Migrate from Emotive to Klaviyo

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This guide will walk you through migrating your data from Emotive to Klaviyo. 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.

Designate an SMS Sending Number

When you enable SMS in Klaviyo, you'll be prompted to choose an SMS plan.

All SMS plans include a free sending number. For lower-cost plans, this is a toll-free number, while for higher plans, it is a short code. Note that you must be approved for a short code, and not all businesses are eligible. Further, the short code approval process can take several weeks, so please allow time for the creation of a new short code when planning your SMS migration.

If you indicate that you already have an SMS number, our Support Team will contact you regarding porting your number over to Klaviyo. Klaviyo does not currently support porting long numbers.

Klaviyo does not require that you send a final text out of your current SMS provider as part of the migration process. This is not required for the port to be successful; however, it is considered a best practice. Read this article on how to inform your customers about a change in phone numbers

Switching from another SMS provider is a great time to re-evaluate and possibly make changes to your SMS number type. For more information, see our guide to choosing an SMS Number.

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 and TCPA laws 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 allows you to export a list of all SMS subscribers directly from your account into a CSV file. This list will simplify the import process into Klaviyo.

To begin, log in to your Emotive account. From the dashboard, click Subscribers in the left-hand navigation column.


On the Subscribers page, click the button at the top to Download CSV. Please note that you will not be able to select only opted-in customers to download for this report. After the CSV has completed downloading, open the file in a spreadsheet editor for formatting.

Format Subscriber List CSV

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

Though not required, you will likely want to include the following columns in your import:

  • Name
  • Email

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.

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)

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.


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.


The date format MM/DD/YYYY HH:MM:SS is supported by Klaviyo by default. For additional supported timestamp formats, check out the guide here.

Import Subscriber List to Klaviyo

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

Choosing Your List

To begin, log into your account and navigate to Lists & Segments.

Click Create List / Segment in the upper right corner. Then, select List to create a new list for your SMS subscribers.

Give your new list a name, such as Emotive Subscribers and click Create List.


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. 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.


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.

Mapping Your Data

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.

Here is an example of field mapping for an SMS contacts import from Emotive:


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.

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. When finished, click Start Import.


Finishing the Import 

Your import will begin shortly. Depending on the length of your contact list, the import may take some time. 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.

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.

Create a New SMS Segment

When your SMS contacts are successfully imported to a Klaviyo list, we recommend that you create a segment to begin tracking and analyzing your subscribers’ behavior. To learn more about creating segments for SMS subscribers, check out our SMS Segments guide.

You are now ready to start integrating SMS into your campaigns and flows. Check out the additional resources below for guides on getting started with your SMS strategy.

Additional Resources

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