A big opt-in list for your SMS marketing campaign theoretically means that you're reaching the right people. After all, each person on your list had to intentionally give you permission at one point or another. But there's more to it than that.
People on your list might have joined to take advantage of a single offer, or may have misunderstood the nature of what you do. Some will unsubscribe quickly, but others might hang on for weeks or months without opening your messages or simply deleting them.
With SMS, sending to a big list doesn't cost much more than sending to a short list--but having a lot of inactive subscribers can skew your numbers or give you a false sense of confidence with your SMS campaign. Check these factors to make sure your list is primarily reaching active and interested participants.
Include Response Codes
Don't include your special deals and electronic coupons in the initial message of a broadcast. Instead, have interested recipients respond with a code to receive a second text containing the coupon. Compare the number of responses to the number of initial recipients to gauge how many are actually interested. Better still, the responding texts give you an "A list" of particularly engaged list members.
Hold Polls & Contests
Similar to response codes for coupons, polls and contests help you gauge the effectiveness of your ads by eliciting an immediate response from the people who are invested in your brand--but they're even better for finding out if you're reaching the wrong audience. Instead of responding for a money-saving offer, people who get involved with this campaign are doing it simply because they like your brand.
Create a Street Team
Radio and television media have used this method for decades: chose an elite team of "superfans" who provide free marketing services in exchange for a free t-shirt and the occasional backstage pass. Instead of a set team, hold events, advertised and broadcast via your SMS system. Early admission to sales, celebrity appearances and tours of your production area are all examples that might entice engaged list members.
Know Your Numbers
The responses you get from these methods efficiently tell you how many of your list members are the right audience, but you'll only know if you're reaching the wrong people by further analyzing those numbers.
SMS campaigns often elicit a response rate far better than that of traditional print or broadcast media. Access statistics from industry associations or publications to get a sense of the response rate you should expect from SMS in your region and field. If your response rates equal or exceed the expected percentage, your list is reaching the right people. If your numbers are far below that--or in line with those for traditional media--you may be pursuing the wrong audience.