Last Updated: Friday, April 1, 2022
Vibes provides a proprietary URL shortener for use in Short Message Service (SMS) campaigns. There are several benefits to using this over bit.ly or other third-party solutions:
- Convenience – There is no need to manually set up short URLs.
- In-Platform Stats – When viewing a sent Broadcast Message, you will see total clicks, unique clicks, and the click-through rate.
- Subscriber Behavior History – Vibes Mobile Engagement Platform generates a unique short URL per user when sending the Broadcast. So beyond tracking a count of total/unique clicks, The Platform actually keeps track of who clicked each link. This is useful for re-targeting (messaging people who did/didn't click a previous message), as well as understanding Subscriber analytics.
Vibes' default short domain is vbs.cm. Clients who wish to maintain a more branded experience can register and configure their own short domain and point it at Vibes' URL shortener. The steps for configuring a vanity short domain are outlined as follows.
Step 1: Register the Short Domain
Clients should work with their internal IT team to register a new domain. Vibes advises finding 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)
For a client to use their new custom short domain, the domain needs to point to vbs.cm. There are three ways to do this, depending on the DNS provider used by the client. Regardless of which option is used, the DNS record that is configured to enable the domain to work as a custom 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 messages out with shortened URLs using the custom domain, until the DNS record is restored.
Option 1: Non-Standard ANAME or ALIAS Record
The preferred 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, the client would 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 184.108.40.206.
- 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 220.127.116.11.
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.
The only restriction with 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.