How To Supercharge Your Links

26 May 2024

Some shorteners are better than others. Here's why.

URL shortener, link shortener, custom link… all pretty much the same thing. They’re tools which take a long URL and shorten it.

But some shorteners are better than others.

In the rise of X (formerly Twitter), long links started becoming a problem and shortening them became necessary as every character counted in your 140 limit. This meant that a URL like this...

… would eat up more than 70% of our character limit. Until we used a shortener.

TinyURL was X's shortener of choice until around 2009 when took over and then jumped in with their own version. There are a lot of shorteners out there, all with varying pricing models and services.

The problem with URL shorteners now is less about the character length restrictions and more about the confidence in what that URL is going to link to when you click on it. URL shorteners mask the links of the destination address they click through to, which is not so great for us when we want to know that the content we’re going to see when we click on the link is what we expect. And even more so that the link isn’t hiding any kind of malicious code.

Branded links inspire confidence

Let’s take the example blog article URL above about the Changes to Meta Facebook Fundraising Tools for European Economic Area (EEA) and shorten it using Funraisin’s inbuilt URL shortener tool:

Nice and simple, but more importantly it’s consistent branding for our organisation which should inspire some confidence with those clicking on the link that its trusted, alludes to the what the content is with the word ‘meta’ and keeps Google’s spiders happy that there’s no black hat link cloaking going on. It’s also memorable and effective with brand reinforcement. Do you remember the brand behind the URL of the last link you clicked on?

Using Short URLS to track channel performance

Standard URL shorteners have some additional benefits around stats - you can see the volume of clicks each link gets, time of day, day of week, etc.

Organisations who use Funraisin are pretty active in their use of the Short URL module as we have built in a lot of features that take this link tracking to the next level and can provide insights into the quality of offsite channels in driving traffic, your content effectiveness and much more – right down to the most important stats around Donations and Registrations. And the links don't just have to be used online. They're powerful for use in offline channels too such as TVCs, OOH, direct mail - pretty much anywhere you need a URL.

For example, using Funraisin you’re able to quickly see total donations attributed to a specific link which we then extrapolate on for average donation value, form submissions, onsite content interactions and much more down to an individual fundraiser and donor level.

A great example of Short URLs in use would be your Christmas appeal that has a URL of, however, you'd like to promote this link on Facebook. You can create a new URL of that points to Within the Short URL module you can now track how many people have clicked through from /jingle (i.e. from your Facebook link) and how many have converted by making a donation.

If you’re using UTM tags, you can also add in your UTM tags to the end of the destination URL – this will ensure stats are fed through to your Google Analytics property.

How can I get started?

Navigate to the Short URL module under the Tools section of your admin menu, then check out this handy support article for step-by-step instructions in getting set up.

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