Affiliate marketing is all about convincing your audience to take action without being pushy. And it becomes the easiest when your audience already trusts you. 

People use different avenues like social media content, emails, and so on to build that trust. 

But the underdog of them all is text messaging. Ever wonder why big brands still send plain text messages to share their offers? 

That’s because they know that most people won’t even open their fancy and dynamic messages. The open rate of text messages is between 95% and 99%, so text messages ensure that the audience is at least noticing you. 

In today’s blog, we will discuss how you can improve your text messages to boost your affiliate sales. So let’s get started. 

Understanding Text Message Read Rates

Unlike emails, where we can track opens with a sneaky little pixel, text message opens are a bit more cloak and dagger. You can’t track the opening rates of text messages as you’d do with emails. 

Why Can’t We Track Text Message Opens Like Emails? 

We can’t directly track how many people open a text message (though we’ll get to some workarounds later). This is due to technical limitations on the carrier side. 

There are a couple of technical reasons, too, which I’ll try to explain in simple words. 

The medium and content

Emails are typically HTML-based or include images. So when an email is opened, the email client loads these images, which allows tracking tools to register the open event. 

On the other hand, most SMS messages are plain texts and don’t support embedded images. Hence, unlike emails, there’s no mechanism to track whether someone has read them. 

The technicalities

Email clients display images by default, and marketers can embed tracking pixels within these images. When the recipient opens the email, the tracking pixel is loaded, and the open event is recorded. 

In comparison, SMS messages are delivered directly to the recipient’s device without any intermediate server. So, there’s no way to embed tracking pixels or monitor whether the recipient has read the message.

Privacy measures

SMS messages are considered more private, and users expect them to be confidential. This is why adding a tracking facility to text messages can be seen as a compromise to privacy and security. 

While you can say the same with emails, the user can still have some control over the situation. If they simply disable image loading, the tracking stops. 

High Open Rates: A Texting Advantage 

The beauty of the text messages is that people actually see them! 

Studies suggest that a whopping 98% of text messages are opened within minutes of being sent. 

Compare that to the average email open rate of a measly 38.49%. That’s a night-and-day difference! 

It is because texting puts your message right into your audience’s pocket, ready to be read when they unlock their phone. 

Plus, most people these days have more than one email address. If you have a spare email ID that they rarely check, you are just wasting your time sending them those emails you spent so much time and effort on. 

The Indirect Impact of Read Rates on Affiliate Sales

Sure, we can’t see a precise “opened” notification for every text message, but that doesn’t mean read rates aren’t working their magic behind the scenes. 

Here’s how higher engagement with your text messages can translate into more affiliate sales. 

Increased Brand Awareness and Recall 

Remember that feeling of recognition when you see a familiar logo? That’s brand awareness in action. 

Text messages with high read rates put your brand front and center, right in your audience’s pocket. 

Even if they don’t click on your affiliate link immediately, seeing your name and message repeatedly keeps you top-of-mind. This is especially powerful when paired with a strong brand identity – think catchy slogans, unique emojis, or a consistent message tone.  

The more familiar your brand becomes, the more likely they are to consider you when they’re ready to buy a product you promote.

Driving Engagement and Click-Throughs

When you receive a text about a killer deal on a product you’ve been eyeing, you naturally become curious about it. So you click the link thinking you should at least check out the deal if not buy. 

That’s the power of a compelling text message with a high read rate.

As most texts are glanced at within minutes, crafting clear, concise, and action-oriented messages is key. Highlight the benefits of the product you’re promoting, use strong verbs like “Get” or “Shop Now,” and make sure your affiliate link is easy to tap. 

The higher your read rate, the more people will see your message and the more clicks and potential conversions you’ll generate.

Building Trust and Credibility 

Texting feels personal. It’s a direct line of communication between you and your audience. 

Consistent, valuable communication through text messages builds trust and strengthens your brand image.

By providing informative content, exclusive offers, and helpful reminders (like “Don’t miss out! Sale ends tonight!”), you position yourself as a reliable source and someone who looks out for your audience’s interests.  

This trust translates into a higher chance of them clicking your affiliate links and converting them into sales.

Just think like this: would you be more likely to buy from a stranger on the street or a trusted friend who always keeps you in the loop about great deals? The latter, right? 

So, by fostering trust through texts, you are more likely to turn your audience into customers. 

Strategies to Craft High Read-Rate Text Messages for Affiliate Marketing

Now that you understand the power of text message engagement, let’s dive into some winning strategies to craft messages that get read and drive results. 

Personalization is Key 

People respond better to messages that feel relevant to them. Segment your audience based on interests, demographics, or purchase history. 

