Smarter SMS Marketing: 9 Things You Need to Know

Behind every essential piece of information or asset shared online, there is a link. 

Each link reflects your brand or business, so it is essential to consider how you present and share links with your audience. In a world where brand trust is important, why settle for displaying a brand other than your own? Generic links can be long and unappealing, consuming valuable space in social media, SMS, and print campaigns. Generic links can also be confusing or appear suspicious, damaging your brand trust and lowering response rates. 

With SMS Marketing, it’s important to consider the technical requirements of the service providers and messaging platforms you rely on for deliverability. Space is at a premium, so avoiding long URLs is essential. Many carriers, however, will not allow public short URLs such as bit.ly or Tinyurl and will block messages altogether if they contain generic short links or links that use multiple redirects.

Enter Rebrandly – the solution for branding, tracking, and sharing short URLs using your custom domain name. Rebrandly is the only link management platform that uses AI to optimize your link security, and effectiveness, and even make recommendations for what time to publish links to get the greatest response.  While a URL shortener might seem simple, its strategic use can significantly elevate your marketing performance. 

What is a URL Shortener?

Let’s start with the basics. URL shorteners work by converting lengthy URLs into more concise versions, making them easier to share and remember. Instead of a cumbersome web address, you can create a catchy and recognizable short link like rebrandly.is/links, providing a clear preview of the destination.

But what sets Rebrandly apart is its ability to offer custom URL-shortening services. With Rebrandly, you can personalize shortened links to include your brand name or relevant keywords. This important step enhances brand visibility and instills trust in your links – because the custom part provides context about the link’s destination and purpose.

SMS Marketing is Growing—and For Good Reason

A recent article by Forbes highlights that the U.S. short message service (SMS) marketing industry is experiencing exponential growth, projected to soar to an impressive $37.45 billion by 2031. This surge isn’t surprising considering the widespread use of SMS – it’s now a communication channel embraced by over two-thirds of the global population.

SMS marketing is also a cost-effective and highly efficient communications strategy, especially for smaller businesses. With an impressive 98% open rate, SMS outperforms email (26.8% open rate) and push notifications (7.8% open rate) by significant margins. Moreover, 90% of recipients respond to SMS messages within 30 minutes, making it ideal for time-sensitive promotions or the delivery of critical information.

At an average cost of $0.015-$0.050 per message, sending an SMS is affordable compared to alternatives like CPC marketing, which can cost upwards of $6 per click on average. However, with the limited space available in SMS messages – only 160 characters – every word counts. 

This is where using a customized link shortener like Rebrandly becomes invaluable. Shortening your links frees up valuable real estate in your SMS messages while reinforcing your brand identity – a win-win for effective SMS marketing.

URL Shorteners for SMS Marketing

As mentioned above, every character counts in SMS marketing; with a standard SMS message limited to 160 characters, every letter, space, and punctuation mark matters. Unicode characters further reduce this limit to 70, making efficient link management crucial for effective communication.

Rebrandly’s strategic approach to link management is particularly valuable for SMS deliverability because branded and secure links outperform generic ones in every channel. Companies reliant on timely link delivery via SMS understand the importance of trustworthy and branded links – after all, why pay for sub-optimal links with a low delivery or open rate if you can avoid it?  

Rebrandly addresses the pain points of unreliable link delivery, safeguarding business interests and the customer experience. So why should you consider using branded links in your SMS communications? Here are some compelling reasons:

1) Improved Deliverability

Branded links contribute to better SMS message deliverability and help maintain a positive reputation for your brand. Unlike generic URL shortening services such as tinyurl.com, which are often flagged as suspicious or spammy, branded links are less likely to trigger spam filters or be blacklisted. 

By using reputable link-shortening services like Rebrandly, you can avoid the pitfalls of blacklists and spam filters, ensuring that your messages reach recipients reliably. Additionally, you demonstrate a commitment to transparency and authenticity by steering clear of masking URLs and opting for branded links.

2) Branding and Trust 

Branded links offer a distinctive appearance, showcasing your company’s domain name, which your customers instantly recognize and trust. This branding element adds a layer of familiarity and instills confidence in the link’s source and destination. Moreover, branded links exude professionalism, presenting a sense of legitimacy that elevates your brand’s reputation. 

By incorporating branded links into your communications, you signal to your audience that you value them, and by prioritizing quality and transparency, you further reinforce your brand’s credibility in their eyes.

3) Transparency 

Branded links are extremely important in enhancing clarity and reducing skepticism in SMS communications. By providing transparency about the link’s source, branded links mitigate the risk of SmiShing/phishing concerns, ensuring recipients can trust the message’s authenticity. 

Customers are naturally more inclined to engage with links when they have confidence in the source and destination. This transparency minimizes skepticism and creates increased engagement with your content.

