SMS Marketing Metrics: All You Need To Know To Achieve Success

When you think about it, there is hardly any other medium that is more direct or personal than SMS. But does that mean that SMS marketing will get you success all the time? No! You need a proper grip on how you should evaluate your SMS marketing metrics to measure the success.

SMS Marketing Metrics

Before we begin let me ask you something first:

Do you think people stay far away from their phone for long?

How close do you think people keep their mobile phones when watching TV, working on their laptop or tablet or while reading magazines and newspapers?

Do people leave home without it?

Exactly! People keep their mobile phones close to them.

According to Forbes people think of SMS as a useful medium that provides “peace of mind” about their data and identity (39%) and getting excellent service (36%).

When you keep the prevalence of ‘service’ as your theme of SMS marketing, you can deepen your relationship with your existing customer base.

So now that you know that people usually try to keep their mobile phones close to them all the time, you would agree that SMS marketing can be a useful marketing tool.

But how would you measure the success and evaluate the SMS marketing metrics?

How would you derive a conclusion from the SMS marketing analytics?

Let’s find out. But first, let’s take a look at the basic definition of SMS marketing.

What is SMS marketing?

In few words:

SMS marketing is the technique that spreads promotional messages using text messages that are permission-based.

The objective is to create a healthy subscriber database to increase user loyalty.

Text messages or SMSes are an excellent way of informing people within a geographical limit of any time-limited offers. Additionally, SMSes or text messages can also be an ideal way to remind your users of an upcoming event and engage them by creating a poll of their opinions.

There are many ways how you can leverage the benefits of SMS marketing and turn it into a great success. However, you need to keep an eye on the SMS marketing metrics so that you can measure your progress.

It is crucial that you determine the parameters or factors of your SMS marketing metrics first before starting the process of monitoring.

You need to ask yourself the following questions first before starting your SMS marketing campaign:

  1. What are your objectives?
  2. Did you set any standards for your campaigns?
  3. Did you study the previous SMS marketing statistics?
  4. What are you hoping to achieve from it?
  5. How are you planning to use your subscribers’ data?

Let’s fast forward it a bit. Imagine you have set the goal, started your SMS campaigns. You need to know what are the benefits of SMS marketing. You can leverage those benefits and get better results.

Now that you have got a big list of users on your list of SMS marketing, you have started sending out attractive offers, and you are somehow sure it will go well! But how confident you are?

You need something to measure the success or at least know the exact status of your SMS campaigns.

All you need now is follow the SMS marketing metrics, which will help you understand if things are moving the right way or not!

SMS marketing metrics

Here are the SMS metrics that you need:

SMS marketing metric #1: Delivery rate

Do you think that your SMS messages get delivered every time without any issue?

Not necessarily!

When you divide the total number of delivered messages by the total number of texts that were sent out, you will get the delivery rate. And it is not always 100%!

See the image given below.

A table showing the delivery rate of SMS

There will be some users who will change or disconnect their mobile phone number for a reason or two. The messages sent to them will not get delivered to them. It is not a typical issue, but you still need to keep your eyes on the delivery rates. You should be extra careful when you have outsourced your SMS marketing to a third-party or while pushing your SMS through your SMS service provider.

While it is okay to do SMS marketing with the help of third parties, remember you will still be responsible when it is about your business and your users. Therefore, its wise to enquire the delivery rates with the vendor before engaging them.

Similarly, when you are confident that the delivery rate is 100%, you can rest assured that your promotional messages are reaching to your users. It will increase the chances of your users responding to your promotional messages.

SMS marketing metric #2: Delivery time

The time your promotional SMS takes to reach your users is the delivery time.

In other words, it is the time your promotional texts take to get delivered!

Delivery time can be a crucial player that you need to be aware of.

Are you wondering how it is essential?

Let’s understand it with an example.

Suppose you have sent out one lakh promotional SMSes to your specific audience on a Sunday morning at 7:30 am.

The primary objective is to reach them before they plan their day. Imagine, they get the message at 10 am. The target audience might have already made their plans for the day and would have started engaging with their agenda for the day. The SMSes you sent won’t be able to fulfill its purpose!

Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you make sure that your SMSes reaches your users on time. For that reason, you need to keep an eye on the delivery time.

SMS marketing metric #3: Open rate

The open rate will help you measure the exact number of subscribers on your SMS list that opened your SMS campaign after they received it. Usually, a percentage is used to express open rates.

The Open rate is one of the most critical SMS marketing metrics.

