The year’s best holiday marketing email, courtesy of . . . bitly?

Tis the season for every online retailer on the planet pinging you endlessly to buy, buy, buy and save, save, save.

For marketers who products are digital, it’s particularly challenging to stand out. Nobody wants bits in their stocking, even though more and more of the things we value are virtual.

So I was impressed with the counterintuitive and sarcastic approach of this email from bitly.

Yes, bitly. A URL shortening service you can use for free. Bitly enables me to tell you to go to this simple URL to buy my book, for example:

As I now know from this email, bitly has paid services as well.

The marketers at bitly, rather than nakedly flogging their features, decided to take aim at the very stupid and overpriced physical gifts we’re all considering this season. It made me laugh. And in this fraught and overly commercial season, that’s a great start.’s email

[Gift Guide] 5 Things to Buy Instead of Bitly

5 Must-Have Gifts Under $100 to Ask For Instead of Bitly

Are you still looking for that perfect gift to put on your list? Something that’s guaranteed to elicit shrieks of pure excitement and hyperventilating, followed by involuntary sobbing that you’re 87% sure are tears of joy?

Then don’t ask for Bitly.

Sure, it may be smart and practical, but where’s the fun in that? As gifting goes, it’s is nowhere near as exhilarating to unwrap as that shiny thing you saw advertised on social media that’s almost definitely too good to be true.

But who are we to deny you such thrills? So we scoured the internet to compile the 5 best items to put on your wish list instead of Bitly.

* *

5. An $89 bottle of moisturizer

Don’t settle for the cheap stuff—we’re talking 2.7 ounces of age-defying, wrinkle-reducing miracle cream.

Why you’ll love it

Without Bitly’s easy-to-use Analytics, the stress of having no visibility on your link campaigns may cause premature aging and leave you with bags under your eyes. Get yourself some anti-aging cream and apply liberally.

* *

4. An air fryer

A healthier way to fry that makes everything crispy. If only it didn’t take up half your available counter space!

Why you’ll love it

Since you won’t have time-saving features like Custom QR Code Templates or Bulk Link Shortening, you’ll have to look elsewhere for those extra minutes in your day. You’ll be happy to hear that air fryers can cut your oven cook time in half.

* *

3. A weighted blanket

It’s like wearing a big hug, or a large, flat mammal.

Why you’ll love it

When you make a mistake, there’s nothing like a hug to make you feel better. Since you won’t have Bitly Link Redirects and QR Code Redirects to erase those mistakes, a weighted blanket might provide some consolation.

* *

2. A self-heating coffee mug

Say goodbye to reheated coffee.

Why you’ll love it

Without the benefit of custom-branded Bitly Links and eye-catching QR Code designs, you’ll have to work even harder to get the clicks and scans you’re missing. But no matter how long it takes, your coffee will be the perfect temperature!

* *

1. A prepaid gift card

Because you can’t stick cash into your computer!

Why you’ll love it

Once the excitement of the holidays wears off and your shiny new stuff loses its luster, you might realize that all you really needed was the gift of Bitly.

And with plans starting at under $100 for an entire year(!), it’s the gift that truly keeps on giving.

That’s a wrap!


Any marketer who retains a sense of humor at this time of year deserves a modicum of gratitude.

By the way, bitly works great. I even use it for footnotes. If you need a link shortener, consider this an endorsement.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

One Comment