How to use SMS

What are SMS Short Links And How Do You Use Them?: A Complete SMS Guide

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Do you wish to revolutionise your SMS campaigns with a simple trick?

Then, say hello to short links.

Short links work like magic in SMS marketing.

From boosting your web traffic to ensuring your customers know about your latest products – SMS short links can resolve all your worries.

This blog tells you how to use short links in SMS to do wonders for your business.

Before diving into it, you must first understand what SMS short links are. 

What are SMS short links? 

What are SMS short links?  Image of an SMS with a short link

SMS short links are web links designed for text messages. 

You can use them in SMS marketing campaigns. 

These SMS hyperlinks allow you to promote your products or services using a short link. The link takes customers to a specific web page to access your products or services.

Here’s how it works. 

First, you create a landing page designed to convert visitors into customers. This page might offer a special promotion to encourage visitors to take action. 

Then, you create a unique short link to this webpage using a URL shortening service. 

You add this short link to your SMS message and send it to your customers.

Once they press the short link, it will direct them to your desired webpage. 

From there, they can learn more about your services, sign up for a trial, or purchase something.

And here’s the best part. 

SMS short links are quick and easy to create. They are also highly effective compared to other marketing tools.

How is an SMS short link different from an SMS short code? 

Yes, SMS short links and short codes are relevant to text messages. But they differ.

An SMS short code is a five or six-digit unique phone number businesses use to send and receive text messages. Customers can easily remember short codes as they are shorter than regular phone numbers. 

On the other hand, an SMS short link is a shortened web link added to a text message. This link redirects your customers to another web page once they press it. 

You can add any link you want. For example, a link to the landing page of a product or service you’re promoting or launching. 

You can offer your customers a seamless experience with SMS short links. These SMS hyperlinks are effective at driving customers to your website. 

And that’s not all. Short links stand out even when we compare them to other forms of mobile marketing.  

How do SMS short links compare to other forms of mobile marketing? 

SMS Shortlinks vs other forms of mobile marketing | Template of push notifications on mobile phone.

Push notifications are the first things that pop up in our minds when we talk about mobile marketing. 

These are automated messages or notifications you receive from apps that you have downloaded on your mobile. Push notifications offer you real-time updates and promotions.

However, push notifications can get intrusive if overused or poorly targeted. 

Do you know why? 

Your customers may opt-out when you send too many irrelevant push notifications.

Then, we have in-app messaging. You use in-app messaging to interact with your customers while using your app or website. 

These in-app messages pop up on your customers’ screens based on their activity or interests. 

Let’s say your customer is about to abandon their online shopping cart on your website. That’s when a message pops up offering them a discount coupon to encourage them to complete their purchase. This is called in-app messaging. 

But, like push notifications, you should use in-app messaging wisely so your customers don’t get annoyed.

SMS short links, by comparison, offer a more direct way to connect with your customers via SMS. 

These links drive conversions by providing your customers with a seamless experience, which takes them to a desired page. 

But here’s the best part. 

You can even use short SMS links with other forms of mobile marketing. 

Here’s an example. 

First, use push notifications to alert your customers about a special deal. 

Next, send an SMS with a short link to direct them to the deal’s relevant landing page.

Then, watch your customers throng your website. 

What are the benefits of using short SMS links in text messages

We have established that SMS short links create great quality customer experiences. But there are many more benefits of using SMS short links in text messages. Take a look below. 

1. Provides a better mobile experience

SMS with short links provides a much better mobile experience than text messages with longer links. SMS has a limited character count, and regular links can appear long and difficult to click. 

SMS short links are shorter and easier to read, which improves the overall user experience.

Take a look at this message with normal links.

SMS Example with normal links

Now, see the message with a short link.

SMS Example with short links

2. Improved tracking and analytics

SMS short links get better tracking and analytics. When a customer clicks on an SMS short link, you can track the click-through rate and other metrics. 

These can help you understand your customers’ behaviour and optimise your marketing campaigns. 

3. Saves limited SMS character limit

Consider these two messages. The first is with a normal link, and the second is with a short link.

“Check out our latest sale on our website: Don’t miss out on amazing discounts!” 

“Get exclusive discounts at our sale! Click here: Hurry, limited-time offer!”

You can see that SMS short links can save precious characters in your text messages. Long links can eat up the 160-character limit that you get per SMS. 

