8 min read

Combine Your Klaviyo SMS Flow and Email Marketing

Written by Andriy Boychuk
8 min read
Table of Contents

    When it comes to eCommerce marketing, email is the go-to option for most businesses. Email is fast, efficient, and endlessly customizable.

    But there’s a new kid on the block: SMS marketing. Well…actually, it’s an older kid; virtually an adult, with a family and a mortgage of its own.

    In fact, SMS (or text messaging to use its correct name) never really went away. It’s just been keeping to itself while all the flashy new messaging apps took center stage. But now, with the help of Klaviyo, SMS IS BAK!

    By adding a Klaviyo SMS flow to your existing email marketing channels, you can create a whole new, highly-personalized, and conversational relationship with each of your customers.

    With an open rate of 98%, text messages offer a ROI that other marketing workflows can only dream of.

    Supercharge Your Email Marketing by Adding a Klaviyo SMS Flow

    As online shopping continues to grow in popularity, eCommerce businesses are having to adapt their marketing strategies to accommodate all sorts of new techniques.

    At the head of the queue, so to speak, is email marketing: your business’s best friend when it comes to

    • Engaging with your existing customers
    • Attracting new customers
    • And just generally keeping the wheels of your eCommerce business turning.

    So how can something as simple as adding a Klaviyo SMS flow to your email marketing strategy be so beneficial? The answer lies in the most basic of human interactions: conversation.

    People love their devices

    Whether you have the latest smartphone, a super-duper tablet, or like to keep it old school with one of those groovy Nokia 3310s, chances are you’ll be looking at it every few minutes.

    Those notification vibrations and beeps give us a buzz of endorphins every time we feel or hear them.

    So if you can get your marketing message onto the little screens that we all love to gaze at through the day (and, sometimes, half of the night as well!), your business will be constantly in people’s minds…right?

    A girl receives a Klaviyo SMS flow.

    Add the human touch to your marketing workflow

    The good ‘ol text message is making a comeback. Actually, it never really went away. You can dress it up with all sorts of fancy names – iMessage, WhatsAPP, etc. – but those are just buzzy ways to describe texting.

    Next to actual conversation, texting is a highly personal, real-time way to communicate. SMS messages can be opened, read, and replied to in an instant.

    And if you do it right, your texts can be part of an actual human conversation with your customers, rather than just another automated missive in our already cluttered and noisy electronic environments.


    When it comes to successfully implementing an SMS marketing strategy, you need to be careful not to overdo it.

    There’s a fine line between being affable, friendly, approachable, and relevant, and just being intrusive, annoying and inappropriate.

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    When Should I Add a Klaviyo SMS Flow?

    Most people will check out their SMS/text messages as soon as they receive them. So you can almost guarantee that your customers will see every message that you send them.

    However, the downside of TXT/SMS is that people are often unwilling to supply their phone number when they sign up to receive online marketing information. This means that collecting lists of subscribers for an SMS flow can be much slower.

    So once you have those subscribers, you’ll need to treat them with respect in order to ensure that they don’t mute your messages or unsubscribe from your business’s marketing material.

    What Kind of Flows Can Use SMS?

    Choosing which set of customer behaviors will trigger text messages is an important part of ensuring your campaign hits the right spot.

    Your Klaviyo SMS flow can be tailored to fit an almost unlimited range of segments and behaviors.

    These include:

    But creating a SMS flow to work alongside of, and in conjunction with, your email marketing isn’t as simple as creating a 160-character message and then hitting the old SND button.

    Your SMS messages have to add value to your customer’s lives, such as promotional material that is relevant to them, or product add-ons that are consistent with their existing purchases.

    You will also need to consider which segments of your client base you are going to target with each SMS campaign.

    • Some messages can be directed at a wide range of contacts: such as upcoming sales or the opening of a new store.
    • Others, such as age-, gender-, or location-based segments, need to be strategically targeted with messages that are super-relatable to those groups.

    Timing is everything

    A big factor in the success of your SMS marketing campaign will be the time of day in which you send your messages to your audience.

    You could send out the wittiest and most sparklingly-relevant text you’ve ever composed, but if you send it when half of your audience is busy, asleep, or at work, your efforts are possibly going to be wasted.

    That is why your customer database needs to contain as much information about your customers’ lives as possible.

    If you know their work and social habits, their age, time-zone, pet’s names, and hobbies, you can carefully segment them into appropriate lists.

    The Klaviyo SMS flow best timing is when subscribers are not busy.

    Data is your friend

    A Klaviyo SMS flow is a perfect add-on to your existing email marketing system because it can help collect, collate and analyze new customer data, as well as automatically acting on the metrics that your existing workflows have already provided you with.

    It’s a win-win situation, really: an SMS workflow uses your existing data to send out appropriate marketing information, then collects more information that can be used to further refine, segment, and tweak your marketing program.

    And in the process, it will create meaningful and personal relationships with your new and current customers by encouraging one-to-one conversations between the two of you…just like old chums!

    How to Add SMS to Your Klaviyo Workflow

    The Visual Flow Builder in Klaviyo is the place where you’ll integrate the super-cool SMS text that you’ve created into your automated email workflows.

    Let’s wander over the ground you’ll need to cover in order to add SMS to your workflows.

    Add an SMS action

    First up, choose the pathway that your SMS flow is going to follow. This will be determined by which type of SMS message you want to send to them.

    For example, your Abandoned Cart SMS flow will follow a different path through the Klaviyo SMS workflow than, say, a Welcome SMS flow.

    This part of the flow is also a good place to check on the client’s opt-in status:

    •  If they haven’t consented to receive SMS content, your workflow can just send them down the email workflow channel
    • If they have consented, they can go down both.

    Check your send-time options

    The Klaviyo SMS flow has a Quiet Hours feature that lets you set times that messages will not be sent to customers, such as 9PM-7AM, in order to avoid disturbing your customers unnecessarily…or at all!

    You can now choose whether to:

    • Follow up an SMS message with an email – and how long afterwards that email will be sent
    • Send another text message with different content
    • Or send another SMS-email combo.

    Remember, sending emails is less costly than sending text messages, so you may wish to hold off on the SMS and just send an email to some customers, or send both a text message and an email follow-up to others.

    This is the beauty of the Klaviyo SMS workflow: you can choose multiple combinations and mix ‘n’ match your formats to your heart’s content.

    Configure your SMS settings

    Now you can select other touchpoints for sending further SMS content, such as Dynamic Coupons, and space them out accordingly.

    You can space out your SMS-email-SMS combinations over hours and days, depending on how well your customers respond. There are also multiple options for setting the expiry time for the SMS/email campaign.

    The Klaviyo SMS flow has a very easy-to-follow layout, and your SMS and email flows are set out side-by-side, so you can see how each element is placed within the flow.

    Adjust a message’s content and send status

    Your Klaviyo SMS flow gives you lots of options for adding SMS content and different send parameters into different types of email workflows.

    In fact, there are so many options that I’m going to refer you to the following links:

    • Abandoned cart workflows. To learn more about creating SMS flows for these, click here.
    • Welcome series flows for existing customers. To learn more about welcome SMS flows, click here.

    SMS is Your Business’s New Best Friend

    By combining SMS content with email content in a Klaviyo SMS flow, you can ensure that you are engaging with your customers in ways that will keep them informed, encouraged and updated, but will not aggravate, annoy or put them off.

    Best of all, by communicating with your customers on a one-to-one basis, just like ordinary people chatting over the shop counter the way we did in the good old days, you will improve your brand’s image and value immensely.

    It’s like Bruce Springsteen said: “share a little of that human touch.”

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