Listrak shortened links

Every character counts for SMS marketing, especially when messages are limited to 160 characters. Listrak makes it easy for you by shortening links by taking long URLs and reducing the character count. This is important in SMS marketing due to the limited character count. As an SMS marketer, you want characters in your SMS message to be used for content directed at the customer experience.

How the shortened link is created

It starts when you begin composing your SMS message. When the URL is pasted into the message content field, instead of counting the characters of a regular URL in the character count and phone preview pane, the shortened character count is estimated. There are three parts of the URL that contribute to the character count in a message: the protocol, the domain, and the unique 7 character parameter after the slash, in total, will add up to 22 characters. For example:

⚠️ If the Branded URL is set up in Short Code settings, the domain length will impact that count accordingly.

After you send your SMS message, you’ll be able to see in real-time how many of your recipients are clicking on the link. Learn more about the benefits of using links in your SMS program.

Listrak branded links

Custom domains replace the “” in your links with the name of your choosing so you can take total control of your content. By using your branded URL, your audience will know they can trust the link. With more clicks comes increased brand recognition and consumer trust in your communications—which in turn inspires even more engagement with your links.

⚠️ A CNAME cannot be placed on a root domain, since the root domain has a Start of Authority (SOA), which must point to an IP (via an A or AAAA record). Use a subdomain of your current site, OR you can purchase a shorter domain. If purchasing a shorter domain for your branded URL, like, point the CNAME to

How to create a branded link

Follow the steps below to create your branded link.

  1. Create a new CNAME subdomain record in your DNS Host.

  2. Point the subdomain you'd like to use for SMS links to the Listrak domain '

    For Example:

    • CNAME points to

    • CNAME points to


  3. Navigate to Settings > SMS Settings Short Code.

    💡 If you have multiple short codes, you will need to select the correct short code from list navigation dropdown menu.

  4. Enter your preferred shortened URL in the Link Domain Alias field.


Listrak will then display your branded shortened link plus the 7 character parameter to stay within the 160 character limit in your text messages!

💡 When using a subdomain branded link, it is best to use as few characters as possible.

Benefits of using Links

Tracking SMS marketing click-through rates:

  • Click-Through Rate: Or “CTR” is the percentage of customers who click on a hyperlink within an SMS message. For example, if 10 customers receive your brand’s SMS message, and 2 of those customers click on the hyperlink, that would be a 20% click-through rate.
    Use the Broadcast Message Dashboard for a detailed performance report on your broadcast messages sent to your list. When using this dashboard, you will see the three most recent broadcast sends, with an at-a-glance look at when they were delivered, how many, and the message content. The data grid displays metrics related to the performance of your broadcast messages and is broken down by message type.

  • Unique and Total Clicks: This is the number of unique users that have clicked a link within your message. Total Clicks is the number of clicks that have happened as a result of your message. You can gain greater insight into the performance of your broadcast messages, learn more about reporting SMS Broadcast Reporting.

Strategies for your SMS marketing click-through rates:

  • Optimize Link Preview Images - When link previews are used correctly in an SMS message, it is very much like sending an MMS without the additional cost. Remember that there are other factors in rendering a link preview, like the handset settings, so make sure to test on a device to check rendering for Android and iOS.

  • Personalize Your Messaging - The more personalized a message is for a consumer, the higher the CTR you’re going to get. This Listrak feature is called Personalization, and it uses profile fields like first name or any custom data that was collected using Data Acquisition messages or through a website Subscription Point. If we don't have their first name, you can add a default value and set it to whatever you want! Learn more about using personalization in your SMS messages.

  • Brand Your Short Code - When you send a Contact Attachment as a part of your SMS program and customers save this file to their contacts, they will see your company name and logo in their messaging app (instead of the short code). This helps with branding for the overall customer experience, and as a very big bonus, it allows link preview rendering in iOS. To use this feature read more here.

  • Brand your Link: Custom domains replace the '' in your links with the name of your choosing so you can take total control of your content. By using your brand in your links, your audience will know they can trust you.

For more information on SMS messaging, reach out to your Account Manager or Listrak Support!

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