Sending text messages to reach customers has become an effective way to get their attention. They tend to be opened more than emails, and they get to people instantly, making SMS marketing campaigns a powerful tool for businesses to chat directly with their customers.

But sending out plenty of texts and hoping for the best isn’t enough. To nail your SMS campaign, you need to monitor its progress and tweak your approach along the way. Tracking the right numbers helps you sharpen your game, make smarter choices, and get the most bang for your buck. 

This article will talk about the six key things you should be watching to make your SMS message marketing a hit.

Why Measuring SMS Marketing Metrics Matters

SMS marketing metrics show how your messages are received and acted upon. It’s more about reading signals—figuring out which messages click and which ones miss the mark.

For instance, a high open rate can signal that your audience is eager to hear from you. But if opt-out rates start to spike, that’s your indication to hit the brakes and rethink your strategy.

By paying attention to these metrics, you’re not just sending messages blindly. You’re tailoring your approach to ensure your content resonates, which turns data into a strategic tool for smarter SMS campaigns.

How to Measure SMS Marketing Metrics

SMS marketing KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are specific metrics used to measure the success and efficiency of your text message marketing campaigns. They help you understand how well your SMS strategies perform in engagement, conversion, and customer retention.

Here are the key performance indicators that you should measure in your campaigns:

List Delivery Rate

Delivery rate is the proportion of messages successfully delivered to your intended recipients out of the total number of messages sent. Text messaging differs from email because consumers must opt-in to receive text marketing messages. So, if the phone number used is valid, it will be delivered to the recipient. 

Occasionally, some carriers may not be capable of delivering certain links or types of images, but this issue is rare. A good platform will capture any invalid numbers, improving your marketing list as a result. A high delivery rate signifies a well-maintained and accurate contact list.

group of people looking at a mobile phone

Regular monitoring of your texts’ delivery rate allows you to detect and address such issues promptly. This ensures the overall effectiveness of your SMS campaigns and maintains the quality of your contact list.

Read Rates for Text Messages

Unlike email, tracking text open rates is technically impossible. However, given how text messages are delivered, the read rate is over 98%. This is because when users open the text function on their phone, they typically see the whole message before taking action. 

In addition, since text marketing messages require consumers to first opt-in based on criteria set forth by the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act), consumers trust texts more. Therefore, they read almost all text messages entirely since they are typically short.

This is another reason to keep SMS messages short, concise, and personal in tone whenever possible. Research has shown that consumers estimate that less than 1% of all texts are SPAM. 

A big difference compared to email is that research has shown that consumers estimate that 90% of all emails received are SPAM. This makes text messaging an especially powerful tool for reaching your audience.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

CTR refers to the percentage of users who clicked on a link in your text message. It provides insights into your message’s effectiveness in prompting the user to take action. A high CTR indicates a compelling message and a well-targeted audience.

In contrast, a low CTR might indicate a disconnect between your content, call to action, or targeting strategy, suggesting a need for adjustment. Designing trackable links is valuable for campaigns that aim to drive website traffic or conversions, as it directly impacts these outcomes.

Conversion Rate

While generating clicks is valuable, the ultimate goal of any text marketing campaign is to drive conversions. In SMS marketing, a conversion could be defined as any desired action a customer takes after clicking your link, such as purchasing, downloading a resource, or filling out a form.

Designing your campaigns to track whether a conversion came from an email or a text campaign is important for improving conversion rates. By thinking about these elements ahead of time, you can assess the overall effectiveness of your SMS campaign.

Despite a high CTR, a low conversion rate could point to issues with your landing page or the alignment between your messaging and offerings and warrants further investigation.

Opt-Out Rate

Acquiring subscribers is key to SMS marketing, but retaining them is equally important. The opt-out rate measures the number of subscribers who choose to unsubscribe or STOP receiving your text messages.

An increasing opt-out rate could indicate dissatisfaction with your messaging frequency, content, or overall SMS marketing strategy. Regularly monitoring this metric allows you to measure customer satisfaction and make necessary adjustments. It ensures a stable and engaged audience for your SMS campaigns.

Honoring those opt-out requests is also critical, as violations can result in thousands of dollars in fines via the TCPA Act. Advanced SMS platforms automatically detect those opt-outs and even use artificial intelligence to flag replies with negative sentiment.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Assessing ROI is the ultimate measure of any SMS marketing success. This metric calculates the profit derived from your campaign relative to its cost. 

A positive ROI conveys that your campaign is generating more revenue than it costs to run. A negative or declining ROI, on the other hand, suggests the need for strategic modifications to enhance campaign performance.

How to Transform SMS Campaign Data into Actionable Insights

To make your SMS campaign data work for you, here’s a step-by-step guide on turning all those numbers and percentages into real, actionable steps:

Gather Comprehensive Data

Collect everything from how many people open your texts to how many click on links or respond. The more info you have, the better you can understand what’s going on.

Look for patterns in the data. Which messages had the highest open rates? What content drove the most conversions? Identifying trends will help you understand what resonates with your audience.

Segment Your Audience

Use the insights from your data to segment your audience into more specific groups. Segmentation can be based on behavior, preferences, or engagement levels. This allows for more personalized and targeted messaging.

Set Clear Business Objectives

Before you send out a campaign, decide what success looks like. Is it more people opening your texts? More replies? Having clear SMS marketing campaign goals helps you focus.

Personalize Your Messages

People love feeling special. Use what you’ve learned to tailor your texts to their interests or past actions. A little personal touch can go a long way.

Integrate with Other Channels

Don’t limit your insights to SMS alone. Integrate SMS campaign data with other marketing channels for a holistic view of customer behavior. This can reveal new opportunities for engagement and conversion.

Act on Feedback

If your data shows a high opt-out rate or negative feedback, act quickly to address the issues. This might involve changing your message frequency, content, or overall strategy.

Monitor Performance Regularly

Make it a habit to check your campaigns’ performance regularly. This way, you can catch any issues early and fine-tune your strategy.

Track SMS Marketing Metrics Effortlessly with Textellent

Find out how Textellent simplifies tracking your SMS marketing results, from monitoring message open rates to identifying which texts lead to sales. Get a clearer view of your campaign’s success and make informed decisions to enhance your strategy.

Textellent capabilities

Want to improve your SMS marketing? Get started with a free trial or book a Demo consultation.


Keeping an eye on your key SMS marketing metrics is like having a conversation with your audience. You send messages, and then you watch to see how they react. Seeing what works allows you to fine-tune your SMS marketing efforts.

At the end of the day, the real goal of SMS marketing campaigns is to connect with people to get them interested and involved with what you’re offering. 

So, monitor your campaign’s performance and adjust as needed. This ensures your text marketing not only reaches your audience but also resonates.

FAQs About SMS Marketing Metrics

How often should I review my SMS marketing metrics?

Reviewing your SMS metrics regularly, at least once a month, allows you to stay on top of performance trends and make timely adjustments to optimize your campaigns.

Is there a difference in metrics between promotional and transactional SMS messages?

Yes, promotional messages often focus on engagement metrics like CTR, while transactional messages might prioritize metrics related to delivery and open rates due to their informational nature.

Do SMS marketing KPIs differ by industry?

While many SMS marketing KPIs are universal, certain industries might focus more on specific metrics based on their goals and customer interactions. For example, retail businesses might prioritize conversion rates from promotional offers, while service-based industries may focus more on engagement and response rates.