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How to use SMS links to drive engagement and results

Alia Paavola
minute read
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Whether your goal is to drive purchases, donations, or event registrations, an effective SMS marketing campaign encourages customers to take action. While a clear call to action largely drives this, the best-performing campaigns include trackable links.

This is true no matter your marketing channel, from email to SMS. Links help direct customers to the right page, helping to increase both website traffic and conversions.

This article will teach you about SMS links, including best practices for incorporating them into your texts and real-life examples from brands.

Note: Sometimes, people use the term SMS link for creating a click-to-text link on a webpage. Using an HTML code, you can add these click-to-text buttons to emails, websites, or other online sources. When clicked, these hyperlinks automatically initiate a text message to save customers' effort.

In this article, we will be about links sent in marketing text messages. 

What are SMS links and what is their role in SMS marketing?

An SMS link refers to any HTML link you include within a text message. They’re clickable links that direct recipients to a desired webpage or location. These links are especially useful in SMS marketing campaigns because they help enhance a call-to-action and track the effectiveness of SMS campaigns. 

An example of an SMS link in a marketing text.
An example of an SMS link in a marketing text.

The benefits of SMS links

  • Boost conversions. When used correctly, links sent via SMS direct customers to the right page. Using them properly can increase and move customers to the next stage in the buying process.

  • Gain more website visitors. Use links in texts to increase website traffic. You can direct customers to a blog post or case study to learn more about your product or service.

  • Improve click-through rates. SMS links are proven to increase engagement. In fact, click-through rates for links in text messages are between 10 percent to 15 percent higher than links sent via email.

  • Track your campaigns with ease. Text message links are trackable on SMS platforms and Google Analytics. This allows you to measure the success of your SMS marketing campaigns.

  • Save character count. Instead of typing out a lengthy message, businesses can send a link to a webpage that contains more information and provides further context. This helps companies save character count, which matters in SMS messages.

  • Save employee time and effort. Providing SMS links can help guide customers through steps they need to take to resolve an issue or complete an action on their own. This can cut down on employee time and effort. 

Best practices for using links in SMS marketing

  • Keep SMS messages clear and concise. A standard SMS text is 160 characters. This means it’s a best practice only to include the necessary information and a call to action.

  • Use one link per message. Don’t use more than one link in each text message. This may confuse your audience or affect the click-through rate.

  • Use branded URL shorteners. Mobile carriers often filter messages that use common or unbranded URL shorteners like You want to use a branded URL shortener.

  • Set up tracking for SMS links. Ensure you’re measuring the performance of your SMS campaigns by enabling link tracking. One of the most popular ways to track campaign performance is by adding a UTM tag or using a link-shortening tool with metrics.

  • Place the link strategically within the SMS message. Think through the best place for your link within an SMS message. Some popular link placements include at the beginning or the end.

  • Ensure landing pages are mobile-friendly. Since customers will open the link on their mobile devices, ensure that the landing page you direct them to is mobile-friendly.

  • Test your link. Before clicking send, make sure your link works. You can send a test message to yourself to see link formatting and ensure it opens correctly on your mobile phone.

Compliance and legal considerations for SMS links

SMS marketing is highly regulated to protect customers from spam and unsolicited messages. As a result, it’s crucial to follow applicable laws like the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act. Here are some of the considerations to keep in mind:

  • Obtain express written consent. Before sending a text message marketing campaign, you must get express written consent from customers. This consent, called an SMS opt-in, can be obtained in several ways. Some of the most common are text-to-join campaigns and collecting consent to receive marketing texts during online checkout. 

  • Have proper disclosures for promotional content and links. You must make it clear to potential SMS subscribers that they will receive recurring marketing text messages from your brand.

  • Include link usage when registering your phone number. When you register your business texting phone number with the right parties, mention that you’ll embed links in your SMS messages. This can help prevent carrier violations and spam filters from blocking your messages.

  • Allow opt-outs at any point. Always honor opt-outs. This means unsubscribing contacts who reply with words like STOP or END.

  • Avoid sending texts during quiet hours. Another legal consideration is the timing of your marketing texts. Businesses are prohibited from sending marketing texts before 8am and after 9pm in each recipient’s time zone.

View our SMS compliance checklist for more information.

11 examples of how to use SMS links effectively

Take a look at some real-life examples of text campaigns that effectively use SMS links. 

Customer service inquiries

Send an SMS link to help answer a customer question or provide additional context.

An SMS link to a pricing page
A pricing page sent via SMS.

Flash sales

Use a hyperlink in a text message while promoting a flash sale. This link should direct customers to the item on sale or the webpage that explains more about the sale.

Example of a link in a flash sale text message
A link directing customers to a flash sale.

New product drops

Direct customers to view new products or services on your webpage. This SMS link should allow customers to view a lookbook or a webpage designated to the new items.

Example of a link in a product drop SMS
Aerie product drop SMS link.

Request reviews or feedback

Send a link via SMS to request reviews from satisfied customers. You could link to an online review website like Trustpilot or a survey link to gather feedback. 

Review request link in text message
City Dog’s review request SMS link.

Blog post promotion

Use an SMS link to help nurture customers or provide them with helpful information about your product or service. 

Example of a blog link sent via text message
A link to a blog sent via SMS

Encourage voting

If you’re eligible for an award, encourage happy customers to vote for your company. Make it easy for them to do so by providing a direct link to where they can vote. 

Example of an outside review webpage sent via text
A link to an outside review webpage sent via text.

Event reminders

Keep registrants informed about upcoming events. You could share links to a brochure about the event, log-in details, or a Zoom link to an online presentation.

Event reminder sent via an SMS link
Event reminder link sent via SMS.

Payment reminders

In your payment reminder text messages, link to a payment portal or where customers can pay.

Payment portal sent via an SMS link
Payment link sent in reminder text.

Schedule appointments

Make it easy for customers to schedule appointments by sending a link via SMS to your booking website or calendar.

A hyperlink in text message to aid appointment scheduling
A link sent via text to schedule an appointment

Fill out forms pre-visit

Save time during appointment check-in by sending a link to a form to fill out beforehand. Sending a link in a text message ensures your customers will see it.

A link sent via text to fill out forms
A link sent via text to fill out forms pre-appointment

Order updates and tracking

Provide customers with a tracking link via SMS for them to stay informed on key shipping updates like delays, delivery timelines, and more.

A tracking link sent via text
A tracking link sent via text.

Send SMS links with Textline

Add hyperlinks to text message campaigns to drive conversions and direct traffic to the right webpage. Are you ready to level up your marketing campaigns with SMS links? Try sending one via Textline today. You’ll gain access to the industry’s most secure business texting platform that’s also easy to use and brings optimal results to marketers across industries. 

Sign up today to start your 14-day free trial of Textline. 

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