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Email click tracking troubles

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Thursday March 11, 2010 )

Many merchants turn on click tracking in their newsletters and email marketing campaigns. It’s a great idea as it can provide valuable information, but it’s also another step where something can go wrong.

How this feature works is to basically rewrite links you have included in an email to run through a script that counts the clicks and provides other information.

I’ve had quite a few emails from big brands using click tracking that haven’t worked out. I click the link, browser opens, then I wait and wait and wait. Nothing loads.

I’m not sure what the reporting is like at the other end, but I suspect that since I have clicked on the link, it’s counted and therefore giving the company a report that all is fine and dandy in terms of their open and click statistics – but leaving them scratching their heads when the campaign doesn’t convert or few lead forms are completed.

For this reason, I don’t tend to use email click tracking features all that often – it’s just another potential point of failure. If I want to track to a particular page, often I’ll set up a page dedicated to that campaign. It might be just a renamed version of a page or a special landing page created for the task. A run of the mill web site statistics package can then tell me how many people accessed the page, where they were from, when the most clicks occurred etc; however, what it won’t tell me is *who* clicked through as many link trackers in email marketing software packages these days will do.

If you are going to use click tracking in a campaign, it doesn’t hurt to have a copy of the blast come to you first so you can click on links while the mailout is occurring. That way, if there are any problems, you can pause the mailout to tinker under the hood and then get things going again.

It’ might sound like a bit of a pain in the butt, but if you’re trying to sell high end items especially, every click counts. I know in the occasions where a link hasn’t worked for me, it’s been pretty rare for me to spend further time trying to find the item, or the times I have kept the email to one side to try again later, I’ve simply forgotten to follow through.


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