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How To Know If Your SMS Campaigns Work

measure sms campaigns

If you’re using SMS campaigns as part of your strategy to drive sales, sign ups, fund raise, or any goal, you’ll need to know if it’s working. You may be familiar with email tracking or other forms of marketing metrics but how do you measure the effectiveness of SMS campaigns? Here are five different ideas for you to try.

The first metric you need is to know how many of your messages were delivered. This isn’t as much an issue as it is with email. You can generally expect close to 100% deliverability. But occasionally something may go wrong. Maybe your data is old or inaccurate or you may even have formatted the numbers incorrectly. So if you aren’t seeing results or replies to your messages, check whether or not they were delivered.

For opt in SMS campaigns the metric is fairly straightforward. How many people signed up by texting you? The only issue you may run into with this simple metric is that it won’t tell you where people saw your message to sign up. Was it from your website, the print advert in the local paper, or a sign in your store? The next metric could help with that though.

To help differentiate between campaigns and also to make them more meaningful you can use keywords. So for the opt in campaign example above, you could use a different keyword in your printed adverts versus what you have posted on your website. If you use a Virtual Mobile Number keywords are free, but if you use a Shortcode you have to rent keywords so you may not want to use them this way unless it really matters to you where your opt in come from. But keywords are great for helping track campaigns of different types. Maybe you use one for opt ins, one for a contest, another to receive discount codes … add up what you get back for each keyword and you’ll know how effective each is.

If you send discounts or coupons via SMS campaigns, you can track which ones users cashed in. For online codes you’ll probably already have some tracking software. Just make sure when you create the code you use something that will help you identify which code came from the SMS campaign. If you allow people to use the codes in store, then make sure your POS will track them or you have some other means of seeing where the codes came from and how many were redeemed in store.

SMS campaigns that provide links can be tracked a couple of different ways. If you use a service like bit.ly they will provide tracking information so you can evaluate how effective the message was in getting people to click. You can also create a link that include Google analytics tracking if you’re already using Google and want to keep it all in one place. You can visit this help article from Google to see how. Remember you’ll still have to shorten the Google link.

If your messages were delivered, but links aren’t clicked or coupons not used, go back and look at the text message you sent. Is it clear? Is it actionable? Did you include your information so they know who it was that sent it? Put yourself in the subscriber’s shoes and honestly assess how they might react. Take what you learn and apply it to the next campaign and you’ll hopefully have better results next time. You can then keep refining the style, content and timing of your SMS campaigns for ever greater results.

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