You want to be the business that gives your customers good directions, right? If you leave your customers wondering where to sign up, book, buy or click — you may as well throw them to the wolves (aka your hungry competitors).

Luckily, you don’t have to worry about the circling pack. Because we’re showing you how to send a link in a text message.

Links are like a customer conversation superhighway. They get your audience to the desired destination, quick smart. They show people where to click, reduce customer drop off and bonus: they’re trackable. So, you can monitor the traffic from your SMS marketing campaigns and your click-through rate. Hello, ROI.

In the complete guide to links in text messages, we’ll explain:

  • What’s an SMS link?
  • Difference between web links, hyperlinks & short links
  • How to add a link to a text message for business purposes
  • How to track link click-through rate
  • Best practices for using links and hyperlinks in business text messages

An SMS link is any URL or hyperlink that you add to a text message. It’s always clickable. And, it’s included so that the people receiving your messages can go straight to a web page or document — just by clicking the link.

Links in text messages have a very high click-through rate (CTR). The CTR for marketing messages it’s almost 20-30%. Eat our dust, email. Jokes aside, this makes links a very important element for everyone to master.

Difference between web links, hyperlinks & short links:

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Wondering why there are so many types of links? And, what’s a hyperlink text message? Or, how does it all work? We got you. Discover each link type and the different considerations for each below.

  • Web links are a URL in a text message that’s been written in full. They’re often used when you need to give people an exact web address. Instead of a hyperlink or short link.They are added to the body of the text message and are used to link to a website, online resources, landing page or other.However, weblinks are long, which means they take up a lot of characters.And with SMS, there’s only limited character real estate. Which is why most businesses use a link shortener.Example weblink:
  • Hyperlinks are a clickable word or string of words. You often see hyperlinks on the internet. However, you can’t add a hyperlink in text messages. You need to use a short link or weblink.Many people in the SMS industry might use the terms web link and hyperlink interchangeably. That’s why you might spot the term hyperlink in this blog post.
  • Short links are exactly what they sound like, abbreviated versions of long URLs. They are really common in business text messaging. In fact, if you haven’t come across them already — we’d be flabbergasted.So why are they the MVP of text message links? Well, they’re short so they save space. Plus, unlike hyperlinks, they’re not hidden within the text message copy. They’re loud and proud — for everyone to click on. Did we mention that we can shorten links automatically?

Just keep in mind, hyperlinks and weblinks are the general terms. A short link is specific SMS-speak — it refers to abbreviated versions of URLs created for convenience and readability in SMS messages.

Learning how to send a link in a text message is easy (well, we think so anyway). Every text messaging platform is slightly different, but the below steps will guide you — even if you’re creating a hyperlink text message.

  1. Open up your SMS software and start a new text message or campaign.
  2. Copy and paste the full URL of the link into the text message.
  3. If you want to use a short link, use a link shortener to save characters. Or, use ClickSend — our SMS platform can shorten any links you copy into a message.
  4. Check the link. Make sure the format looks correct and it works when you click on the link.
  5. Now, make sure the link is in the right spot, within the text. Check that it’s easy to spot. If you’d like to put a hyperlink in the text message instead, do that now.
Example of a text message in the ClickSend dashboard containing a short link

Everybody loves a bit of data dopamine. Checking how many people clicked the link in your text campaign = big, happy smiles. Plus, tracking CTR is a great way to prove that SMS is pulling its weight as part of your customer lifecycle marketing strategy.

Now you’ve mastered how to send a link in a text message, we’ll show you how to measure CTR.

First up: what’s CTR? Click-through rate (CTR) refers to the percentage of SMS recipients who click on your link from the total number of people who viewed the message. Great, right?

Second, here’s how you track it.