Let’s dive into SMS phishing or SmiShing a bit further. SmiShing occurs when false text messages attempt to deceive users into divulging sensitive information or clicking malicious links. Custom links bearing a recognizable domain associated with a reputable brand offer SMS recipients peace of mind before clicking. 

By clearly indicating the link’s origin and destination, custom links help users discern legitimate messages from fraudulent ones, reducing the likelihood of falling victim to phishing scams. 

4) Enhanced User Experience

Branded links offer a user-friendly experience by being easier to remember and more intuitive than generic short links. For instance, a branded link like “trek.bike” is more memorable and user-friendly than a generic one like “bit.ly/123xyz.” Trek Bikes uses this shortened URL in their social media and print campaignsit’s a memorable, branded, short URL that helps them differentiate from competitors, build trust with their audience, and track more customer engagement. This simplicity enhances accessibility for users, facilitating smoother navigation to desired content. 

Furthermore, utilizing your domain ensures consistency across all communications, creating a better user experience and recognition. Whether it’s an SMS, email, or social media post, maintaining a consistent link structure reinforces your brand identity and makes it easier for users to identify and engage with your content. 

For example, suppose a company consistently uses branded links such as “yourbrand.com/promotions” across various channels. In that case, customers will quickly recognize and trust these links, leading to increased click-through rates and brand loyalty. 

5) Enhanced Tracking and Analytics

Branded link shorteners provide a comprehensive suite of analytics tools, offering valuable insights into link performance. Rebrandly, for instance, goes beyond basic tracking capabilities with its advanced features such as AI boosts for optimized social sharing, Fast Link Redirects, Editable destination URLs, Signature Slugs, Password Protected Links, Link search, QR codes, Link tags, Branded link export, Link expiration, UTM presets, Mobile deep linking, Bulk link creation/edit, and powerful APIs for high volume links. 

These tools empower users to analyze and optimize their campaigns effectively, ensuring maximum engagement and ROI. Additionally, branded links simplify the process of attributing clicks and engagement accurately, facilitating campaign optimization at scale. 

6) Flexibility and Control

A custom domain gives you complete ownership and control over your links, giving you the flexibility to manage and customize them effortlessly. Branded link management platforms like Rebrandly offer a range of customization options, allowing you to create descriptive URLs that align seamlessly with your marketing campaigns. 

Whether tailoring the link structure to reflect specific promotions or incorporating relevant keywords, these customization features empower you to optimize your links for maximum impact. 

7) Legal and Compliance Considerations

Utilizing a branded domain ensures compliance with pertinent laws and regulations because you retain full control over the content associated with each link Utilizing a branded domain through a link management platform like Rebrandly allows you to monitor and regulate the material linked to your domain and retain ownership of the data it generates, ensuring adherence to legal requirements and industry standards. 

This elevated level of control mitigates the risk of inadvertently sharing inappropriate or non-compliant content and improves your brand’s reputation as a responsible and trustworthy entity. 

8) Enhanced Brand Recall

Branded links offer enhanced memorability, significantly boosting brand recall and encouraging repeat visits to your content. Memorability is especially crucial when considering the marketing rule of 7, which suggests that a potential customer needs to encounter a message at least seven times before taking action. 

According to general marketing principles, a branded message takes approximately five views to be read, up to ten views to become memorable, and up to twenty views to result in a conversion. By leveraging a customizable branded link shortener, businesses can capitalize on the powerful psychology of repetition and memorability. 

Customized links featuring recognizable brand elements imprint themselves more deeply in the minds of consumers, aligning with the rule of 7 and facilitating the journey from initial exposure to conversion. 

9) Marketing Opportunities

Branded links are a powerful platform for brand promotion and recognition, amplifying your marketing efforts across various channels (give examples of channels here). Incorporating branded links into your communications creates additional touchpoints to showcase your brand and engage your audience. 

Branded links facilitate seamless navigation to your content and reinforce your brand identity with every click. Whether shared via SMS, social media, or email campaigns, branded links act as subtle yet effective brand ambassadors, enhancing visibility and fostering brand recognition. As users encounter these branded links across different platforms, they are continually reminded of your brand, contributing to its reinforcement and solidifying its presence in their minds. their reach, drive engagement and leave a lasting impression on their audience.

Learn More About Rebrandly’s Approach to Branded Link Management for SMS Marketing

Rebrandly empowers businesses to take control of their brand with link management, enhancing brand identity and trust. Links created with Rebrandly are optimized with AI to enhance link security, and effectiveness, and even make recommendations for what time to publish links to get the greatest response. 

By leveraging branded links, companies can elevate their SMS marketing efforts, driving engagement and fostering long-term customer relationships. With Rebrandly, your links become more than just conduits or pathways – they are transformed into powerful and valuable assets for your brand.

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