It's never great to have users unsubscribe from your service, but being able to track unsubscribes and attribute them to a particular campaign helps you monitor unsubscribes and gain insight into what may be causing them.
This article explains how Iterable attributes and tracks SMS message unsubscribes, to help you shape your future content so that it better serves your users, making them less likely to unsubscribe.
Table of contents
Attributing SMS unsubscribes
When Iterable receives an opt out response (like
NO), the system
looks for all user profiles that have a phone number that matches the one that
was used to unsubscribe. The system updates
messageMedium: SMS for all users who have this phone number.
Then, Iterable determines whether a campaign was sent to any of those users in the past three hours.
If a campaign was sent within three hours, Iterable attributes the SMS Unsubscribe event to that campaign using the
If more than one campaign was sent within the three hour window, the unsubscribe is attributed to the last campaign sent.
If no campaign was sent within the three hour window, the unsubscribe is not attributed to a campaign.
If you notice that more unsubscribes are attributed to a particular campaign than to others, evaluate the strategy and content of that campaign to uncover some possible causes, so you can correct for them in the future. For example, maybe the content or timing of a particular message was unengaging. Or, maybe it didn't provide a way for the recipient to personalize their experience.
Tracking SMS unsubscribes
Iterable tracks unsubscribe requests with these metrics, which you can view in Campaign Analytics.
Total Unsubscribes tracks the total number of users, based on user profile, who unsubscribed from an SMS message sent with a campaign. This metric counts an unsubscribe each time a person unsubscribes. This can include multiple unsubscribes when, for example, a user resubscribes and then unsubscribes, again, from the same campaign.
Unique Unsubscribes tracks the number of unique users, based on user profile, who unsubscribed from an SMS message sent with a campaign. This metric counts a single unsubscribe for a single user profile. If a user resubscribes and then unsubscribes, again, from the same campaign, only one unsubscribe is counted.
SMS Unsubscribe Rate tracks the number of unique SMS unsubscribes divided by the total number of SMS messages delivered, where delivered messages are the number of messages sent minus the number of messages bounced. (SMS Unsubscribe Rate = Total Unsubscribe / Total SMS Delivered) (Total SMS Delivered = Total SMS Sends - Total SMS Bounce)
Example: Tracking unsubscribes for a single user
Consider a simple case, where a user of your app unsubscribes once from one of your SMS messages. In Campaign Analytics, you'll see one unsubscribe added to the Total SMS Unsubscribes metric, and one added to the Unique SMS Unsubscribes metric.
If this user subscribes and unsubscribes more than once (for example, following a resubscribe), Total SMS Unsubscribes is incremented each time the user unsubscribes, but Unique SMS Unsubscribes is counted only once.
Example: Tracking unsubscribes from one campaign for two profiles
In some cases, users might share a phone number, but have different user profiles. In these cases, the metrics used to track unsubscribes are incremented differently.
If one of two users with the same phone number receives a campaign (but the other user doesn't), and either user unsubscribes within three hours of its receipt, Campaign Analytics will add one unsubscribe for Total SMS Unsubscribes and one for Unique SMS Unsubscribes.
If both of these users receive the same campaign, and either user unsubscribes, Campaign Analytics will show two unsubscribes for Total SMS Unsubscribes (because two different users received the campaign), and one for Unique SMS Unsubscribes (because only one of them unsubscribed).
Example: Tracking unsubscribes from two campaigns for two profiles
Now, let's consider a case where two users share a phone number and receive different campaigns from each other.
- If User A receives Campaign A, then User B receives Campaign B, and either user unsubscribes within three hours of receipt of the campaign that was sent last (Campaign B), Campaign Analytics will add one unsubscribe for each campaign to Total SMS Unsubscribes and one for Unique SMS Unsubscribes.
Next, let's consider a case where two users share a phone number and each receive the same two campaigns.
- If both of these users receive Campaign A, first, and then Campaign B, and either user unsubscribes within three hours of receipt of the campaign that was sent last (Campaign B), Campaign Analytics will show two unsubscribes for Total SMS Unsubscribes and two for Unique SMS Unsubscribes, because both users received both campaigns, and the last one received attribution.
To fully understand how your project's specific SMS configuration works with opt-outs and resubscribing, talk to your customer success manager.