How to configure Bit.ly

Links with UTMs get long and ugly. Some users may have trust issues when noticing long and confusing links appended with various parameters, or they can be confused about which part of the link to copy when sharing with a friend. URL shortening has therefore been a core feature of UTM.io. 

Previously, we used API Keys to connect Bitly with UTM.io accounts, but this has recently been deprecated. We now have a new Bitly integration using OAuth. If you previously connected Bitly with UTM.io, we suggest you skip to “If you’ve connected Bitly to UTM.io before” to learn how to re-authenticate Bitly with our new integration method. This will also allow you to take advantage of any new features we build, such as click tracking.

The Steps for Connecting Bitly to UTM.io

To start, we assume you already have an account with bitly. If, you do not, go ahead and visit bitly.com to get a Free account. The free version takes you a long way.

If this is your first time connecting

Option A - From “Create a Link” in the web app or Chrome Extension:

  1. Go to the “Links” tab in the app
  2. Click “Create Link”. Alternatively,  start creating a link using our Chrome extension.
  3. Click on the “Shortener” drop-down at the bottom. It may default to default to “Don’t shorten” 
  4. Select “Authenticate Bitly”
  5. Choose or log in to the right Bitly Account
  6. Click “Allow” to grant UTM.io access

Option B - Link Shorteners screen in the web app only

  1. Click your user name drop-down. In the header, top right.
  2. Click “Link Shorteners”
  3. Click “Add Link Shortener”
  4. Select “Authenticate Bitly”
  5. Choose or log in to the right Bitly Account
  6. Click “Allow” to grant UTM.io access

You’re set!

For your convenience, here’s a video walk-through of the options and steps for a first-time Bitly authentication.

If you’ve connected Bitly to UTM.io before using API Keys

Bitly is deprecating their API keys, which means that you’ll need to re-authenticate your integration before March 2020. The new authentication uses the common Google Oauth and enables more insight into your Bitly links. Re-authenticate by following these steps:

  1. Click your user name drop-down in the header, top right
  2. Click “Link Shorteners”
  3. Click the pencil on the left side of the Bitly row. You’ll see the message:
  4. Click “Re-authenticate Bitly”
  5. Choose the right Google account
  6. Click “Allow” to grant UTM.io access

You’re set!

For your convenience, here’s a video walk-through of the re-authentication steps:

Good to Know for UTM.io Black Belts

As of today, late 2019, you only get click counts if you setup a URL shortener with your own domain or the UTM.io shortener. Thanks to the new authentication method, we'll be adding click counts for Bitly, too. Follow our progress on our Product Roadmap here.

Who Can Use Bitly in UTM.io

To authenticate and connect Bitly, you need to be an owner or admin.

To use Bitly as your link shortener, you can be any user type. Viewers can only use Bitly if it is set up as the default shortener for the account or workspace.

Marketing Benefits of Bitly

If you’re wondering why you would want to use Bitly in the first place, here’s a little bonus section for you.

Bitly is one of the most popular and built out link shorteners out there. The benefits you’ll gain from using it include:

  • Links that are shortened without stripping the UTM parameters
  • Links that look better and are lighter on character count than a link with UTMs fully displayed
  • Custom branded links, for additional brand exposure
  • Links that are more trustworthy and get higher click-through rates
  • Link analytics in your UTM.io dashboard to help improve our campaigns  - coming soon
  • Hundreds of integrations. Along with UTM.io, you can connect the shortener with the likes of Salesforce, Hootsuite, and many more.
  • Edit the link after it’s been published. One of the best tactical reasons to use a shortener like Bitly is that you can redirect your Bitly link easily by editing the resolving URL. Maybe you misspelled something, used the wrong UTM parameter, or the product it linked to is sold out and you want to redirect to a product that customers can buy. This is one of the most important reasons to use Bitly.

If you truly dive in, Bitly can also provide you with features such as:

  • Mobile links that are unique for each SMS recipient
  • Deep in-app links
  • QR codes for shortened links



We’re looking forward to seeing how this feature helps your work. If you still need help, have feedback, or want to share an idea, please contact us - [email protected]

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