Measuring the Success of Your SMS Marketing Campaigns

Improve your SMS messaging strategy by understanding what the metrics are saying.

We live in a mobile-driven world and that’s why SMS messaging is becoming such an important marketing tactic for many businesses. 

Just take a look around. There’s a very good chance that nearly everyone is in sight in on their phone, and if they aren’t actually on their phone, they have it close by. As a society, we’ve become so attached to our mobile devices that they’ve named a phobia after it: nomophobia.

Smartphone and mobile device usage spans across every age group. When you consider that over 50% of (most) generations have a smartphone, it’s hard to ignore the idea of SMS messaging.

This is why SMS messaging is such a big opportunity for companies around the world. If people can’t be apart from their phones for more than 10 minutes at a time, it’s the perfect place for businesses to reach customers.

So what happens after you’ve jumped on the SMS messaging bandwagon? How do you know that your campaigns are producing positive results?

These are common questions for companies just starting out, and for those who have been in the SMS marketing game for a while. With a number of different ways to measure your campaign and SMS messaging strategy, how do you know what metrics are most important?

In this article, we’ll take a look at a few different areas that can help you determine the success of your SMS messaging efforts. Here’s a quick look at what we’ll cover:

  • Tracking click-through rates
  • Watching for positive and negative changes in your subscriber list
  • Knowing exactly how much your subscribers are costing you
  • Monitoring conversion and response rates of your campaign

The Importance of Measuring Campaign Success

It’s important to measure the success of your campaigns to know what worked well and what didn’t. You should be visiting your campaign metrics while the campaign is active and then taking a deep dive into the date upon completion.

If you don’t take the time to review the metrics while the campaign is active, you won’t have an opportunity to make any quick and easy adjustments. These simple tweaks could help improve the overall success of the campaign in the long run.

On the other hand, if you don’t take time to look back at the campaign as a whole you won’t learn from the good or the bad. It’s always good to see what your customers are engaging with most and what isn’t working as well — then you can apply this to future campaigns.

With all the data out there, it can be hard to determine what metrics are the most important to focus on. While it may change based on your specific needs, the following metrics are a great place to start.

Track Click-Through Rates

Click-through rates are one of the first things you should look at when measuring your SMS messaging campaigns.

A click-through rate will help you determine the percentage of subscribers who actually clicked on the link within the SMS message and went to the corresponding page. Once someone clicks to the designated location, often a landing page on your website, they can make a purchase or learn more about the topic.

Tracking campaigns by click-through rates will help you clearly see how well it performed. Not only that but SMS messages boast an impressive click-through rate. Image courtesy of Neil Patel.

This is one way you can look at and measure how the campaign performed. Because it is related directly to the campaign, you can easily see how many contacts are engaging with the content.

While click-through rates are a great indicator of how the campaign is performing, they may only tell a small portion of the story. In some cases, you may see high click-through rates but a low conversion rate or return on investment. That’s why it’s important to use more than one measurement tactic.

Watch for Changes in Your Subscriber List

Your subscriber list can be a prime indicator of how well your SMS marketing is performing. This metric is a great way to track your SMS messaging as a whole, rather than just on the campaign level. Since subscribers may be enrolled in different programs and receiving different communications, you can see a holistic view of how your content is being received.

There are two different things you should be looking at when it comes to your subscriber list: growth and attrition rates.

Here are a few things to consider when looking at subscriber growth rates:

  • How fast your subscriber list is growing?
  • How often do you want to calculate this — weekly, monthly, yearly?
  • How can you retain your current subscribers?

If you’re seeing a continued increase in growth rates, that means your current subscribers are engaged and you’re continuing to reach new subscribers. As your subscriber list increases, so will your overall ROI.

Knowing what trends are happening with your subscriber list is important. There are many reasons why people choose to subscribe to SMS messages, while many don’t want to receive any text messages from companies. 

If your subscriber list seems to be decreasing, these are some things you should ask yourself:

  • Why are subscribers leaving?
  • What content can we provide to better serve our targeted customers?
  • Are we sending too many messages, or not enough?
  • Do we need to better segment and target our subscribers?

Unsubscribes are bound to happen, but you don’t want to see mass amounts of them. People choose to unsubscribe for a number of reasons. Figuring out why your losing subscribers may take some time and testing, but it will be worth the investment to turn those losses into active customers.

Know Your Cost Per Subscriber

Your subscribers are the most important part of your SMS marketing plan. Not only do you want to make sure you’re growing your subscriber list, but you should also know exactly how much you are spending per subscriber.

You have the ability to identify a cost for every single lead you bring in and determine whether it was a profitable move or not. To calculate this, divide the cost of each SMS delivered by the conversion rate of the campaign.

A successful campaign will have brought in more money than it cost to implement. If you find the cost to run the campaign was higher than the ROI based on the calculation above, you need to take a step back and reevaluate your priorities.

As you begin to identify the cost of your campaigns, you can learn more about what offers and incentives you can provide your users. Maybe a campaign offering a 30% off coupon only lets you break-even, while a 20% coupon provides you with a positive ROI.

Testing different ways to reach your subscribers will help you identify the types of content that your customers engage most and what is most profitable for your company. Chances are good the first SMS campaign you launch might not be the highest performing, but learning from that will help you improve.

Monitor Conversion and Response Rates

This one will probably come as no surprise, but monitoring your conversion and response rates is one the best way to measure the success of your SMS marketing. These metrics provide you with details about how many of your subscribers actually took action and interacted with your campaign.

Conversion rates can provide you with details on exactly how many customers interacted with your campaign. SMS messages provide you with a higher conversion rate than email.

The conversion rates of your campaign will identify exactly how many customers clicked your call to action or took the next step. This could be signing up for a new program, visiting your website, or actually making a purchase.

Conversion rates are directly related to each campaign and can help you clearly identify what campaigns are working and which are not. You can use this information to cut poor performing campaigns short, and duplicate tactics from your top-performing programs.

Response rates are directly related to how many customers actually responded to your SMS messages. This is one of the many reasons SMS messaging is becoming so popular — you can actually engage in a conversation with your customers as part of the campaign.

Improve Your SMS Marketing Metrics

Having a clear understanding of how to measure your campaign success will help you focus on the right details to improve future projects. Analyzing multiple different metrics can help you identify areas of improvement and let you continue to grow your subscriber lists. SMS marketing is a great avenue to engage your subscribers and by tracking the right metrics you can set your campaigns up for success.