AMA: Don't Be Left on Read (We've Got Answers!)

  • 21 January 2022
  • 1 reply
AMA: Don't Be Left on Read (We've Got Answers!)
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Don’t be Left On Read This Valentine’s Day! :cupid::broken_heart::rose:


Have you utilized SMS in your Klaviyo journey? If not or even if you are incorporating SMS regularly with your brand, this is the time to ask all your burning questions to our SMS experts! We’re sitting down with @wei.he and @NathanH from our Deliverability and Compliance team and @Navin_KL, our in-house SMS AE Manager to sort out all the things you need to know and give us the low-down on SMS.


To level up your SMS just in time for Valentine’s day, submit your questions by 5:00pm EST on Monday, January 31st, 2022 before our survey closes! Be sure to circle back to this post on Friday, February 4th 2022 to see what other Community members are asking, and what our SMS experts recommend! 


:iphone: Can’t wait to see what SMS advice and questions our Community has in store! :iphone:


Send us your questions below! 

SMS Questionnaire  

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Happy Friday Klaviyo Community!


Well, you asked and our experts answered! Thanks to all our users who submitted fantastic questions. It was a blast sitting down with our three guests and sifting through all the questions about SMS deliverability and best practices together. Now without further ado, let’s see what our SMS experts have to say so that our Community can level up our game just in time for Valentine’s Day. Let’s get to it! :iphone:


  • “How do I know that I won’t be fined for sending texts to the wrong people?”
    • Navin: Great Question! We definitely want to prevent our customers from experiencing this. For that reason, Klaviyo has leveraged our industry expertise and partnerships with carriers to build in TCPA/CTIA and other laws/regulations that are country specific so that you can only send messages to those who have given you explicit consent to you for SMS marketing. 


  • “Are the SMS numbers we receive dedicated to my brand?”

    • Navin: Yes, every number in Klaviyo is dedicated to your specific brand and we’ve never allowed shared numbers to be used for SMS marketing. Whether you’re using a verified toll-free number or shortcode, you can be sure that your brand will be the only one using that number.It is unique to your brand! 


  • “I’ve heard you shouldn’t send messages too early, how can I make sure that doesn’t happen?”
    • Navin: That’s correct! Klaviyo absolutely understands these guidelines and have built in SMS Quiet Hours to your account so that your messages only go to subscribers when they should. The default Klaviyo hours prevent SMS messages from sending between 8 pm–11 am based on the recipient’s country code (using Eastern Time in the US and Canada and Australian Eastern Time in Australia).


  • “What steps can I take to maximize my SMS delivery rates?”

    • Wei: Interesting enough, maximizing your SMS delivery rates is very similar to maximizing your Email delivery rate with some few additional points to keep in mind.
      • Cleanse your database regularly of invalid or unreachable numbersEnable double opt-in as a best practice (where possible)
      • Set up and send to engaged segments
      • Do not attempt to send outside of quiet hours
      • Ensure the content the message is not restricted inline with local regulations


  • “Why cant I use two-way messaging with an Alphanumeric sender ID?”

    • Nathan: Great Question! Alphanumeric sender IDs are not pre-registered with the mobile networks and can be configured on the fly. For this reason there is no return message path on alpha senders and can only be used for outbound sms. Delivery of two-way SMS for the UK and AUS is being actively integrated.


  • “How can I maximize my 160 character SMS limit?”

    • Nathan: Keep in mind, a standard SMS allows up to 160 characters provided that the text is a latin character A-Z, digit 0-9, plus a few special characters. Usage of emojis will take up more than 1 character space and usage of grammatical punctuation such as áâãêëēíîôóûú will revert to UCS-2 encoding with a 70 character SMS limit. Klaviyo makes it clear when drafting an SMS of the limit and amount of messages needed to perform a send. 


  • “What exactly does Carrier Filtering mean?”
    • Wei: To explain this simply, Carrier filtering is when mobile carriers see something that they do not like or deem appropriate about the content and/or the sender and blocks the message from reaching the end recipient. These ultimately exist to protect mobile users from unwanted messaging such as SPAM, Fraud, Abuse or message content contravening mobile network usage policies.

  • Are there any industries that can’t use SMS?( I.e. CBD and SHAFT)”

    • Wei:  Yes! It’s important to note that different regions have different regulations, however, cannabis is an industry that is restricted internationally. Engaging in fraud, phishing or sending of sensitive data will result in account suspension and is strictly prohibited. Anything of a pornographic nature is also heavily restricted as well. 


