This complete guide will unravel the intricacies of sending HTML text links in messages, so you can follow best practices when leading text subscribers to your next offer.

The world of advertising is like an increasingly crowded marketplace where a text message stands out as the town crier. If you understand how to leverage the potential of bulk SMS, you can boost your marketing results across the board.

What’s SMS Text Links?

You can encounter a couple of scenarios where hyperlinks interact with SMS, so to avoid any confusion, let’s cover the basics.

Sometimes, marketers will talk about an SMS URL when they include a link on a landing page. That link will prompt website visitors’ devices to open the messages app with a prefilled text. This URL to send an SMS is similar to a mailto link, but it’s not what we’ll be talking about.

When we say “SMS Text Links” we mean a hyperlink that’s included within a text message, so the recipient can open it, whether it leads to a PDF file, or a social media post. Doing so can have many advantages, considering that click-through rates in text messaging can be up to 15% higher than those of email marketing campaigns. You can leverage the higher engagement rates of an SMS text, the rich media experience and added functionality of email.

Improving Your SMS Messaging

It may seem like an obvious choice, but there’s more to it than the mere opportunity to tap. An SMS text message trumps most marketing channels, because it lets you reach every mobile phone.  An older mobile device may not even support clickable hyperlinks in SMS messages yet, thus defeating the advantage this platform offers. Depending on the message that goes along with the link, it may also be a question of reducing the character count. After all, those links can be long, and not everybody uses a link shortening service.

Even if you do use one, some carriers might flag messages including links as spam, and that goes together with the habits of many cautious users who may hesitate to click on your link, thus hurting your results. Before you send that link, it’s important to understand your audience demographics and preferences and possibly segment your list, or adjust strategies accordingly.

Adding a Hyperlink to a Text Message for Business Purposes

Before you add text links to your SMS campaign, it’s best to ensure that you’ve got everything in place. That means your link is relevant to your audience and suits your overall messaging and marketing strategy. Once you’ve sent it, it’s too late to adjust anything.

If you send a registration link, you should’ve beta-tested the entire signup process. If it’s a special offer landing page, you need to ensure the current offer is live and available to your customers. That might sound trivial, but it’s easy to get excited and send off a campaign before checking those details.

To counteract hesitant recipients’ caution, some URL shortening services allow you to brand your URLs or include a known phrase. It’s a small step that could even allow clients to recite your link from memory when they talk about it.

Best Practices for Crafting an Engaging SMS Including a Hyperlink

Whether you’re using a branded, shortened hyperlink or a plain-text version, your actual message will carry most of the workload. Make sure to keep it concise and clear, and to provide a little preview of what recipients can expect at the other end.

Let’s say you’re running a special offer as part of your summer campaign, and you announce it with this SMS:

Exclusive Offer Inside! Click here: for an amazing deal. Limited time only!

The message doesn’t provide any information about what you’re offering, let alone who you are. And, if that wasn’t bad enough, the generic link shortener could make your offer look suspicious, potentially deterring clicks. In short, it looks like a phishing attempt rather than a special offer.

Compare that to this message:

TechGear Flash Sale! Save 20% on our newest gadgets. Explore now: Limited stock!

Be Clear In Your Text Messaging

Give everything your customers need. Your message needs to be clear and to the point. You introduce your brand alongside the event right at the beginning. When your text links are branded, you encourage brand recognition and overall trust in your campaign. The call to action must clearly encourages engagement while providing additional context.

Obviously, crafting a punchy message like this takes some practice. So if you’re new to the SMS marketing game, you should account for a review phase to ensure everything is formatted correctly and your message hits home.

No matter what your setup and preparation looks like, you should leverage the tracking features offered by your chosen URL shortening service with your text links. Analyzing click-through rates can help you gauge the effectiveness of your SMS campaigns and experiment with variants as you move on to improve overall engagement.

How To Track SMS Text Links and Click-Through Rate

Even if SMS marketing is incredibly effective compared to almost any other form of advertising, it still costs money. While it makes sense to account for a certain experimentation phase, you should know where that money goes and what your marketing ROI looks like. The one key metric that lets you do that is your click-through rate (CTR), the percentage of recipients who clicked on a link within your message.

Monitoring your CTR not only allows you to estimate your campaign effectiveness; it also enables you to fine-tune offers and messaging over time. Maybe you’ll notice that one copywriter continuously brings in more clicks or that your customers tend to enjoy different offers than you expected. Whatever it is, hard data lets you identify areas for improvement and determine whether SMS marketing is actively contributing to your business goals.

Text Links Using Shortners

We’ve already mentioned link shorteners, which usually offer built-in analytics to track campaign performance, from click data to geographic location. However, you may choose to track your SMS marketing through Google Analytics, using UTM parameters to track individual SMS links. This gives you more comprehensive insights and lets you track SMS campaigns right alongside organic search results, pay-per-click ads or social media.

Make sure to set up a routine for reviewing your CTR data and regularly analyzing performance metrics to identify trends and patterns, whether they’re related to your business’s seasonality or strategic choices. Every business is different, and it’s always better to learn from yourself than market averages.

Best Practices for Using Links in Your SMS Marketing

Effective language and link usage can make, or break your campaign. Here are some dos and don’ts to enhance your SMS Text Links visibility and effectiveness:


  • Clearly articulate the link’s purpose to boost user understanding and trust.
  • Steer clear of lengthy URLs that clutter messages in favor or shortened, branded links.
  • Opt for concise anchor text that compels clicks without overwhelming the message.
  • Test different link formats to identify what resonates best with your audience.


  • Avoid ambiguity. Make sure recipients understand your link’s purpose before clicking.
  • Say no to long, cumbersome URLs that detract from the message’s clarity.
  • Be aware of generic or uninspiring anchor text that doesn’t specify the desired action.
  • Resist the temptation to overcrowd messages with excessive links.

By adhering to these guidelines, you can optimize your SMS marketing approach, ensuring your recipients don’t just skim your text links but promptly take action.

Level Up Your Texting Game

Hyperlinks stand as indispensable marketing opportunities, guiding users from simple text messages to a world of rich content and engaging experiences. Incorporating hyperlinks effectively can significantly elevate your SMS marketing strategy, but it’s crucial to follow some best practices in terms of formatting and branding not to scare away recipients.

As you delve into SMS communications, Swift SMS Gateway offers seamless integration and advanced features to amplify your messages reach. Book a free demo now and level up your texting game.