SMS Marketing: Benefits of Shortened URLs

SMS Marketing: Benefits of Shortened URLs

Text message marketing is on the up. The proof is in the pudding and more and more companies are allocating budget spend to this critical marketing channel. Why is this? There’s no mystery to it: it works.

Among the many reasons underlying the success of SMS campaigns is that mobiles have become an extension of ourselves and are always within reach, all day every day. Any interaction on a mobile is a personal experience and means the recipient has actively chosen to engage with your brand or product.

SMS marketing is also immediate. Hear the beep or feel the vibration and it’s a quick glance at the screen. And figures from Ofcom suggest a 98% open rate for texts. Not only that, but around 32% of recipients respond positively to the call to actions they contain.

Developers are constantly looking for new ways to add value to SMS marketing services to enhance both the recipients’ experiences and the RoI for marketers. To increase customer engagement, URLs can easily be included in an SMS message to direct recipients to your website or a specific landing page where your offer is hosted.

This has meant in the past that valuable character length has been dramatically reduced when adding in a long URL to your SMS. The length of a single message is limited to 160 characters so every one counts. Nowadays URLs may be shortened to overcome this issue.

The benefits are many and some of these are explored below.

1. Give back valuable character space
You already have a limit of 160 characters per message so making the most of what you have is important. Use a URL shortening tool to limit the URL size down to a maximum of 12 characters and give you back valuable space for your marketing message. Some SMS providers, such as GlobalMessaging, offer this as a standard element of their service, while others don’t.

2. Enhanced reporting
By using a shortened URL an individual code can be generated for each message you send to an individual number. This means you can track who opens your messages and clicks through to the targeted web page, and from which device type (mobile, desktop or tablet).

3. Speed
Due to the rapid response rates to SMS marketing, you can see the response to your campaigns as they are unfolding. You can spot any issues straight away and see conversions and take up rates as they happen. Tracking response rates in this way means you can make instant decisions about your marketing campaign, such as whether to resend the message at a different time to angle for a better click-through result. So, try 6pm instead of 9am, for example.

4. Campaign agility
Having this tracking data at your fingertips allows you to change tack in real time and retarget your campaign if necessary. If take-up rates are lower than expected examine why and try with a different message or format. If rates are high, you know you’ve hit the jackpot with a successful campaign!

5. Future development
Technology moves fast and some developers are ahead of the curve and always looking for the next big thing. So hyper-personalisation may be served up next, where not only is the text message tailored to an individual, but each landing page will be too, via the amazing medium of shortened URLs of course. Watch this space.