How to create and send an SMS campaign

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Learn how to create and send an SMS campaign in Klaviyo. 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.  

What is an SMS campaign?

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.

Before you begin

Before sending an SMS campaign, you must have:

  • Turned on SMS
  • Collected SMS consent
    • Note: having someone's phone number does not count as consent; someone must have explicitly agreed to receive SMS marketing messages

You should also have a list or segment of those who you want to send to, such as everyone who is subscribed to SMS.

Campaigns vs. flows
Campaigns Flows
1-time sends that are manually scheduled Automated and ongoing sends
Sent to a specific list or segment Triggered by customer actions or profile properties
Content is more broad with limited personalization Content is more specific and can be highly personalized

SMS vs. email send options

Note that unlike with email, you cannot use the following send options for SMS or MMS campaigns:

  • Determine recipients at send time
  • Smart Send Time

Create an SMS campaign

  1. Head to the Campaigns tab.
  2. Click Create Campaign in the upper right.
    Campaigns page, where you can create an email or SMS campaign
  3. Select SMS and then Create Campaign.
    Modal to select what type of campaign to send
  4. Name your campaign.
  5. Under Recipients, select the list(s) or segment(s) you want to send to.
    Page to name the campaign and choose the recipients
  6. Click Continue to Content.
  7. Write your content in the Message box at the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
    • Note that SMS content is limited to 160 characters or (if you have an emoji or special character) 70 characters.
  8. Add a link to your message so that Klaviyo can track the message.
    • Do not uncheck the Automatically shorten links box.
      Campaign creation page when there's no content
  9. Note: disabling the options in the Compliance tab is not recommended.
  10. Optional: Add media to your message to turn it into an MMS.
  11. Optional: Preview the message as a certain profile.

    Preview of the SMS and the profile who the preview is for
  12. Click Save & Continue to Review.
  13. On the review page, check that the campaign is:
    1. Is sending to the right audience.
    2. Can be tracked.
    3. Does not exceed the credits in your SMS billing plan.
  14. Click Schedule or Send on the bottom right when the campaign is ready to go out.
  15. Select whether you want to send now or at some point in the future.
    • Note that you should not send a campaign before 9 a.m. or after 8 p.m. in the recipient's local time.
  16. Click either Schedule or Send Now.

Additional resources

Learn more about SMS in the Help Center:

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