Guide to Creating an SMS Welcome Series

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If you are reaching out to your email subscribers to encourage them to subscribe to your SMS marketing messages as well, you will want to have a welcome series in place to cater to these contacts. There are several different ways contacts can subscribe to receive SMS messages from your business. In each of these instances, you'll want to introduce them to your products and brand philosophy. The three key scenarios are as follows:

  • A contact signs up to your SMS list via a click-to-text form
  • A contact signs up to a desktop form that collects both email and phone number
  • An existing email subscriber signs up for SMS 

In this guide, we're going to walk through how you can build a text-only welcome series to message subscribers. If you're just getting started with SMS, check out our Getting Started with SMS Handbook

Create a New Welcome Flow

First, head to your Flows tab and click Create Flow in the upper right. Next, click Create from Scratch. You will then be brought to the visual canvas where you can begin building out the details of your flow as follows:

  • Flow Trigger
    Create a metric-triggered flow based on the Consented to receive SMS event.
  • Flow Filters
    Add a flow filter to ensure that the flow does not go to anyone who has been in the flow at any time.


Next, drag in an SMS message action from the lefthand panel. In this case, there is no need for a time delay since you will likely want your SMS message to go out immediately after someone subscribes.

Please note that if your list is set to double opt-in, which all Klaviyo lists are by default, someone will have to first confirm their subscription by texting "YES" before receiving your welcome flow. 


After your first message, drag in a time delay. This ensures that any subsequent messages are sent after someone receives the first. Because SMS messages will actively ping the recipient's phone, it's important to be cognizant of the time of day you're sending. 

You can make sure that you're not sending at an inconvenient time of day by setting the time delay to a specific time of day in the recipient's local timezone. You can also delay to a specific day of the week.


Configuring Your SMS Messages

After you drag an SMS action into a flow, the next step is configuring the content. Unlike emails, text messages only allow you 160 characters to get your point across. For this reason, it's important to conserve space and be direct. For example, if you're offering a discount in the first message of your SMS welcome series, this is something you'll want to lead with.

Please note that it is not possible to insert unique coupon codes into text messages. If you do want to include a discount, you'll have to use a static code.

You'll also want to ensure that your call to action (CTA) link directs recipients to a relevant page on your website. In a welcome series, this could be the product page for a particular collection or simply a page of your "best sellers." Direct recipients to the page where you think they're most likely to make a purchase.

From a design standpoint, it's not currently possible to include images, gifs, or videos in SMS messages, so your best bet is to keep things simple and to-the-point. Learn more about writing engaging copy for your SMS messages.

Best Practices

If you are using a signup form to collect both emails and phone numbers and have an email welcome series already running, you will want to exclude SMS subscribers from receiving that welcome series. You can do this by adding a filter to the flow that stipulates What someone has done or not done > Consented to receive SMS > zero times over all time.

This prioritizes your SMS welcome series over your email welcome flow, though you may choose to keep both running provided they don't contradict one another (e.g., you offer 15% off in email, but 20% off via text).


We recommend adding at least three SMS messages to your SMS welcome series. Since some of the contacts receiving this welcome series will be existing email subscribers, you can leverage information that you already know about them from their email and purchase history to send more relevant texts. You can do this using conditional splits.

Split Based on Repeat vs. First-Time Buyers

If you know someone has been on your email list for a certain amount of time but has never made a purchase, you may want to offer them a discount (or greater discount) in the second or third message of your SMS welcome series. 


Keep in mind that you will want to create a new static coupon code to include in the message with the higher discount.

Split Based on Purchase History

Splitting your flow based on purchase history is a great way to offer more targeted calls to action in your text messages and, since each text should only have one CTA, make the most of your valuable space. For example, if you know that someone has already bought from a certain collection, you can show them a different CTA. 


Split Based on Properties About Them

If someone is an existing subscriber, this means they've signed up to hear from you in the past, just not through text. That said, you can still leverage any information you learned about them when they initially signed up or through any subsequent emails they may have received.

For example, let's say that in the first email of your email welcome series, you ask customers to select which category of products they're most interested in. You can then use this information to inform the CTA in your SMS welcome series.


In this case, it's important to have a default branch in case a subscriber has never indicated an interest in any of the options. In the example above, we're showing our best sellers to those who have never explicitly told us the types of items they're interested in.

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