Also, SMS short links are more concise. You save your characters and include more information without sacrificing details. 

4. Allows geo-targeting

Do you have customers scattered in different regions? 

With trackable short SMS links, you can send different links to customers based on location. 

This does wonders if your business operates or provides services in many locations. You can easily offer your customers location-specific deals or promotions. 

5. Provides faster load times

Because SMS short links are shorter than regular links, they have faster load times. 

Mobile users with slower internet speeds or limited data plans always appreciate this. 

SMS short links ensure that your customers access necessary information quickly without any issues. 

6. Easy sharing for your customers

Consider this SMS.

“Hey there! Don’t miss out on our exclusive 50% off sale! Check it out here: Share it with your friends and family! Offer ends soon.”

The link is easy to remember, copy and share.

Your customers can easily forward short SMS links to friends and family members. 

When customers can easily forward your SMS or short links to others, it increases brand awareness and drives more website or landing page traffic.

5. Customisation options

 benefits of using short SMS links in text messages for customization

Finally, SMS short links offer many customisation options. 

These options include changing the link’s URL, adding tracking parameters, and personalising the link with the recipient’s name. With this feature, you create a more engaging customer experience.

What types of businesses or industries can benefit from using SMS short links in their marketing? 

SMS short links can benefit many businesses using text messaging as a marketing strategy. 

Here are some examples:

1. Retail and e-commerce

Do you run an e-commerce or a retail business

You can use SMS short links to promote your products and services. 

Let’s say you want to inform your customers about a flash sale. Simply send out an SMS with a short link that opens up on the specific landing page with the sale. 

You can also promote deals or offer discounts using short links in your SMS. 

This way, you will drive traffic to your website or online store. 

2. Hospitality and tourism

Hotels and other tourism-related businesses can use short SMS links to promote special offers, events, and local attractions.

Want more people to use your website to book accommodation with your hotel? 

Then, send your customers an SMS and add a short link to your booking landing page. 

Throw in a discount and see the magic happen. Bookings will start pouring in.  

3. Healthcare

Healthcare services can use short links in text messages to send patients appointment reminders and access lab reports. 

When you send patients their lab reports, add a short link from where they can download the results. 

4. Non-profit organisations

You can use short SMS links to request donations and promote fundraising events if you run a non-profit.

Short links will also help your volunteers sign up for volunteer work via SMS short links. The SMS can include short links to your web page where people can sign up for volunteer work. 

5. Education

Educational institutes prefer staying connected with their students and parents via SMS. 

But you can take things up a notch by adding short links to the SMS you send out to students. 


Add a short link in your SMS when you want to inform students about an annoucement, new curriculum, or updated class schedules. 

SMSCountry provides all you need to delight your customers with fast and secure OTP and transactional SMS. At the best price

This way, your students get access to detailed information on your website. 

How can you create and send an SMS short link in a text message?

Now that you know how to use SMS short links, you must learn how to create one. 

Here is a step-by-step guide to sending a short link in a text:

Step 1: Choose a link-shortening service

First, You must choose a link-shortening website to shorten your long link. Many websites, such as Bitly, Rebrandly, and TinyURL, provide this service. 

Choose one that suits your needs and create an account.

Step 2: Create a shortened link 

how to create an sms short link | Tiny URL is one of the most popular link shortening services

Once you have an account, enter the link you want to shorten. 

Press enter and the text shortener will generate a brief link for you.

Step 3: Craft your message 

Next, you need to draft your SMS message. Keep the text message clear and concise. 

Remember that SMS has a limited character count of 160. So make every character count.

If you don’t know where to start, we have curated a library of SMS templates for practically all you need SMS for.

Visit our SMS template library, find the type of templates or SMS samples you’re looking for, copy, tweak and use.

Step 4: Compose your SMS 

Screenshot of SMSCountry home page - A Simple, Fast, & Integrable Bulk SMS Platform

Next, you will pick an SMS service provider to send your message with the shortened link. 

Once you pick an SMS service platform, you will add your message and the short SMS link.

Let’s use SMSCountry as an example. 

SMSCountry offers a simple, secure, and reliable messaging platform for businesses of all sizes. 

This bulk SMS service helps you send customers personalised messages via text, chat, and audio. SMSCountry also lets you engage in two-way messaging.  

You can use SMSCountry to send your message with your shortened links to your customers.

