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Measure Audience Engagement on your SMS Campaigns with CallHub’s Link Shortener and Tracker

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Published: Nov 12, 2021

Imagine this.

You’re texting your supporters a link to invite them to your event, or collect donations for your campaign, or say, to get feedback on your service. In all these cases, for effective communication and conversion, you share a particular link with them.

Now, say a thousand texts went out. The results start coming in. However, you have no idea how many of your audience clicked on your link. Or, more importantly, who took the action you wanted them to.

Had you gotten this information, it could have helped you to take further action and convert a few more of them. 

I’m sure you would have loved to get such an insight for your texting campaigns. We think so too.

This is why you need the ability to track those links, so you can optimize your communication strategy further. 

So far the only way to do it was to:

  • Sort out responses to initial messages and separate respondents from non-respondents.
  • Hope that the respondents clicked your link.
  • Track link clicks, open and conversion rates with third-party tools.

We realize this can be cumbersome.

So, we have developed an amazing feature as a part of our texting platform – Link Shortener and Tracker. 

Helping our customers with measuring audience engagement on messages is the primary motive behind this feature. With our Link Shortener and Tracker, you can shorten any link and track their performance on CallHub’s platform and get valuable insights on the audience engagement. This will help you recognize the patterns of audience behaviour, and optimize your strategy to maximize outcomes. 

With this guide, we aim at preparing you for exactly that.  

Let’s dive in. 

The new feature offers three primary functions and a few secondary ones: 

  1. URL shortening with 10DLC
  2. Link tracking & engagement tracking
  3. Prefill forms with contact data

URL shortening: This feature allows you to shorten long, incoherent and messy-tailed URLs into short ones. Our tool will also enable you to brand them with your organization’s name, campaign name, use case or any phrase that will compel your audience to click. (Of course, you can also choose to go without branding; more on that later). Moreover, all of this with 10DLC compliance.

Link tracking: This feature helps you measure audience engagement, understand customer behaviour, thereby helping you craft better re-targeting and communication strategies.

While the possibilities in general are endless, in this section, let’s see how you can benefit from our new feature.

1. Save cost and achieve a better delivery rate

What challenges do SMS campaigns normally face with using links in messages?

  • The links get long, consuming more characters, and thereby, more cost. 
  • They look messy, which is a turn-off for the audience.
  • They show no context, which reduces trust among the audience and can keep them from clicking the link.
link shortener tracker long links example

To solve this problem came a few popular third-party, public URL shorteners. 

What are these? 

When campaign managers send messages through SMS Broadcast or P2P texting campaigns, they tend to use third-party URL shorteners to shorten links. They solve the problems posed by long URLs, but…

  • These links are considered malicious by the carriers, and as a result, the messages get blocked by the telecom carriers. 
  • 10DLC numbers do not support URL shorteners provided by tools like Bitly, TinyURL, etc. 
  • When supporters receive text messages with generic shortened URLs, they tend not to click them, due to the alarming rate of scams in recent years. This also negatively affects the click-through and conversion rates.

CallHub’s URL shortening feature aims to overcome all these challenges. Also, with the ‘View on hover’ ability the campaign manager can hover over the link once it’s shortened and ensure if it’s the right one before you draft the message. 

The ability to avoid telecom filtering will result in increased conversions with higher text delivery rates.

Here’s how it performs:

  1. Your domain link gets replaced by a new one, which you will choose from the available options (e.g., callhub.io can become txt.ch)
  2. Your permalink gets replaced with a string of characters (event-signup becomes ht45sf)

For example, if you feed the tool with this link ‘https://callhub.io/voter-registration-new-york-existing-supporters’, the URL shortener will convert it to this: ‘https://txt.ch/ht45sf/’. This is when you’ve not chosen to customize or brand your URL. Regardless of how long your original URL is, the shortened URL will come down to as little as 12 characters. 

Additionally, you can add tracking codes such as UTM to your link and then shorten them. 

link shortener tracker shorten url interface

2. Increase brand familiarity with custom domains

The mantra of good branding starts from getting your brand’s name in front of your audience at every opportunity you get. 

Our Link Shortener and Tracker can help you track performance while also infusing branding, making your message and CTA extremely trustworthy. So, you can take control of your links and increase your brand familiarity among your audience. 

When your URLs are shortened AND customized, it makes it easy as pie to market your business content through texts. This also lifts up the engagement with your links and increases conversions.

Now, let’s see how it works:

Most links your audience encounters contain a string of characters. However, a custom short URL will look like this: https://chub.io/hsg5ha/.

A link like this ‘https://callhub.io/event-rsvp-for-california-24-05-21-members‘ becomes: ‘https://chub.io/hsg5ha/’.

To brand the URL, you can use a custom domain name for all your campaigns by reaching out to our support team. However, there’s more to this.

3. Instill trust and improve conversion rate

link shortener tracker increase reach brand trust

With CallHub’s Link Shortener and Tracker, you can customize the trailing part of the URL for better readability and conversion. For instance, your original link is https://callhub.io/rally-virginia-230122-rsvp/ and CallHub generates a short URL with an option for you to customize the trailing part this way: https://chub.io/_______/X23dgrt

Now, you can edit the empty space by adding a word of your choice to match the context of your link. Say, in this instance, “rsvp”, so the link now becomes https://chub.io/rsvp/X23dgrt.

link shortener tracker shorten url customize interface

Like this, you can create powerful short links that resonate with your cause, use case and CTA!

link shortener tracker measure impact

CallHub’s Link Shortener and Tracker is primarily used to track the clicks on your link used in an SMS. With this, among many other things, you get insights on your click-through rate. 

