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Author: Joel Kristenson
Last Updated: 2015-07-01
Question: Does your current ‘Email Links’ tab in your Contacts (Voters/Donors) list look like the image below with a bunch of links named “[not recorded]”? If the answer is yes, then this article is for you. (My example screenshot is below).
With the release of the new email editor in 2014 (CK Editor) the process to create and track hyperlinks in your emails has changed, it's now more automated. This article walks through the steps, and also provides details on how to view clicked link analytics after sending out a mass email campaign.
Tip: Clicked links can be very useful data to put to work for you. Tracking how many people opened your email is a good statistic, but doesn’t calculate reader engagement nearly as much as clicked links. One example would be to track who clicked on the donate button during a fundraising campaign, but didn’t donate since then so you can follow-up with those folks via phone/snail mail.
IMPORTANT! Trackable links can only get generated once an Email Campaign has been sent, or a test of it has been sent.
Either create a new email campaign to work on, or open an existing campaign that hasn’t been sent. In this example I opted to use an existing campaign by following Application Menu > Communications > Email Campaigns.
Begin to compose your message, or insert a template you previously created. My example message is below which currently has a single hyperlink around my [DONATE NOW] button.
Once your email message is complete, click the [Test] button in the lower-right.
Pick who to send the test email to, and click [OK].
Once the test goes out, click [Close].
IMPORTANT! You now need to close out of the email campaign, after the test has gone out, and reopen it in order for the tracked link code to be added.
Click [Save] and click the Close Active Window button under Open Windows.
Even though you just saved you’ll get a popup warning, click [OK] to proceed back to the Email Campaigns list.
Reopen the email campaign by clicking on the name of the campaign.
You’re now finished with the steps to turn your hyperlinks into trackable links. I would suggest saving what you have as a template, but if it’s a one-time email campaign you could just save it as such. In my example I saved the template I was working on and then closed out of it as shown in the image below.
Navigate to the Tracked Links list under Communications, and click [Search].
Click on the column header named ‘Tracked Link Id’ two times in order to sort in descending order, putting the most recently created hyperlink at the top. In my example I currently have 15 tracked links with the most recent one being the donation button, created in previous steps.
Click on any of the underlined blue hyperlinks to open the tracked link for the link that you want to change the name for. In this example I opened link id #15.
Give your tracked link a Name, and then click [Save and Close]..
Once you’re back on the Tracked Links list click [Search] to refresh the list, you’ll notice that the name has now changed from [Not Recorded] to whatever new name you typed in. My example is below for my “Donate Now Button v2” tracked link.
Repeat these steps for all of the links in your database currently listed as [not recorded].
That concludes the steps on how to create trackable hyperlinks, and how to rename them.
Once your email campaign goes out you can analyze the clicked links from both the Contacts (Donors/Voters) list, and from the Clicked Links list.
The two example images below detail how to run those queries.
Image 1 of 2 – Searching by Clicked Links in the Contacts List
Image 2 of 2 – Searching by Clicked Links in the Clicked Links List (requires someone has actually clicked on one or more of your tracked links)
Advanced Tip - How to View the Tracked Link Code in your E-Mail:
Once you’ve opened the email campaign again click on the [Source] button to view the html source code of your email template.
Navigate to the section that holds your hyperlink (it will start with a href=). One quick way to do this is to hold CTRL+F and start typing in “a href”. You’ll notice some new code is added for the Link ID, the Target, and the Tracking status. My example string of code is shown below.
The code that Trail Blazer adds after the email campaign is tested and/or sent: linkid="15" target="_blank" tracked="true"
The full string of code looks like this for my tracked link: a href=”https://www.trailblz.info/demononprofit_joel/donations.aspx?ver=2” linkid=”15” target=”_blank” tracked=”true”
Checkout the links below in the Related Resources for a variety of information on how to send mass emails with Trail Blazer.
Article: How to Create a Hyperlink around a Screenshot of your PDF Newsletter and Hyperlink it to the PDF Document
Article: How to Create a Hyperlink around a Screenshot of your Video and Link to the Video from your Trail Blazer Email Template
Article: Configuring your From and Reply Email Address Settings
Article: Sample HTML Email Templates with Inline CSS
Article: Fix your HTML email formatting
Video: Eblasts Create and Send Eblasts – Includes Image Management
Video: Scheduled Emails
Video: E-Mail Playlist on Trail Blazer’s YouTube Channel
Video: Eblasts Configure email settings before mass emailing
Video: Eblasts –Setting people up to receive test (draft) emails
3rd Party Resource (Article): Mobile Responsive Email Template – ConstantContact Reference
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