How to Add, Update, or Delete Custom Keywords

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Custom mobile keywords allow you to better control how you communicate with customers, helping you grow your business while staying true to your brand. Klaviyo allows you to create, change, and remove subscribe keywords for free.

This guide will run through guidelines for creating custom subscribe keywords as well as how to add, update, and delete them in Klaviyo.

Guidelines for Subscribe Keywords

Before learning how to add custom keywords, it is important to know what kind of words can be used. Below is a list of rules to adhere to when creating keywords in Klaviyo:

  • Do not use words related to sex, hate, alcohol, firearms, or tobacco (SHAFT)
  • Use alphanumeric characters (A–Z and 0–9); do not use any other special symbols
  • Keep keywords between 3 and 20 characters
  • Avoid common words that could be used in a normal text conversation, such as “the,” "that," "are," "can," "hers," "about," or “and,” which may erroneously subscribe someone who didn’t intend to subscribe

Note that keywords are not case-sensitive. If you input the keyword as “SHOES,” Klaviyo will accept “shoes,” “Shoes,” etc.

Add a Custom Subscribe Keyword

Navigate to Account > Settings > SMS. Under Subscribe Keywords, click Add Subscribe Keyword.


At the top of the modal, you'll see that the keyword status will default to live. If you don't want this keyword to be active right now, change it to draft.


Input your keyword in the modal that pops up. Then, choose the list that subscribers who use the keyword should be added to.


Then, click Save. You can add up to a max of 500 subscribe keywords.

After adding a keyword, you can use it to trigger a welcome series or build a flow to update the profile properties of those who use the keyword.

Update a Custom Keyword

If you want to edit a custom keyword, navigate to Account > Settings > SMS and scrolling to the Subscribe Keywords section. Find the keyword you want to edit. On the right, click the Actions icon and Edit Keyword.

A modal will pop up where you can edit the keyword. Here, you can change a keyword’s status (e.g., set it from live to draft or vice versa), name, and list.


Once you finish making edits, click Save.

Delete a Custom Keyword

To delete custom keywords, navigate to Account > Settings > SMS and find the Subscribe Keywords section. Locate the keyword you want to delete, then on the right-hand side, select the Actions dropdown and Delete.


When you click Delete, a modal will appear that asks you to confirm that you want to delete the keyword. To proceed, click Delete.


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