key settings you can choose to configure for your email: 

  • Smart Sending 
    Enable Smart Sending to skip over recipients that have already received another SMS message from you too recently. This is on by default, and you can configure your Smart Sending window for SMS—which is different from email—in your account settings. By default, the SMS Smart Sending window is 24 hours.
  • Additional Filters
    Add additional filters to an SMS to further restrict who will receive it. This is off by default.

In the configuration sidebar for an SMS, you can see and toggle the above settings at any time. On the visual canvas, on each card, you will also see icon indicators for each of these settings. When a setting is enabled, the corresponding icon will appear in green. You can hover over one of these icons at any time to reveal a descriptive tooltip.


Schedule an SMS

mceclip3.png.pngSMS messages and other flow actions are scheduled using Time Delay components that are added before them in a flow sequence.

You do not need to add a time delay if you would like an SMS to send immediately after the flow trigger or simultaneously with the step before it. 

Before SMS #1 in the example to the left, you will see a time delay configured to wait four hours. Directly following the SMS action, you will see an email action. For this flow, both SMS #1 and Email #1 will send together four hours after the triggering action.

Before turning an SMS action live, you will want to ensure that you've configured the proper time delay before it.

There are several different options you have when configuring a time delay to schedule emails in your series:

  • You can set a time of day you'd like an SMS to send
  • You can localize sending by the recipient's own timezone.
  • You can restrict SMS messages to only send on certain days of the week, for example, if you want to avoid sending certain messages on weekends.

Change an SMS Message's Sending Status

After you've created the content for your new SMS message and previewed it, you are ready to turn it from draft to manual or live: 

  • Draft
    This is the default status for a new message and is the status you should use while you're still configuring your content and adjusting settings. When a message is in draft, nobody will be queued up or receive the email.
  • Manual
    When you are done configuring a new message and are interested in testing it out, you can place it in manual mode. When a message is in manual, it is active in your flow but no messages will trigger automatically at send time. You will need to manually review and send all scheduled messages.
  • Live
    To "turn on" a message in a flow series, you will need to change the message's status to live. A live message is active in your flow and is sending automatically.

Note that every new message is in a draft state by default. Until you configure the content, you will not be able to adjust the status to manual or live.

There are two ways you can change the status of a message. You can use the dropdown menu in the configuration sidebar, or you can change the status from the card itself on the canvas.

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