Guide to Creating and Sending an SMS or MMS Campaign

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An SMS campaign is a one-time text message to a list or segment of subscribers, notifying them of events such as product launches, flash sales, or other promotions. You can set an SMS campaign to send either immediately or at some point in the future.

In this article, you will learn how to create campaign content and how to send it to your SMS subscribers. Note that the process is almost exactly the same for MMS campaigns — the only difference is that you add an image or GIF during the content creation stage. Further, the steps are the same if you want to resend an SMS campaign.

Before You Get Started

Prior to sending any type of text message campaign, you must set up SMS. If you haven’t done so already, go to your dashboard and click on the dropdown menu in the upper right-hand corner next to your organization’s name. Then, navigate to Account > Settings > SMS. There, click Set Up SMS

You will then be able to choose your SMS settings, including your sending number(s), keyword responses, and smart sending and conversion windows. Check out the Set Up SMS guide for more details.

You will also need to gather consent for SMS marketing from subscribers. Currently, you can do so using Klaviyo signup forms or APIs. You can also upload a list of SMS contacts if you are already using text message marketing. Note that when collecting consent, you must use language that explicitly states that individuals are consenting to receive text messages from your business.


Lastly, create a list or dynamic segment of who you want your campaign to go to. For instance, you could have a list of everyone who consented to SMS or create a segment of those who have also purchased a product, as shown below.

Campaign vs. Flow


Create an SMS Campaign

Head to the Campaigns tab and click Create Campaign in the upper right.


Choose Your Name, Channel, and Recipients

After you click Create Campaign, a popup will appear where you name the campaign and choose what channel the campaign will go through (i.e., email, push, or SMS).

In this case, select SMS and then Create Campaign. To keep your campaigns organized, use tags.


In the next screen, you can edit the campaign name/tags and decide on your recipients. Select the list(s) or segment(s) that you want to include and/or exclude. For details on sending to more than one list or segment, check out this article on multi-list sending.


Under the included and excluded lists/segments, note how many people are in the Expected Recipients section, which estimates the recipients after removing duplicate, excluded, and unsubscribed profiles.

Then, choose whether or not to turn on Smart Sending. SMS smart sending limits the number of text messages someone can receive from you in a given period of time.

Create SMS or MMS Campaign Content

To begin drafting your text message, click Save & Continue to Content.

Write your content in the Message box at the upper left-hand corner of the screen. Keep in mind that SMS content should always provide value to the recipient. Further, if you are not using an MMS you will need to accomplish this in 160 characters or less, so the message should be as direct and concise as possible.

For revenue to be attributed to SMS, you must include a link as well as use the Klaviyo link shortener. Otherwise, Klaviyo will not have a way to attribute any placed order metric to the campaign. 


Navigate to the Compliance tab. All are a best practice, and disabling them is not recommended. Each option shows to recipients in the countries listed below the option (e.g., the organization prefix will only show to US recipients). Note that certain aspects, like opt-out language/links, contact information, etc. are required in some jurisdications


If it will enhance your message, add an image or GIF that is under 600 KB. This will convert the message into an MMS, which also allows you more characters (1600). However, MMS messages count as three message sends under the billing plan, so make sure you have enough sends to reach your intended audience. MMS are not available for Australia or UK recipients.

You can preview the final message to see how it will appear to a given recipient in a certain country. In the upper right-hand corner of your screen, you can search for any profile and preview the message as them (even if that contact is not in a list or segment for the campaign).


Review the Campaign Settings

To continue, click Save & Continue to Review.

The screen below shows you who will receive the campaign, the smart sending settings, the SMS/MMS message, and the tracking settings. To change any of these, click Edit in the section where you want to make the update.

You will also see a warning message if sending this campaign means that you will exceed your SMS plan.

Schedule or Send the Campaign

Click Schedule or Send on the bottom right when the campaign is ready to go out. Select whether you want to send now or at some point in the future.

Here, you will see the following information about the campaign:

  • Time it will take to send, which is based on your SMS sending number(s)
  • Campaign cost
  • Your current plan usage
  • Your usage after the campaign sends

An SMS/MMS campaign cannot send with the determine recipients at send time option. Therefore, no new recipients can receive the campaign after you click Schedule. At this time, there is no option for Smart Send Time like there is with email campaigns.

You can split your message sends into batches so that they go out over a period of time using batch sending. 

As a tip, it is best not to schedule or send a campaign during "quiet hours." While not enforced, it is a best practice to not send outside the hours of 9 am–8 pm in a recipient's local time.

If you schedule a campaign, you have the option to send in a recipient’s local timezone. If a recipient’s timezone is not in Klaviyo, the campaign will send according to the timezone for your account. If it’s past the scheduled send time already, you can either have the campaign send immediately or wait until the scheduled time the next day.

Additional Resources

Learn more about SMS in the Help Center:

Read Getting Started with Flows to automatically send out messages at key points in the customer journey. 

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