You can leverage this particular metric of SMS marketing and concentrate on delivering quality and relevant content to your users. Although there are no direct tracking tools to measure open rates on SMS, you can reverse calculate the same indirectly from the responses you got and take a guess!

The open rates of SMS are typically high. A study conducted by Frost & Sullivan revealed that 98% of the total SMSes are opened and read by users.

SMS marketing metric #4: Opt-out rate

The opt-out rate is the exact percentage of users who opted out after getting your SMS campaign.

Opt-out rates will help you understand the number of users that removed themselves on every day, month or annual basis.

You should always be aware of a rising opt-out rate because it can mean that you have targeted an incorrect audience or your SMSes’ contents couldn’t offer any value to them.

You should always try split testing and better targeting for your SMS campaigns. It will help you to tackle a dipping opt-out rate.

SMS marketing metric #5: Opt-in rate

Opt-in rate is just the opposite of opt-out rate. It will give you the percentage of people who have opted-in your SMS campaigns.

Opt-in rates highlight the number of subscribers you are acquiring every day, week, month, or annually.

The opt-in rate influences your list growth and reflects how well you are keeping your users over time.

An increasing trend in option rates can give you a sense or a picture of your program growth. Moreover, it can give you a clear idea that your SMS contents are relevant and you have targeted the right audience.

SMS marketing metric #5: Opt-in source

The opt-in source is the source from where you are getting your users for your SMS campaign.

The opt-in source can be internal, or sometimes a third party.

You need to understand the source before putting it to use since this will help you optimize your further campaigns.

You also need to make sure that the source is authentic and genuine so that you can scale up the campaigns if it’s working for you.  Once you have few sources that you are confident, you can keep on increasing your list size in an optimized way. You can also start focus on the content of your promotional SMSes so that people take some action.

SMS marketing metric #6: Conversion rate

The conversion rate will show you the exact number of users who have taken action after getting your SMS. It can consist of a phone call request, signup, purchase or a simple page view, coupons redemption, etc.

When you link the SMS campaigns to conversions, you will get an insight into the ROI from your SMS campaign. Further, it will help you in improving your future campaigns.

The conversion rate can be understood better when you split it into the following SMS metrics:

Redemption rate: Redemption rate is the offers, discounts, or the number of coupons or vouchers that your users redeem. In simpler terms, it is the total number of users who redeemed the offer versus the total number of users who received your offer.

Subscription rate: When you send subscription request via SMS, there will be some people who will subscribe to your services. Subscription rate will help you get the exact number of users who subscribed after getting your SMS.

Click-through rate: Click-through rate will give you the total number of users who received your promotional SMS and clicked through to the site. It is applicable only if your SMS contains a link.

When your conversion rate is high, it does mean that your SMS marketing is going the right way! (Yes you are right. That’s obvious)

SMS marketing metric #7: Revenue Generated

For any campaign, the idea is always to increase the sales ultimately. Although your SMS marketing metrics may look positive, the actual sales generated from your SMS marketing campaigns will remain to be one of the most crucial SMS metrics.

Revenue generated is the total sales that you get from an SMS campaign.

Let’s make it more straightforward with an example:

Suppose, you want to promote your product to all the potential buyers in a specific area. The total cost of the SMS campaign to reach out to those audience Rs 10000/-.

The total business you received from people who responded to your SMS campaign is Rs 20,000/-.

Here the revenue from this SMS campaign is Rs 20000/-.

You need to keep an eye on the total revenue generated because it will prove ultimately if your SMS campaign is a success or not.

Takeaway points

Mail Online published a study in the year 2010. It says that SMS earned a whopping $114.6 billion worldwide. Although it was eight years ago, you can guess the potential of SMS marketing even in today’s scenario.

You would agree that for almost every business, the primary objective is to justify the cost of marketing strategy and to turn it fruitful.

However, when you understand the above-said metrics, you will be able to know where your SMS marketing progress is going. It will give you an idea if you are on your way to achieving your preset sales objective or not.

Which one of the SMS marketing metrics do you believe the most?

Tell us how you think the SMS metrics can be an essential factor in achieving your goals.


Also read: Do You Know the Best Day and Time to Send Marketing Emails.

Anirban Dey

Anirban switched his career from the pharma industry to digital marketing, banking on his ability to find marketing insights from everything around him. Currently, he writes in-depth articles on digital marketing and content marketing for Way2Online, passing on his knowledge and expertise to marketers. He likes to spend his leisure surrounded by comics, movies, and novels.


  1. generic for viagra-Reply
    March 29, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  2. Karina dow-Reply
    May 14, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    Желаю успеха!

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