  1. Create unique URLs and add UTM parameters to your existing links. We use Google’s Campaign URL Builder as it’s easy to use.
    Heads up: UTM parameters are a unique string you include at the end of the URL. This allows analytics tools like Google Analytics to track user behaviour.
  2. Make sure you add the trackable links to your text message. It’s just a copy and paste.
  3. Once you’ve sent the message, monitor the traffic to your link via Google Analytics. You can calculate your CTR by dividing the number of people who clicked into the number of people who received your SMS (A good CTR for an SMS marketing campaign is 20%).
  4. Now, combine your click-through rate data with other data to get a bigger picture of campaign success.For example, you send out a hyperlink text message campaign promoting a sale on your e-commerce store. You would combine the CTR data from the link with how many people actually purchased items to determine the conversion rate of the campaign.
  5. Lastly, you want to think about how you can improve your CTR by perfecting how you’re using links. Test a few link types, like a hyperlink in text message. Or, try different link placements and use a link shortener.

How to see SMS traffic in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

We’re having a love-hate relationship with the Google Analytics G4 update. That being said: there is one feature that we absolutely adore.

You can now track SMS traffic and see SMS performance in GA4. It makes it really easy to compare and contrast SMS against other channels at a glance.

Here’s how to see SMS performance in GA4:

  1. Get your short link from the ClickSend Dashboard. You can generate a short link when you compose a message.
  2. Add UTM tags to your short link
    This handy UTM builder makes it easy. You’ll need to copy and paste your short link into the URL field, set the campaign source or campaign medium as sms (both lowercase). Then match the campaign name to the name you’ve used in the Dashboard for easy tracking.
  3. Test your message
    Send out a few test messages and click the short link that you receive.
  4. See the metrics populate in GA4
    Open Google Analytics and navigate to the Traffic Acquisition report. Your traffic data should pull into the SMS default channel grouping in this report.

Just like magic.

If we’ve said it once, we’ll say it again — links in texts are customer conversion superhighways. They guide your audience to the desired destination and move them closer to action. They’re a simple and easy way to increase the effectiveness of your SMS strategy and bring home the bacon. Here are 4 more reasons why you should master how to send a link in a text message.

Connect, engage, and convert

When you put links into your SMS messages, you make it so-very-easy for your customers to connect with your brand, engage with your offerings, and convert their interest into action. Whether it’s directing them to a product page, a limited-time offer, or a registration form. Open the floodgates.

A frictionless customer experience

When someone gives you the thing you need, before you ask for it — it feels good right? You can do this for your customers by providing them with a clickable link that takes them directly to the page they need, seamless. No more manual searching for information. It shows that you’re committed to providing your customers with the best experience possible, building brand loyalty and hopefully increasing conversions.

By using the right SMS platform with a link shortener, you can easily add optimised hyperlinks in text message campaigns. And, send thousands of customers to your website with one send. Too easy.

Track. Your. Progress

Not to sound like a broken record, but a hyperlink text message is trackable. And, being able to analyse your customer’s behaviour is one of the biggest advantages of using links. You can analyse CTR, customer preferences, engagement data, SMS vs MMS and much more. Once you’ve gathered the data — fine-tune your SMS strategy. Then rinse, and repeat.

Connecting the touchpoints

You communicate with your customers via many different channels, at many different points in the customer lifecycle. By leveraging links you can connect your SMS campaigns (and your customers) to your other channels. Such as your blog, social media, YouTube, app and more.

It’s one of the tactics you can use to further integrate your channels. And improve your brand experience and increase the visibility of your other assets. Along with increasing the impact of your messaging.

Sign up for a free 14-day trial and send your first SMS with a link. Our platform is trusted by over 90,000 businesses that use SMS to reach their customers.

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Ready to launch into using links? Great. We’ve gathered the best practices for using links. Along with advice on how to send links in a text message for specific industries — healthcare, beauty solutions and insurance.

Be a minimalist

When it comes to adding links, it’s best to be single-minded. Try to only add one link to each text message. This will reduce any confusion and overwhelm.

In some instances, you may have to include two links. For example, if you manage opt-outs via your website. If you need to add extra links — think carefully about how you structure the message, so your customer knows where to go.

Real relevance counts

Never add a link, for links’ sake. Only add a link if it’s relevant to the message you’re sending. And, if it will improve the customer or experience.

