Learn to use link shortening and add tracking to your SMS campaigns.
To make sure you use as few characters as possible and can track engagement with your SMS campaigns, you can turn on link shortening and tracking.
Before you start
Things you need to know:
- You can use a branded short URL in your SMS campaigns.
To learn how, check out the article Use your own branded short URL in SMS.
Link shortening and tracking
To make sure you use as few characters as possible and can track engagement with your SMS campaigns, you can turn on link shortening and tracking. To start saving on your character limit:
- In the SMS editor, create and name a new SMS campaign
- Enter the link you want to shorten.
This link must begin with either
http://. Links that don't begin with a protocol will not be shortened or tracked.
- Select the Turn on link shortening prompt that appears or click on the link shortening icon on the right-hand side of the SMS editor.
- Select Shorten, and either choose for This and all future campaigns or This campaign only.
If you select This and all future campaigns, link shortening and tracking will remain on until you open the sidebar again and turn it off.
- Select Save.
When you turn on link shortening, you'll notice that the link in the message editor stays the same length. The reason for this is because we generate unique shortened links behind the scenes after you click the send button – this is how we track who's clicking.
We calculate every shortened link as exactly twenty-two characters. So even though the link doesn't look shorter in the SMS editor, with link shortening turned on, your character count always shows the length of the final message. It's as if we have already generated the shortened link.
If you'd like to see an example of your shortened link while editing, click preview. But remember, this is just an example and you must not copy this demo link into the editor.
Use data fields in shortened links
Before starting, it's essential to understand the different parts that make up a URL. In its simplest form, a URL is made up of three main components:
This is the first part of the URL where you specify the protocol you want to use – either
The hostname is the main body of the URL, and it's often known as the domain name —for example,
The path component of the URL is everything after the first slash (/) — for example,
Put together, the scheme, hostname, and path of our example make up the URL
Use an SMS data field as the path of a shortened URL
You can create a custom URL using the content stored in your contacts' SMS data fields. To populate the path of a URL using information stored within a contact's SMS data field, enter the data field tag inline in your URL – after the scheme and hostname.
In this example, if
@FIELD2@ contains the word competition. The full URL that’s shortened and sent to your contact will look like
Don’t forget to include a slash after the hostname, either in your message body or at the start of the SMS data field itself.