URL Shorteners, Link Retargeting, & Branded Link tools for Marketers
URL Shorteners allow for businesses and marketers to condense lengthy URLs down into short hyperlinks. The biggest example would be bit.ly, however, there are now plenty of bitly alternatives There are multiple functions that short links can provide (or have thus evolved to offer):
- Link Retargeting
Link Retargeting is when Ad retargeting (or remarketing) pixels are triggered upon clicking on particular links for the purpose of adding visitors to a particular custom audience for that link.
- UTM Parameters Management
UTM parameters don’t necessarily need to be shortened in order to work; however, in practice, a fully-fledged UTM link might be a bit long, and include marketing jargon that you wouldn’t necessarily want users to read.
- CTA Insertion (iframe)
CTA Insertion is when you can embed a call-to-action link inside of an iframe rendering of 3rd-party content. This is useful for those that curate external content on their own social media channels.
- Mobile App Deep Links
Deep Links are simply links that take users directly to a specific page or piece of content. In mobile app marketing, this refers to the act of guiding a user directly to a page within an app instead of a webview.
- Branded & Vanity Links
Branded links allow for companies to use their existing domains when creating short links.
Short.io is a platform that allows users to create branded short links and deep links. Their pricing plans are quite reasonable, especially for some of the upper tiers. There is an option for link cloaking, where end users won’t see the full URL when they visit.
I like Rebrandly since it allows for custom subdomains and offers quite extensive analytics. It can be viewed as an interesting PixelMe alternative.
PixelMe is an enterprise-grade solution that has robust link retargeting features.
RocketLink includes a balanced mix of link retargeting and embedded Call-to-Action within branded links. They are based in Poland, hence their compliance with GDPR. RL is perhaps one of the leading alternatives to Sniply.
Snip.ly is quite interesting as it can add a CTA (buttons, text, forms) to any curated content that you share on social media. This is a huge bonus for content curators. Their free plans provides up to 1,000 clicks per month; which could be plenty.
Geniuslink is a good platform for creating affiliate links, particularly for Amazon and iTunes.
Poplink helps increase the CTR of shared links.
JotURL is a link management suite built in Italy that can help with converting traffic from any channel.
Shlink is an open source URL shortener that allows for generating shortened URLs from the command link. It has a progressive web app for managing multiple instances
Replug‘s platform allows for exit-intent popups to trigger, and integrates with several email marketing tools.
Rite.ly by Rite Kit
Zubbit offers the standard features like most link shortening tools offer, but also automated RSS link generation, video CTA’s, and has competitive pricing.
Capuslink allows for restricting links based on location, time, and device type. They also have an API for developers.
Deep Linking Tools for Mobile App Marketing
Deep Linking is essential for mobile user acquisition; particularly attribution, or determining where exactly an app install came from. It’s a common practice in web links; really it just takes users to a specific “page” in a mobile app. There are many ad networks and mediation tools, so it’s essential that the information (where the new user came from) gets tracked properly.
Branch‘s platform is designed for mobile linking, and helps with attribution.
Onelink simplifies app downloads by intelligently routing users to the right platform based on the device that they are using.
Instagram Bio Link Shortener Tools
Instagram does not allow for clickable URLs in posts, however, they do allow one link in the profile section, so many posts will refer to the “link in bio” for driving traffic off of Instagram.
Links in the descriptions of IGTV videos, however, are indeed clickable.
Since Instagram accounts are normally sending traffic to a specific place (as opposed to the root domain), they will use a URL shortener on Instagram to contain multiple links in one that is mobile-friendly.
myurls offers a free instagram profile link service, where users can add their various social profiles.
Hype Link is another Instagram link platform, which also has features for musicians.
Linktree is a popular option for content creators.
ContactInBio lets users create micro landing pages that can receive orders, collect leads and payments.
IGBIO offers users the creation of “biolink pages”. Their premium plans are feature-rich.
Many.link lets you add as many links as you want, hence the name.
Conclusion & FAQ
Short.io, Rebrandly, PixelMe, RocketLink, & Sniply are link shortening tools to use instead of bit.ly.