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How to Create a Link That Sends an SMS Text Message

Did you know you can create a link to launch and send text messages? Here's everything you need to get started.

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Links need no introduction. They’re everywhere on the internet, literally.

In HTML, links are defined with the <a> tag.

They also contain an href attribute that specifies where the link should, well, link to. Many developers know that they can launch an email using “href=”mailto:[email protected].” You can also start a phone call using “href=”tel:+1954123555.”

But few people know that you can launch the SMS app on your website visitors’ phones with an HTML link.

The goal is always to make starting a conversation as easy as possible for your customers – and a Click to Text link is one of the best ways to do just that.

What is a Click to Text Link?

Click to Text is exactly what it says – you click on a link, and your native messaging app will pop up on your phone, with the recipient’s number auto-populated in the ‘To’ box.

Sometimes, the link isn’t obviously a link. You can create an HTML link on most areas of a website, and it doesn’t have to be in-text.

You could find a Click to Text link in:

  • A site’s drop-down menu or main navigation bar
  • A contact page
  • Images
  • A Call to Action text
  • Website Buttons
  • Email signatures

It only takes a couple of minutes to create an HTML link that sends a text. Not only does it alllow you to auto-fill the recipient’s phone number, you can also pre-popular SMS body text via the HTML link.

When we said we want to make life easier for customers, we meant it.

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How to Create a Click to Text Link

If you’re looking to increase customer engagement, grow your contact list or make inbound customer service simpler for your customers, follow these steps to create a Click to Text link for your website.

1. Write Your Link Text

This is the text that your website visitors will read and click on. Keep it simple, and be sure to make it clear what will happen when they click. For example, “Click here to send us a text.”

2. Write Your Default SMS Message

When visitors click on your link, their SMS app will be launched with a pre-written message.

Consider who your users are, what they’re looking for, and why they’re communicating with you. Then go ahead and write your default message.

A restaurant, for example, may want to use the message, “Hi there, I’d like to place an order for…” Be sure to place your message through a URL encoder.

3. Create Your Hyperlink

Now that you have the link text and SMS message written, it’s time to put the two together.

If you’ve ever added an HTML link to your website, the process for creating a Click to Text link is exactly the same. Set up your href attribute like this:

<a href="sms:+18664504185?&body=Hi%2520there%252C%2520I%2527d%2520like%2520to%2520place%2520an%2520order%2520for...">Click here to text us!</a>

💡SimpleTexting Tip: Gmail and Outlook strip HREF tags, so in order to circumvent any SMS protocol-related speed bumps, try to use an email service like MailChimp!

Free Click-to-Text Button Generator

What’s better than sending SMS texts from a link? Sending them from an attention-grabbing button.

We make it unbelievably easy for you to add a button to your site that launches your customer’s native text messaging app.

Our free click-to-text button generator also allows you to prewrite the SMS and prefill your contact details.

two steps to setting up a click-to-text link and button in screenshots

The best part is that this tool requires no design or coding experience. Everything from the prewritten SMS to the icon to the font type is easily customizable.

Once you are happy with your creation, all you have to do is paste the automatically generated code into the footer of the pages where you want your button to appear.

Get a click-to-text button on your website in 10-minutes. (You don’t even need to be a SimpleTexting customer.)

Free Mobile Sign-Up Widget

Click-to-text buttons are great for providing SMS customer service or generating inbound sales inquiries. However, if you want an easy way to promote your keyword, then consider our free mobile sign-up widget.

When visitors click on the button, it opens up a pop-up graphic that provides more details about your promotional SMS program.

Upon clicking the pop-up, your customer’s native text messaging app is opened, with the keyword typed out and your contact details prefilled.

three steps to setting up a click to text button with screenshots

Similarly to the click-to-text button, everything is 100% customizable. No need to take our word for how easy it is to build, try it out today.

Hiding Your Link on Mobile and Other Challenges

As with all new technologies, there are still some discrepancies across operating systems and devices.

Even though many desktops and laptops are capable of sending SMS messages, these links work best on mobile devices. We recommend hiding your Click to Text link on desktop. Some versions of iOS don’t accept pre-written messages. Use an analytics tool to determine what OS the majority of your visitors use, then adjust accordingly.

It’s Easy to Add Texting to Your Website

The internet has finally come around to the realization that consumers prefer communicating with brands via text message.

Making it easy for your customers to access you by text is the key to building a contact list – and that’s where your Click to Text link comes in. To get started, sign up for our two-week free trial to find out how easy we make texting. Or, reach out to our support team by clicking the blue chat bubble in the corner of your screen. We’re here for you.

Alfredo Salked
Alfredo Salked

Alfredo leads the marketing team at SimpleTexting. In addition to writing about SMS, he also talks about it—literally. Our how-to videos are narrated by him.

More Posts from Alfredo Salked
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