Custom Short Domains
Domain shortening is a way to take a full URL and condense it into a series of characters that takes up less space in your messages. In our platform, we provide a proprietary URL shortener for both SMS and push campaigns, which will automatically shorten your URL when you send your message.
By default, these short domains will appear under the Vibes default short domain: vbs.cm. However, if you’d like to change this default to a custom short domain that represents your brand, you can also do so while still using the automatic link shortener in the platform.
Why Use Our Link Shortener?
If you already have a bit.ly or other link shortener, you may be wondering why configuring your custom short domain through the Vibes platform is necessary. There are a few benefits to using our link shortener, including:
- Convenience – Our link shortener is built into our platform and toggles on with the check of a box.
- In-Platform Stats – Our platform collects statistics for URLs that are created using our link shortener. A few stats that are tracked include total clicks, unique clicks, and the click-through rate.
- Subscriber Behavior History – Our platform generates a unique short URL per user when sending the broadcast. So beyond simply tracking a count total/unique clicks, the platform also tracks which users clicked each link. This is useful for re-targeting (such as messaging people who did/didn't click a previous message), as well as understanding subscriber analytics.
Configuring Your Short Domain
The steps for configuring a vanity short domain are outlined as follows.
Step 1: Register the short domain
Work with your internal IT team to register a new domain. Our recommendation is to find a domain that’s as short as possible while still representing your brand identity. For example, Vibes uses vbs.cm, and Amazon uses amzn.to for short URLs.
Step 2: Point the short domain to Vibes' domain name system (DNS)
To use your new custom short domain, the domain needs to point to vbs.cm. There are three ways to do this, depending on the DNS provider you are using.
Regardless of which option is used, the DNS record that is configured to enable the short domain must remain active. If the DNS record is later removed or changed, any short URLs that have already been generated using the custom short domain will stop working, and it will not be possible to send new short URLs out using the custom domain until the DNS record is restored.
Option 1: Non-Standard ANAME or ALIAS Record
Our recommended solution is to use a non-standard alias record, which some DNS providers support.
For example, DNS Made Easy has an ANAME record type, and DNSimple has an ALIAS record type. These records are specified with host names that the DNS provider should track and respond to DNS queries with the current IP address for the upstream host name. If the client’s DNS provider has something similar, they can point their short domain to vbs.cm using the alias record. This will continue working even if the URL Shortener IP address changes.
If using this approach, the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) for the alias record is vbs.cm.
Option 2: Standard 'A' Record
While the simplest approach is to specify an A record that points the domain directly to the IP address of Vibes' URL Shortener, it poses a potential maintenance issue. For example, if Vibes needs to modify the IP address due to network changes, or to fail-over to our second data center, you’ll need to update the A record as well. Changes to our IP address should be rare, and we will proactively notify clients of scheduled changes.
- If using this approach in North America, you can determine the IP Address for querying the A record for vbs.cm, which is currently 220.127.116.11.
- If using this approach internationally on an account registered for the EU instance, you can determine the IP Address for querying the A record for vib.es, which is currently 18.104.22.168.
Option 3: Standard 'CNAME' Record
A third alternative is to use a standard DNS CNAME record, which should specify the FQDN vbs.cm as the value of the record just as in Option 1.
A limitation of this approach is that CNAME records cannot be defined for the top-level domain name. Therefore, any hostname configured using this option must have at least three components separated by periods.
For example, if the short domain registered in Step 1 were ABC.XYZ, it would not be possible to create a DNS CNAME record for the top-level ABC.XYZ name. You would need to add some additional hostname component to that name, such as A.ABC.XYZ.
Step 3: Configure the Vibes short domain
Once you have completed the previous steps, please notify your Vibes account representative with the specific short domain you would like to use. Once Vibes has been notified by a client that they have created the DNS record, we will configure the short domain for use in Vibes Mobile Engagement Platform.
Please allow for up to one week for Vibes to configure and test your new custom short domain.
Updated 3 months ago