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How to Use SMS Marketing KPIs to Measure Campaign Success

Dec 22, 2020

Tracking SMS marketing KPIs allows you to improve your text marketing campaigns and see more impressive ROI over time. The more you can leverage data to inform marketing decisions, the easier it will be to get the budget and buy-in you need from leadership to run successful campaigns.

So, the question becomes: how do you know which SMS campaign metrics to pay attention to? 

Fortunately, we’ve done the work for you to collect the top SMS marketing KPIs. Read on to learn about each KPI, what it reveals about your campaigns and how to calculate it.

  1. Subscriber Growth Rate
  2. List Size
  3. Click-Through Rate
  4. Conversion Rate
  5. Attrition Rate
  6. Response Rate
  7. Acquisition Cost per Subscriber
  8. Return on Investment

1. Subscriber Growth Rate

This metric is a leadership favorite. When your marketing team can show consistent growth in your subscriber base, it shows that you are actively tracking toward your goals. Plus, there’s nothing like a positive slope on a graph to instill confidence! 

Subscriber growth rate is good for more than leadership optics, too. If it’s positive, this metric serves as a clear indicator to your marketing team that content, messaging and frequency are appropriate for your audience. If it is negative or weak, it might be time to reconsider your SMS marketing strategy or A/B test different variables such as send times

Consider your approach from both an acquisition and retention standpoint. In other words, is a low rate due to the slow attraction of new subscribers or to a high level of subscriber attrition? Dig deeper to figure out where the areas of opportunity are to improve based on those insights. 

You can choose to calculate subscriber growth rate weekly, monthly or annually — whatever makes the most sense for your team. 

how to calculate subscriber growth rate

2. List Size

List size is straightforward: it’s the number of people on your SMS list. If you have different segments, it’s the total of those segments (removing duplicates). 

Of course, this metric won’t reflect your number of customers reached since there may be undelivered or bounced texts, unopened messages, etc. But it gives you a benchmark to understand how many people are subscribed, and it serves as a building block for the more revealing subscriber growth rate metric listed above. 

how to calculate list size

3. Click Through Rate

The higher your click-through rate (CTR), the higher your ROI. Click-through rate measures the percentage of your subscribers that clicked on a link in your SMS. That could mean they clicked on a product promotion link, blog, etc. — whatever your CTA was in the text itself. The CTR gives you valuable insight into how engaged your subscribers are, as well as the efficacy of your language and messaging.

To get your number of unique clicks, use an SMS marketing platform or analytics tool such as Google Analytics, which allows you to track campaign metrics through custom URLs (UTMs). 

Then, divide it by the total number of SMS messages delivered, and multiply times 100. As with all metrics, track over time to determine what campaign aspects are working and what to improve.

how to calculate click through rate

4. Conversion Rate 

Conversion rate is also closely tied to ROI. The better you understand your conversion rate, the more you’ll know which products or offers customers find most enticing. You can dial up your investment in the ones that do or find new ways to nurture those that don’t.  

Determine with your team what you’ll define as a conversion. Is it a reply to the text? A phone call? A sign up? A purchase? 

Then, review your campaign to see how many subscribers took that action. Divide it by the total number of subscribers in the campaign.

how to calculate conversion rate

5. Attrition Rate

Your attrition rate reflects how many subscribers you’ve lost to opt-outs during a given period (typically measured by week or month). 

It’s normal to lose a few subscribers here and there — it’s all part of making sure you’re targeting the right people. But if people who are clearly in your target market are opting out, there’s a problem. 

Talk to your marketing team about how you can retain subscribers better in the future, perhaps by altering your texts’ frequency, messaging or timing. 

how to calculate attrition rate

6. Response Rate

Your response rate is another powerful SMS campaign metric. It shows you how many subscribers redeemed an offer vs. how many total offers were delivered. 

This gives a good indication of where your subscribers are in the sales funnel. How willing are they to engage? It also shows that you are capturing subscriber information through engagement at the right time. 

how to calculate response rate

7. Acquisition Cost per Subscriber

Understanding your acquisition cost per subscriber helps your marketing team prioritize SMS marketing within your overarching marketing plan. 

For example, maybe SMS marketing was only 20% of your digital marketing budget this year. You may be able to secure a larger share of the budget next year if you can show proof of concept to your leadership team that the acquisition cost via SMS is lower than other marketing tactics.

acquisition cost per subscriber

8. Return on Investment (ROI)

ROI is the golden ticket to proving your success. In general, it’s calculated by dividing the delta of money gained and spent (return) by your initial spend (investment). As long as yours is positive, you are in the clear! The higher, the better. 

This is a reliable metric for comparing different marketing campaigns and tactics, as it boils down to: What are we getting out of our investment?

how to calculate return on investment

Get More Out of Your SMS Marketing Campaigns

So, you created SMS marketing KPIs, ran performance numbers and now understand your areas that need improvement. Maybe you had a low click through rate or high attrition rate and are looking for ways to boost engagement. 

Textedly can help. From tracking and scheduling your SMS marketing campaigns to optimizing your messaging and strategy, Textedly helps you create custom campaigns that generate ROI — and, consequently, leadership buy-in for your future campaigns.

Don’t just take our word for it. Get started today with a 14-day free trial of Textedly, and let us know where you see changes in your SMS marketing KPIs!