Why Every SMS Marketing Text Should Include a Tracking Link

August 19, 2022 | By Jake Meador
Why Every SMS Marketing Text Should Include a Tracking Link

Good marketing is made up of equal parts:

  • Creativity
  • Intelligence
  • Technology

And you really do need all three.

Your customers are saturated with ads so you need creativity to stand out. You also need the smarts to know how to creatively pitch your product to your prospects and convert them into customers.

But these two things alone aren’t enough.

If you only have creativity and smarts but don’t have any way of actually tracking your campaigns, then you’ll have no idea what campaigns succeeded and what ones failed. And that is the kind of ignorance that will cost you a lot of money over time. This is why we encourage everyone who uses SMS marketing to include a tracking link in every message they send.

This section is a technical explanation of how tracking links work. If you want to understand the technology, continue. If you aren’t worried about that and just want to know why tracking is beneficial, you can skip down to “Why should I use tracking links?”

Analytics software is software you can install on your store or business’s website to tell you about how many people are visiting your site, how they are getting to your website, what they’re doing on the site, and so on.

Google Analytics is the most common analytics software. But you can also get such software from Adobe or from marketing tech companies like Hubspot. (Mobile Text Alerts provides analytics data for customers that tells them how their texts are performing.)

Tracking methods

Mobile Text Alerts’s SMS marketing software includes a link tracking feature that is built into the software, allowing you to see analytics data for your texts that you have sent using the software. This is the easiest way to handle link tracking if you are an MTA partner.

If you are not a Mobile Text Alerts user, it is still important that you use tracking links in your SMS messages. The most straightforward way of doing that is through UTM codes. You can use UTM codes to insert tracking links. UTM codes work by adding a query extension to the end of the domain that you want people to click. That said, if you use UTM codes the link will get much longer and could take up much of your text message. So if it all possible, you should use a link shortener.

Every web page you visit exists on a certain domain. To access the page, you have to type in a string of characters into your browser which tell the browser what website or web page you want to access.

Different parts of that domain have different roles. For example, here is a web page on the Mobile Text Alerts website:


Let’s break down that text a bit more:


https:// is the ‘protocol.’ If the protocol is http://, that tells the browser that the website is not secure. If it is https:// that tells the browser that the site is secure.


Mobile-text-alerts.com is the domain name of the website. The domain is where the website ‘lives’ on the internet.


/articles/how-to-generate-more-leads-with-sms-marketing is the path on the website that specifies what particular content on the website the browser is supposed to display.

Tracking Code

Finally, ?utm_source=paid&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=blog is the tracking code. What this particular code tells your analytics software is that anyone accessing the web content using this link came in via a Facebook ad campaign that drives traffic to your blog. ‘utm_source=paid’ indicates the traffic is paid traffic rather than free traffic. ‘utm_medium=facebook’ indicates the paid traffic is from Facebook. ‘utm_campaign=blog’ indicates it is for the blog campaign you are running on Facebook ads.

You can generate your own tracking codes with this tool from Google.

Thanks to tracking links, you can have reliable data on exactly how many people are coming to your website via a given marketing or advertising campaign. In the example above, the tracking link will tell you how a particular Facebook ad campaign is performing, which helps you know if you are seeing sufficient ROI on your ad spend with Facebook.

That, of course, is the entire point of tracking links. You don’t want to guess as to how well a marketing campaign is performing. You dedicate a lot of time and money to both marketing and advertising. You need to know if they’re performing.

In fact, if you know which campaigns are performing, you can stop spending on failing campaigns and redirect those funds to campaigns that are succeeding.

Put another way, simply using tracking links can have enormous ramifications for your business because it gives you solid information that can guide future marketing and advertising choices.

No! Most SMS marketing software includes a feature that allows you to include link tracking in every marketing message you send out.

Mobile Text Alerts includes a feature that allows you to do this. So every time you send out a text message, you can see how many people it was sent to and how many clicked the link in the text.

There are two reasons. First, if you are linking internally on your website—such as linking to a blog post from your home page—you should not use UTM codes because that will create errors in your website analytics data.

Second, using a tracking link usually requires taking an additional step when you’re getting ready to share web content, whether that’s being shared via email, social media, or text messaging. There are times where that extra step may not be worth it to you.

If you have a website you run as a personal hobby, you probably don’t care a ton about where your traffic comes from because you may not care that much about your traffic numbers.

However, if you are a business there isn’t really any reason not to use tracking links. Your website is a business expense. Hopefully it’s an expense that behaves like an investment in that the expense actually pays for itself and more through the value it provides you.

But it is still an expense.

And if you want to be confident that it really is an investment and not just an expense, you need data. Otherwise you’re just guessing. And if you want data, you’ll want to use tracking links to give you more complete, thorough data.

If you are interested in an SMS marketing solution that helps you reach your prospects and have reliable data to evaluate your marketing efforts, you can sign up for a free trial with Mobile Text Alerts in about 30 seconds. We would love to show you how texting can become an integral part of your marketing success.

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