SMS Message and Campaign Analytics: What to Monitor, Measure, and Understand

Use SMS analytics to drive your goals and connect with customers.

Have you ever sent a text message to your customer base and wondered if it was a success? SMS analytics is an essential tool in determining the effectiveness of a campaign. Text message analytics gathered for current campaigns are helpful in real time and can lead to insights for future messaging and give you a better picture of your customers’ needs.

The SBT interface allows you to analyze and create reports based on messages sent and received, keywords, subscribers, engagement, and much more. While there is no shortage of ways to explore an SMS campaign, this part of the guide on message analytics breaks down a few of the analytics you can watch to maximize your efforts. After that, we’ll cover how to determine SMS ROI and develop a cost-saving plan.


1. Message Analytics

You’ve crafted your message, included a compelling CTA, and set a delivery time that will grab the attention of your customers. All that’s left is getting the text message into the hands of your customers, something that you have little control over once you hit send. Monitoring your delivery rates, status, times, and deactivated numbers can help find any errors hindering your messages.

+ Delivery Rate – Delivery rate is the percentage of delivered messages. SMS’s industry 98% open rates make it a reliable source for providing information quickly. Dropped messages mean customers are losing valuable information, and you are losing engagement. Monitoring delivery rates for every message will help you catch delivery issues quickly and resolve them with follow-up messages.

+ Delivery Status – Message status breaks down whether a message was delivered, sent to the carrier, queued to the carrier, encountered a system error, or was sent to a landline number. Errors are known to happen, and they can be caused by content, network and carrier issues, etc.

+ Delivery Time – Monitor the length of time it takes for your messages to hit your customer’s inboxes. While MMS messages take a little longer, SMS messages can be delivered in as little as five seconds. Longer delivery times could signal a more significant issue.

If you have repeated errors or your delivery rate and time are low, something bigger might be going on that needs adjusting. Our team is with you every step of the way to find out what’s happening with your message delivery.

+ Deactivated Numbers – Due to changes or being fake, invalid numbers will be on your list from time to time. Monitoring these lists from campaign to campaign can help locate broken opt-in systems and keep your list active with engaging customers.

2. Engagement Analytics

From appointment confirmation to product and service promotions, to bill payments and more, SMS is a quick and reliable method for engaging with customers. Monitor opt-outs, follow inbound message responses, and determine click-through rates to analyze the engagement levels of your SMS campaign.

+ Unsubscribe Rate – Monitoring the unsubscribe rate after each text message can show you which messages are resonating, and which are falling flat with your audience. An increase in subscribers opting out after your campaign could be due to the content, timing, or promotion.

Sticking to the frequency and content promised in your opt-in confirmation, and text message policy is vital to building trust in your SMS channel. Content should be straightforward, expected, and designed for your target audience. Give a strong call-to-action that leads the reader exactly where you want them. To determine if your promotion is falling flat, compare your unsubscribe rate with your order and revenue rates during that time. If opt-outs are high and orders are declining, it’s time to tweak your promotion.

+ Response Rate – Inbound messaging is another essential tool for gauging engagement. 60% of customers want the ability to respond after they receive a text message from a business. If you are not utilizing Two-Way Texting, consistently run the inbound messaging report to analyze what responses you are receiving. The Inbound Message By Type report can help you quickly analyze messages based on content type (Help, Stop, Stopall, VBT, Keyword, Inbound).

+ SmartURL ™– Including a link as part of your CTA is one of the most effective ways to monitor message engagement. A SmartURL™ link lets you see when and if a customer opened your link or downloaded the file. Customize the domain and slug for added brand awareness and trust benefits. Discover the seven advantages of using a SmartURL™ in your campaigns.

3. Subscriber Analytics

Understanding how and why a subscriber enrolled in your SMS messaging is vital in creating compelling content. Subscriber reporting and keyword analysis can answer these essential questions.

+ Subscriber Report – The subscribers report in the SBT dashboard gives full details on opt-in methods for existing subscribers. Results show how a subscriber opted into messaging, whether it be via keywords, web form, or user agreement. This information can guide future opt-in efforts and message content.

+ Keyword Report – Study the keyword report to break down the opt-in method. This report pulls all responses for keywords and can give you insight into why a subscriber took action. Give unique keywords to each promotion, social media platform, and marketing channel to gain context into the subscriber’s journey. Did one of your deals and promotions have higher opt-ins than the others? Or did an event bring them to your list?

From message delivery to phone number monitoring to engagement, monitoring SMS reporting is vital to driving goals. Learn more about the types of reports the SBT dashboard can run. If the metrics and engagement of your SMS campaign aren’t what you were hoping for, making a few adjustments in your next campaign could make all the difference.

Changes in frequency, delivery time, wording choice, or the call-to-actions over each campaign can help you create a solid system for building SMS campaigns that meet your audiences’ needs. Next, we’ll learn how to determine SMS ROI and how it can save your business time and money.

How to determine what’s working and what isn’t by assessing your SMS campaign analytics performance.

95% of text messages are read and responded to within three minutes, making SMS one of the quickest and most reliable means for reaching customers. That powerful statistic says a lot about the potential benefits and mutual trust between sender and receiver capabilities through text messaging. Open rates are only a fraction of what determines an SMS campaign’s success. Comprehensively assess SMS performance by measuring your SMS campaign analytics, calculating the return on investment (ROI), and understanding the unique value trade-off for your brand.

Marketers tracking their campaigns’ ROI are more than 1.6 times more likely to receive higher budgets for their marketing efforts. Keeping message analytics ready will give you the power to pivot when needed without sacrificing goals. SMS’s flexibility allows a campaign’s various components to be adjusted if ROIs are unmet.

In this section, you can learn how to determine your SMS campaign’s ROI and what trade-off values your brand might benefit from utilizing.

How To Determine The ROI Of SMS Campaigns

1. Opt-Out Rate

Your message’s opt-out rate will show how many subscribers have removed themselves from your list after a campaign. Calculate your opt-out rate by dividing the number of unsubscribes by the number of text messages sent during your campaign window. Multiply by 100, and you have the opt-out rate.

No matter how well-written or targeted your content is, every campaign is subject to opt-outs. Monitoring opt-out rates for each SMS campaign is crucial to determine what is working in your strategy. A higher opt-out rate could be due to an error in the content, sending messages too frequently, or not providing promotions and offers relevant to subscriber interests. The opt-out rate is also helpful for determining future SMS content and strategy.

2. Growth Rate

A healthy SMS list keeps growing. Monitoring the growth rate of your SMS efforts is a strong ROI that shows if a brand’s reach is expanding or falling. Calculate the growth rate by deducting the number of previous subscribers from the current subscriber list. Then divide by the number of prior subscribers. Monitoring the growth rate of subscribers is vital to determine if you are reaching the campaign’s target audience. A low growth rate is a concern, and future campaigns should focus on increasing the reach.

3. Click-Through Rate

Including a SmartURL™ link in the SMS message encourages subscribers to go beyond passively reading to engaging with your message. Links allow you to pack in more information than the character limit, promote deals on your site, encourage online bill payment, share digital statements and documents, etc. To determine if the link in your message was effective, you will need to find the click-through rate (CTR).

The CTR measures the percentage of subscribers who clicked links from your SMS message. The higher the CTR, the higher the ROI. To find the CTR, divide the number of clicks by the number of delivered messages. Multiply by 100, and you have the CTR percentage.

SBT’s SmartURL™ tool and dashboard is a powerful way to track the engagement of your SMS campaign. Create, customize, and track shortened URLs directly in the SBT software. Read more about the advantages of using SmartURL™.

4. Conversion Rate

The conversion rate is the percentage of subscribers that take valuable action from text messages. An SMS call to action could be making a purchase, paying a bill, replying to a message, visiting a website, etc. Calculate the conversion rate by dividing the number of subscribers who took action by the number of campaign recipients.

The conversion rate can give insight into what customers are looking for and help with future text message efforts. Each conversion is considered a gain, and a higher rate indicates the success of your message: tweak or phase out campaigns with low conversion rates to build a more robust SMS strategy.

5. Cost Per (Redeeming) Subscriber

Knowing the cost per redeeming subscriber, how much your brand spends per subscriber, for each text message, can give powerful insight into your SMS campaign. Are you spending more on leads than your campaign is earning? Are you barely making more on your campaigns than cost per lead? Finding your price per redeeming subscriber will answer these questions and more. Once you know the cost, you can adjust your campaign accordingly or switch gears altogether.

To determine the cost per redeeming subscriber, divide the cost of each message sent by the conversion rate.

Trade-Off Values

ROIs are essential in determining SMS content, strategy, and budgets. They are a tangible way to track progress and set goals. However, ROIs are not the only measurements to consider when deciding if an SMS campaign is worth the time, effort, and money.

SMS has the power to lower costs and save time, making the expense of sending text messages a value trade-off. Finding ways to cut costs with SMS will be unique to your business, but here are two areas you could implement almost immediately.

1. Customer Service

Empowering a customer service or call center team with Two-Way Texting has countless benefits. Reduce overloaded phone lines and wait times by directing customers to initiate their requests via text message. Agents can assist multiple clients at once, and clients can go about their day without being held on hold for a prolonged period. Simple requests, like password resets and common questions, can even be automated. 83% of millennials prefer to reach out for assistance via SMS over a phone line, making text messages vital for customer service teams.

Check out our best practices guide for customer service Two-Way Texting to learn more ways to empower your team while saving time and money.

2. Traditional Marketing

Move traditional marketing outreach to SMS and cut high costs. Unlike traditional print media, SMS lets you track engagement, deliver on schedule, confirm message delivery, and follow up in real time. MMS allows you to send the same compelling graphics that would have been sent in print form, elevating the text message experience for your customers. Postage and print costs take up a sizable portion of marketing budgets with little way to track their returns.

The day isn’t over once you hit send on your SMS campaign. Putting in the time to track and monitor each text message’s performance will lead to stronger and more reliable SMS campaign analytics. The team at Solutions by Text can help you find your brand’s SMS ROIs and unique trade-off values.

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