How can I avoid broken links in iMessage when sending SMS?

Modified on Mon, 31 Oct 2022 at 09:16 AM

Thanks to all of our great clients we are aware of an issue with broken links in iMessage that is ultimately caused by a bug in Apple’s iOS. This iOS bug is version-specific and renders a hyperlink unclickable under certain circumstances. We first became aware of the issue when we received several support requests from users reporting that they were unable to click on hyperlinks in text messages being sent from our platform. We have been able to determine that this issue was consistently occurring on iPhones running iOS 11.2 or later.

What can cause the links not to work?

Disabled hyperlinks are not occurring in every outgoing SMS campaign. In fact, we’ve discovered that this iOS bug will disable a hyperlink if the $ symbol or one of the following words: dollars, USD, or bucks, are used in a Campaigns message copy.
Looking at the image below you can see this text with the “$” has a broken hyperlink.

In this next image, you can see a text including the word “dollars” has a brokenhyperlink.

Also, this image of a text using the word “USD” has broken the hyperlink.

Last but not least, looking at the image of a text using the word “bucks” also has broken the hyperlink.

These items are commonly used in marketing messages, specifically when listing prices, such as “$10” or “ 20 bucks”. Obviously, plain text or non-clickable hyperlinks creat a poor experience for your audience. More importantly, a non-clickable URL makes it rather difficult to drive traffic to your site. Currently, this issue is only affecting a subset of iPhones and has no impact on Android devices.

Why is it not fixed?

The root of this bug is in Apple’s iOS software and must be corrected by Apple. Unfortunately, there isn’t a fix that Referrizer can put into place to correct the iOS bug, but to help you send your intended message with a working link, we’ve come up with five work-a-rounds to combat the broken hyperlinks. We’ve listed them for you below.

5 Ways to maintain always clickable links.

  1. Do not use the aforementioned characters/words - In some cases, the dollar sign or the words USD, dollars, or bucks may not be essential to your message. If this is the case, you can quickly fix your hyperlink by removing the character or word completely and get a little creative. In our example below we removed the dollar sign to make the link clickable in iMessage.

  2. Follow the problematic character or word with a dash - Sometimes your message just won’t make sense without listing the specific dollar value. For this particular situation, we’ve found that by adding a dash directly after the price will make the hyperlink clickable. In the text message below you can see that we simply added a “-” to $10 and our iMessage link is now clickable.

  3. Delete the space between the number(s) and offending word - The word dollars or bucks may be essential to keeping your voice. Don’t worry, we’ve got a simple fix to make sure iMessage hyperlinks remain clickable. All you have to do is delete the space between the numerical value and the word and dollars, bucks, or USD. You can see for yourself in the image below, we deleted the space between “10” and “USD” and our iMessage link is clickable.
  4. Have fun and get a little creative with your terminology - With any workaround thinking outside the box is essential to finding a solution. For those looking to add a little lighthearted humor to their SMS messages, you may want to use slang. For example, words like dinero, big ones, buckeroos, moola, and cheddar can add a new twist to your message without breaking the hyperlink in iMessage. Just remember the word “buckeroos” may not work best for all businesses and clientele.
  5. Use the £, €, or ¢ signs instead - This is in our opinion the worst option which is why it is definitely last. We do not endorse this one as it is the most difficult to use unless you are outside the US of course. Hopefully, you were able to use one of the other solutions and moved forward with that, but if you want to use awkward characters that won’t actually make sense, you can do that and the hyperlink will work in iMessage. Since some of these characters are not on the normal QWERTY keyboard, you will need to Copy and Paste them from another source.

If you’d like to submit a Bug Report to Apple in hopes that they correct this sooner, please do, the more voices heard the better :)

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