Adding Your Branded Domain


As the messaging industry continues to expand and mature, carriers are evolving how they evaluate text messages for compliance standards. In doing so, they are identifying patterns that have been abused within messaging to harm consumers and are increasing their filtering and blocking of messages that contain certain characteristics.

URL shorteners (or link shorteners) are coming under increased scrutiny, particularly generalized ones that are either commercially available or are widely used/shared across many companies. Carriers are resorting to failing and after continued usage, even blocking messages that are using generic link shorteners in their messages. It is now recommended that you use your own dedicated domain within the shortened links to ensure optimal message deliverability.

To ensure that you can continue to reap the benefits of using a URL shortener in your messages to reduce message size, we have adjusted the built-in Link Shortener in Textel to only utilize custom, branded domains per client. It is now required that to automatically add shortened links into messages within the Textel platform, that you must add and verify a custom, branded domain that we can use to generate the short links.

Branded Domain Guidance

The branded domain chosen to add to Textel cannot be in use for another purpose. If you have a branded domain like and that is your primary website, we cannot use that root domain because you cannot forward your domain to multiple places. Alternatively,  you can add a subdomain to your current domain and forward that to Textel so we can redirect appropriately, e.g. 


  1. The shorter the domain the better. The fewer characters in the domain name, the more space you have to add actual content to your text messages. For example, try removing the vowels from your domain, e.g. to
  2. Explore other domain extensions outside of .com. There are 100s of various domain extensions available now and so if you do want to you use a variation of your branded domain, look for it with another extension. For example, our domain is, but we could use a variation of or even
  3. If you do not want to go out and acquire a separate domain, you can forward using a subdomain instead of www that points to Textel. While this maintains branding, it does increase the length of to root domain used in the shortener. For example,

Managing Your Custom Domain in Textel

To start the process of adding your branded domain for the link shortener in Textel, you will need to go to the Link Management page in the menu under your email in the top right. Once open, there is a button at the top of the page labeled "Manage Domain".

In this modal, we will ask you to enter in your preferred branded domain or subdomain. Immediately after adding the domain and clicking Save, you will see that the domain is in an Unverified status. That means it will not be functional for use as in the link shortener until it is verified.

To verify your domain, you will need to forward your domain to our link shortener service domain. Once added, click the Verify button and we will ensure that we can properly redirect. If the domain remains in the Unverified status, it means the domain forwarding (also known as web forwarding or URL forwarding) has not been correctly put in place with the domain registrar or is still awaiting propagation. (Some forwarding settings can take 24-48 hours to take full effect.)

You can edit or replace your branded domain at any time by clicking on the edit icon next to your custom domain.

Setting Up Domain Forwarding

Domain forwarding, also known as web forwarding or URL forwarding, allows you to redirect your domain to another service. In this context, the service is the Textel link shortener that will be handling the redirects and click analytics. Setting up domain forwarding enables two primary things for creating short links:

  1. Verifies that you own the domain you want to use.
  2. Provides the method for Textel to generate the shortened links dynamically that have the ability to support redirects so click analytics can be collected.

Choose Root or Subdomain

When setting up forwarding, you can choose to set up the forwarding on your root domain or a subdomain as explained above in "Recommendations".

  • A root domain is the domain without any prefixes, e.g.
  • A subdomain is a version of your domain that has a specific prefix to it, e.g. or

You will need to log into your domain registrar and set up domain/web forwarding and point to the appropriate Textel link shortening service domain. Most of our clients will use the US version, but if you are logging into our EU version of the app by going to, then you will want to forward to that domain.

US (United States) Region using

Forward Traffic To =

EU (European Union) Region using

Forward Traffic To  =

Domain Forwarding Must-Have Settings

When setting up your domain or web forwarding, it is important that the following settings be configured correctly. Otherwise, redirecting and click tracking may not work.

  1. Redirect Type: This can be set to either a 302 or 301 redirect type and still work appropriately.
  2. Path Forwarding: This should be set to forward the path after the domain name to the same path at the new one. This will ensure that generated short link path will redirect appropriately.
  3. Forwarding Over SSL: This should be set to allow redirects to work over HTTPS. With this setting on, the redirects will work for both HTTP and HTTPS (secured) requests.

Domain Provider Links

We realize that our clients may use one of many domain providers out there so we have added some links below to various providers and their instructions for setting up domain forwarding.

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