URL Shorteners - the Pros and Cons in Mobile Marketing

Why would there be a need to shorten a URL? One reason is that when using a URL in a mobile marketing campaign a long URL can be difficult to retype correctly in order to text or include it in a QR code. Another reason is because they just look odd and basically, ugly especially the longer they are. Even if the URL is correctly included in the mobile promotion choice, no one wants to see a bunch of, “www.…/?rlz=1C1 =en&cp=1 AB_enU&%...” or even a long descriptive URL, like “www.SomeCompany.com/this-is-way-too-long-and-awkward.#/html.” Also, shortened URL’s are more likely to be remembered and easier to the consumer to share the link. URL Shorteners make this possible.

The Pros of URL Shorteners. They make it possible to send out clean concise URL’s to consumers that just look nicer. URL Shorteners reduce the occurrence of errors in retyping them from a mobile phone to a computer or when the target audience to re-text them to their friends and family. They also add convenience by shortening the URLs. Even if the long URL is reproduced successfully, it is very time consuming. Some URL Shorteners providers even offer a special perk of tracking the URL’s usage in terms of views. This can be a very helpful tool in a business’s mobile phone marketing project.

The Cons of URL Shorteners. Like with any technology and technology providers there is bound to be some hiccups and drawbacks; URL Shorteners and services are no different. The main pitfall with the shorteners is they typically go through an outside website and if they shut down every single shortened URL a marketer or business sent out or linked back will now be void and not work. Also, if the URL Shortener provider is less than reputable, they could easily slip in spam, viruses or malware. This is because the full URLs are concealed by the shortener. This could lead to changing or canceling a promotion in mid swing which can diminish a company’s reputation and may even be costly in the long run.

For a mobile marketing company planning a big promotional campaign via mobile phones for a client or even a business doing it themselves, the use of a URL Shortener can be highly productive. If executed correctly and proper research is done on the shortener service provider there should be no issues in the future after the URLs have been made public. However, it is always better for a marketer to err on the side of caution and have a backup plan in case the provider’s website goes down, especially for long on going promotions which should be no problem for seasoned sms mobile marketing firms.