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December 22, 2019

SMS Marketing and Link Shortening

SMS marketing is alive and well. It’s a highly effective form of modern marketing. In fact, 92% of the United States population owns a mobile device capable of receiving SMS messages. That’s a large opportunity to get your message heard, so you better get it right!

What is SMS Marketing?

SMS stands for Short Message Service. This is a digital marketing technique that uses permission-based text messaging to spread a brand message. This is not spam. In order to receive text message promotions, specials, and new product updates (as a few examples) customers must opt in. On the contrary, if they no longer want to receive your messages, they must then opt out.

Opting in to the system usually requires a customer to enter a shortcode. This step by step process ensures you are within the law when it comes to sending them SMS messages.

SMS marketing is highly effective for a variety of reasons. Did you know that among 18-34-year-old’s, text is the preferred channel for notifications from businesses?

The Benefits of SMS Marketing

The goal of SMS marketing is generally to build a customer database you can use for automation strategies. It can also be used to increase customer engagement and brand loyalty. People always have their phones in their pockets so sending an occasional reminder SMS is a great way to keep your brand at the top of their mind.

According to Forbes, for at least 60% of consumers, SMS marketing is preferred to other email marketing and push-notification services. Perhaps it’s the convenience or that people can use coupons straight from their phone.

Either way, you only get one chance to make a good impression before you lose people. That means that what you say in your first SMS message (and how you say it) is critical to continuing the relationship. One way to create value in your SMS messages is by shortening your links and making them easy to share.

Short Links and SMS Messaging

There are many reasons why it’s important to consider the links you include in any SMS message. For one, size is crucial. People will never pay attention to a link a mile long on their phones. In fact, it generally has the opposite effect and tends to annoy people. This is the last thing you want to do. Including a short link makes it more appealing to the eyes, easy to remember, and more enticing to share.

Additionally, when it comes to SMS marketing, every character counts. Literally. Consequently, it’s important to consider your messaging. Keep it short and concise. This starts with your link. Why take up all the space with a long link of garbled characters?

SMS messages are limited to 160 characters. Link shortening opens up valuable message real estate. Other key benefits include:

Improved Click-Through Rate

Everyone clicks shorter links more than longer ones. It’s a given. Custom domains also significantly improve your CTR as they are branded and more reliable.


Long links can result in multi-part messaging which will vastly increase your SMS costs. Shorter links equal fewer characters. That equates to less cost.


Short links are easier to use in auto-responses for keywords texted in. This includes things like requests for app downloads and coupon links. Automation will help you nurture customer relationships any time of the day, week, or year.

Track Performance

Short links in your SMS texts also means you can track the performance of your campaigns. A/B test different wording for your short links. What gets people to click more? If you test and play around with your campaigns, a true leader will always rise to the top.

The Final Word

SMS messages have an open rate of 90%. People are super curious about texts on their phones. Especially those who have a buzz or ring notification when one comes in. Like Pavlov’s Dogs, it’s hard not to react to the sound.

You cannot ignore the power of SMS marketing and it is especially effective when you pair it with short links. Ultimately, you want to draw people off of their phones and into your digital environment. Once you have done so, it’s much easier to capture information, engage authentically, and convert people successfully.


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