Now, why do you need to track your links?

Most importantly, tracking helps you understand your contacts’ behavior and enable better follow-up communication strategies.

But, how do you know if people are clicking your links? 

Our link tracking feature lets you know: 

  • % of contacts from the campaign who clicked the URL.
  • The number of contacts from a campaign who clicked the URL.
  • The number of times your link was clicked.
  • Identification of which contacts have clicked your link.

This information tells you how your SMS campaign is performing in real time and you can modify the strategy for optimal performance. 

Our Link Shortener and Tracker also has the ability to measure or track conversions by providing data on click through rates. You will also be able to track your links and user intent on Google Analytics using UTM parameters. 

5. Segment your contacts and optimize the follow-ups

Organizations don’t have the ability to track contact-level customer engagement, with a public URL shortener. Which means, you won’t know who clicked on your link and who didn’t. Campaign managers need this information so you can re-target or remove them from your campaign list, accordingly.

CallHub’s link tracking feature goes deep in details like no other SMS marketing software does. In addition to the ability to track click-through rates, you can segment your contacts into two lists: Contacts that clicked your link and those that didn’t. 

Why are these useful? 

They let you create targeted campaigns. Let’s see how this is useful, in the next section.

6. Create targeted campaign and communication strategy

link shortener tracker optimize communication strategy

With our Contact tracking feature which is available under the Link Shortener and Tracker, you can tailor your campaign strategy and communication depending on your contacts’ behavior. 

You will be able to know which of your contacts is interested in what. For instance, person A may not have clicked on an event invitation but they did click on your fundraising appeal. This clearly tells you they’re ready to donate for your organization. Such insights help you with your nurturing strategy further.

Our autoresponders and mass texting tools help a great deal here.

  1. Set up a message to go out to people that clicked on your link and a follow-up message through our broadcast feature to those who didn’t. 
  2. The goal of setting up these autoresponders is to nudge your contacts further down the funnel.  
  3. You can send broadcasts with the intention of getting an understanding of the reason behind them not clicking your link. You may find out that they are interested in another offering of yours. Or that, they no longer are interested in your service. For instance, a contact that hasn’t even opened any of your messages for over a long period of time is an indication that they are not interested. 

However, if you don’t get a response at all, you can add them to a separate list and exclude them from that particular campaign. Imagine the cost you cut down on with such an approach! You now for sure know that you’re marketing to only those that are interested.  

7. Help your audience auto-populate forms

Public URL shorteners don’t provide the ability to create dynamic URLs which autofill contact details in a form. Such a feature helps you reduce the form abandonment rate and leads to better conversions for your campaigns. 

With CallHub’s Link Shortener and Tracker, you can customize the URLs by using the ‘Personalize’ option as per your requirement, (For example, https://callhub.io/donate-nonprofit-in-san-francisco/username={first_name}&email={email}/). 

We call them dynamic URLs. This URL would be unique to every contact of yours. After you enable such a personalization, you can shorten this URL and use it in your campaign. Users complete forms up to 30% faster when there’s auto-fill. 

8. Get a better understanding of your contacts

link shortener tracker contact history illustration

With our Link shortener and tracker, you can measure conversions and understand your contacts’ interests in 2 ways:

  1. With ‘Contact History’: Your contacts’ history is available on the ‘Contact Details’ page where you see a detailed overview of your contacts’ details along with
  • The links your contact clicked on
  • Campaigns a particular link is a part of, etc. 
  1. By exporting campaign results: Once you export your campaign results, you see them on the ‘Campaign overview’ page. Here, you can see the contact details along with
  • The links your contact clicked on
  • The number of times the link was clicked
  • Date and time the link was clicked.
link shortener tracker contact history

Such detailed information gives you the ability to track your campaign performance and modify the strategy accordingly. You can add these contacts to separate lists and nurture them further. This detailed overview also lets you filter by contact name and check a particular contact has clicked the link. 

This complete interaction history is also available in your peer-to-peer texting and in follow-up texts for calling campaigns, helping you get a detailed understanding of your contacts’ interests. 

Now, let’s see some industry-specific use cases. 

Political: 

  • Following up with supporters who visited the candidate’s page.
  • Reaching out to voters who did not click on the polling location link.
  • Persuade supporters that did not click on an event details page.

Nonprofit/Union & Advocacy:

  • Share social media links and follow up with those who didn’t take action.
  • Follow up with people who didn’t click on the campaign page.
  • Share event details pages and follow up with the interested ones.

Businesses such as financial services, retail, e-commerce industry, etc:

  • Personalized promotional offers to leads.
  • Follow up with people who have shown interest in your product/service page.

CallHub’s Link Shortener and Tracker will help you optimize all your texting campaigns, including mass texting, peer-to-peer texting as pre-saved messages, auto responses, and from your calling campaigns when you need to share relevant information with your contacts. 

So how much does it cost?

Absolutely free for unlimited use till 31st December, 2021. We want you to try out CallHub’s Link shortener & tracker extensively and use that data to make your campaigns more effective.If you aren’t a customer already, sign up for free to get access to this feature. 

Get started!

Using Link Shortener and Tracker will help you track and measure your campaign success. Your audience will appreciate the efforts and you can stand out as a brand. Also, when you use a branded link, people can rest assured that the message they are receiving is not spam. More importantly, all this will lead to more clicks and thereby conversions.

Possibilities are endless with our Link Shortener and Tracker. Go give it a try.

Soon we’re bringing you more guides, videos, and more that will better match your requirements, no matter which industry you are in. 

Have any questions about link tracking? Click here and one of our team members can help you with whatever you (or your campaign) need(s)!

Featured image: Created by jannoon028

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