Getting Started with Klaviyo SMS and MMS

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SMS stands for "short messaging service," and SMS messages may more commonly be referred to as text messages. SMS marketing is a broad term and covers two types of text messages: SMS and MMS. MMS stands for "multimedia messaging service" and enables you to attach images and GIFs to your messages. Each MMS counts as three message sends. 

SMS and MMS messages are the most widely used type of mobile messaging. Klaviyo's tools allow you to centralize your marketing strategy into one platform and expand your reach beyond the inbox. Using customer data, like preferences and behaviors, you can achieve true personalization of every message you send, driving more clicks and conversions.

You can only collect SMS consent and send text messages in certain countries. See where Klaviyo SMS is available

Whether you're looking to start an SMS strategy from scratch or already have a clear vision for how you're going to use SMS to nurture relationships with your customers, there are several key steps that you'll need to take to get set up with Klaviyo.


Before you get started, be sure to review our compliance requirements for sending SMS messages. There are a few key steps to getting started with SMS that will be outlined in more detail in this guide, including:

  1. Set up SMS messaging in your account settings
  2. Choose your SMS plan
  3. Update your terms of service and privacy policy 
  4. Gather SMS subscribers
  5. Add SMS messages to your flows, or create a new SMS flow
  6. Create and send an SMS campaign
  7. Analyze how your SMS messages are performing and iterate

Set Up SMS Messaging in Your Account Settings

Once you've decided you'd like to use Klaviyo to send SMS messages, the first step to getting set up is to configure this option in your account. You can do this by heading to Account > Settings > SMS. Then, click Set Up SMS. Only account Owners and Admins will have this ability. Also, you must set up SMS before you can begin collecting consent when double opt-in is enabled.

Learn more about fully configuring SMS in your account, including adjusting your Smart Sending and conversion windows, which are set to 24 hours by default.

Choose Your SMS Plan

You can select an SMS plan by going to Account > Billing > SMS Plans.

SMS sending numbers are included in the plan's cost. When SMS is enabled, a toll-free number will automatically be generated, which is good for sending to US and Canadian numbers. You also receive a free alphanumeric sender ID if you want to send in the UK or Australia.

Higher-tier plans come with a short code; however, before you can use a short code, you must first be approved. Short codes are also only good for one country (e.g., either the US or Canada, not both).


Learn more about billing for SMS and selecting an SMS plan.

Update Your Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

Before you start collecting SMS and MMS subscribers, you want to make sure you also update your terms of service, privacy policy, as well as any other publicly facing legal document you have.

Check out best practices for creating an SMS terms of service and privacy policy

Collect SMS Subscribers

You must get explicit consent from your customers before sending them SMS messages — even transactional ones. So even if you have phone numbers in your Klaviyo account, this does not mean you can send to them.

Further, SMS consent is different from email consent. When gathering SMS consent, you must have language that clearly indicates that if someone ops in, they agree to receive SMS marketing from your brand at the number they provided. 

There are several ways to either collect or sync SMS consent into Klaviyo: 

Send SMS Campaigns

A campaign is helps you provide value to your SMS subscribers. Using an SMS campaign, you could:

  • Inform subscribers about a flash sale
  • Notify them of a product launch

When creating campaign messages, keep the following points in mind:

  • Make sure recipients understand who the message is coming from (such as by mentioning your brand's name)
  • Include opt-out language
  • (For Canada) include contact information
  • Send only between the hours of 9 am and 8 pm in the recipient's local time
  • Include a link
  • Do not use any prohibited content, such as words related to sex, hate, alcohol, firearms, tobacco, or CBD
  • Keep the message concise

Find out more about creating SMS campaigns.

Use SMS Messages in Flows

Using flows, you can create several key customer experiences, including:

Most of the best practices for campaigns applies to flows: don't use prohibited content, include opt-out language, keep it concise, have a link, and clearly indicate who the message is coming from. We recommend setting a time delay before your SMS messages so that they can only send at a specific time between 9 am and 8 pm in the recipient's local timezone.

Learn more about how you can use flows to send SMS messages to your subscribers.

Analyze SMS Performance

Once you have an SMS strategy up and running, the next step is reviewing your analytics and iterating accordingly.

Learn the key metrics to keep an eye on when reviewing your SMS messages, as well as about some ideas for testing in our guide to analyzing and understanding SMS performance.


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