Crafting URLs to Send SMS Messages: A Comprehensive Guide

The capability to send SMS messages directly from a website can be a powerful tool for many businesses. It can facilitate instantaneous communication, helping to improve customer engagement, retention, and satisfaction. This article will guide you through the process of crafting URLs to send SMS messages.

What is an SMS Link?

An SMS link is a specific type of URL that triggers the sending of an SMS or text message. These are commonly used in web development to allow users to send a text message with predefined content to a specific number.

Similar to how a mailto: URL can initiate an email when clicked, an SMS link uses the sms: protocol to open the user’s default messaging app, pre-filled with the number and optionally a body for the text message.

SMS Messages Helper

Generated SMS link (click or copy):


The sms: scheme is not universally supported across all browsers and devices. Typically, mobile browsers have better support for the sms: scheme than desktop browsers. Here’s a general guideline:

  1. Mobile Browsers: Safari on iOS, Chrome, and Firefox on Android all support the sms: scheme.
  2. Desktop Browsers: Safari on macOS supports the sms: scheme, but Chrome, Firefox, and Edge on Windows do not.

Given this inconsistent support, it’s not always reliable to depend on the sms: scheme for sending SMS messages from a webpage.

JavaScript to Determine Compatibility

function isSmsSupported() {
    var a = document.createElement('a');
    a.href = 'sms:123';
    return a.protocol === 'sms:';

Basic Syntax for an SMS URL

The basic format of an SMS link is straightforward. It begins with sms: followed by the phone number to which the text is to be sent. Here’s an example:

htmlCopy code<a href="sms:1234567890">Send a text</a>

Clicking on this link will open the user’s default messaging app with the number 1234567890 pre-filled.

Adding Predefined Text to Your SMS URL

To enhance the utility of your SMS links, you can include a default message that will be pre-filled in the user’s messaging app when they click the link. You can do this by adding &body= or ?body= (depending on device compatibility) and your desired message to the URL. Here’s how:

htmlCopy code<a href="sms:1234567890?body=Hello, this is a predefined message.">Send a text</a>

Now, clicking on this link will open the user’s messaging app with the number 1234567890 and the message “Hello, this is a predefined message.” pre-filled.

Ensuring Cross-Platform Compatibility

While the basic syntax of an SMS URL tends to work across platforms, there can be some discrepancies between different operating systems and devices. For example, iOS and Android handle SMS links slightly differently.

In particular, Android devices use ?body= to denote the beginning of the text message, while iOS devices use &body=. If you want to ensure cross-platform compatibility, you can include both, like this:

htmlCopy code<a href="sms:1234567890?body=Hello, this is a predefined message.&body=Hello, this is a predefined message.">Send a text</a>

This should work across both iOS and Android devices.

URL Encoding for Special Characters and Spaces

If your default message includes spaces, special characters, or non-ASCII characters, you’ll need to URL encode them to ensure they’re interpreted correctly. URL encoding involves replacing these characters with a percent symbol (%) followed by two hexadecimal digits. For instance, a space would be replaced with %20.

If you’re writing your SMS link in JavaScript, you can use the encodeURIComponent() function to do this automatically. Here’s how:

htmlCopy code<script>
var body = "Hello, this is a predefined message.";
var smsString = "sms:1234567890?body=" + encodeURIComponent(body) + "&body=" + encodeURIComponent(body);
document.write('<a href="'+smsString+'">Send a text</a>');

This will generate an SMS link with the body text URL encoded to ensure any special characters are correctly interpreted.


Crafting URLs to send SMS messages can be an efficient method for enabling rapid communication directly from your website. With a clear understanding of the basic syntax, cross-platform compatibility considerations, and the importance of URL encoding, you can seamlessly

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