What if I said there is a way to reach your customers anywhere in the world at the touch of a button? It may seem like a bold claim but 3.8 billion smartphones are circulating the globe as we speak and the number is on the rise every year. From the back-pocket to the office, a simple SMS link can go a long way and can go even further for the growth of your business.
Sending SMS links to customers is the way forward for startups and fortune 500 companies alike. The best part? - it's easy, really easy. Every app, website or survey is a linkable-item. Read on to discover more about using SMS links.
Here are a few examples of what those might look like:
“Hi Mike, thanks for signing up, you can download the Verigator app at https://tinyurl.com/y8qz586q”
“Hi Kate, the API documentation can be found at https://tinyurl.com/ybtxzwlz, let us know if you have any questions at email@example.com”
As the standard SMS length is only 160 characters and most links are pretty long (usually between 40 to 100 characters), they can eat up the necessary space in your message. As well as contain characters that may lead to even longer messages due to those characters being from the Unicode character set.
Wish to know more? Here's everything you need to know about SMS API providers!
Therefore we suggest using an URL shortening tool, which helps make long links and hyperlinks shorter (as highlighted in the examples above). Plus, most of the URL shortening tools on the market provide you with additional feedback on how many clicks were made and where they came from.
This helps with both the SMS length issue as well as provides some data to measure the effectiveness of your SMS campaigns sent through an SMS API.
Here is a selection of different URL shortening service providers that we recommend:
To make sure that no additional issues arise with message length or wrong characters, feel free to use our SMS length calculator to ensure that your text fits into a single message.
Branded links and spam filters
While there isn't a single approach to this, there are criteria that should be taken into consideration when using link shorteners.
When there is a spam-related filtering system applied, there is a far larger likelihood that the non-branded URLs might not get delivered. Though no actual rule is implemented. This is because the bit.ly type URLs have been used for spam and phishing or spoofing purposes.
The filtering itself is very market dependent and follows the trends that the market has overall (e.g. EU markets being more strict), though the non-branded ones might still be fine if the accounts themselves are whitelisted beforehand.
Although using non-branded shortened links might still work, we strongly recommend using branded links. This will reduce delivery problems and lessens the need for whitelisting links.
What about Hyperlinks I hear you ask?
While hyperlinks may sound more impressive, they are useless on many outdated devices. However, IOS 10 and IOS 11 mobiles have a preview feature to indicate what the content on the link looks like. The preview contains an image, title and short description.
You can use regular links for any text or SMS message or a shortened URL, both of these will work on any mobile device. Still confused about the difference? Below we compare the main differences between links and hyperlinks.
Links vs Hyperlinks
Links and hyperlinks both play the same role - directing you to a website. However, a hyperlink looks different.
A hyperlink is coloured and underlined and usually comes in the form of a single word or phrase. A link is the entire URL of the website or domain.
A customer receiving a link via a text on their phone is more likely to visit it. In 2021 things move fast and harnessing SMS is not only a more direct form of accessing a message but also a more appealing one.
How to add a link to a text message (SMS)
You have two options:
Type the SMS link in manually
Copy and paste the URL into your SMS text
If you type the URL in, most platforms will recognise it and automatically convert it to the blue underlined text that is recognized as a link. This is where the shortened URL comes into play, pairing this with the copy and paste feature mentioned above can result in quite the powerhouse of SMS linking abilities - being able to access near infinite customer mobiles with a single click. Hence our next topic, Click Through Rate or CTR.
What is Click Through Rate (CTR)?
SMS links create an opportunity to send a user or customer to a product or page. The question naturally arises, how do I find out how many people clicked my link? - The answer is a helpful metric known as the CTR. It comes from taking your number of clicks and dividing it by the number of messages delivered, then multiplying it by 100 to get the percentage.
Here is an example:
You send 250 messages out to people's mobiles and the link was clicked 100 times.
To find the CTR, Use this formula:
If you multiply 0.4 by 100 it will give you the percentage of people that clicked on your link. Using our example, 40% of the people you sent an SMS to clicked on the link you sent them.
How to track Click Through Rate (CTR)?
Once your URL is shortened and sharpened, it is now time to observe the link as it flourishes which can be done live and in real-time. You can track SMS clicks through the Analytics menu. Or if you are a Google Analytics person, simply view your SMS analytics through the Campaigns tab.
Google Analytics offers a detailed breakdown of your SMS campaign which may allow you to visualise your SMS success clearer and even foresee trends.
How links can boost your business
1. Reach new audiences
If expanding your business is your aim, SMS links will aid you in your ventures. Text-like campaigns can recruit customers and spread like wildfire, especially if you target trends.
2. Notify customers
Alerts, reminders and events all fall under the list of notifications you can send to your customers. A new product range hitting your marketplace can shine through your outreaching efforts via a text message.
3. Spread the news
Word spreads fast, but not as fast as SMS links. Daily news can be easily linked via SMS and even more easily accessed on a mobile device.
4. Share updates
It's the ease of access that is so appealing. Let's say you are offering a summer sale of 50% off all products on your website. By the time your email notification enters their mailbox, it has already been carefully filed into the junk tab. SMS is more intimate and has a more personal vibe than emails.
How many times does the “Average Joe” sift through emails per day? The answer- not a lot. Let's be honest, it gets boring. More than half of all Americans check their phones 160 times a day. The power of business exposure lies within the mobile - a text message isn't as hassling and provides a more organic way to connect to your target audience.
Linking content via SMS is a must in 2021 if you want to expand and grow. Utilising our tips will grant you an extra tool in your outreach arsenal.