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How to Measure and Improve Your SMS Delivery Rate

how to measure and improve your delivery rate

Businesses and organizations constantly seek innovative ways to reach and engage with their audience. SMS messaging has emerged as a powerful way to connect with customers, with better delivery and read rates than email. However, understanding and improving your SMS analytics, such as delivery rate, is essential to harness the full potential of text messaging.

This blog post will dive deep into understanding, measuring, and improving your SMS delivery rate. We’ll provide valuable insights, practical advice, and real-world examples to help you make informed choices and enhance the effectiveness of your text messages. 

Understanding SMS Delivery Rate

SMS delivery rate is a key performance indicator (KPI) that measures the percentage of your text messages that get delivered.  Since text messages have an average of 98% open rate, it directly reflects the number of contacts who receive and view your message.

High delivery rates mean you're reaching the right people with the right message. Low rates point to invalid numbers, carrier filtering, or delivery issues.

How SMS Delivery Rates Are Calculated

To calculate your SMS delivery rate, divide the number of successfully delivered messages by the total number of messages sent and multiply by 100 to get a percentage.

Number of delivered messages / Number of sent messages) x 100 = Delivery Rate

For example, if you sent out 1,000 SMS messages and 950 of them were delivered, your SMS delivery rate would be 95%.

Comparing SMS Delivery Rates to Email Delivery Rates

These days, SMS delivery rates are higher than email rates these days because many emails mistakenly go to spam inboxes.

In addition, since text message inboxes aren’t flooded the same way email inboxes are, the read rate for text messages is much higher than email read rates. According to recent statistics, the average SMS read rate hovers around 98%, while email read rates struggle to reach even 20%. Since the read rate is so high for text messaging, you can assume that the majority of your contacts read your delivered text messages.

What is a Good SMS Delivery Rate?

Here’s the million-dollar question: What constitutes a good SMS delivery rate? Generally, an excellent SMS delivery rate falls between 90% and 100%, but here’s a general guideline: 

Excellent: Above 90%
Good: 70% to 90%
Average: 50% to 70%
Below Average: 30% to 50%
Poor: Below 30%

These benchmarks can serve as a reference point. Still, what constitutes a good SMS delivery rate can vary based on industry, target audience, and messaging strategy objectives. So, it's vital to research and understand the specific benchmarks for your industry and recognize that the key is to strive for improvement continually.

3 Reasons Why You Might Experience Delivery Issues

While SMS messaging can be highly effective, various factors can lead to delivery issues and prevent your messages from reaching their intended recipients. Understanding these potential roadblocks is essential for improving your SMS delivery rate. Here are some common reasons you might experience SMS delivery failures:

1. Carrier Restrictions and Regulations

Mobile carriers often impose restrictions and regulations on SMS messaging to protect their subscribers from spam and unwanted messages. These restrictions include limiting the number of messages sent per minute, content filtering, and compliance with specific rules. To mitigate carrier-related issues:

  • Comply with Regulations: Familiarize yourself with local and international regulations and ensure your SMS messages adhere to these rules.
  • Choose a Reputable SMS Gateway: Partner with a reputable SMS gateway provider that has established relationships with major carriers and can help ensure your messages comply with carrier policies.

2. Content Filtering

Mobile carriers and spam filters employ content filtering algorithms to detect and block messages that contain suspicious or spam-like content. To avoid content filtering issues, avoid spam trigger words such as “free,” “win,” or “money,” and provide clear opt-our instructions.

3. Overuse of SMS Messaging

Sending too many messages in a short period can lead to delivery issues. Recipients may become overwhelmed or perceive your messages as spam.

Understanding these potential reasons for delivery issues and taking proactive steps to mitigate them is crucial for maintaining a high SMS delivery rate and ensuring your messages reach your target audience effectively. Regularly reviewing and optimizing your SMS strategy can help you address these challenges and enhance your overall performance.

