Track text-only email

You track text-only email in much the same manner as a text link on a webpage: by using click trackers. However, the nature of text emails imposes restrictions on the particular manner in which click trackers can be used.

There is no convention in Campaign Manager 360 to enable impression counting for text emails (as opposed to HTML emails). Impression counting requires help from the email sender.

 

URLs in Text Emails

URLs in text email are visible to the user. Therefore, it is important that the URL be clean and short. If a long URL is inserted into a text email, the user's email client may wrap the URL onto multiple lines, causing the URL to break. Additionally, a long, complicated URL may discourage the user from clicking. It is recommended that you use one of the URL-hiding techniques described below - either a 302 redirect or a meta-refresh - to track clicks on text emails.

Hiding URLs with a 302 redirect

This method requires access to a web server and a web administrator who can create the 302 redirect.

A 302 redirect is the recommended way of creating a vanity URL. The site's administrator or the agency's web administrator creates a short URL with a redirect to the Campaign Manager 360 click tracker. After the vanity URL is created, it replaces the URL that would go in the email. If a user clicks the vanity URL, the web server redirects the browser to the Campaign Manager 360 ad servers to count the click, then the Campaign Manager 360 ad servers redirect the browser back to the advertiser's intended landing page. This technique requires expertise from the web administrator, but is advantageous because it results in a redirect process that is nearly transparent to the user.

If you do not have access to a web server and a web administrator who can create the 302 redirect, you can opt for the meta-refresh method instead.

Hiding URLs with a meta-refresh page

A meta-refresh also redirects the user's browser to another page, but instead of the redirect occurring on the server, as it does in a 302 redirect, the meta-refresh redirect occurs as an HTML command in the initial webpage that the user hits. Meta-refresh refers to the HTML tag that is part of the HEAD of an HTML document. This tag can be used to set page refresh settings and destination, thus acting as a redirect. Find more detail on the tag in the appendix below.

The meta-refresh method still requires a server to host the refresh page; however, it is generally easier to implement than a 302 redirect because it doesn't require access to a server command. The page can reside on the publisher's website or on the advertiser's or agency's site.

When a user clicks a link in an email, the browser is redirected to the meta-refresh page, which contains the Campaign Manager 360 click tracker. This click tracker redirects the browser through the Campaign Manager 360 ad servers, so that a click can be counted. The Campaign Manager 360 ad servers then redirect the browser to its intended destination.

Setting up a meta-refresh using a Campaign Manager 360 click tracker

  1. The advertiser (or publisher) creates a webpage with a clean, intuitive URL, (for example, http://www.advertiser.com/email_promotion.html). This will be an actual page that resides on the advertiser's server. Within the HTML header code on that page, a meta-refresh will point to the Campaign Manager 360 click tracker URL.

  2. Generate a click tracker from within Campaign Manager 360.

    Use the intended click-through as the URL in Campaign Manager 360; do not use the meta-refresh URL. Once you create the click tracker, add the resulting tag to the meta-refresh page, making some minor modifications in the process. Campaign Manager 360 will generate a click tracker URL in the following format:

    http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;526335;3449145;j?http://www.ppi-orders.com/index.htm?promo_code=21T137

    Replace all of the semicolons (;) before the question mark (?) with %3b. The resulting click-command will appear as follows:

    http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk%3b526335%3b3449145%3bj?http://www.ppi-orders.com/index.htm?promo_code=21T137

  3. Code the advertiser's page with the HTML refresh.

    Here is what the code on that page will look like (avoid line breaks in the actual code):

    <HTML>
    <HEAD>
    <META HTTP-EQUIV="Refresh" content="0;URL=http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk%3b526335%3b3449145%3bj?http://www.ppi-orders.com/index.htm?promo_code=21T137">
    <BODY>
    </BODY>
    </HTML>

    This is the code that should reside at http://www.advertiser.com/email_promotion.html. content="0 refers to the length of time that page will be displayed, in seconds. The URL= points to the Campaign Manager 360 redirect, which allows Campaign Manager 360 to count the click and point the user to the appropriate page. Set the content= parameter to 0 so that the redirect will be immmediate.

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