Click tracking short URL's for SMS text messages
This guide summarizes how to set up URLs that you're including in text messages so that you can track click rates.

Business Objective

To understand how much traffic your text message campaigns are driving, you'll need to add a hashtag to each of your target URLs. This will allow us to distinguish traffic coming from those URLs when we look at data in Google Analytics.

What to do

Step 1: Assemble the components of your campaign: Short URL, destination URL, and hashtag (and maybe an intermediary Mass.gov URL)

Your text message campaign comprises:
  • The short URL, e.g. mass.gov/yourShortURL that users see (and tap) on their phones
  • The destination URL, or the page you want them to land on
  • If the destination URL is not on Mass.gov: An "intermediary" Mass.gov URL. This can reflect your short URL, e.g. www.mass.gov/campaign/yourShortURL
  • A hashtag, such as #AlertsMA (case sensitive). Mass Digital is happy to help you determine which hashtag to use if you're not sure.
Important: As you may already know, you will be creating a redirect so that your short URL sends traffic to your destination URL. To collect data about how often people use the link in your text messages, your short URL must be different than other short URLs that lead to your destination from places other than text messages.
For example: If www.mass.gov/COVID-19 is being used as a friendly URL in emails, site wide alerts, radio broadcasts, etc., you'll need to create a different short URL for your text message campaign. This is a requirement for gathering data about traffic from text messages. Otherwise, we won't be able to distinguish text message traffic from other sources.

Step 2a: Build your destination URL with the #AlertsMA hashtag

If the destination URL is on Mass.gov, follow this step. If not, skip to 2b.
Combine the page's URL with the hashtag:
https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-updates-and-information +#AlertsMA
Result: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-updates-and-information#AlertsMA

Step 2b: For destinations that are off Mass.gov

Our plan for tracking clicks to destination off Mass.gov is currently in beta, and we are still testing to make sure that we can provide accurate, timely data. To do this, you will simply create one new short URL that isn't used for any other campaign that ends in your destination URL. You do not need to include the hashtag.

Step 3: Get access to your data

Once you've done all this, you'll be able to see how frequently visitors follow your text message links. Mass Digital can help you get access to this data in Google Analytics, or we report on it at your convenience.
To make sure that we are collecting accurate data, short URLs that go out in text messages must not be used elsewhere. For example, if www.mass.gov/covid19 is a short URL that's also being used in sitewide alerts or in the Governor's speeches, you'll need to create a new short URL that you only use for text messages.
However, you can re-use short URLs that you made for a previous text campaign for a new text campaign that features the same link.

Last modified 1yr ago