An SMS message can have only 160 characters, and a single link (even without UTM parameters) can use up most of them. Iterable's SMS link shortening feature makes it easy to incorporate links into your SMS campaigns, and still have room for a compelling, personalized message.
And, since Iterable provides click tracking for these shortlinks, you can better understand how your contacts are engaging with your SMS campaigns and personalize your messages more deeply.
SMS link shortening
For any given SMS campaign, you can choose one of your project's verified, tracking domains to use for link shortening. (To learn how to create a new tracking domain, read create a tracking domain for SMS link shortening).
If you're using Handlebars to insert a link into an SMS message, use
triple curly braces
favoriteItemURL profile field that you'd like to use as a link
in your message, enter
For example, here's an example SMS template that includes a link to
This template uses
itbldocs.site for link shortening, which means that the
campaign's recipients will receive links that look something like
https://itbldocs.site/2NMwZ (the selected domain, plus five characters).
- The example shortlink displayed on the template editing page is not an actual link.
- The character count on this page doesn't take link shortening into account. For a better sense of the actual character account, use preview with data.
If you don't have a custom tracking domain you'd like to use for SMS link
shortening, you can use Iterable's default link shortening domain,
itbl.co is shared across all Iterable projects, shortlinks that use this
domain include a few extra characters to map them back to the sending project. For
https://itbl.co/KT~2NMwz (shown above), the
KT~ prefix associates
the link with the template's Iterable project. However, the template editing page
doesn't show the actual, project-specific extra characters that will appear in your
messages (only an example).
- For link shortening, it's always best to use a branded link tracking domain
itbl.co). Contacts will generally perceive links associated with your organization to be more trustworthy.
- Iterable stores shortlinks for a minimum of 30 days. If one of your contacts happens to click on an expired link, they'll see a friendly 404 page.
Previewing with data
To view how an SMS message will appear to your contacts (including shortlinks and personalized data), and to get a more accurate understanding of the message's actual character count, use Preview with Data.
Do this by saving your template and clicking the Preview with Data button below the template editor. This will bring up the Preview with Data page:
To see how the message will appear for a particular contact (using their data, and placeholder shortlinks), enter their email address in the input and click Load User Data.
Creating a tracking domain for SMS link shortening
To create a new link tracking domain specifically for SMS link shortening:
- Register the domain.
- It's a best practice to enable HTTPS for all tracking domains. To do this, use a service such as Amazon CloudFront or Cloudflare.
- In the domain's DNS, set up a CNAME record, aliasing it to
- In Iterable, navigate to Settings > Domains and add this new domain as a link tracking domain, making sure to enable HTTPS.
- Once Iterable has verified the domain, you can use it for SMS link shortening.
Before using a new tracking domain in a live campaign, send an internal test campaign to make sure that it works as expected.
Whenever one of your contacts clicks a shortlink in an SMS message, Iterable
smsClick event to their profile. Use these events to drive greater
personalization—for example, in segmentation and workflow filters.
With these events, you might create a dynamic list that includes only those contacts who have (or have not) clicked on a particular SMS message. Or, you might use them to split contacts into different workflow paths.
Additionally, Iterable surfaces various SMS click tracking metrics:
- Total SMS clicks
- Unique SMS clicks (
- SMS click rate (unique SMS clicks / total SMS delivered)
You can find these metrics in all the places you analyze campaign metrics: messaging insights, reports, dashboards, experiments, etc.
We're working on a few updates to SMS link shortening and click tracking:
smsClickevents to trigger a workflow
- Deep linking into mobile apps from an SMS message
smsClickevents to trigger system webhook calls
- Making it possible to configure a template to automatically add UTM paramters to shortlinks