Test before you send

Don’t make a rookie mistake and send out a message with links that don’t work. Always test your links before you send out a campaign. You can do this simply, by sending yourself the message first. And making sure everything works.

Use a link shortener

A URL link shortener saves valuable character space in your text message. Leaving more room for important information. Plus, short links look more appealing and stand out.

It’s best to choose an SMS platform that has a link shortener built-in, like ClickSend. So it’s easy to streamline your workflow — you can shorten a link as you compose your message.

Bin the spammy language

Text messaging regulations are tightening around the world. If you use spammy language, your message might be flagged by the networks and blocked. Plus, if your message looks like spam, your customers might think it is spam (even if it’s not). Cue, distrust and lower engagement.

Give context and a CTA to improve CTR

Always provide a call to action that encourages your recipients to click the link. Adding some context around what they’ll find when they click the link is important too.

Track CTR to measure your SMS campaigns

Once you’ve sent your campaign, check the data. Monitor your CTR and benchmark your results against previous campaigns. You can try different tweaks to optimise your campaign. You might change the placement of the link in the message. Or, change the call to action you’ve used.

Example of marketing SMS campaign with a link in the message body

How to use links in text messages for healthcare

Doctors and health professionals provide physical care and treatment. But, they also need to gather information about the patient. And teach the patient what to do post-diagnosis. Links in healthcare text messages can allow doctors to speed up the gathering and sharing of information. Here are some examples:

  • Gathering pre-appointment patient data and medical records
    Health providers can send new patients a text message with a link to a secure online new patient form.
  • Sharing prescriptions via ePrescriptions
    Instead of writing out a prescription, doctors can text their patients a ePrescription. Which provides a link to an online prescription.
  • Health education and information
    After a diagnosis, there’s a lot of information for patients to read. Health services can share this information via text, with links to useful videos, information, PDFs and more.
  • Telehealth booking and appointments
    If a patient books a telehealth appointment, you can send a text message with a link to the video conference or telehealth app. It makes it easy for people to connect with a doctor.

How to use links in text messages for beauty solutions

Beauty businesses are busy — spending most of their time on client appointments. Learning how to send a link in a text message can reduce the amount of admin. Plus, it can be a quick and fast tactic to boost booking and sales. Here are some examples of how beauty businesses use links in messages:

  • Sharing promotions with past customers
    Salons can prompt old customers to rebook by sharing offers or promotions on services. Providing the link to the booking page makes it super easy for customers to book then and there.
  • Appointment booking or rescheduling
    Beauty clinics can use links in text messages for appointment scheduling. By including a link to an online booking system customers can book appointments without calling. Links are often used to reschedule appointments which reduce no-shows for salons.
  • Tutorials and how-to guides
    Links in text messages can be used to share tutorials, how-to guides, or educational content. For example, a beauty brand can send a text message with a link to a video tutorial demonstrating a makeup technique or a skincare routine.

How to use links in text messages for insurance

Using links in text messages can be extremely beneficial for helping insurance companies to reduce admin and streamline data collection. Here are some examples of how:

  • Policy details
    Insurance companies can send text messages with links to provide customers with policy information. This can help customers to review their policy terms, coverage limits, and any updates or changes. Which is helpful when making claims.
  • Links to online claims forms
    Insurance companies can provide links to online claims or portals. They are used by clients to start a claim or track the progress. This can simplify the claims process.
  • Payment of fees
    Reminder text messages can be sent close to the due date for fees or policy renewal, with a link for payment. This can reduce late fees and customer churn.

Insurance organisations can use automations via a platform like ClickSend to streamline data collection and make claims processing easier.

SMS is becoming an essential communication channel. And, links are an important piece of the SMS puzzle for businesses and institutions.

Businesses can use links to improve conversions and customer experience. Plus, links provide a useful way to measure SMS campaigns against strategy.

Plus, allowing customers to self-serve can decrease admin time and customer service calls. Especially, if your SMS platform is linked with your other software via an integration or API.

The link shortener in our Dashboard makes adding links easy for time-poor teams. Sign up for a free trial today. We’ll even add some credit to your account. Happy sending.