An SMS link is a form of contact built into your website. When a customer visits your site on a mobile device, they click the relevant HTML link. Doing so prompts their device to open its messaging service so they can send a text. The purpose is to offer a fast and convenient form of communication.
SMS texting requires an HTML link similar to one that opens an email to your business. But, rather than using an HTML link with mailto:, it uses sms: to open the device’s default messaging service.
How to Create an SMS Link to Your Website
Luckily, the process for how to create an HTML link for SMS texting is pretty easy, even if you don’t know the code. Here are the steps for creating an SMS link on your website.
1. Write Your Link Text
Your link text is what customers see on your website that they click to begin the process. As with other forms of contact, it doesn’t need to be long or complicated. Something like “click here to message us” is more than enough.
Alternatively, you could use an image or turn an email signature into an SMS link. Whatever you use, make sure it’s clear that your customers can use it for contact.
2. Write Your Default SMS Message
The next step is to write the actual SMS message. Note, this is the message the customer sends to you, as on some devices you can populate a message with some default text.
Again, it should be short and professional. Some examples include:
- I’d like to book an appointment.
- I’d like to sign up to your newsletter.
- I need assistance with your product/service.
3. Choose the Type of SMS Link
How you set up the SMS link on your site is up to you. The main options are a text link or button link. Text links are easier to do, while button links might need some knowledge of CSS.
It doesn’t matter which you choose – it depends on your site’s look and layout. Both link types achieve the same ends.
4. Add the HTML Code
Now comes the most important step: adding the HTML for text links. What this looks like will depend on your website service and builder.
It could be as simple as sms:[phonenumber] or you might need to use the full HTML code:
<a href=”sms:[phone number]&body=[default message]”>[link text]</a>
Here, you’d add your business phone number and default message in the square brackets.
5. Test Your SMS Link
Finally, you’ll want to run a test to make sure the link works. This is pretty simple: visit your website on your phone and click the SMS link. Next, check your business number/account to see if the message shows up. Providing it does, everything has worked.
Why Does Your Website Need an SMS Link?
The benefits of SMS texting may be obvious, but here are the most important:
- It gives customers a fast and easy way to reach you. Sure, email and contact forms are fine, but clicking an SMS link opens an app and auto-fills a message.
- Manage communications in one place. Using an SMS link means you can manage business SMS messages (and most communications) in a single location. This means you’re less likely to miss things.
- Convert customers. The easier you make things for customers, the more likely they are to return.
Things to Know When Creating Your Link
We’ve covered the basics of creating an SMS link for your business. But here are some important things to be aware of when setting it up:
Know What Devices Customers Use
SMS texting only works for mobile devices, so it’s only worth setting up if your customers actually visit your site on mobile. Similarly, you can tailor the service to specific operating systems.
Use something like Google Analytics to check what browsers and OS your customers use. Then create an HTML link that caters directly to these devices. For example, some versions of iOS don’t support message population, which might make this step pointless.
Add a Dedicated Number
Your customer’s messages will obviously be sent to a business number. Make sure you set one up specifically for dealing with bulk messages of this kind. Doing so gives you a dedicated location for linking SMS messages, meaning other ones don’t get lost.
Use Auto-Replies for Out of Hours
No business is open 24/7, but customers can contact you any time of day. To manage expectations, set up an auto-reply. You should activate this when your business isn’t open to ensure customers know not to expect a response immediately.
It only needs to be something simple like, “Thanks for your message. Our business hours are 9-5, so we will respond to your message then.”
Set Up Snippets for Fast Replies
Some messaging services will let you create snippets for easier responses. These are pre-written replies to common queries.
For example, if you’ve set up a default message asking for an appointment, your snippet could be a link to a booking page. Alternatively, it could be responses to FAQs.
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About the Writer
B2B marketing specialist with expertise in lead generation through text messaging. Unlock your business potential with his proven strategies.