Besides, personalization shows you care about their specific needs, grabbing their attention and increasing engagement.

For example, if you’re promoting fitness trackers, a text to someone interested in running could mention, “Crush your next marathon with 20% off XYZ GPS watch!”  

Keep it Short, Sweet, and Actionable. 

Remember, you only have 160 characters to play with, so you had better choose your words wisely. Craft concise messages that get straight to the point. 

Always highlight the value proposition of your affiliate product – “Looking for brighter mornings? Get 15% off sunrise alarm lamps!” Then, finish off with a clear call to action (CTA) like “Shop Now” or “Tap to Learn More” to prompt the reader to click your affiliate link.

Offer Value and Avoid Being Spammy 

Nobody likes a pushy salesperson. Focus on providing genuine value in your texts. Offer exclusive discounts, early access to sales, or helpful tips related to the products you promote.  

Think of informative and engaging content, not just constant sales pitches. This builds trust and makes your audience more receptive to your affiliate recommendations.

Include a Clear Call to Action (CTA) 

Don’t leave your audience guessing what to do next. Tell them exactly what action you want them to take. 

A strong CTA could be “Shop Now,” “Use code SUMMER at checkout,” or “Click to claim your free trial.”

Can Improving Text Message Read Rates Boost Your Affiliate Sales

Make it clear, concise, and easy to follow through on – the easier it is to take action, the more clicks and conversions you’ll see.

Measuring Success Beyond Read Rates

While high read rates are a good sign, they’re not the only metric that matters. To truly gauge the success of your SMS marketing and its impact on affiliate sales, we need to dig a little deeper. 

Track Click-Through Rates and Conversion Rates 

These metrics are gold. The click-through rate (CTR) tells you the percentage of people who read your message who clicked on your affiliate link. The conversion rate takes it a step further, showing how many clicks resulted in actual sales.

By focusing on these metrics, you can see how effectively your text messages are driving action and generating revenue.

For example, let’s say you send a text message with a 90% read rate, but only 2% of those readers click your affiliate link. While the high read rate is promising, the low CTR suggests your message might need some work. 

In such cases, A/B testing (which we’ll discuss next) can help you refine your message to improve that click-through rate and, ultimately, your sales.

A/B Testing Different Text Message Strategies

The best part about SMS marketing is its ability to be constantly optimized. A/B testing allows you to compare two versions of your text message to see which one performs better. 

Maybe you test a message with a discount code versus one with a free shipping offer. Perhaps you can experiment with different CTAs or personalize the message greeting. There’s a lot you can experiment with. 

By A/B testing and analyzing the results, you can continually improve your message’s effectiveness and maximize your click-through rates and conversions. Because, in the end, successful SMS marketing is all about engagement and action. 


While we can’t directly track text message open rates, their high engagement rates still help affiliate marketing. Text messages increase brand awareness, strengthen trust, and have the potential to drive clicks, all of which contribute significantly to boosting affiliate sales.

The key is to craft compelling and valuable text messages. For that, you must focus on personalization and providing genuine value. 

In the end, don’t be afraid to experiment with your copies and test their effectiveness through A/B testing. 


Q. Are text messages better than email for affiliate marketing?

A: It is difficult to call one better than the other. Both email and SMS marketing have their strengths. 

Emails allow for more detailed information, while text messages boast superior open rates and a more personal touch. You should use both for the best results. 

Q. How can I write text messages that people can actually read?

A: To write text messages that people will actually read, keep them short, sweet, and action-oriented. Keep it below 160 characters and highlight the value proposition of your offer in that. 

Q. What is the good click-through rate for affiliate marketing SMS campaigns?

A: A “good” CTR depends on your industry and target audience. However, industry benchmarks suggest a 3-5% CTR is a solid starting point for affiliate marketing SMS campaigns.

Q. How often should I send text messages to my affiliate marketing audience?

A: Don’t get on their nerves by sending messages every other day. Aim for 1-4 messages per month, focusing on delivering valuable content and exclusive offers. 

Consistency is key, but prioritize quality over quantity. 

Q. Do I need permission to send affiliate marketing text messages?

A: In most countries, you will need explicit opt-in consent from users before sending them marketing SMS messages. But even if you don’t have it in your country, always include an unsubscribe option in your messages.

Q. Can I track the success of my affiliate marketing SMS campaign? 

A; Yes, you should track CTR and conversion rates to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. Use UTM parameters in your affiliate links to track conversions within your affiliate program dashboard.


Diptesh is a professional content writer and aficionado of Email Marketing and Affiliate Marketing. An experienced entrepreneur with both offline and online businesses, he understands the importance of email marketing and has plenty of first-hand experience supplementing his revenue streams with affiliate marketing.

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