Link tracking

Contents

Functionality
Tracking exclusion

Summary

For that extra insight about what your customers are interested in, look no further than the link tracking capabilities in Engagement Cloud!

Functionality

The way link tracking works is really quite simple: opens are tracked by a hidden pixel that's automatically placed at the bottom of your email. However, there's a difference between HTML and plain text link tracking.
For an HTML email, an open is tracked by a hidden pixel that's placed in the email. Once the images are downloaded in the email, an open is registered. If a recipient clicks a link without downloading the images, this will also track the open.
For a plain text email, the recipient must click a link within the email. This is because plain text versions of emails don't contain the hidden pixel that's in an HTML email. 

For link clicks, we record:

  • Date clicked
  • URL
  • IP address
  • User agent

Information

A user agent is web browser information. This can be accessed by going to Reporting > Campaign reports, click on the campaign, then scroll down to the 'Interaction' area and click on View full report in the 'Unique clickers' panel. Once on the next page, you will then click the page icon under the 'More details' column. Here is where you will see the user agent information under the 'User agent' column. You can see an example of this in the following article (see last screenshot) by clicking here.

Engagement Cloud adds a URL string to the end of links in emails, for example '?dm_i=1AAA,2BBB,CC3CC,DD4D,5'. We append this to the end of all tracked links. As a side note, tracked links will be redirected through your sending domain.

Information

There's a difference between 'dm_i' and 'dm_t' that's added to your links. 'dm_i' is used for live sends, where 'dm_t' is used for test sends.

We're aware that this can be problematic, especially for Google Analytics tracking. Sometimes we have to add links to the tracking excluder because the addition of 'dm_i' or 'dm_t' causes the site to redirect to the wrong page. As a result, some sites don't accept the addition of our query strings (or anyone else's for that matter) on their site, which then causes a 404 error or linking to the wrong page. Although this feature can't be disabled, there's two workarounds:

  • A rule can be setup in Google Analytics to ignore 'dm_i' and 'dm_t' from your links
  • We can add certain domains to our tracking excluder where we wouldn't append 'dm_i' or 'dm_t' to any links associated with your domain. The link won't be trackable through ROI or Web Behaviour Tracking, but can be tracked in Google Analytics and campaign reporting.

If you need to, you can edit a link post send, but you can't change it to a 'not tracked link'. However, you may be able to edit the link to remove the UTM tags. Information on how to do so can be found by clicking here.

When a contact is deleted from an account, we'll hide the email address in the reporting and replace it with a 'Deleted contact' value, so that the statistics of your campaign report aren't affected. All other data held against the contact is removed, and therefore not displayed, but the following will still be accessible in-app:

  • Date clicked
  • URL
  • IP address
  • User agent

Tracking exclusion

Even if you remove UTM tags, Engagement Cloud's tracking script will still be at the end of the URL, which should look like this: '?dm_i=0,0,0,0,0'. This is used by a couple of add-ons in Engagement Cloud, being ROI and Web Behaviour Tracking. If you're using neither feature, we can add the domain to what we call our tracking excluder; this will remove the addition of '?dm_i=0,0,0,0,0' at the end of the URL. The link would still be trackable via campaign reporting, but not trackable via ROI or Web Behavior Tracking.
Should you wish to reverse this, we can delete the domain from our tracking excluder; just get in touch with the Support Team if you do need the domain removed.

Important

The tracking excluder only removes the addition of our ROI and Web Behavior Tracking script from your campaign's URLs. Keep in mind that some sites don't like additional query strings applied to the end of links that redirect to their sites, for example, '?dm_i=1AAA,2BBB,CC3CC,DD4D,5'. Adding the tracking excluder helps in these situations, but it's not a solution for all sites.

 

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