After a small hiccup a little while ago, they're back and here to stay: Copernica's new tracking links. From now on, tracking links in Copernica mailings will be better-looking, quicker and easier to personalise.
What exactly has changed? As you may know, all hyperlinks in our mailings are replaced by tracking links that run through Copernica servers. Before, links like “www.company.com/dealoftheweek” were replaced by an anonymous tracking domain. This link would look something like “pic.vicinity.nl/4180/fc7a52c28efc486362520df20d0da12e/210”. From thereon, the user would be redirected immediately to the page that was originally linked. Because the recipient would first reach a page on our servers, we could count the clicks on that link simply by looking at how many times the tracking link had been visited. This way, we could also see who clicked the link and when they did so.
There's one disadvantage to that system, though, which is that the tracking link may look suspicious. When users hover their cursor over the link, they see a domain that doesn't look anything like the domain of the sender, followed by some random collection of characters. Nothing in the tracking link looks like it's taking you where it should. And that's what we've changed.
From now on, we'll slowly be transferring to tracking links that work in the same way as the old ones, but look more like the original hyperlinks. The tracking link in the above example will look something like “tracking.company.nl/weeklydeal?cctv=trackingcode”. The domain name in the link will become a subdomain of the original domain name, and the path in the URL is also preserved. A short tracking code is added to distinguish the link from your other tracking URLs. Now, when a user hovers over the link, they'll still see a link to a page on “company.com” and they'll also see they're being linked to the exact page they're looking for.
In order to be able to make optimal use of these new tracking links, we recommend using . For every hyperlink, we look for the most appropriate Sender Domain. This means that if there are links in an email that point to “www.example.com”, and you have example.com registered as a Sender Domain, the example.com tracking domain will be used. If there is no matching Sender Domain, the tracking domain of the sender will be used.
How your subdomains look is completely up to you. Often, “tracking.domain.com” and “clicks.domain.com” are used, but you don't have to use those. You might want to use something less technical-looking, like “www2.domain.com”, “deals.domain.com”, or “campaign.domain.com”.
Until now, personalising hyperlinks within Smarty loops was a tedious activity. All sorts of tricks and workarounds were needed to make sure links in a loop were correctly handled. These new tracking links fix this issue: because the tracking URL is nearly identical to the original URL, the user is redirected a lot faster and easier, even in the case of a personalised link that's nested in a loop.
For safety reasons, we've decided on a slow rollout of this new feature. This means that not all mailings are immediately sent out with these new tracking links. In the coming weeks, we'll connect accounts to the new system one by one.