Link Shorteners: Why, How, Huh?

Kevin D. Hendricks
Published on | 
June 15, 2022
Link Shorteners: Why, How, Huh?

You want to share the link to your donate page and other important web pages, but you need user-friendly URLs. A link shortener is an easy way to make that happen, but there are some nuances you need to be aware of. 

Why You Need to Shrink Links

First and foremost, it helps to understand why you need to shorten links in the first place. Often links to specific web pages can be long and ugly URLs. Those links can be hard to use, whether it’s supporters sharing the link, printing the link in brochures or on screens, or using the link verbally in a podcast or video. 

Having a simple, short URL can make things much simpler. 

Which URL would you rather share? 

Examples of having to say a really long URL compared to a shortened URL.

How to Shorten a URL

So how do you shrink those links? There are several options for link shorteners. Bitly is a common one, but there are others. Basically they create a simpler, easier to share URL that will link to your longer, less user-friendly URL. 

Often it’s just a matter of putting the long URL into an online system and it spits out a short one. 

We also offer a link shortener as part of our Rally platform, and there are some benefits to using our system.

Pros and Cons of Bitly

There are some benefits and drawbacks to using a common service like Bitly:


  • Cheap and easy: Bitly is free to start and easy to use.
  • Well known and recognizable: Most people are familiar with Bitly and understand how it works.
  • Analytics: You can get data on how many clicks your shortened URL is getting (within limits, as you’ll see under cons).


  • Out-of-norm: Bitly is not normally used in text messaging, so it may not be familiar with your contacts.
  • Spam: Since all kinds of people use Bitly, some of them use it badly and get flagged for spam. That can result in your text messages using Bitly being flagged as spam and not delivered.
  • Analytics: Those click stats are only stored for so long and you have to pay to get more access to your own data.
  • No change: Once you create a Bitly URL, you can’t change it. So if you make a shortened link for your donate form, slap that Bitly URL all over the place, and then your donate form moves, you’ll be in trouble.

Benefits of Rally Link Shortening

Of course Bitly isn’t the only link shortening service you can use. We offer our own link shortener in our Rally platform because it’s vital to have short, user-friendly URLs in texting. 

Here are some of the benefits:

  • Changeable: Unlike Bitly, our link shortener allows you to change the destination URL at any time.
  • QR code: As a bonus, our link shortener also generates a QR code.
  • Analytics: Not only do we track the clicks, but you can get granular insights like who clicked on the link.
  • Spam: Our link shortener is unlikely to get flagged as spam, so you can have confidence your text messages are being delivered.

Get Started With Rally Today

Rally is a mobile platform designed to help you connect with your donors. We love rolling out tools to make that easier, including link shortening—which is crucial to effective texts. You don’t want your links mistaken for spam, right? Schedule a call and let’s talk about how Rally can help you better connect with your donors.

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