A Guide to SMS Short Links

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As SMS Marketing has become increasingly popular, more and more brands are using it to reach out to their customers in a variety of ways, including SMS and MMS campaigns, surveys, discount coupons, and much more.  But it also has given them the opportunity to attract new customers and generate leads with subscription forms, and text-to-subscribe keywords to mention a few.  This set of features combined with a 98% open rate makes SMS Marketing imperative to any company’s marketing mix, especially to those in the B2C space. 

SMS Short links blog art

Mobile carriers are well aware of this popularity, and also of the risk their customers would face if they received an SMS message with a link that directs their user to a malware site.  For this reason, carriers such as T-Mobile have released in their Code of Conduct that the practice of using public short links from services such as bit.ly, Rebrandly or Droplr is strictly prohibited and using them in SMS messaging will result in the blocking of such messages.  

A URL shortening service, converts any URL to a fixed length (e.g. 24 characters) that when accessed will redirect users to the original longer version of the link. However, by using a branded URL shortener for your SMS campaigns, such as the one we’ve developed for LeadWire, you could see many benefits to using short links.

In this post we discuss why short links are important and how they help companies take full advantage of their SMS Marketing strategy.

Why Short Links?

Cost Effectiveness

With SMS campaigns, the character count is key, since each message is 160 characters long, using more will break SMS messages in parts, which means that for each contact a “single message” will be counted twice. Moreover, the breakage of the message could happen mid-link which would make the link unclickable.   Short links allow SMS campaigns to use fewer characters, which gives you more characters to impact your audience and incentivize them to click your link. 

Track Campaign Performance

A common use case for short URLs is the ability to track how many clicks that link received.  In SMS marketing this is one of the fewer ways in which we can track the performance of our campaigns.  LeadWire allows you to generate a unique short link for SMS campaigns, that way you can measure how they perform, on the other hand, you could also know which segments of your audiences better respond to those campaigns.

Increase Click-Through Rate

Shorter links can have a higher click-through rate since longer links with several query strings could look suspicious and detract contacts from clicking them.  Custom domains improve CTR as they’re more trustworthy.


As we mentioned before, mobile carriers remain very wary of links within SMS messages as its use continue to grow, in order to protect their own customers.  Branded URLs are soon to be required by all carriers and it will be the only way in which you will be able to drive traffic to your website.  Using them correctly will ensure that your campaign is delivered to every contact.

Discount Coupons

Branded short links always have the same custom domain, for example, ours is ldwr.app, what makes them unique is the last 7 to 10 digits after the domain. With this ability, LeadWire users can create and manage unique discount coupons that are represented with short links. In our next blog post, we’ll discuss everything about our discount coupons module.

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