How to clean SMS lists

read
Last updated at:

You will learn

Learn about list cleaning for SMS, including why list cleaning is important, how to list clean, and when to clean your lists. 

Why clean SMS lists?

People who sign up for SMS can be some of your most engaged customers. They almost always see your text messages, and frequently click them. 

So does that mean you should always continue to text your subscribers? Not quite. 

Even if someone initially agrees to SMS, they may change their mind, as SMS is more intrusive than other channels. Maybe they already bought everything they wanted, or they simply lost interest. 

Whatever the case may be, you don’t want to continue texting someone who’s not engaging with your brand. It not only leaves a bad impression, but carriers may start filtering your messages.

That’s where list cleaning comes in. List cleaning is essential to making sure you are messaging those who continue to be interested in your brand.

Before you begin

List cleaning involves removing SMS consent from a profile. This means that you won’t be able to text someone until they decide to opt back in, such as through a form or at checkout. 

Because of this, it’s important to give your contacts the opportunity to re-engage with you before they’re completely removed from your list. 

Also note that all the segment conditions and flow setups are recommendations. They are good foundations, but ‌adapt them to fit your needs. 

How to list clean

The best way to list clean is: 

  1. Group all of the SMS contacts who you want to win back using a segment
  2. Create a re-engagement flow based on this segment
  3. Create a sunset segment for anyone 
    1. Has gone through the entire flow
      and
    2. Continues to not engage with you 
  4. Bulk unsubscribe your sunset segment

Create a winback segment of SMS contacts

Your winback SMS segment should vary based on how many campaigns you usually send in a week or month. 

Typically, customers see the best results when they send about 2 times a week, so we’ll be using this number for our example. Depending on how often you send, or even your business needs, you may want to change the conditions.

  1. Navigate to Lists & Segments
  2. Click Create List/Segment
  3. Choose Segment
  4. Name the segment (e.g., Winback SMS subscribers)
  5. Add in the following conditions:
    • Person is consented to SMS
      AND
    • Person has received at least 7 SMS in the last 60 days
      AND
    • Person has clicked SMS zero times in the last 180 days
      AND
    • Person has placed order zero times in the last 180 days
      AND
    • Person has started checkout zero times in the last 60 days
      Segment of SMS subscribers to win back
  6. Click Create Segment

After you create this segment, exclude it from most of your SMS campaigns. 

While you may still want to send customers information about big events, such as product launches or holiday sales, we don’t recommend sending them your regular content. 

Example of a campaign where the SMS winback segment is excluded

Re-engage subscribers via flows

Next, you can create a flow to try to win back your subscribers. 

Note that after going through the flow's initial setup, we discuss the US and Canada separately from the UK and Australia. The strategy for the US and Canada is quite different from that for the UK and Australia. This is because the latter countries use alphanumeric sender IDs, which can't receive text messages. 

  1. Navigate to Flows > Create flow > Create from scratch 
  2. Name the flow (e.g., SMS winback)
  3. Choose Segment as the trigger type
  4. Select the segment you just created from the dropdown (e.g., SMS winback subscribers)
  5. Click Flow Filters > Add a Flow Filter
  6. Set the condition as:
    What someone has done (or not done) > Clicked SMS zero times since starting this flow
    Split to send those in the US and Canada down a different path than those in the UK and Australia
    • Note: flow filters are checked at the start of the flow as well as before every action; if someone clicks a link in any SMS, they'll automatically be removed from the flow  
  7. Optional: to separate your US or Canadian recipients from your UK or Australian subscribers, add a conditional split after the trigger
  8. Optional: set the condition as
    • Properties about someone > Phone Number country code in US
      OR
    • Properties about someone > Phone Number country code in CA

The trigger for the winback flow, showing the flow filter to exclude anyone who recently clicked an SMS

Only sending to the UK, Australia, or both? Skip to the section for UK and Australian subscribers.

US and Canada

  1. Add an SMS message on the Yes path after the conditional split 
    Adding an SMS into the flow after the conditional split
  2. Create a message that asks subscribers to text back a keyword to either indicate the type of content they want to receiveor how often they want to be texted
    • Example for type of content:
      [Your brand name]: Only want certain news? Text back the keyword(s) for the info you want
      NEW - new products
      SALE - sales
      HOLIDAY - holiday deals
      [LINK to your site]
      Text STOP to opt out
      Example of first SMS message in the winback flow, which asks subscribers what type of messages they want
    • Example for frequency:
      [Your brand name]: Want fewer texts? Reply and tell us how often we should text you:
      WEEKLY
      BIWEEKLY
      MONTHLY
      QUARTERLY
      [LINK to your site]
      Text STOP to opt out
  3. Click Save Content > Done
  4. Add a time delay and set it for at least 5 days
  5. Add a conditional split and place it after the time delay
  6. Set the condition to:
    What someone has done (or not done) > Sent SMS at least once since starting this flow
    Winback flow for US and Canada with the first SMS and the following time delay and split
  7. On the No path, add another SMS message
  8. Click Configure Content in the left side panel
  9. Create a text message that asks subscribers what type of content they want to receive
    • Example:
      [Your brand name]: Is it time to say goodbye? Reply MORE to continue to get text messages. Text STOP or don't reply to opt out. [LINK to your site]
      Example of second SMS message in the winback flow, which asks subscribers if they still want text messages
  10. Click Save Content > Done
  11. Place another time delay directly after that message and set the delay for 5 days
  12. Add another conditional split after the new time delay, using the same condition as before
    What someone has done (or not done) > Sent SMS at least once since starting this flow
  13. On the No path, drag an Update Profile Property action 
    Winback flow for US and Canada after the Update Profile Property action is added
  14. In the left sidebar under Configuration, open the dropdown menu
  15. Choose Create New Property
  16. Add in a property to indicate people in this path are unengaged and should be cleaned from your list
    • Here, we use a boolean property and set Sunset as True
      Creating a profile property where Sunset equals true
  17. Click Save on the bottom left to save the property
  18. If you only are sending:
    • To the UK or Australia, head to the next section 
    • Only to the US or Canada, click the Review and Turn On button in the top right

