Using the Link Shortener
|In this article, you will learn the benefits of using a private link shortener as well as how to create and manage your short links.|
Benefits of Using a Link Shortener
The Textel Link Shortener provides a number of benefits if used to send links to your customers.
- It improves deliverability. It is a private link shortener instead of a public, commercially available one. Commercially available link shorteners like bit.ly, have been used by some bad actors and now have a higher likelihood of being flagged and blocked by carriers. The Textel link shortener is private, only available to our clients. This improves deliverability rates with the carriers for texts that contain links.
- It reduces the character footprint of links. Most carriers split SMS messages at 160 characters before they start splitting it into message segments. Some links can be very long, leaving you little room for the actual message. Many links can range from 70-100 characters. Our link shortener reduces that to 27 characters.
- It provides click tracking and reporting. With standard links, you have no idea if anyone you sent the link to actually clicked on it. Using our link shortener, you will get access to detailed and summary link reporting. This can be particularly helpful when using short links in Blast campaigns to understand the number of people who clicked the link versus the count of recipients, giving you some conversion data.
- It can be used beyond texting. While the link shortener is built into our platform to make it easy to use while composing texts, the shortened links can also be used in emails, on your website, etc. For example, if you were doing a multi-channel campaign where you send a text Blast to customers followed by an email, you could generate two links, one for the Blast campaign and one for the email. We will track all of the clicks regardless of where the link was clicked, giving you the ability to compare click counts of the Blast vs Email campaign.
Creating & Using Short Links
Link Management Page
Under the profile menu in the top right of our platform, there is a new Link Management page. On this page you can:
- See and search all links created on your account
- Create a new link
- Edit the link name of any existing links
- Copy the shortened link for any existing links for other uses
- Deactivate the link, which effectively make the shortened link stop working
There are three primary ways to create short links in the platform. The first is on the Link Management page by clicking the "Create Link" button.
The second is to use our Public API to generate short links.
And lastly, the third is an option present in any compose message box on our platform. This includes Conversations, Blast, Keywords, Auto-Replies, Response Templates. In this option, you will see a new link icon underneath the message box.
- Clicking the icon will pull up a dialog box allowing you to search and select an existing short link OR create a new one.
- Click the Create New Link button
- A panel will open up, giving you the ability to:
- Provide the destination URL (the link you want to take people to)
- Provide the Link Name (this can be used for reference and purpose of the link)
- Click the Shorten Link button
- The shortened link will be generated and you will be able to copy and paste it in your message or wherever else you would like to use the link.
Using Short Links
As mentioned, you can use the shortened links in various places inside the Textel platform and beyond. Links do not only have to be used once, you can create them to be used over and over. Especially for things that live in FAQs or policies or links to your website.
Here are some examples of how clients use short links.
- In their Blast campaign driving someone to a form or a particular webpage. Including the link allows them to see how many people clicked on the link versus how many people they sent the link to. We recommend making unique links for each campaign. If you have a multi-message campaign, we would also recommend using a unique link per campaign message allowing you to determine which message resulted in the most click thrus.
- In their Keyword Responders as a way to funnel people to specific content. This can be useful when prompting your customers to text in a specific keyword for more information and providing them the short link to click thru. This can also be useful for customer service use cases where policy or terms information that lives on a website needs to be distributed.
- In Conversations when sending a specific link unique to that customer you are speaking with. This could be a specific "Pay Now" link taking them to a page for them to make a payment, a "Sign Up" link that you generate a short link for that specific customer to track if they clicked on it, and many other one-to-one conversational uses.
- Lastly, short links can be used outside of text messages as well. You can generate them in the Textel platform and use them in email campaigns, on your website, on a form, etc. All of the clicks would still be tracked and reported inside of the Textel reporting.
Within Textel, we offer two reports to give you visibility in your shortened link analytics.
Link Click Summary Report
This report will show the link analytics in aggregate (counts for each link) over the specified time frame. You can specify a start and end date range to scope the report data.
Expected output of the report (each row is the aggregate stats for one short link in your account):
- Link Name
- Destination URL
- Shortened URL
- Click Count
- Link Created Date
Link Click Detail Report
This report will provide you the detail of each individual click event for your shortened links. You can specify a start and end date range to scope the report data.
Expected output of the report (each row represents a click event):
- Link Name
- Destination URL
- Shortened URL
- Date/Time of Click Event
- IP Address
- Device Info