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Texting 101

How to use links in business SMS to increase conversions

Fatima Puri
12
minute read

Convert customer engagement with a link-based call to action in your business texts. Links in texts have an eight times higher click-through rate than other marketing channels.

Call to actions are essential to communicate to prospects what their next step is, but they perform even better when accompanied by a link; SMS is one of the best channels to send them on. Instead of making a customer go through hoops, you can send them directly where they need to go. Texts have an open rate of 98 percent, and links in texts have an eight times higher click-through rate than other marketing channels, like Google Adwords and Facebook. Here’s how you can use links to improve your CTAs, with a deep-dive on when to include them and other things to consider when selecting a link.

Mail opening icon with a 98%
Texts have an open rate of 98 percent.

When to send links to improve your CTAs

Like any other communication channel, there is a time and a place for links. Here are some different scenarios where sending a link can amplify your CTA.

During an existing conversation

The pros of accompanying a CTA with a link are plenty, but it’s most effective to only send links to someone you’re already speaking to. Sending a link to someone off-the-bat might not be useful because it may come across as spam, so be sure to introduce yourself and clarify what the CTA is for. 

After establishing a conversation, you can add a link based on the context of the conversation. The purpose of this is to turn engagement into action. Most customers use their phones to shop around or inquire about a service, so texting mobile-friendly links can be useful in pushing them closer to a sale. Approximately 58 percent of Shopify orders are placed on mobile devices alone.

E-commerce support teams can use text to drive sales — turning a traditional cost center into a revenue center.

Text message example of sending someone to a link destination
A shoe company sends a customer a product link.

Service businesses can text link CTAs to provide more information to customers, especially those frequently asked or requiring a longer explanation. Sending people to a link destination with more information helps teams save time from repeating similar things to multiple customers. 

Text message example of sending someone to a link destination
A car wash business sends a customer to a pricing page for more information.

Texting a link can drive a customer to complete a form or scheduling an appointment.

Text message example of sending a link to schedule an appointment
A spa directs a customer to book appointments online with a link.

While interacting with a prospective customer

Texting links while on the phone with a prospect can help you for numerous reasons. Primarily, you can guide them further down the sales funnel by texting them a link relevant to the topic you’re discussing. This way, the prospect can have a visual to accompany the information. The link can provide more information that the person can refer to in the future or guide them to complete an action while staying on the call. 

Plus, now your number is in the prospect’s phone, making it easier for them to text you first or for you to engage with them at a later time because text is a two-way communication tool.

Text message example of sending a link while on the phone with a prospect
An art program director sends someone a link to donate to their program.

If you’re talking to someone in person, you can send them a link to complete an action in front of you. This ensures the action is completed on the spot, locking in a sale or desired outcome. Texting links also make it easier for someone to access them. They don’t have to type in a URL or search it on their own later. By reducing friction, you’re making it easier for someone to complete a task. Companies can use links to have a person pay for something or complete an application, like in the examples below.

Text message example of sending a link to complete an action in front of you
A company sends a payment link via text.
Text message example of sending a link to complete an action in front of you
A gym uses text to send links to sign up for their rewards program.

To follow-up 

One of the most common reasons a person doesn’t reply to an initial outreach is because they got busy and forgot to respond. Sometimes they just need a gentle reminder, which is what texting a follow-up with a link does. You can send a link to ask someone to complete crucial actions, like filling out a form, signing a contract, or submitting a late payment that slipped their mind.

Text message example of sending a follow-up with a link
A company uses a link to ask a candidate to fill out missing information in their job application.

You can also use a follow-up text to send survey links to customers after a service is done. Texts are a great way to collect customer feedback because it’s concise and allows for back-and-forth conversations. Texts also have a higher open rate than email — and surveys are only useful when people fill them out, so the high open rate increases your chances of having someone fill out a survey.

Example of sending a follow-up text to send survey links
A store sends links to ask for customers to complete a satisfaction survey.

Sales teams can text CTA link follow-ups during the sales process when there is a need for documenting verbal agreements, like asking for someone’s signature on a contract. 

Example of texting a CTA link follow-up during the sales process
A pottery studio texts a link to ask for a e-signature from participants.

Companies can send a second follow-up via text to remind customers to complete a crucial action, like paying a bill. Bill collection is an absolute must for businesses, but a customer's reason for not paying can be as simple as forgetting that they owe a bill. A quick reminder text with a link to a payment page is the reminder a customer needs.

Example of sending a reminder text with a link to a payment page
A yoga studio tries to collect a late payment by texting someone a link to their payment page.

Other things to consider when adding links to text

Before you add a link to your texts, be sure to keep the following things in mind.

Where you want to send customers

The first link you send a prospect is the most important. For this reason, you want to make sure you send the person a link that best accompanies the action you want them to complete. For example, suppose a customer is inquiring about a particular product. In that case, you want to direct them to the specific product that includes the checkout button and not the home page.

Mobile-friendliness

According to research, mobile devices generated roughly 50 percent of global website traffic in the third quarter of 2020 alone. Needless to say, because texts are sent on mobile devices, the links will also be opened on mobile versions of web browsers. You want to make sure your link is mobile-friendly to reduce user friction and make it easier for people to complete a transaction. 

Make your links trackable

Lastly, consider making your links trackable. Link tracking allows you to see how many people are clicked on your link to see how well it performs. In general, shorter links do better than long ones, which can appear spammy. Companies like bit.ly, Rebrandly, and T2M shorten links while also making them trackable.

The bottom line

Links are a powerful way to drive action because they seamlessly guide the customer through the next part of the sales funnel. It’s best to have an ongoing conversation with someone before sending them a link, though, whether the conversation initially started through text, on the phone, or in-person. Remember, when selecting a link to send them, you want to make sure the link destination is mobile-friendly and is the best link to accompany the action you want them to take.

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