  • How Does Double Opt In Work with Text Messages? Can I use it for SMS and not email?”

    • Wei: Basically, Double opt-in is an opt-in mechanism where the end-user needs to confirm their opt-in again after they’ve tried to opt-in via a CTA. While double opt-in is entirely optional for both SMS and email, it is highly encouraged by our team to make use of it as it will help you collect higher quality leads and maintain a healthier list. Also, it will help mitigate poor delivery of your messages.You can choose to turn double opt-in off if you’d like in the list settings section in Klaviyo. IF you have the same list for a sign-up form where email/SMS are being given then double opt-in would either be on for both or off for both.
    • Nathan: Our Non-US folks should be aware that Klaviyo currently does not offer two-way SMS messaging in the UK or AUS and therefore double opt-in is not available for those users. You will still be compliant with a single opt-in sign up method however it is advisable to cleanse data regularly to avoid sending to unreachable numbers.


  • Why Should I Implement SMS Marketing if I’m already using Email?”

    • Navin: Every brand should consider collecting SMS consent as your subscribers may want to hear from you through this channel. Klaviyo’s goal is that you send the right message, to the right person, at the right time, through the right channel. If you haven’t implemented SMS marketing yet, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity! 


  • Can You Share Any Features Coming Down the Pipeline for SMS?”

    • Navin: Klaviyo’s goal is to continue to build functionality to provide value to our customers. We are actively working on integrations with Zendesk, sending contact cards, automatically adding UTM tracking to texts, and many more features. Unfortunately, that’s all you’re going to get out of me at this point, but be sure to check out our Klaviyo Product Events to hear more!


  • Why Can’t I Just Text My Subscribers if I have their Phone Number in their Profile? Does Consent Really Matter?”

    • Wei:  I’m so glad someone asked this question! There are rules and regulations in every country that govern how electronic marketing is used to prevent SPAM and unsolicited messaging. Consent ensures users aren’t receiving SMS messages they do not want to receive. In the US, explicit consent is a must before contacting end users via SMS. Abandoned cart SMS messages require double opt-in confirmation to be sent.
    • Nathan: In the UK under GDPR, consent is required in order to contact users. This can be consent such as positive opt-in or under “legitimate interest” where you hold a mobile number under an existing relationship but a user has not explicitly consented to receive SMS. In this scenario if its in the interest of users to receive an SMS of a transactional nature such as: purchase made, order shipped, order out for delivery, order delivered an sms is permitted. Currently Klaviyo does not recognize transactional vs marketing SMS and customers can only contact users on Klaviyo where explicit SMS consent exists.


  • “How can I tie SMS into my existing marketing strategy?”​​​​​​​
    • Navin: I believe SMS should be a channel you look to leverage to help compliment your current email strategies. SMS shouldn’t be looked at as replacing email, but instead working together. For example, if someone has given you SMS consent but isn’t engaging with emails, try sending them a text to see if it triggers their interest and vice versa. What’s special about SMS is it delivers time-sensitive content or succinct reminders, while also giving that personal feel to the message.


  • “What are some Best practices to get my existing Subscribers to opt-in for SMS?”

    • Wei: In my opinion, including a text to opt-in CTA on your emails is a great option here.Make sure your CTA is entirely optional for the end-user. You should have all the compliance language included in the CTA that will disclose your SMS program to set the expectation of what the end-user will be receiving and make sure it is visible.We also recommend having a sign up form that would only show to those who you already have as an email subscriber, yet aren’t signed up for SMS. Some other best practice thoughts are: 
      • Enforcing age-gating if needed

      • Sending an opt-in confirmation message once someone opts in

      • Turning on double opt-in if possible

    • Nathan: Yes, I agree, those are great suggestions for the US. Unfortunately, for the UK and AUS, Click to Text is not available and neither is double opt-in consent, SMS conversations, text to buy or custom keyword flows..When collecting SMS consent for the UK, I’d suggest creating consent collection at checkout to entice your existing subscribers. Additionally you could consider incentivizing users with VIP offers for their SMS consent.

Well that’s a wrap for our Ask me Anything Interview on all things SMS! A big ole’ thanks to our amazing guests for being generous with their time and knowledge so our Community can become SMS experts too! With this wealth of knowledge we’ve gained here, you are guaranteed not to be left on Read This Valentine’s Day ;) 


I’ve attached really insightful Help Center Articles and our SMS certification Academy course so you can keep learning even after you’ve finished reading through this interview! 


Your Special Valentines, 

@Taylor Tarpley, @Navin_KL, @NathanH and @wei.he




Additional Resources