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How to send a link in a text message (SMS)

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Links in text messages refers to including clickable URLs within SMS messages to drive customer engagement and action. In today’s fast-paced digital world, it has become essential for businesses to include links in text messages as part of their SMS marketing strategy. Providing direct access to relevant content, promotions, or landing pages enables brands to guide customers through the desired user journey, ultimately leading to increased conversions and revenue.

This article explains the differences between links and hyperlinks and provides step-by-step instructions on including links in your SMS campaigns using Omnisend. We will emphasize the importance of considering message length, utilizing link-shortening techniques, and strategically placing links within the message body. We will also discuss specific points in the customer journey to send messages with links, such as welcoming new customers, recovering abandoned carts, and sending promotional messages.

With real-world examples and insights into Omnisend’s powerful SMS marketing features, this comprehensive guide equips marketers with the knowledge and tools to elevate their SMS marketing strategy and improve customer interactions.

In this post:

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What is an SMS link?

An SMS link is a clickable URL in a text message, which allows recipients to easily access a specific webpage or online resource by simply tapping the link. SMS links are a powerful tool for businesses to drive customer engagement and guide users to targeted content.

How to send a link in a text

To include a link in a text message you need a marketing platform that supports SMS, such as Omnisend. Used by more than 100,000 brands and with an impressive rating of 4.8/5 on the Shopify app store, Omnisend is a great tool for automating sales with seamless SMS and MMS campaigns.

Here’s how to include a website link in a text using Omnisend:

  • Create a free Omnisend account
  • Go to Campaigns and click Create SMS
  • Compose your message and add the link
  • Omnisend will automatically shorten the link 
  • Add the recipients for the message
  • Preview the message and send
  • Track your links to gauge campaign performance
how to send a website link in a text using Omnisend

Links vs hyperlinks vs short links

When it comes to including links in text messages, there are three main types to consider: links, hyperlinks, and short links. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and understanding when to use each one can help you optimize your SMS marketing strategy.

  • Links are the standard URLs that you can copy and paste into a search bar. They contain the full website address and any additional characters that determine the specific page you’ll visit. For example: https://www.omnisend.com/blog/sms-marketing/. Links are straightforward and direct, but they can be long and may take up valuable character space in your SMS messages.
  • Hyperlinks are clickable text or images that direct users to a specific webpage or application. Instead of displaying the full URL, hyperlinks are embedded within the text, making them more visually appealing and user-friendly. However, it’s important to note that hyperlinks are not supported in SMS messages, as they rely on HTML formatting.
  • Short links are condensed versions of full URLs, created using link shortening services. They are particularly useful when you have a long URL with tracking codes or other parameters. Short links take up less character space in your SMS messages and can make your links look cleaner and more professional. For example: https://bit.ly/omnisend.
TypeExampleProsCons
Linkhttps://www.omnisend.com/blog/sms-marketing/Direct, clear destinationLong, may take up character space
HyperlinkLearn SMS marketing with OmnisendUser-friendly, visually appealingNot supported in SMS messages
Short Linkhttps://bit.ly/omnisendCondensed, saves character space, can include tracking codesRequires a link shortening service

When deciding which link to use in SMS messages, consider your goals. Also, consider the limits of the SMS format. Since hyperlinks are not supported, you’ll need to choose between using full links or short links. If you have a short, straightforward URL, a full link may be the best option. However, if you have a longer URL or want to include tracking codes, a short link can help you save space and maintain a clean appearance.

What to know before using links in text messages

By leveraging the power of link shortening, automation, and tracking, you can help your SMS channel become much more profitable in the long run.

Message length

Texts are limited by length, which is important to consider before adding any links.

Each SMS can include up to 160 characters. This is nearly cut in half by the number of characters in most links, which ranges between 60 and 70 on average.

It’s a good idea to compose texts that are short, sweet, and to the point. Failing to do so might force you to send multiple messages, costing twice what you would have spent for a single text.

Omnisend offers a character counter above each text message you compose, allowing you to catch any overages before sending your campaign.

character counter in Omnisend

Also, an easy-to-use SMS length & pricing calculator can help to count the characters in your text message, estimate the sending costs, and preview your SMS campaign on various phones.

Omnisend SMS length & pricing calculator

Link shortening

With each character counting in an SMS, you’ll want to consider using a shortening tool to save space.

