Utilizing Links and Phone Numbers

Did you know that you can put more than just text in your text message promotions. Derek Johnson, CEO of Tatango discusses including website links and phone numbers in text message promotions, and some words of caution for using website links.


Video Transcription

Hey everyone, Derek Johnson with Tatango.com. Today I’m going to be talking about supercharging your text messaging campaigns with web links and phone numbers. A lot of people think 160 characters, all you can put in is just text. Yes, that’s true, but you can also add phone numbers and web links. Let me explain how that works.

First one, web links, you can put in a link to a website, a mobile-enabled website, a video within the text message. One of the things that you want to watch out for if you have a really long link like Tatango.com/smscasestudies/resources, what you want to do is you want to use a URL shortener. If you go to Google and type “URL shortener,” you’ll find a million of them. That will take that big long link and make it really, really small.

The problem with incorporating web links is if you make it the main call to action. What I mean by this is let’s say it’s a text message campaign out to customers of a restaurant. It says, “Click on this link for a 30% off coupon.” The problem is that only 30% of people in the United States actually have access to the mobile web on their phone. So if you send it out to 1,000 people, only 300 of your customers will even be able to see that discount. So you have to watch out there.

What I say for web links, at least right now, in the future, they’re projecting at the end of 2011, that this 30% will turn into 50%. 2012 is just going to keep growing. So again, I think web links in the future will be huge, but right now you’ve got to kind of play it safe. What that means is don’t make it the main call to action. As an example, you could say, “Show this text message for 30% off a pizza,” and at the bottom say, “Watch how this pizza is being made on our special YouTube video.” Then they can click that link. It’s not discounting the 70% of people who couldn’t even click that link. They still get the value in the text message.

The second one, which is super cool which nobody ever does, is puts phone numbers in the text message. Why the heck would I want to put a phone number in a text message? Well, it’s very simple. What you can do is what we call “click to call.” Let’s say that pizza place, you have too many people coming in to the store already, but nobody is ordering via phone. Nobody’s coming in and picking up pizzas, and that makes you a lot of money for some reason. In the text message, you want to say, “Call us at 206-334- 4012 and order a pizza and receive 20% off for pick-up only.” What’s great is most phones, even feature phones, which what we call “dumb phones” that just have text messaging and phone call service, they can always click that phone number or just click on that phone number and connect right to that pizza place. This is something that is very, very rarely used, but I think should be used way more than it currently is. So if you’re a restaurant, if you’re a business, a retail store, and you have a reason for customers to connect with you via phone, try this. It is going to have tremendous results for you.

Again, remember to use web links, but use them at the bottom of the message and not the call to action. Hopefully, this helps explain how you can use both web links and phone numbers within your own SMS campaign.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com