Using URL Shorteners on Your Flyer Marketing

July 4, 2012 · 2 comments

in Company News

Using URL shorteners has been an exclusive practice of online marketers. However, with the growing need for each business to stand out from the crowd, more and more are using online and offline marketing in general to increase their leads and sales.

Therefore, it’s time to make your business known by incorporating different marketing ideas on your campaign to achieve your desired results. An idea is to use  URL shorteners on your print products such as flyers.

Before we proceed with explaining the benefits of using URL shorteners on flyers, it’s important to discuss first how and why URL shorteners work.

How Are Online Marketers Using URL Shorteners

Using URL shorteners have made online promotions much more convenient due to their advantages: make the URL easier to remember and to track click-through rate.

Originally, URL shorteners help condense the length of your site URL to flesh out your marketing message even further using more words. This was important for marketers especially with microblogging sites like Twitter imposing a 160-character limit for every tweet.

What some auto-generated URL shorteners don’t offer is the ability to create a custom URL for your site. Instead of having shortened URLs that are difficult to remember, i.e. http://goo.gl/8Nw5x, you can type how you want your URL to appear, i.e. http://bit.ly/mygreatsite or http://tinyurl.com/abouturlshorteners. Although the last two URLs are longer than the first, both are easier to remember because they consist of common words and not a string of random characters.

Note: All shortened URLs featured lead back to this page.

Creating an account for URL shortening sites lets you see the number of people who have entered or clicked the URL using their browsers to access your site.

Using URL Shorteners - Bit.ly Stats page Above is a screencaps of bit.ly’s Stats page once logged in to the site.

This lets you gauge the effectiveness of your online marketing campaign by the total clicks of the shortened URL to your site.

Examples of URL Shorteners

Below is a list of URL shorteners that allow URL customization:

Among the four, bit.ly and tiny.cc provides a comprehensive rundown of the daily number of clicks on the shortened URL to your site, which aids you in recording the progress of the custom URLS you have created.

Also, with the exception of TinyURL, all sites can convert your shortened URL to a QR code or an auto-generated barcode. This gives users access to your site once they take a picture of it using their smartphones. Their phone recognizes the code and redirects them to the original site.

How to Use URL Shorteners on Print Media

While URL shorteners have primarily used for online marketing, there is no reason for small business owners to not use these as part of their marketing strategy, especially if they wish to gain traffic on their websites.

For this example, let’s create a hypothetical flyer design with the purpose of promoting this post using URL shorteners.

If you need tips on how to create a compelling flyer design, refer to our previous entitled “Fabulous Flyers,” which details the best practices in designing your marketing flyers.

Once you have a flyer design, you can generate your custom shortened URL by following the steps below:

  1. Open any of the links above to access your URL shortening site of choice.
  2. Register for an account to access special features of the site, if you chose bit.ly or tiny.cc. Otherwise, skip to the next step.
  3. Enter the URL of your site on the indicated text bar.
  4. Type in the custom URL that will be used on your shortened link. There will be a chance that your custom URL is already taken and therefore cannot be used, come up with alternatives URL for your print media.
  5. Click on the button that will shorten it.
  6. Copy and paste the created URL on your flyer design.

Make sure that the URL can be easily seen by people so they can immediately type in the address on their browsers after reading the flyer.

Aside from its design, your copy must set up your shortened URL as your call to action and encourage readers to ultimately visit the link. For any help in composing a persuasive and compelling copy, read our post entitled “10 Building Blocks of Great Copywriting”.

If you plan to create multiple campaigns using URL shorteners, prepare specific custom URLs for each campaign. Whereas you are using http://bit.ly/shortenyoururl on your flyers, you can use http://tiny.cc/usingurlshorteners or http://tinyurl.com/shortenyoururl on your other print media. This allows you to isolate the performance of each campaign by referring to the statistics found on the backend of the respective sites. From here, you can determine which channels to focus on and abandon to maximize your efforts in increasing conversion at lowered costs.

Takeaways

To recap, here are the reasons why using URL shorteners as part of your print marketing efforts is beneficial to your business:

  • Seamlessly track the progress of your print products with the total number of clicks on the backend of each site
  • Narrow down and focus on the marketing channels that perform the best for your business
  • Boost your online representation using offline marketing
Full Color Flyers from PrintRunner.comNow that we’ve thoroughly discussed using URL shorteners for your print materials, it’s time to put this newly acquired knowledge to practice! Order professional flyers here at PrintRunner and create your design using our easy-to-use Online Design Tool for convenient printing and efficient marketing.

About

Benny has a strong affinity for creative writing, a deep engagement in Anglo-American Literature, a maddening passion for SEO/SEM, a profound love for guitar-driven music, and an undying allegiance to a full-bodied cup of joe at least thrice a day. He currently writes for and manages the PrintRunner Marketing Blog.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew Harasewych August 10, 2013 at 5:49 am

This is terrible advice.

Not only are CTRs ALWAYS lower on commercial short URLs like bit.ly, but when that company goes out of business, all of your old marketing is useless and holds no value whatsoever.

Not to mention the decrease in SEO power if someone links using that short link instead of your own URL.

Tracking is nice…. but not worth the loss in effectiveness.

Reply

PrintRunner August 13, 2013 at 11:56 pm

Perhaps it makes more sense in the context of short term campaigns and how willing you are to risk the URL shortener company going out of business in the meantime. Thanks for reading, Andrew!

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