Links in SMS – it’s time to think beyond 160 characters in mobile messaging

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For a recipient, a link in a text message opens the door to a wealth of information that’s in the palm of their hands in seconds, just like an email. Textlocal were first to market with a short URL creator over two years ago, meaning businesses using mobile no longer have to feel the constraints of 160 character limit. After all, your customers are what keep your business thriving from one day to the next; naturally you have more to say than 160 characters.

The immediate benefit of including a URL in a text message are quite obvious; add a link to somewhere else that can host a lot more information, like a website for instance. But what really makes short links and URLs so clever is what happens after. Messenger’s reporting will tell you not only who clicked through on your link and when, but also what kind of mobile device is being used. This pioneering concept for the humble text message gives marketers the additional information they crave to see a marketing campaign through, whether it be with a follow up text message, an email or a phone call to those who have acted upon a message.

Using links in SMS has paved the way for some of the most innovative features to be added to the Messenger platform. Mobile web pages, Attachments and Mobile surveys and forms are all possible thank to the notion of saving a few of those precious characters for a page link or a short link.

For example, a restaurant can send their menu via a link to customers with a special offer, or a satisfaction survey, contained in the text message. By checking Messenger reports, they can see exactly who clicked trough to the menu, so should they wish, a tailored and very targeted last minute campaign can be sent during typically quiet times. Using the Attachments tool, even small restaurants or fast food chains can send their menu, even with no online content, as Textlocal will securely host the file online. Alternatively, a mobile landing page can be created with the Mobile Web Page tool for free, creating a bespoke and targeted link for a particular campaign.

What Mobile surveys and forms offer is not only a simple and effective communication tool for businesses, but also a sleek and user-friendly experience for the end user, starting with the simple click of a link in a text message. These mobile data capture forms come at the opportune time, after a piece of YouGov research recently revealed that 63% of Brits have their mobile phone with them almost all, or all of the time. Retrieving information and opinion from customers may once have been a laborious and tedious task while waiting for them to respond to emails, letters and calls.  Now the information can be submitted back to you while your customer completes the mobile form in the mobile form in a waiting room, on a lunch break or on the bus.

The possibilities for your business when incorporating links in SMS have huge potential, regardless of your size or sector. The stats on SMS that have dominated the industry for years have now become the medium of choice to transmit advancing technologies, supported by the growth in internet and smartphone usage.

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