How to create flows to respond to sent SMS messages

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You will learn

Learn how to create flows to reply or create profile properties for a subscriber when they text certain words. 

In Klaviyo, any SMS that a customer sends can be used to trigger a metric-based flow. This makes it simple to run polls and surveys via SMS, sending automated responses or updating profile properties for those who text their answer.

Before you begin 

The way this flow works is based on the Sent SMS metric.  

Before setting up this type of flow, you must turn off the Unrecognized Keyword autoresponder. This can be found by: 

  1. Clicking your brand name in the lower left corner.
  2. Navigating to Settings > SMS

In this flow, someone will only receive the text if they are subscribed to SMS. You cannot text anyone who hasn't expressly consented to receiving text messages in Klaviyo. 

How this flow works

For a flow triggered off the Sent SMS metric, you can add: 

  • Any word you want
  • Multiple words, or multiple spellings of the same word

Note the following: 

  • The word(s) can appear anywhere in the message (including within another word).
  • If a single text contains words that are triggers for 2 or more flows, only the first matched word will trigger a flow.

Create a flow to respond to SMS messages

  1. Navigate to Flows > Create Flow > Create from Scratch.
  2. Select Metric.
  3. Choose Sent SMS as the action that triggers the flow.
    Using the Sent SMS metric as the flow's trigger
  4. Click Trigger Filters.
  5.  Add in the word(s) that can trigger the flow using Message Body contains [word], with the Type set as Text.
    • Account for mis-spellings and different capitalizations, as the Message Body field is case-sensitive.
    • When using contains with a Text field, the word can appear anywhere in the message, including as part of another word (e.g., if you input "update," "updates" will also trigger the flow).
  6. Include alternate spelling or capitalizations by adding OR between the filters.
    Example of using a flow to respond to keywords
  7. Click Save.
  8. Add an SMS message directly after the trigger.
  9. Optional: If you want to add a property to the profile: 
    1. Add a short time delay after the SMS action (~5 minutes).
    2. Drag an Update Profile Property action after the time delay.
    3. Set the action add a new property to the profile based on the word a subscriber texts in.
  10. Navigate to Manage Flow > Update All Action Statuses.
  11. Set the actions to Live.
  12. Click Update Statuses.
    Modal to update all action statuses in a flow
  13. Choose Save & Exit.


You'll now have a flow that will: 

  1. Respond when an SMS subscriber texts in a certain word
  2. Add a profile property to anyone texts that keyword

In the example below, the flow is triggered when someone sends an SMS and the message body contains CAT, Cat, or cat. In addition, a new profile property (Cat-lover) will be added to anyone who enters the flow.

Example flow that responds when a subscriber texts in the word cat and adds a property to their profile

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