How to import data from Emotive to Klaviyo

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You will learn

Learn how to import your data from Emotive to Klaviyo for your SMS program. When migrating from Emotive, you can upload your existing list of SMS subscribers into Klaviyo to start building out your SMS marketing strategy right away.

Importing your SMS contacts allows you to centralize customer data so that you can leverage Klaviyo’s robust analytics and tailor your customers' experience with SMS-integrated flows, campaigns, and push notifications.

Before you begin

Before you start the import process, you must: 

  1. Enable SMS in Klaviyo
  2. Set up you sending numbers for all countries you want to send to

Otherwise, consent for your imported customers will not be stored. 

Check this guide on migrating from another SMS provider for instructions.

Export SMS subscribers from Emotive

Before you begin migrating your SMS contacts from Emotive into Klaviyo, it's important to distinguish between subscribers who have opted in to SMS messaging and those who have not. It is against Klaviyo's Terms of Service to market to contacts who have not explicitly opted in to receiving SMS communication from your business.

Klaviyo identifies opted-in subscribers as those who have a phone number and an SMS consent timestamp associated with their profile. If a profile only has a phone number, you will not be able to send SMS or MMS messages to that person.

Emotive does not allow you to export a list of all SMS subscribers directly from your account. You must contact them to get this list.

Format subscriber list CSV

Carefully format your CSV file before importing it into Klaviyo to ensure that your contacts are imported smoothly and accurately. 

  1. Though not required, you will likely want to include the following columns in your import:
    • Name
    • Email
  2. If the CSV file you receive contains contacts who have opted out of SMS messaging, such as if their corresponding Opt-in Date column is blank, you will want to filter these contacts out and delete them before proceeding with an import.
  3. The Phone Number column is required to import your SMS contacts. Check the format of the phone numbers in your CSV file. Phone numbers must be in one of the following formats:
    • E.164 (e.g., +12345678910)
    • RFC966 (e.g., +12-34-567-8910)
    • E.123 national (e.g., 12345678910) 
    • E.123 international (e.g., +12 345 678 910)
  4. Next, you will need to add a column for Country, as it is not included in your Emotive export file. In your spreadsheet editor, add another column titled Country. If you are sending in the United States, assign the value USA to all rows. Otherwise, check the country code of your opted-in subscribers and add a country value, such as UK or Australia, that corresponds to their country code. Note that you can only import consent for countries where Klaviyo SMS is available.
  5. Klaviyo requires an SMS Consent Timestamp column at the time of import. Rename the appropriate column heading. Locate the column heading Opt-in Date, delete the text, and rename it SMS Consent Timestamp. Doing so allows your import to automatically map the values to the correct field in Klaviyo. Timestamps need to be specifically formatted or Klaviyo will not recognize them as timestamp fields. Emotive exports timestamp data in the format YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS+00:00 by default. Format these data fields to ensure proper import by removing any appended data after the seconds in the timestamp and formatting like the example below.
    Spreadsheet of contacts with SMS consent timestamp
    The date format MM/DD/YYYY HH:MM:SS is supported by Klaviyo by default. 

Import subscriber list to Klaviyo

After you've formatted your export data, you can import it into a Klaviyo list. 

Choose your list

  1. To begin, log into your account and navigate to Lists & Segments.
  2. Click Create List / Segment in the upper right corner.
  3. Select List to create a new list for your SMS subscribers.
  4. Give your new list a name, such as Emotive Subscribers and click Create List.
    Create list in Klaviyo with name Emotive subscribers
  5. Once your new list is created, click Upload Contacts to add your SMS subscribers via import. Drag and drop your CSV file into the field provided, or select it from your computer to upload your contacts.
  6. After selecting your file, Klaviyo will process the import and display a green loading bar with the text Uploading and validating file… If any required columns are missing, Klaviyo will alert you with an error message.
    Emotive Subscribers list in Klaviyo with upload contacts highlighted in blue
  7. If you would like to add the contacts to an existing list, turn off any flows triggered by this list by switching them to manual or draft. Then, locate the list where you'd like to upload your contacts. Click the menu to the right of the list and select Import Data. Drag and drop your CSV file into the field provided to upload your contacts. 

For more detailed instructions on adding new contacts to a list, head to our article on creating and adding contacts to a list.

Map your data

  1. Whether you create a new list or update an existing list, you will be prompted to review field mapping before Klaviyo begins the import. Carefully review each import field/corresponding Klaviyo field, and modify them as needed. By default, all identified fields are included in the import. You can omit a field from the import by unchecking the box to the right of the field name.
  2. Here is an example of field mapping for an SMS contacts import from Emotive:
    Import review for Emotive subscribers with fully mapped fields and import review in upper right
  3. Import fields that are not automatically matched to a Klaviyo field are marked as Unmapped. If you try to import an unmapped field, an error message will appear, prompting you to map the field. From the dropdown, select an existing Klaviyo field or create a custom field by typing a name into the blank entry field. To the right of the field name, select a data type from these options: StringBooleanNumericDate, or List. If you're unsure of the data type, head to our article on data types in Klaviyo.
  4. When you are satisfied with the field mapping, click Import Review on the upper right-hand corner of your screen. Review your selections, taking special note of SMS consent verification.
  5. When finished, click Start Import.
    Ready to import? screen with start import with blue background

Finish the import 

  1. Your import will begin shortly. Depending on the length of your contact list, the import may take some time.
  2. You can stay on this page to watch the upload progress, but it is not necessary. Klaviyo will send you an email confirmation as soon as the import is complete.
  3. After the import finishes, you will see a summary of the completed import which includes a report of any skipped records. If your CSV file contains improperly formatted data, those fields may fail to import properly. When this occurs, you can download a report of the skipped records, resolve any formatting issues, and retry importing those records.

For a deeper dive into importing contacts, head to our article on migrating existing subscribers and unsubscribes into Klaviyo.


You've now learned how to import data from Emotive to Klaviyo.

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