Although there are plenty of URL shortener companies out there, I decided to make one also. I’d love to get thoughts and feedback from the entrepreneurs out there regarding this project. Did I waste my time or should I pivot the marketing focus?
I reviewed 8 current companies offering this type of service and believe there is definitely room for one more that has competitive pricing for mid-level features.
Current URL shortener companies offer one or two of three types of service:
- Free but restricted
- Pricey with no restrictions
- Super Pricey with amazing features
The first category of ‘Free but restricted’ obviously want to get sign-ups with the hope that they become successful then realize they want better analytics. For example many only provide analytics for 30 days. At that point customers have to make a very difficult choice: 1) pay a high price and keep their URL, or 2) change to a different service and lose all the SEO and marketing they did for the initial shortened URL. Obviously the cost of switching and time lost will rarely justify so most will just pay the high monthly or annual cost.
I expect the Super Pricey with amazing features is only needed by large companies. That’s not the niche I want to focus on. Plus the development time for those features is not where I want to be focusing my time.
So I built WizBits.me because I think basic features and unlimited analytics should not be Pricey. I set the annual fee at $18 which includes unrestricted analytics of the basics which I think is all that 90% of the customer base really care about.
- Domain visitor clicked the link from
- Device Type visitor is using (phone, tablet or computer)
- Operating System visitor is using
- Browser visitor is using
Excluding crippled free options, our least expensive competitor annual rate is $55 and the next cheapest is $90.
When reviewing the competition I noticed several of the features they offered would be very easy to provide programmatically. So for those “easy to code” features I did add them as “Premium” features of WizBits. I expect only a minority of customers will want them but the time investment was minimal.
Premium features include:
- A/B Testing so every other visitor goes to one of two URLs that you define. You can use this to determine which landing page is more effective or to load-balance your visitors on different platforms.
- Password Restricted: if you want all visitors to enter a password you can easily set that up with a custom message to show them.
- Expire feature: you can have your redirect expire and give a customized message on a certain date.
- Destination routing allows you to direct your visitors based on either their device type or operating system. With the Premium Features it’s a flat annual price of $36, customers have access to all the premium features and can edit and change everything at any time (except their customized URL).
Time and Investment
Using the Wizard’s Toolkit low-code development library I was able to build this in only 21 hours. Making marketing page didn’t take much time either. Since I have a powerful/fast VPS for other services the hosting cost of this is negligible. Thus the ability for me to provide services at considerably less cost than competitors.
Is there a niche market you think I should focus marketing to?
Any advice on how/where to market a shortened URL service?
I don’t want to compete with the “Free” offerings. Do you think the pricing model I chose is good, too low or too high?
I used PayPal for the e-commerce portion. Is that sufficient or do customers now consider that dated and want Stripe or other processors?
Here is the website: https://WizBits.me
Here is the marketing video I just put out on YouTube:
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