Rens Greveling

New link tracking system

Written by Rens GrevelingThijs van Diessen on March 30, 2017

Copernica has a new link tracking system. For the last few months, this new system has been tested by a part of our customer base. This pilot went great, which means that from now on we are rolling this system out for everyone. Note that this feature is not visible yet in every account. If you send mailing containing hyperlinks (what basically everyone does), you can activate this system to measure who is clicking your links and buttons.

You can activate the new tracking system by opening a template or document inside the Copernica Publisher. Look at the bottom of your screen to find the corresponding button, and switch to the new tracking system.

What are the exact advantages of the new tracking system?

The new tracking system substitutes the old system. The older system was also able to collect and measure interactions. However, our new and improved algorithm is better and namely for these reasons:

  • It's way faster;
  • It's easier to use for personalized hyperlinks;
  • The initial path of the URL is maintained;
  • You can make use of "data-script" attributes;
  • The new system can be used in combination with the follow-up action and the campaign manager.

Composing mailings and handling clicks is a lot faster with our new system. It's quite technical, but it boils down to the fact that our old system made use of many regular expressions, which were slow. The new system does this efficient by filtering the source code with a much faster HTML parser. Because of this, composing your mailings is quicker than before. Likewise, handling a click via our tracking server is quicker as well. A click is redirected in an instant, because complicated personalisations and lookups are no longer needed.

The real benefit of the new tracking system is that you can now personalize hyperlinks quicker and easier. With the old system, you needed to use odd {capture} tricks to include personalisation codes in links. Even more so when combining link and loop blocks or {foreach} statements. With the new system, these requirements don't matter that much and the workflow is rather straightforward: just include Smarty variables in a link, no extra attention needed.

It's also worth mentioning that the original path of a URL is maintained. If you included a link in a mailing with an address such as "https://www.website.com/sale", the new system takes care of maintaining the ("/sale") path. Anyone who hoovers over the link can still check to see where the link is referring to.

Lastly, the new tracking system is fused with a range of other new tools to execute followup actions. If there is a data-script attribute attached to a link, the script is executed when being clicked on that link. And if the link is included in a campaign, the campaign will continue being executed. The campaign tool is currently in development. 

In brief, there are many reasons to quickly switch to the new tracking system.

Why does this switch not happen automatically?

You need to manually switch to the new tracking system, because the new system is in so many ways different than the older system. Therefore, we can't guarantee you that the switch will actually work all the time.
For example, if you have various odd tricks and workarounds in your templates to personalize links, the new system might consequently interpret these tricks differently than the old system. It's best then to change your template and include "regular" hyperlinks (without any tricks), after which you can safely switch to the new system. In the new system, these tricks are no longer mandatory.