SMS Marketing Best Practices

Best URL Shorteners for SMS Marketing

Redbox Using Link Shortener for SMS Marketing Messages

Placing a hyperlink within a text message is an easy way to engage and send information to your customers. A hyperlink can direct customers to a mobile website, a survey, an app download, a mobile video, etc.

The problem is that most hyperlinks are pretty lengthy and can eat up characters in a text, this is why we suggest using a “URL shortener”, which is a tool that makes long hyperlinks short. Below are some of our favorite URL shorteners for SMS marketing.


What is SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing is the broad term for a combination of commercial text messaging related practices. When brands talk about these practices, it can, for example, mean that they discuss a text message poll or contest.

However, most brands, when they talk about SMS marketing, they mean the practice of sending mass text message alerts to interested consumers. You can compare text message brands with email marketing, only instead of emails, a brand will send out text messages to consumers who have opted in to its mobile marketing campaign.


What is a URL shortener?

A URL shortener is a simple tool that takes a long URL and turns it into a shorter URL. Link shortening is extremely important in SMS marketing, because space is imported, as you’re limited to 160-characters in an SMS message. As an SMS marketer, you definitely don’t want all the characters in your SMS message being used for a URL, hence the need for a link shortener.


Link Shortening Controversy

Some SMS marketers think you shouldn’t use link shorteners at all. See the video below for why some SMS marketers have taken this stance.


SMS Marketing Click-Through Rates

If you’ve done any research online about SMS marketing click-through rates, you’ll most likely have found a wide and confusing range of claims made by SMS marketing software providers. Over the last 13 years, we’ve seen SMS marketing software providers claim average click-through rates of 19%, 29%, 30%, 32% 36% , and even as high as 46%! Yes… We’ve seen some SMS software companies boasting an average 46% click-through rate on SMS messages.

To find out the truth behind SMS marketing click-through rates, click here.


Best URL Shorteners for SMS Marketing


Rebrandly is a comprehensive link management platform to brand, track and share short URLs using a custom domain name. Behind every piece of valuable information you share online, there’s a link. Every one of those links is an asset for your company – so why put another brand’s name in the spotlight? At Rebrandly, they believe your brand comes first. They put the control over links back into the real owners’ hands.

Best URL Shorteners for SMS Marketing - Rebrandly Example
This tool is also amongst the best ones on the market when it comes to creating and managing the links for SMS marketing campaigns. Some of the features that Rebrandly offers for SMS marketers include:

  • The ability to handle huge usage peaks (up to 1000 links per second)
  • Links that can be set to auto-expire
  • Deep links
  • Customizable analytics
  • Freedom to edit the destination URL
  • Traffic routing
  • Custom SSL certificates
  • Over 50 API integrations
  • Multiple domain management



Best URL Shorteners for SMS Marketing - Bitly
Bitly is a link management platform that helps brands deliver and measure their marketing efforts across all channels. Through branded bitly links, mobile deep linking, and omni-channel campaign tracking, the platform offers a complete marketing solution to drive customer experiences. Using HTTP 301 redirects for its links, companies can use their own custom domains to generate shortened links. This allows the company to push brand awareness on services such as Twitter but use the Bitly engine to generate the shortened URLs and track marketing metrics. Bitly was launched in July 2008 and is based in New York, United States with additional offices in San Francisco and Denver.


Brands Using Link Shorteners

We’ve compiled some of our favorite brands that frequently use link shorteners when sending their SMS marketing messages. Below you will find some of our favorite examples.


Cabelas Using Link Shortener for SMS Marketing Messages


Bloomingdales Using Link Shortener for SMS Marketing Messages

American Eagle

American Eagle Using Link Shortener for SMS Marketing Messages

Best Buy

Best Buy Using Link Shortener for SMS Marketing Messages

JoAnn Fabrics

JoAnn Fabrics Using Link Shortener for SMS Marketing Messages

Pep Boys

Pep Boys Using Link Shortener for SMS Marketing Messages


Do you have a favorite URL shortener that you use for your own SMS marketing campaigns? Let us know in the comments section below.

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