Step 5: Send your SMS 

You will review your message once you compose your SMS on a bulk SMS platform like SMSCountry. Ensure that the shortened link works correctly. 

Then hit the send, and your audience will receive the SMS with the shortened link. 

How do you make your short links appealing? 

You can take extra steps to make your short links more appealing to your customers. Here’s how:

  • Customise the link: Customise the short link using a link-shortening service to add your business name so your customers can easily recognise your brand. Instead of a generic short link like “”, use “” for your promotion.
  • Branded domains: Use a URL shortener with branded domains. Your links will look more professional and trustworthy. So use “” instead of “”. It can make a big difference in how your audience perceives your links.
  • Use a QR code: QR codes act as a creative and engaging way to use SMS short links in your marketing campaigns. With a QR code, it’s easy for customers to access your content without typing in a URL.

But don’t stop here. Get creative in sending a short link in a text by following these steps::

  • Promote a sale or special offer: Use SMS hyperlinks to promote exclusive sales or special offers to your subscribers. 
  • Conduct surveys or polls: Use trackable links to conduct surveys or polls and gather valuable customer feedback.
  • Send appointment reminders: Use SMS short links to send appointment reminders and make it easy for customers to confirm or reschedule.
  • Drive app downloads: Use a short link in your text message to drive app downloads and encourage customers to engage with your brand on their mobile devices.

Examples of brands that use short links like pros

If these brands can do it, so can you. 

Here’s how some popular brands use short SMS links.

1. Coca-Cola 

share a coke sms campaign with sms short link

The campaign encouraged people to buy Coca-Cola bottles with personalised names. Then, they’d share a picture of the bottle on social media using the hashtag #ShareACoke.

The campaign was successful, with over 150 million personalised Coca-Cola bottles sold.

2. Sephora

sephora using sms short link in their discount sms campaign

Sephora sends SMS messages with a short link to their Beauty Insider members. 

These messages offer early access to new products or a limited-time discount. 

By clicking on the link in the text message, customers get directed to a mobile-optimised landing page. Here, they can view the promotion and make a purchase.

3. Pizza Hut 

Pizza Hut SMS | SMS from Pizza Hut encouraging users to click on an SMS short link.

Pizza Hut is another brand that has successfully used SMS short links in its promotions.

In one campaign, they sent out a text message to their subscribers with an SMS hyperlink that led to a landing page. On this page, customers could get a discount on ordering a pizza.

4. Starbucks 

Starbucks uses an SMS short link to direct customers to their store locator. 

This makes it convenient for recipients to find the nearest Starbucks location. From there, they can redeem their offer.

5. Domino’s 

Domino’s used SMS short links to promote their “Easy Order” feature to make it easier for customers to order pizza. 

The pizza brand included a short link in text messages and sent them to customers. 

The link led customers to the “Easy Order” page within the app. The campaign succeeded, with thousands of customers using the feature to order pizza.

Domino's message to customer encouraging them to place and order via the short link.

Which are the best link shorteners for SMS?

You can find many link shorteners for SMS on the web. Let’s help you by sharing the best ones for your business.

  • Bitly is a popular, easy-to-use link shortener. Bitly offers advanced tracking and analytics. You can also customise your SMS short links. Bitly features include SMS tracking for clicks and geographic location.
  • Rebrandly helps you create custom short links using your domain name. This increases your brand recognition and trust. Rebrandly also provides trackable links, analytics, and integration with other marketing tools.
  • is a link shortener from Hootsuite, where you can also create short trackable links. This link shortener also offers social media integration and a bulk link-shortening feature.
  • TinyURL is a simple link shortener that lets you create links fast. TinyURL also allows customising your short links and tracking SMS clicks.
  • Google URL Shortener is a free link shortener from Google. It lets you create short links and enable SMS tracking. It also integrates with Google Analytics for more detailed SMS tracking and analysis.

Link shortener services can produce both generic and branded short links. So pick the one that works the best for you. 

Should you use a branded short link in your text?

We say yes! 

A branded SMS short link can increase brand recognition and trust. 

When you incorporate your business or domain name in the shortened URL, your customers can easily recognise your brand. This encourages them to click on the link.

Here’s an example. 

Coca-Cola uses a short link such as in its text messages. This increases Coca-Cola’s brand recognition and provides customers with more information about the promotion. 

