Measuring the right KPIs and using the best methods to evaluate your data is important to ensure your SMS campaigns give you a good return on investment (ROI). To help you set things up, we’ll begin with the five most important metrics to track your SMS marketing. Let’s dive into it!

1. Contact growth rate

This metric measures how quickly your list of contacts or subscribers expands over a specific period.

Contact growth rate calculation:

Contact growth rate

Calculation example:

You start January with 100 subscribers. By the end of February, your subscriber count has increased to 120.

Subscriber growth rate= (100/120) – 1 = 0.2 

→ The SMS subscriber growth rate for February is 20%. This means your subscriber base increased by 20% compared to the previous month, indicating positive growth in your SMS marketing efforts.

Key SMS contact list metrics to track include:

  • The total number of subscribers
  • The monthly number of additional subscribers
  • The subscriber growth rate month per month

There is no universal list size or growth rate benchmark. Growth rate is determined by the size of your target audience. By evaluating these metrics, you can gauge the health of your SMS marketing strategy and make adjustments to optimize its performance.

A high contact growth rate suggests your SMS marketing efforts successfully attract new subscribers. It could be due to effective advertising, promotions, or compelling content encouraging people to join your SMS list.

2. Contact unsubscribe rate

This metric assesses the number of individuals who opt-out or unsubscribe from receiving your SMS messages.

Contact unsubscribe rate calculation:

Calculation example: 

If, out of 120 subscribers, 5 individuals decide to unsubscribe.

Contact unsubscribe rate = (5/120) ×100 = 4.17% 

→ This indicates that 4.17% of your subscribers opted out during the specified period.

Key SMS unsubscribe list metrics to track include:

  • The total number of unsubscribes
  • The unsubscribe rate as a percentage of the total subscriber base

A lower Contact Unsubscribe Rate is generally favorable, indicating that your audience finds your messages valuable. However, sudden spikes may necessitate a closer look at your content or frequency to address potential concerns. 

Monitoring these metrics helps you adjust your messaging strategy, ensuring your content remains relevant and compelling, and minimizing the likelihood of subscriber attrition.

3. Click-through rate (CTR)

CTR measures the percentage of subscribers who click on a link within your SMS messages.

Click-through rate calculation:

Calculation example:

Suppose you send out 500 messages, and 50 subscribers click on the provided link. 

Click-through rate SMS = (50/500) x 100 = 10%

→ This means 10% of the recipients are engaged with your content by clicking the link.

Key SMS click through rate metrics to track include:

  • The total number of clicks.
  • The click through rate as a percentage of delivered messages.

A higher Click through rate indicates that your audience not only receives your messages but actively interacts with the content, potentially leading to conversions or more engagement. 

Consistently analyzing CTR helps you gauge the effectiveness of your calls-to-action and identify the content that resonates most with your audience.

To increase the number of people who buy something after getting your SMS, ensure your website is easy to use and looks nice. When you include a link, make sure it goes straight to the right page, and it’s easy for customers to make purchases. 

A quick and simple method of payment also encourages purchase. Offering free shipping, especially for a short time, encourages more people to buy. 

4. Keyword engagement metrics

How do keywords impact the growth of your SMS subscriber list? Track the number of subscribers using your keywords to gauge their effectiveness in influencing desired behaviors.

Keyword engagement metrics

How do you invite subscribers to join your SMS list? Does your message prompt them to join quickly or does your message imply they get something special and exclusive?

An effective SMS marketing strategy includes trying different ways to get people to take action using keywords. For example, you can make two versions of a message asking people to join. One might say, “Text SNACK to join our list and get a free treat of your choice,” while the other could say, “Text VIP to subscribe for exclusive goodies every month.” 

Even though both keywords add the subscribe to the same SMS list, trying them reveals the subscriber’s motivation.. This helps you adjust your approach based on what works best for your audience.

5. Average response times

According to EZ Texting, 9 in every 10 consumers respond to a text in just half an hour. Meanwhile, half of them reply within 3 minutes. These numbers emphasize the expectation for quick responses in SMS communication. Therefore, prompt response is the key to customer satisfaction.

Average response times

It’s ideal to respond to customer messages within 30 minutes of receiving them. Furthermore, consistently maintaining and speeding up response times is crucial for boosting customer satisfaction. It’s an effective way to forge strong connections with your audience and nurture lasting loyalty.

Additionally, frequent analysis of this metric helps optimize SMS marketing efforts, provides insights on customer behavior and preferences, and facilitates the creation of more effective and timely campaigns.

SMS marketing benchmarks

SMS marketing benchmarks

Click rate

A click rate of 10.14% indicates that more than one in ten recipients actively engage with the content by clicking embedded links. This metric shows the SMS marketing campaigns’ effectiveness in capturing the audience’s attention and interest. 

→ Keep creating compelling content and use clear calls to action to maintain or improve this high click rate.

Conversion rate

The conversion rate of 0.09% reflects the percentage of recipients who not only clicked on the links but also completed the desired action, such as making a purchase. 

→ Analyzing user behavior after clicking and refining the conversion process can enhance the overall impact of SMS campaigns.

Unsubscribe rate

The unsubscribe rate of 1.17% signifies the proportion of recipients who opted out of further SMS messages. While this rate is generally acceptable, businesses should monitor it closely. A sudden increase might indicate issues with message relevance, frequency, or potential concerns among recipients. 

→ Content and messaging strategies may be adjusted to maintain a healthy subscriber list.

Revenue per recipient

The revenue per recipient of $0.09 denotes the average revenue generated per individual who received the SMS message. While this metric clearly explains the financial impact, businesses should assess whether this aligns with their specific revenue goals. 

→ Exploring opportunities to increase the value through personalized offers, upsells, or targeted promotions can enhance the overall return on investment.

SMS marketing benchmarks by industry

SMS marketing benchmarks by industry

Overall, the industry with the highest click rate is Toys and Hobbies, Food and Beverage leads in conversion rate and revenue per recipient, and Hardware and Home Improvement demonstrates the lowest unsubscribe rate.

Various factors can influence the exact reasons for specific industry benchmarks. It’s important to note that successful SMS marketing often involves a combination of compelling content, targeted messaging, and an understanding of consumer behavior. You can draw inspiration from these statistics to optimize your SMS marketing strategies.


By tracking the metrics described here, you will acquire a deeper understanding of the factors influencing your performance and proactively enhance your outcomes. The key performance indicators are valuable tools for evaluating the impact and cost-effectiveness of your SMS marketing campaign.

Preference: Klaviyo

IMP provides digital marketing services for global ecommerce companies. Our solutions help businesses increase their profits sustainably and reduce dependency on paid media.