There are dedicated tools for this, and Omnisend shortens links automatically with a unique address. This is done in three parts:

  • The shortening domain (otxt1.com)
  • The link (the letter ‘l’), which can also appear as either ‘la’ for automated SMS, or ‘lc’ for a campaign (promotional) SMS
  • XXXXX (unique 5-digit number)

The result is something like otxt1.com/la/XXXXX or otxt1.com/lc/XXXXX.

link shortening

Omnisend performs link replacement almost immediately, giving you time to focus on other elements of your text message.

Link tracking

Shortened links don’t just preserve your text message’s word count, they also allow you to perform link tracking. With this information, you can dig deep into the results of your messages, including UTM parameters for reporting purposes.

You can start tracking links immediately in Omnisend, including:

  • Tracking source traffic
  • Delegating marketing channels
  • Watching user actions and behavior

If you’d prefer not to shorten or track links, you can select this in the compose window:

compose window in Omnisend

Link placement

When adding links to your text message, ensure to place them strategically within the body of the text. Don’t add them at the beginning of the text since this can prevent recipients from reading it. 

Instead, place them towards the end to act as a natural progression of your message. This allows recipients to read the message and take action by clicking on the link. 

To drive action, add a compelling CTA to preface the link. 

When you have several links in your text message, arrange them in order of importance to help users prioritize their actions. 

Reasons to send links in text messages

Links aren’t always necessary for a successful text campaign, and ultimately it depends on what role SMS will serve in your campaigns. 

However, if you want to increase engagement and encourage consumers to spend more time on your site or take specific actions, text links will be useful.

You may want to put a link in a text message for:

  • Welcoming a new customer to your store: Welcome text messages provide links with personalized info that improves the customer experience
  • Abandoned cart messages: These can offer links to whatever item the customer left behind, and are particularly useful for SMS marketing
  • Order confirmation details: Customers will have better peace of mind knowing their items are safe and on their way 
  • Order delivery details: Almost 80% of customers want delivery updates from brands, allowing them to keep an eye on en-route packages
  • Sending promotional messages: Whether your brand is starting a Black Friday sale or prepping for a discount run, text messages can help to generate interest quickly

3 examples of how to send a link in a text 

Although text messages are much more basic than an email, that doesn’t mean you don’t have any options for what they say. 

Let’s look at a few examples of how your text messages can stand out:

Lunar — Link to a new collection

This example from Lunar provides excellent context for the link, telling recipients where it takes them and why it’s of interest to them. The message is also personalized with the recipient’s name.

example from Lunar

Runway Rogue — Link with a discount code

This example from Runway Rouge goes the extra mile by including a long-form call to action. This encourages the reader to move forward with next steps and place an order.  

example from Runway Rouge

Baking Steel — Multiple links in a text message

Finally, Baking Steel demonstrates how to include multiple links in a single message, placing them in order of importance.

example of multiple links in a text message

Recipients are encouraged to check their full order details using the first link in the message, with the ability to unsubscribe from messages if they don’t want further texts from Baking Steel. 

Baking Steel logoWhen Baking Steel switched to Omnisend, they launched two successful welcome series that generated a revenue-per-email of over $10 and $15 respectively. 

Wondering how Omnisend could pull this off? Here’s the entire success story

Summary

In this guide, we’ve explored the power of adding links to SMS marketing. By understanding the differences between links, hyperlinks, and short links, you can optimize your text messages for maximum engagement and conversions.

We’ve covered the importance of using SMS links to drive customer action, the benefits of link shortening to save character space, and the value of link tracking to gain insights into your campaign performance. We also provided a step-by-step guide on how to easily send links in your text messages using Omnisend’s powerful SMS marketing tools.

By using the strategies outlined in this article, you can elevate your SMS marketing efforts and create more impactful campaigns that resonate with your audience. Whether you’re looking to welcome new customers, recover abandoned carts, or send promotional messages, incorporating links in your text messages can help you achieve your goals and drive meaningful customer interactions.

With Omnisend’s user-friendly platform and robust features, you can streamline your SMS marketing process, automate your campaigns, and track your success with ease. Embrace the power of SMS links and take your mobile marketing to the next level with Omnisend.

Ready to get started with Omnisend’s SMS solutions?
Richard White
Article by
Richard White

Richard is a Content Marketing Manager at Omnisend. An avid writer, he's said to have been born holding a pencil. Fascinated by all things handmade, if he's not reading or writing he can often be found practicing leathercraft.


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