UK and Australia

Alphanumeric sender IDs, which are currently the only number types available in the UK and Australia, cannot receive text messages. Thus, we use the metric Clicked SMS rather than Sent SMS to determine if the winback series is successful, or if we need to sunset the subscriber.

Note that we don't need to add any splits like we do for the US and Canada. This is because of the flow filter we already added to the trigger (i.e., Clicked SMS 0 times since starting this flow). 

  1. Add an SMS message on the No path
  2. Click Configure Content in the left side panel
  3. Create a message and ask if they want to continue receiving text messages
    • Example:
      [Your brand name] Hey friend! Do you want to still receive exclusive news via text? If so, click this link and visit our store [LINK].
      Example of a first message to UK and Australian subscribers in a winback flow
    • Recommendations: 
      1. Create and link to a manage preferences page
        • Example
          [Your brand name] Hey friend! Do you want to still receive exclusive news via text? If so, let us know what type of texts you want [LINK]
        • Note that the manage preferences page should include options for the type of message (sales, new products, etc.) and how often your subscriber wants to receive texts (weekly, monthly, etc.)
      2. Include a coupon to encourage people to buy
        • Example
          [Your brand name] Don’t go! Enjoy 10% your next order with coupon SAVE10 [LINK]
        • If you include a coupon, you may want to add a filter to this message to exclude anyone who’s already been in this flow
  4. Click Save Content
  5. Place a time delay directly after that message and set the delay for 5 days
  6. Drag in another SMS message
    Winback flow for UK and Australian after you created the first SMS, added a time delay, and added a second SMS
  7. Click Configure Content in the left side panel
  8. Create a message that informs people that they will be opted out of SMS if they take no action
    • Example:
      Is it time for goodbye? Click here to stay subscribed [LINK]. If you don’t, no worries, we’ll stop texting you.
      Example of a second message to UK and Australian subscribers in a winback flow
  9. Click Save Content > Done
  10. Add a time delay below this message and set it for 5 days
  11. Below the time delay, add an Update Profile Property action 
    Winback flow for UK and Australia after the Update Profile Property action is added
  12. In the left sidebar under Configuration, open the dropdown menu
  13. Choose Create New Property
  14. Add in a property to indicate people in this path are unengaged and should be cleaned from your list
    • Here, we use a boolean property and set Sunset as True
      Creating a profile property where Sunset equals true
  15. Click Save on the bottom left to save the property
  16. Click the Review and Turn On button in the top right

Create a segment for list cleaning

Next, group everyone who has the property you set (e.g., Sunset = True). 

  1. Navigate to Lists & Segments
  2. Click Create List/Segment
  3. Choose Segment
  4. Name the segment (e.g., SMS sunset)
  5. Add the following conditions:
    • Properties about someone > Sunset is true
      AND
    • What someone has done (or not done) > Clicked SMS zero times in the last 195 days
      AND
    • What someone has done (or not done) > Sent SMS zero times in the last 195 days
      The Sunset segment, which will be unsubscribed from SMS
  6. Click Create Segment

Remove SMS consent 

You want to remove consent from your unengaged SMS subscribers on a regular basis; typically, 2 times a year. 

Note that if you follow this process, someone will be completely unsubscribed from SMS. You will not be able to message them unless they resubscribe. 

  1. Navigate to Lists & Segments
  2. Open your sunset segment (i.e., SMS sunset) 
  3. Click Manage Segment
    The Manage Segment dropdown, showing Export Segment to CSV as the first option
  4. Select Export Segment to CSV
  5. In the export wizard, check only the following 2 fields:
    1. Phone Number
    2. Country
      The Export review page when only Phone Number and Country are selected
  6. Click Start Export
  7. In the top right, click your brand name
  8. Choose Account > Settings > SMS
    The SMS settings page in Klaviyo
  9. Scroll to the Import SMS Unsubscribes section 
    The Import SMS Unsubscribes section, located at the bottom of the SMS settings page
  10. Click Browse Files and upload your CSV file of SMS contacts to unsubscribe
  11. Click Unsubscribe Phone Numbers
  12. Confirm your selection in the modal by clicking Unsubscribe Phone Numbers
    The modal to confirm you want to bulk unsubscribe SMS profiles

It may take a few minutes for this process to complete.

Outcome

After you finish unsubscribing your unengaged contacts, you’ll be left with only those who are interested in hearing from you. This likely means that you’ll see higher engagement rates for future campaigns. 

As a next step, consider creating flows based on your customer’s SMS responses. For instance, if someone tells you ‌that they are only interested in new products, you can set up a flow to add this as a profile property. You can then create segments of people with these properties so that you can send these groups relevant content. 

Additional resources

x
Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful