SMS marketing KPI

Most companies do not analyse SMS marketing conversions – shows our report “SMS Communication in Poland”. Those that care about the campaigns’ effectiveness measure it using the CTR (click-through rate) of the link in the message, average sales increase or the percentage of discount codes used. What factors should you consider to call a campaign successful? Read about KPI in SMS marketing.

Since we’ve switched from SMS or phone calls to instant messaging via WhatsApp or Messenger, we do not often hear an incoming SMS signal. Nevertheless, a new text message notification still reminds us of something essential and urgent.

As a result, the open rate of SMS messages is still high (up to 98%), and most people read text messages up to 5 minutes after receiving them. However, this is only half of the success. Apart from the Open Rate, it is also worth knowing other possibilities for assessing SMS marketing effectiveness.

SMS KPI: delivery rate

A good and well-maintained customer database can serve for years, but many people can change the phone number or lose interest in the offer during this time. Thus, it’s worth comparing lists of sent and delivered messages. We recommend running such checks regularly to keep your database effective and to lower the cost of conversion.

Key questions

  • Are there returning customers in my database?
  • Do I personalise messages by interests and preferences?
  • Are the buyers interested in purchasing my product again?
  • What would make their comeback?

Checking if the number is active is possible thanks to the HLR (Home Location Register) function, making it easier to exclude invalid contacts and check the registry of a number in the appropriate GSM network. Furthermore, it’s also worth knowing the recipients’ preferences. It’ll help to personalise the content of the SMS message.

The easiest way to get to know your customers’ preferences is by doing a short survey. Using the Newsletter SMS widget, you can collect all data automatically during signup. Both methods target future campaigns according to specific parameters, e.g., gender, age, shoe size, and tailoring content and offer to particular groups. Such SMS campaigns are more effective.

SMS KPI: opt-out rate

The Opt-Out rate is the number of unsubscribed people divided by the number of all contacts. It allows you to easily define a group of recipients not interested in receiving your messages. Although it might seem not reasonable, it’s best to present them with a way to unsubscribe from the newsletter.

A personalised Opt-Out link attached to an SMS allows unsubscribing from the database and excludes future campaigns. Removing uninterested, unhappy people favours the effectiveness of the database, advertising budget, and brand image.

How to unsubscribe from SMS
Example of Opt-Out SMS

SMS KPI: conversion rate

You should start to monitor the response of the recipients as soon as the SMS campaign hits their phones. It is crucial to know how many messages were opened, but the number of people who clicked the link inserted in the SMS can help to measure the effectiveness better. In other words – it’s worth checking CTR (Click-through Rate).

Our report from 2017 shows that about 40% of companies insert links in SMS messages, and the average CTR of the links is more than 17%. This means that the recipients read the messages and willingly take the next step on the customer journey.

Similarly to e-mail campaigns, the primary determinant of bulk SMS effectiveness is the conversion rate. This indicator shows how many recipients made the purchase and became customers after the campaign.

One way to estimate it is to track traffic intensity in e-commerce, e.g., in Google Analytics and compare it with the same time interval for previous days or with average traffic for that day of the week.

You can track the SMS campaign’s effectiveness by adding UTM parameters containing the medium type and campaign name in the link and then shortening it with a tool such as These two actions help to measure the number of clicks and shorten the message.

How to add UTM parameters to shortened links?

The same can be achieved in retail stores using a discount code or coupon in the message, which can be generated online and shown while purchasing. However, be sure to use the code only in the SMS campaign, so you will quickly check its effectiveness.

Why KPI?

Key performance indicators or simply KPIs give a glance at whether the direction chosen in the marketing strategy meets with a positive market reaction, whether the tools selected to achieve this goal are correct, and whether the messages are appropriate for customers.

Without the knowledge of the conversion rate, CTR or Opt-Out, the marketer would have to rely solely on intuition and could not seek or eliminate his actions’ weaknesses. That is why you should measure and test your campaigns.