Updated: Jun 11
Whether you are looking to promote a product or service, share important information, or simply make it easier for recipients to access additional resources, adding a link to your business SMS can be an effective way to engage your audience and drive traffic to your website or other online content.
Before we dive into the details of how to include links in an SMS, it's important to understand the basics of SMS messaging and how it works.
SMS is a type of communication that allows users to send and receive short text messages on their mobile devices. SMS messages are typically limited to 160 characters, which means that they are short and to the point.
While SMS is often used for personal communication, it is also frequently used by businesses and organizations to communicate with customers and employees.
Links vs hyperlinks: Which one to use in SMS marketing?
There are two main types of links. They are regular links and hyperlinks.
Both links and hyperlinks take you to a different or new web page when you click on them. The only difference between them is just their appearance.
Links are straightforward URLs that you can simply copy and paste into your browser's address bar to visit the specific page on the website.
Hyperlinks are links that are embedded in words or phrases. When clicked on them it will take you to another webpage or application just as links. However, hyperlinks can also take the form of images, GIFs, videos, or anything that can take a user from one page to another.
Now you may have a question which is better to use in SMS marketing: links or hyperlinks?
Unfortunately, you can’t add a hyperlink to a text message. But the good news is still you can add links to SMS campaigns.
But SMS has a character limit of 160. So, if you’re wondering how to use lengthy URLs in a text message, the simple answer is to use a link shortener to make your lengthy URL into a shorter one and then add it to the text message.
The benefits of sending links in text messages
In the age of digital communication, links are becoming increasingly important in business text messages. Whether you’re sending a message to a colleague or a client, adding a link can make your message more effective and help you get your point across. Here are some advantages of using links in business text messages.
1. Can share documents or files
If you need to share documents or files with someone, you can use a link to make it easier. This is especially useful if the file is too large to attach directly to the message. You can use a cloud storage service like Dropbox or Google Drive to store the file and then send the link in the message. This way, the recipient can easily access the file without having to download it.
2. Can use links to point to relevant content
If you’re sending a message about a specific topic, you can use a link to point to relevant content. For example, if you’re discussing a new product, you can include a link to the product page on your website. This makes it easier for the recipient to access more information about the product and makes your message more effective.
3. Can create a call-to-action
If you want the recipient to take a specific action, you can use a link to create a call to action. For example, if you’re asking someone to sign up for a newsletter, you can include a link to the sign-up page. This makes it easier for the recipient to take the desired action and increases the chances of them doing so.
4. Can be used as a traffic source for your website
If you want to direct people to your website, you can use a link in your message. This is a great way to increase traffic to your site and can help you build brand awareness. Plus, it makes it easy for the recipient to find the information they’re looking for.
How to use links in an SMS (Best practices)
Now, let's move on to the big question: how to include links in an SMS. Here are some key considerations and tips to keep in mind:
1. Use a URL shortener
One of the main challenges of including a link in an SMS is that the character limit is quite restrictive. To make it easier to include a link in your SMS, you can use a URL shortener such as Bitly or TinyURL. These tools allow you to take a long URL and shrink it down to a more manageable size, making it easier to include in your SMS message. Simply paste the URL into the URL shortener tool, and it will generate a shortened version that you can use in your SMS.
2. Use a call-to-action
To encourage readers to click on your link, it's a good idea to include a call-to-action in your SMS. This could be something as simple as putting the URL to a webpage after phrases like "Click here to learn more" or "Visit our website to see the latest deals." By including a clear call-to-action, you can help encourage readers to take the next step and visit your website or other online content.
3. Put the link at last
Adding a link to a text message may end up changing the format of your message. Therefore, it's better to write the message first, followed by the link. This can help increase click-through rates, encourage SMS recipients to take action, and keep your message from being marked as spam.
4. Test your link
Before you send your SMS to your entire list of recipients, it's a good idea to test the link to make sure it's working correctly. Simply click on the link and make sure it takes you to the correct page. This is especially important if you are using a URL shortener, as it's possible that the shortened link may have been mistyped or otherwise incorrectly generated.
5. Use a tracking tool
If you want to track how many people are clicking on your link or the click-through rate of your text message, you can use a tracking link. There are a variety of tools available that allow you to create a custom tracking link that you can use in your SMS. When someone clicks on the link, the tracking tool will record the click and provide you with data on how many people are visiting your website or other online content. This can be a useful way to measure the effectiveness of your SMS marketing efforts.
In conclusion, using links in business text messages is a great way to make your marketing messages more effective. By following the above tips, you can ensure that your messages are more effective, and your recipients are able to take the desired action.