It's essential to save every penny when a business is starting up. After all, when you don't have an established customer base, your highest priority is to secure that regular client first. But when you already have a burgeoning business, when is the right time to start spending on additional services?
Take a look at the features you're missing out on when using a free link shortener. You'll see the benefits you get from paid plans, and from there, you can determine the right time to upgrade your short link capabilities.
The Benefits of a Free Plan
If all you need is to shorten your links for a bit of professionalism, then you probably don't need a paid account. You can create branded links for free with Short.io, so the shortened links you send to your followers will reflect your website.
The free plan also lets you use five custom domains, up to a thousand unique links, and track up to 50,000 clicks. These features offer great value for those starting up and discovering their way around internet marketing.
You can get all these functions without spending a dime. But as your business grows, it might be high time to upgrade your short link provider.
What You're Missing Out
As you grow your business, you will also have to expand your short links capabilities. After all, your client base will eventually grow beyond 50,000 viewers, right? You might also have clients across different countries and regions or even have your own app in the future.
Here are the features you will get when upgrading your free Short.io account.
Going Beyond 50,000 Clicks
When you have an extensive marketing campaign, you need solid data analytics to run it efficiently. While 50,000 clicks might sound a lot, a well-run campaign can run through this in a single day. So if you're running a month-long campaign, you're practically missing out on data for the entire month.
You could use the data you gather to make your campaign more efficient. Because when you know where most of your audience comes from, from what device they're accessing your links, the time most of your followers click the link, and more.
Having this data will let you customize your ads and content to cater to the majority of your audience.
As you grow your customer base, you may want to redirect them to country- or even region-specific websites. It's similar to when you access websites like Apple and Amazon—they can detect your location and then bring you to a website designed for you.
For example, suppose you're an international eCommerce seller with many customers on both sides of the Atlantic. In that case, you may want to redirect your American clients to a US-focused homepage while sending your European clients to a page designed for them.
That way, you can create content, promotions, and more tailored to your specific audience. With this in place, you can ensure that your American clients can get on board with your NFL promotion while your European clients can enjoy the discounts you give during the UEFA Champions League season.
When you create time-limited or person-limited promotions, then you want your links in these programs to have an expiration. After all, you don't want your audience to have high hopes, only to have them dashed because your checkout page doesn't work anymore.
So if you want to limit your promotion to, say, the first ten thousand users or to expire within seven days, you can use this feature. That way, you don't have to monitor the page actively and just let Short.io set it automatically for you.
This is perfect if you frequently set up these kinds of campaigns. That's because you can utilize your market's fear of missing out with these expiring links. After all, if you create a time-limited promotion and the link still works after a few hours, then your program will lose its impact.
You always want to protect your website from unwanted and unauthorized access. That's where link cloaking and password protection comes in handy. The former protects your website by only showing your branded link. That way, you can prevent anyone from looking at a page's specific URL.
On the other hand, the latter ensures that only authorized users have access to a page. So if you have content that you're reserving for yourself or specific people, you can use the password protection feature to protect that page.
You can further ensure your website's privacy by using Short.io to convert links you place on your pages. This feature, called Referrer hiding, ensures that when a user clicks on that link, the domain they're heading into won't know that the visitor came from you.
More Advanced Features
There are several more advanced features, like deep links, which gives you the option to redirect a link to an Android or iPhone app instead of your website. This is the perfect solution if you have an app and want to promote it to your users. It's also more convenient for your users who already have your app since they don't have to find it on their phones to access it.
You can also create multiple teams, so if your company have different brands, you don't have to have separate subscriptions for each group. This will save you money, and it will make it easier for team members you transfer to other projects to get up to speed if they're using the same tools.
When Should You Upgrade
The best time to upgrade your link shortener is when you're sure that you can benefit from these additional features. You can start with your marketing reach—if you're getting more than 50,000 clicks per link, then it's high time to upgrade.
If you properly utilize the data you gather from your clicks, you can save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on marketing costs. You can also use this data to improve your products, ensuring that they're tailor-made with most of your buyers.
Because when you have your click metrics, you'll know the people who are actually visiting your websites, pages, and links. And when you have that information, you can customize your content and product specifically for them.