Product

How One Media Agency Uses Bitly To Track SMS Marketing

Sometimes you seek out ideas. Other times, the idea finds you.

After noticing how hard it was for small business owners to generate customer reviews, Odd Dog Media created a mobile app to help their clients easily send and collect reviews via SMS.

The Seattle-based media agency, using their own app, has seen a 43% increase in their Google reviews in the last four months.

Odd Dog Media uses Bitly links to track these text messages and improve their strategy.

This week we sat down with David Mulqueen, project manager at Odd Dog Media, to chat about his learnings.


1) How did you first discover/start using Bitly?

We have one business that has been particularly successful with getting reviews to their page. Ladonna’s Cleaning Service. They are an apartment cleaning service right here out of the Seattle area.

Ladonna has been one of the most active clients on the review app – they now have four times as many reviews as most of their competitors!

And while they don’t necessarily rank the highest in the organic pack, the sheer volume of reviews helps convince those who do land on the page to purchase.


We’ve always used Bitly for review management and acceleration. We use Bitly links to track engagement and then determine who is actually leaving reviews on the platform.

2) Do you ever use Bitly links for bigger campaigns? Is there one particular campaign you’ve found a lot of success with?

At Odd Dog Media, we work with a lot of businesses in the service industry. A lot of these business owners are face-to-face with customers. So the idea behind the app was this personal interaction. How can we make reviews more personal? Less painful?

Let’s say a customer says “I’m super happy you were able to clean up the water damage in my basement.” With our app, the business owner says “Would you mind if I send you a text to leave us a review?”

It’s right there, easy to do, and personal. We’re always on our phones these days, so it’s more effective to bring reviews to where the people are.


We include a Bitly link in each of these text messages so we can track how each message performs and also identify trends like which CTAs are best and what time of day generates most engagement.

Using Bitly links, we’re seeing about an average click-through rate of 20%. We are also seeing conversion rates, which we define as leaving a review on the platform, anywhere from 25% – 75%.

So far, we’ve had a strong focus on Google and helping companies build up search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Our Bitly links primarily drive people to Google pages, but we’re looking to expand to other channels and test across these channels in the near future.

4) What’s one really interesting finding you’ve discovered from using Bitly links on social?

We have one business that has been particularly successful with getting reviews to their page. Madonna’s Cleaning Service. They are an apartment cleaning service right here out of the Seattle area.

Madonna has been one of the most active clients on the review app – they now have four times as many reviews as they do active customers!

And while they don’t necessarily rank the highest in the organic pack, the sheer volume of reviews helps convince those who do land on the page to purchase.


We’ve also been able to see, through Bitly links, that Madonna’s messages through our app perform significantly higher than email. Madonna’s SMS click-through-rates are at a 28% and they have a conversion rate of 15%. Their average engagement is really strong.

5) What’s one big initiative you are working on right now?

We’re currently working on opening up our app to multiple-location businesses. We want to help these larger businesses track multiple brick-and-mortar stores and share and improve processes.

Through our work with single-location businesses so far, we know that our average click-through-rate per text message is 20% and conversion rate is 10% to 15%, so these stats will act as a good benchmark as we expand.

As we scale, we’ll be looking for ways to streamline our workflow. Currently, we manually create review forms with an access code and a page on the backend. Then we go into Bitly and create and insert the link into each text message.

As we grow, we’re looking forward to automating this with the Bitly API.

In short, I would say this has strengthened our relationship with clients.

Creating the Odd Dog review app shows that we not only care about our clients but also that we take the initiative into going above and beyond to ensure success online. This app wasn’t something that was spoken of or included in most of our clients original package but we still decided to create something that would be useful, easy to use and help grow their business outside of our standard practices.

We think doing something like this shows that we genuinely care about our clients and their reputations online rather than just saying we do. It also shows that we ourselves are on top of all the latest trends in our industry which helps reassure our clients of our expertise. It’s a win win for both of us.

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Denise Chan @denisechan26
Senior Content & Community Marketing Manager