More Blog Posts

How to Create a Link That Sends an SMS Text Message

Learn everything you need to know to create a click-to-text link to launch and send SMS messages.

Featured image for the article

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

Links can give your customers an easy way to text you to book an appointment, buy your products, sign up for events, or take any other action that helps your bottom line.

If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you know that you can create a link that launches the SMS app on your customers’ phones using HTML and you’re looking to find out how.

Let’s hold it right there. I don’t know about you, but I nearly faint when I hear “HTML.” Code isn’t my favorite thing in the world to work with, but even I can set up useful Click-to-text links on a website. I’ll explain the process right here.


What is a Click-to-text Link?

A click-to-text link is a link that triggers a phone’s native messaging app with the recipient’s number auto-populated in the ‘To’ box. Simple as that.

Click-to-text links are also versatile. You can create and add an HTML link to most areas of a website, and it doesn’t have to be placed in a line of text.

You can often find click-to-text links in:

  • A site’s drop-down menu or main navigation bar
  • A “Contact us” page
  • Embedded images
  • A call-to-action line of text
  • Website buttons

It only takes a couple of minutes to create an HTML link that sends a text. Not only do these links allow you to auto-fill the recipient’s phone number, but you can also pre-populate an actual SMS message using the same link.

How to Create a Click-to-text Link

If you’re looking to increase customer engagement, grow your contact lists, or make customer service simpler for your audience, here’s the rundown on how 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 let readers know what will happen when they click. Something like, “Click here to send us a text.”

2. Write Your Default SMS Message

When visitors click on your link, their default SMS app will launch with a pre-written message they can send you.

As you write your default message, consider who your users are, what they’re looking for, and why they’re communicating with you. 

Make sure your first message gives them a taste of what they’re seeking and invites them to engage with you.

Welcome to text alerts from Jim’s Bistro! Reply back with your name and order, check out our menu at [link], or ask about our rewards program.

3. Create Your Hyperlink

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

Without going down the coding rabbit hole, in HTML, links are defined with the <a> tag.

They also contain an “href” tag that defines where the link should lead. 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 tag like this:

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

Just make sure to replace the number after “sms:+” with your number and add your text’s copy after “body=” with a “%” symbol after each word (you’ll also want to change “Click here to text us!” with whatever text you’d like visitors to click on.

Start Sending Texts Today

We’re confident you’ll love how easy it is to text your customers with SimpleTexting. That’s why we let you try it free for two weeks, no credit card required.

No credit card required

How to Set Up Click-to-text Link Alternatives

Not into click-to-text links, or looking to diversify the ways you bring customers to your text lists? I’ve got you. Here are a couple of the most popular click-to-text tools.

Free Click-to-text Button Generator

If you’re worried about your link getting lost on your website, opt for an attention-grabbing button instead.

Several SMS platforms (SimpleTexting included) let you add a button to your mobile site that launches your customers’ native text messaging app.

Our free click-to-text button generator also allows you to pre-write the message contacts will send you and pre-populate your contact details.

A click-to-text button in action

The best part is that this tool requires no design or coding experience (thank goodness). Everything from the pre-written SMS message to the icon to the font type is easily customizable.

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

Mobile Sign-up Widget

Click-to-text buttons are great for providing SMS customer service or bringing in sales leads. However, if you’re using an opt-in keyword and want an easy way to promote it, then consider a mobile sign-up widget.

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

Upon clicking the pop-up, your customer’s native text messaging app will open with the keyword typed out and your contact details prefilled. Similarly to the click-to-text button, everything is 100% customizable. 

How a mobile sign-up widget works

Click-to-text Link Best Practices

  • Hide your link in desktop mode. Even though many desktops and laptops are capable of sending SMS messages, these links work best on mobile devices. 
  • Check your link’s compatibility. Some versions of iOS don’t accept pre-written messages. Use an analytics tool like Google Analytics to determine what OS the majority of your visitors use, then adjust accordingly.
  • Avoid spammy language. We’ve all seen a link that looks suspicious. Don’t use all caps or language like “FREE,” “BUY NOW,” or “$$$.” This will just turn your visitors off and could even lead to carrier filtering.
  • Be sure you have a compliance message set up. Make sure you clearly state your brand’s name, how often contacts can expect to get texts, what type of messages you’ll send them, and how they can unsubscribe from your texts. If you use SimpleTexting, your compliance message is automated and free.

Turn Website Visitors into Engaged Text Contacts

Excellent texting programs are a two-way street. You want to be able to reach your customers, and they want to be able to reach you.

Making it easy for your customers to access you by text is the key to building an engaged, loyal contact list – and that’s where your Click-to-text link comes in. 

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

Send Your First Message in Minutes

Start a text marketing campaign or have a 1-on-1 conversation today. It's risk free. Sign up for a free 14-day trial today to see SimpleTexting in action.

Try Us Free

No credit card required