Sunday, September 28, 2008

Improved Email Click-Through Tracking Using Query Strings

If you have a call to action that is directed at the same landing page more then one time in your email, what is the best way to track which link received the most unique clicks?

Let's back up and review why this topic is important for marketers. As a best practice, it's VERY important to:

  1. Have more then one link in your email to the desired landing page. For example, one link may be an image while one is a text link
  2. Know which links in your email are performing better. You can use this information for future campaigns.
Jay Kulkarni over at B2B wrote an article on this subject called:"How can you ensure that you’re effectively tracking unique click rates on the same URLs within your e-mail creative?" Jay suggests using web redirects on subsequent versions of the link. For example, say you have a link to an event such as this HP event. Here is the original URL:
You could then create a redirect such as: that will redirect the web visitor to the original URL but will allow you to track that an email recipient clicked on the second URL and not the first URL.

Track Multiple Email Click-Throughs To The Same Landing Page Using Query Strings

There is another way of tracking mutiple click-throughs from different links in an email that go to the same page. This process I'm going to suggest may be easier for you as well - no need for setting up a redirect. I typically recommend using query strings to get this type of tracking. All you need to do is add a query string and a query string value to the URL and you can track multiple instances of a URL that go to the same page. For example, let's take the original URL example I used above. To make this a unique URL, I can add a query string called "link" with a value of "2" (I used 2 as this is the second instance of the URL). Here is what it looks like:

Looks easy eh (My Canadian accent coming through)? Well it is. This doesn't require any technical know how and any good tracking system should differentiate URLs based on query string values. Try this out and let me know how it goes.

Chad H.

PS: I talk more about query strings and how they can be used for improved tracking in my post called One way to tackle closed loop marketing.
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