How to add, update, or delete SMS custom keywords

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Learn how to create, change, and remove custom, subscribe keywords in Klaviyo. 

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.

Before you begin

Before learning how to add custom keywords, it is important to know what kind of words can be used. When creating keywords in Klaviyo, follow these guidelines: 

  • 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.

You can add up to a max of 500 subscribe keywords.

Add a custom subscribe keyword

  1. Navigate to Account > Settings > SMS
  2. Find the Subscribe Keywords section
  3. Click Add Subscribe Keyword

    The Subscribe Keyword section in the settings page for SMS
  4. In the resulting modal, input your keyword
    Modal where can add in your custom subscribe keyword
  5. Choose the list that subscribers who use the keyword should be added to

    Modal after the keyword and list are inputted
  6. Click Save

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

  1. Navigate to Account > Settings > SMS
  2. Scroll to the Subscribe Keywords section
  3. Find the keyword you want to edit
  4. On the right, click the Actions icon
  5. Choose Edit Keyword
  6. In the resulting modal, you change the keyword's:
    1. Status (i.e., live or draft)
    2. Name
    3. List
      Editing an existing custom keyword in Klaviyo
    4. Click Save when you finish making edits

Delete a custom keyword

  1. Navigate to Account > Settings > SMS
  2.  Find the Subscribe Keywords section
  3. Locate the keyword you want to delete
  4. Select the Actions dropdown and Delete
    Actions dropdown for a custom keyword, showing the Delete button
  5. In the modal that pops up, click Delete to confirm you want to remove the keyword
    Message to confirm that you want to delete a keyword

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