How can I fix broken iMessage links when sending SMS?
Thanks to you guys we’ve been made aware of an issue with broken iMessage links that is 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 the platform. After further testing, we were able to determine that this issue was consistently occurring on iPhones running iOS 11.2 or later.
What specifically is causing these broken iMessage links?
Disabled hyperlinks are not occurring in every outgoing every 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 you can see the “$” has broken the hyperlink.
In the image, you can see the word “dollars” has broken the hyperlink.
Take a look at the image you can see the word “USD” has broken the hyperlink.
Finally, looking at the image you can see the word “bucks” has broken the hyperlink.
These items are commonly used in your messages, specifically when listing prices, such as “$10” or “ 20 bucks”. Obviously, a plain text or not clickable hyperlink creates 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.
How can I fix these broken iMessage links for my subscribers?
The root of this bug is in Apple’s iOS software and must be corrected by Apple. Unfortunately, there isn’t a fix that AvidMobile can put into place to correct the iOS bug, but to help you send your intended message, we’ve come up with five work-a-rounds to combat the broken hyperlinks. We’ve listed them for you below.
5 Ways to fix the broken iMessage links.
- Remove the offending character or word.
In some cases, the dollar sign or the words USD, dollars, or bucks may not be essential to your message. If this if this is the case you can quickly fix your hyperlink by removing the character or word. In our example below we removed the dollar sign to make the link clickable in iMessage.
- Follow the offending 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.
- Delete the space between the number(s) and offending word.
As marketers we get it, your brand has it’s own voice. The word dollars or bucks may be essential to keeping that 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.
- Get a little more 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 buckeroos, moola, and bacon can add a new twist to your message without breaking the hyperlink in iMessage. Just remember the word “dinero” may not work best for a high-end establishment. However, the phrase “big ones” works perfectly in our car wash’s SMS message.
- Use the £, €, or ¢ signs instead.
This is the worst option which is why we put it last aka we don’t suggest doing this. Hopefully, you picked one of the other options 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 or use the Alt Code for the character.
Make sure you check with your provider to confirm that they can process these characters properly.
- Remove the offending character or word.
Shortcuts for Alt codes.
- £ – ALT 156
- 2. € – ALT 0128
- 3. ¢ – ALT 155
Don’t let this bug create issues with your marketing text messages. As marketers, we understand that it’s imperative that your messages are delivered and work as expected. Please take a moment to review your active Keywords and any outgoing Campaigns. Please make sure you’ve used one of the workarounds to ensure your hyperlinks work on all devices.
If you’d like to submit a Bug Report to Apple in hopes that they correct this sooner, click here.
AvidMobile’s blog is a great resource for news, updates, and SMS marketing advice, to read more click here.