6 Tips For a Better SMS Delivery Rate

Improving your SMS delivery rate requires a combination of strategy and creativity. Here are some actionable tips and strategies to boost your SMS delivery rates:

1. Make Sure Your Contacts' Numbers are Valid

Check if your contact list is valid before sending your text. Invalid or outdated phone numbers can result in undelivered messages, which can negatively impact your SMS delivery rate. Here are three actionable tips:

  • Keep your contact list up to date: Regularly check and update the phone numbers of your recipients. Remove any invalid or inactive numbers from your list.
  • Verify phone numbers: Identify and remove invalid or non-functioning phone numbers from your database using number verification services.
  • Request Updated Contact Information: Encourage your contacts to update their contact information if they change their phone numbers. You can include a call to action in your messages, urging them to provide their current details.

2. Use Proper Punctuation, Grammar, and Spelling

Clear and error-free communication is essential for SMS delivery rates. Mistakes in punctuation, grammar, and spelling can make you seem unprofessional and decrease the chance of your messages being read. Here are some tips for ensuring your texts are well-crafted:

  • Proofread Messages: Always proofread your messages before sending them to eliminate typos, grammatical errors, and awkward sentence structures.
  • Avoid Abbreviations and Acronyms: Don't use too many abbreviations and acronyms in your messages. It can make them unclear and unprofessional. Use abbreviations sparingly and only when they are widely understood.
  • Use a Professional Tone: Maintain a professional and respectful tone in your messages. Avoid using slang or overly casual language unless it's consistent with your brand's image and your audience's preferences.

3. Use a Mass Messaging Platform

To streamline your SMS efforts and improve delivery rates, consider using a dedicated mass messaging platform. These platforms offer a range of features and benefits, including:

  • Message Scheduling: Schedule messages to be sent at the best times for higher recipient engagement.
  • Message Tracking: Monitor delivery and engagement, and adjust messaging in real-time.
  • Compliance and Regulations: Make sure your SMS messages follow the rules, like the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in the US.
  • Segmentation and Personalization: Many platforms allow you to segment your contact list and personalize messages, enhancing the relevance of your content.

4. Personalize Your Messages

Personalization can significantly impact your SMS delivery rate and engagement. When you tailor your messages to your recipients' preferences and needs, they are more likely to open and read them. Here's how to personalize your SMS messages effectively:

  • Use Recipient's Name: Address recipients by their first name to make the message feel more personal.
  • Recommend Relevant Content: Suggest job listings, volunteer opportunities, and team sign-ups based on a recipient's previous interactions with your organization.

5. Segmentation and Targeting

Segmentation and targeting involve categorizing your audience into specific groups based on various criteria, such as location, preferences, or purchase history. By sending messages tailored to each segment, you can increase the relevance of your content and improve your SMS delivery rate. To get started, follow these steps:

  • Identify Key Segmentation Criteria: Determine the factors most relevant to your business and audience. These factors might include location, purchase history, interests, or engagement level.
  • Create Customized Messages: Craft messages specific to each segment, addressing their unique needs or interests.
  • Test and Optimize: Continuously monitor the performance of your segmented messages and adjust your strategy based on the results.

6. Crafting Compelling Messages

The content of your SMS messages is a crucial factor in their delivery and open rates. Craft messages that are engaging, concise, and valuable to your recipients. Here are some tips for creating compelling SMS content:

  • Clear and Concise Messaging: Keep your messages short and to the point. Avoid lengthy texts that may overwhelm or bore your audience.
  • Include a Clear Call to Action (CTA): Encourage recipients to take a specific action, such as visiting your website, answering a survey, or participating in an event.
  • Timing Matters: Send your messages at appropriate times. For example, if you send a time-sensitive text, make sure you send your message while it still makes sense.
  • A/B Testing: Experiment with different message formats, CTAs, and wording to identify what resonates best with your audience.

By using these tips, you can boost your SMS delivery rate and make your text messaging more effective. Remember that mass text messaging is a dynamic field. Stay updated with best practices and industry trends for long-term success.

Improve Your Text Message Delivery Rate With Text-Em-All

Understanding, measuring, and improving your SMS delivery rate is essential for maximizing the impact of your communication efforts. By following these tips, analyzing data, and trying different strategies, you can improve your SMS delivery rate and get better results.

We encourage you to apply the strategies discussed in this article and consider using a mass messaging platform like Text-Em-All, which offers comprehensive tools for monitoring and optimizing metrics such as your delivery rate.

Create your free account today, and see how we can help pave the way for higher engagement and conversations!