Using a generic link such as http://bitly.927 in their text messages isn’t as effective. 

How do you ensure your SMS short links are mobile-friendly and easy to use?

Here are some tips to help you:

  • Keep the link concise: Long and complicated links are a big NO. They are difficult to read and type on mobiles. Use a link-shortening service to create a link that is easy to remember, type, and forward.
  • Test on various devices: Double-check to ensure that the short link displays and functions correctly. This way, you can eliminate any issues in the link. 
  • Optimise the landing page: The webpage where the short link leads your customer should be mobile-friendly. Make sure it’s optimised for smaller screens. Use responsive design techniques to ensure the page adapts to different screen sizes.

What are some best practices for creating effective SMS short links? 

You will create the most impact by following the best practices for creating short links. Keep these tips to keep in mind: 

  • Keep it short: Aim for links no longer than 20 characters. The shorter the link, the better it’s for your SMS. 
  • Make it relevant: Your short link should direct your customer to a relevant webpage. So while promoting a sale, the link should open the sale webpage instead of the homepage.
  • Check the link: Test the short hyperlinks thoroughly before sending them in your SMS. Run them on various devices and networks to ensure they work.
  • Pick the best service: Choose the link-shortening service that creates customised short links. The service should also provide you with analytics and tracking information.
  • Add call-to-action: Include a clear call-to-action in your SMS to encourage recipients to click the link.
  • Personalise the message: Use personalisation features to add the recipient’s name or other relevant information. Customisation can increase the likelihood of your audience clicking the link. 

Unlock the power of SMS short links with SMSCountry

You are now a pro at SMS short links! 

All you need to do now is create a short link following the best practices. Then add it to your SMS and hit send. 

But to hit send, you need an SMS service provider to deliver your message to customers. 

SMSCountry can help you get started. 

Contact SMSCountry now and start leveraging the power of SMS short links for your business.

Sign up for free or schedule a free demo to see how SMSCountry can help you send SMS campaigns with mouth watery ROI.


Are SMS short links different from regular short links?

Yes, SMS short links are different from regular short links. SMS short links are optimised for mobile devices and have a lower character count than regular short links.

Are there any restrictions in adding a URL to text messages?

Yes, there are some restrictions in adding a URL to text messages. For example, the URL cannot exceed 160 characters, and it must be a valid URL.

How much do SMS short links cost?

The cost of short SMS links depends on the service provider and the message volume. Some providers offer a pay-as-you-go pricing model, while others offer subscription-based plans.

How do I create a short link for SMS?

You can use a link-shortening service like Bitly or TinyURL to create a short link for SMS. These services allow you to input a long URL and generate a shortened link.

Can you put links in SMS?

Yes, you can put links in SMS. However, you must shorten and optimise the link for mobile devices.

How do I create a Bitly SMS link?

To create a Bitly SMS link, you must sign up for a Bitly account. Then follow the instructions on the website to create a shortened link.

What is an SMS URL?

An SMS URL is a shortened link optimised for mobile devices. You can use this link in SMS messages.

Can SMS short links be personalised or customised for specific customers?

Yes, you can personalise or customise SMS short links for specific customers. Some link-shortening services allow you to create custom domains, which you can use to create branded short links.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when using SMS short links in marketing campaigns?

Avoid using generic or irrelevant links, not optimising the link for mobile devices, and not providing a clear call to action.

Can SMS short links be used with other marketing channels like email or social media?

Yes. You can use short SMS links with other marketing channels like email or social media. Short links drive traffic to landing pages or track clicks across different channels.

What is the typical response rate for short SMS link campaigns?

The response rate for short SMS link campaigns depends on the industry and the quality of the campaign. However, studies have shown that SMS has an open rate of over 98% and a response rate of over 45%.

How do businesses ensure that their SMS short links are secure and don’t pose a risk to customers?

Businesses can use a secure link-shortening service and avoid spam or suspicious links to ensure their SMS short links don’t pose a risk to customers.

How can SMS short links be used in event marketing and promotions?

Use SMS short links in event marketing and promotions to drive traffic to event pages, provide event information, and offer attendees promotions or discounts.

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Tracy Ume is a content writer, passionate about providing relevant and readable content to readers. Armed with a degree in English and Literature, Tracy is on a mission to bring life to boring articles. When not writing, you can find her re-reading her favorite books, and actively contemplating humanity

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