Link tracking is a measure to gauge email effectiveness and to measure recipient engagement.
In this article:
- What is link tracking?
- How link tracking works
- Link tracking and CNAMEs
- View link click data
- Link tracking and plain text emails
What is link tracking?
Link tracking shows you if email recipients have clicked any links in your campaigns and automation emails. With link tracking, you can see the following data in your campaign reports:
- Which links are being clicked
- The number of times those links are clicked
- Which contacts clicked those links
In addition to tracking engagement with your emails, you can use link tracking to trigger link actions and automations, create segments, add conditional content to your campaigns, update a deal score or lead score, and more.
By default, link tracking is enabled for all campaigns and automation emails that include links.
How link tracking works
The link we create for link tracking is specific to the campaign you send and each targeted recipient on your list and segment.
When a recipient clicks a link in your one-off email campaign or automation email, we direct them to the URL you specified. We then use that tracking link to log that link click action in our system.
This link click action is reflected in your campaign reports and on each contact's (recipient) profile record under the recent activity stream.
Note that we cannot track a link click action that uses an email address or a personalization tag (e.g., %FIRSTNAME%) in place of a URL.
Directing contacts to a page with site tracking installed
We add a parameter to each link in your email that directs contacts to a page on your website with site tracking installed. This parameter appears as "vgo_ee=<garbled_text>" in the URL bar when a recipient clicks that link in your email.
The garbled text is an encrypted email address that allows us to identify the contact who clicked your link and visited your web page.
This parameter disappears from the URL bar as soon as the page loads.
We add this parameter to these URLs because it lets us send the recipient's information into your web page to track and log their page visit. It also keeps us compliant with major web browsers on collecting data on contacts and their page visit activity.
If you wish to remove this parameter, you can take one of two actions:
- Manually turn off link tracking for each email you create. This is done on the Campaign Summary page for each campaign and automation email under "Options." When link tracking is turned off, we will not track any link click engagement with your emails.
- Untick the "Site Tracking" box for the whitelisted URL. This will turn off site tracking for that URL. This is done on the Settings>Tracking page in your account.
Link tracking and CNAMEs
If you are using a Canonical Name (CNAME) and have link tracking enabled, we'll still redirect contacts to one of our link tracking domains to track that click. These domains will be masked with your CNAME.
View link click data
Link click data is located on the reports page for each campaign and automation email you send.
Locate link click data for campaigns
1. Click "Reports" in the left menu.
2. Click the "All Campaigns" option on the left side of your screen.
3. Click the campaign name.
4. Click the "Clicks" option located in the "Summary" box.
Locate link click data for automation emails
1. Click "Reports" in the left menu.
2. Click the "Automation Reports" option on the left side of your screen.
3. Click "All Automations."
4. Locate the automation you want to view link click data for. Then click the ellipsis that appears under the automation name.
5. A modal window will appear. Click the "Automation Overview" option.
6. Scroll down the report until you see the Campaign Metrics table. Click the ellipsis that appears under the campaign's name, then click the "Campaign Overview" option.
7. Click the "Clicks" option located in the "Summary" box.
Information in the "Clicks" report
The "Clicks" report contains the following data:
- The number of unique contacts that clicked on any link in a campaign. This metric includes only one click per contact.
- Total link clicks
- The total number of times each link was clicked. This metric includes duplicate link clicks for each contact.
- Unique link clicks
- Total unique clicks per link. This metric will not count duplicate link clicks per contact.
- Did Not Click Any Links
- The number of recipients that did not click on any link.
- Avg. Recipients Per Link Click
- Percentage shows the average link clicks per contact. It is calculated from the total number of link clicks divided by the number of recipients that clicked at least one link.
In addition, we'll show you how each individual hyperlink performed in your email. You can click any link in the report to view a list of contacts who clicked that link.
Link tracking and plain text emails
While it is possible to track link clicks in plain text emails, it is not advised for the following reasons:
- It is not possible to embed your URL into text
- Not all email clients or devices will hyperlink your URL when the email is received by your contact, making the link "not clickable." This can result in your contact copying and pasting your URL into a browser, which will not be tracked as a link click
If you wish to send a text-only email to contacts and track link clicks and opens, you can do so by creating an email that uses any template available in the template library and deleting all image blocks.
If a contact has images disabled, will their link click be tracked?
Yes, we will still track that link click. In addition, that link click will also be counted as a campaign open.