Add a shortened URL to a print piece

Add a shortened URL to a print piece

13.Sep.2021

 

 

You've decided to give print advertising a try—and you're probably thinking about the big picture: where your ad will run, how much it might cost, if it's worth running at all. But what about the small details? When people actually get their hands on the printed piece (or see it in print online), they'll want to click to learn more—but you may not want them to go directly back to your site. What can you do? One option is using an outbound link that doesn't take readers straight back to you. If you have a long URL that links back home, here are some shorter alternatives for making the code easier to read and more aesthetically pleasing in print.

The same goes for email. If your message is long, consider using a URL shortener to make it more compact. You can think of this like you would any piece of print advertising—you want the most efficient use of space with the least amount of clutter, and shortened URLs allow readers to get what they need without having to decipher everything behind the link.

If you're considering adding an outbound link in your print or email, give these things some thought ahead of time:

 

• Is this link providing additional information that my audience wants/needs? Can it be condensed?

• Will my audience understand what they're clicking on? Do I need to add supplemental text above the link itself (i.e., “To learn more about X product, click here”)?

• Will this link work in print? (Not all shortened URLs are optimized for display in print. If you're using a URL shortener, be sure to check the terms of service to see if it's recommended for newspaper/magazine ads).

You can also test it by printing out your ad with the link included and checking that the text is easy to read. You don't want people getting lost mid-way through the URL—that's not only annoying, but could harm your brand image.

By carefully considering how you'll use links in printed materials, you can build trust with visitors while making information easier to digest on paper. It may take some trial and error at first, but with time you'll find a system that works for you.

And of course, if you have a loooong URL…use a URL shortener!

 

-By Theresa Miller of [[Vocus]], an online media company designed to connect audiences with content they care about through social tools and marketing services. Vocus provides solutions for businesses of all sizes from small organizations to major brands across the globe.

Published: February 28, 2018

Article last edited: March 7, 2018

 

Sample shortened URLs: You can use this %20, or any other character that replaces the space between words. It should be easy to type in and recognizable when reading aloud.

 

 

Readers may not understand what they're clicking on if your shortened URL is hard to read or confusing, so supplement the link with text that further explains what it leads to: "To learn more about X product, click here." You can test a print ad by printing out a copy and checking that the text is easy to read without being lost in a string of characters—so make sure your abbreviated link isn't too long or difficult to follow. For example:

-"To learn more about [[Vocus]], click here."

-"To learn more about the new [[X|product]] from [[Y|company]], click here."

-"For a list of all products, click on this link."

-"To visit our site, go to www.example.com"

When you shorten a URL, make sure it still works as a direct link—not all shortened URLs are optimized for display in print. If you're using a URL shortener, check the terms of service to see if it's recommended for newspaper/magazine ads or other printed materials.

-Theresa Miller, Vocus Content Writer //

If you have any questions or need help with anything covered in this article, please feel free to email me at [email protected]!

 

Sample shortened URLs: You can use this %20, or any other character that replaces the space between words. It should be easy to type in and recognizable when reading aloud.

 

-To learn more about [[Vocus]], click here.

-"To visit our site, go to www.example.com"

Note from author: These are my recommendations for how you might shorten a URL if your ideal page is long—for example, a loooooong homepage link—and you still want people to be able to access it easily upon clicking on the shortened version of the URL. They aren't based off any one specific company or product, but are simply my suggestions. They're not to be copied verbatim, although feel free to adapt them for your own purposes—and always ask before using!

 

-To learn more about the new [[X|product]] from [[Y|company]], click here.

-For a list of all products, click on this link.

-"To visit our site, go to www.example.com"

Note from author: These are my recommendations for how you might shorten a URL if your ideal page is long and its content doesn't vary depending on who's accessing it—for example, you want people to be able to access an internal article about company procedures the same format every time they click on it. They aren't based off any one specific company or product, but are simply my suggestions. They're not to be copied verbatim, although feel free to adapt them for your own purposes—and always ask before using!

 

-To learn more about [[Vocus]], click here.

-"For a list of all products, click on this link."

-"To visit our site, go to www.example.com"

Note from author: These are my recommendations for how you might shorten a URL if your ideal page is long and its content does vary depending on who's accessing it—for example, you want people to be able to access an internal article about company procedures in different languages each time they click on it. They aren't based off any one specific company or product, but are simply my suggestions. They're not to be copied verbatim, although feel free to adapt them for your own purposes—and always ask before using!

 

-"To learn more about [[Vocus]], click here."

 

-"For a list of all products, click on this link."

-"In French: Pour en savoir plus sur le nouveau produit [[X|de la société]] [[Y|contactez-nous ici.]]"

-"In Spanish: Para obtener más información sobre el nuevoo de [[X|la

 

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