TeleSign provides a URL shortening service to make URLs in your SMS messages more compact. If you enable this feature, you would write your message as usual and include one long URL (the service only senses and shortens the first URL in a message, after that additional URLs in the message are left as-is).
Your long URL must begin with https:// in order to be recognized and shortened. TeleSign’s URL shortener will not accept unsecured URLs.
TeleSign’s system would sense the URL, shorten it to 22 characters maximum, and your end users will receive an SMS message containing the shortened URL. Each shortened URL is unique to the end user receiving it. There is no additional cost for this service, the exception being if your message ends up too long for a single SMS.
The shortened URL will link your end users to the longer URL for a length of time that you specify, up to 30 days. After that, end users are directed to a page informing them that the link expired. Each shortened URL is unique to the phone number, allowing you to track whether an end user clicked the URL on the URL Shortener Reports screen in your account on teleportal.telesign.com.
If an SMS message exceeds the maximum amount of allowable characters (160), the message is automatically split into an additional SMS message using smart splitting.
Shortened URLs have the following features:
- All start with
- Maximum length does not exceed 22 characters
- Variable part of the shortener can have a maximum of 6 characters
- Numbers 0-9
- Lowercase letters excluding vowels b-z
- Capital letters excluding vowels B-Z
- Shortened link validity period that you specify (1 day, 7 days, 14 days, 21 days, or 30 days), the default setting is 7 days. When the short URL becomes invalid, it will return a page that says “Oops! The page you are looking for has expired.”
- Shortened URL is tracked and data about end user interaction is displayed on the URL Shortener Reports screen. Each shortened URL is unique to the phone number it is sent to, so you can track end user activity
- Only one URL will be shortened in an SMS message, so TeleSign recommends that you do not include more than one link
Enable URL Shortener Feature
To enable the URL Shortener feature, speak with your Technical Account Manager. Together you should:
- Enable the URL Shortener.
- Set the validity period. Your choices are 1 day, 7 days, 14 days, 21 days, or 30 days. This represents how long you want a shortened URL to last (it will expire after that and will redirect your end user to a page informing them that the link expired).
URL Shortener Analytics and Reports
TeleSign’s URL shortener groups end user analytics data based on the long URL included in the SMS message you send. This grouping of data is referred to as a campaign. Every end user you send the same long URL to will be grouped into the same campaign. For example, say you send end users in Group A an SMS with a long URL on May 4th and you send end users in Group B an SMS with the exact same long URL on May 10th. The analytics data for both groups would be gathered together into the same campaign. If you do not want the analytics data for end users in Group B grouped with the end users in Group A, you would use a different long URL for each, and the data would be split into two separate campaigns.
Each campaign provides you with analytics data in four reports. They are:
- Click-Through Rate over Time
- Click-Through Rate per Country
- Click Response Time
- Click Response Time per Country
General Report Features
Report features common across all reports include:
- Filter - Use the Filter By drop-down to choose the length of time you want to view unique and total number of clicks for. Your choices are 1 day, 7 days, 1 month, and 3 months.
- Campaign Selector - In the drop-down to the right of the Filter By drop-down, you can choose the campaign you want to review in the report. You can have multiple campaigns where you send messages and then review reports to see how well each campaign is doing. A campaign is defined by the long URL in your SMS message. Every end user that receives the same long URL will be grouped into the same campaign, regardless of when they receive the message.
- Download Report - Click Download to download a copy of your campaign report.
Click-Through Rate over Time
The Click-Through Rate over Time report allows you to see the total and unique number of clicks over a selected timeframe and is aggregated on an hourly basis. Unique clicks are used to represent the first time an end user clicks the link you provide in your SMS. Total clicks may be different, because this metric includes any additional clicks from an end user on the URL you provide in your SMS.
The green line represents the total number of clicks and the blue line represents the total unique number of clicks.
The Click Through Rate chart aggregates all end users who clicked on the URL associated with a campaign. For example, say you have two groups of end users in Group A and Group B, and you decide to begin a campaign for a specific URL on May 4th. You send end users from Group A an SMS with a long URL on May 4th and you send end users in Group B an SMS with the exact same long URL on May 10th. This chart will show what days over a set interval of time that your campaign for that URL received clicks. The chart does not indicate click response time, since it does not delineate between the different days that you sent an SMS to your end users. For example, say an end user from Group B clicks on the link in the SMS they receive on the day after they receive it. On this chart, it would show that they clicked on the 11th, but it would not show when they received the message.
If you want to know about click response time, which shows you the difference between the time your SMS was sent and the time an end user first clicked the URL included in the SMS, refer to the Click Response Time chart.
Click-Through Rate per Country
The Click-Through Rate per Country report allows you to see the total and unique number of clicks per country over a selected timeframe.
Click Response Time
The Click Response Time report shows you the difference between the time your SMS message was sent and the time an end user clicked for the first time on the shortened URL. This chart will show you how far away from receiving the SMS that an end user clicked on the link in the SMS for the first time. Distribution is displayed on a daily basis - how many end users clicked in the first day, the second day, and so on in reference to the date/time they received the SMS. This allows you to see what the most responsive day for your campaign was.
If an end user attempts to click on the link after it expires, they are redirected to an expired page, and they will not be included in the analytics data as having clicked on the link.
Click Response Time per Country
The Click Response Time report shows you by country the difference between the time your SMS message was sent and the time an end user clicked for the first time on the shortened URL.