How SMS Affects Profiles

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If you're using Klaviyo to send SMS messages and were previously using Klaviyo to send email, you'll notice a difference in the way profiles are displayed. Namely, if you're using SMS, it's possible that you may have some phone number-only contacts in your account.

It's important to understand how profiles are updated and the impact this may have on your account. By the end of this article, you will learn how email and phone number identities are merged into one cohesive profile, and what unique scenarios are cause for exceptions.

How SMS Updates Profiles

In general, each customer will have one, unique profile in your Klaviyo account. Both email and SMS information will be found here so you can effectively streamline communication and store all data in one place.

How Profiles Merge

If you use Klaviyo to send emails, then you likely already have a number of profiles in your account. When a subscriber opts-in to receive SMS in addition to email, their profile will update automatically and their consent status is shown in the Channels box.

This means that if you have someone's email address and they later give you their phone number as well, this will not create a duplicate profile (unless one of the scenarios outlined below occurs). That profile will then house all of their contact information and provide a record that they consent to receive emails and text messages from your business.


If you use Klaviyo solely for SMS, your customer profiles will be uniquely identified by their phone numbers until you start collecting email addresses. 

Instances when Profile Information Does Not Merge

Some scenarios in which a customer's contact information will not merge into one profile, or will merge in a way you may not expect, are listed below:

  • If an email subscriber opts-in to SMS with a phone number that does not already exist in Klaviyo in E.164 format, but no email attached to that action, a new profile is created.
    • Then, if they check out using their email (which already exists as a separate profile) and consent to SMS with that same phone number, the two profiles will not merge automatically.
  • If a customer with SMS consent makes a purchase and inputs a different phone number at checkout, that new number will override the information from the previous number on file (if there was one).
    • If you don’t have consent for the new number, but had it for the previous one, it will wipe consent from that profile and replace the contact information with the newly established number. You will then need to regain consent with their new phone number.

Keep these one-off situations in mind as you collect SMS information that will merge with email in a profile.

Active Profiles and Billing

As mentioned above, if you're using Klaviyo to send SMS messages to your subscribers, it may be the case that you have some phone number-only profiles. While these profiles appear as active profiles in your account, they do not count towards your email billing plan.

You are billed per message for SMS. For more information on billing, check out How Klaviyo Bills Customers for SMS.

Additional Resources

For more information on how profiles work in Klaviyo, head to the People & Profiles section of our Help Center.

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