I'm using the advanced editor to put variables into my links. It is working great. But when I send the preview they Constant Contact tracking links are there instead of the ones I want.
They work just fine, the recipient will end up at the right URL.
The problem is that many of our customers block links that redirect. I have to send them directly to the final destination. I can turn off tracking in the simple editor, but can't figure out how to do it in the Advanced Editor.
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Excellent question. Not having your links reach all of your contacts is absolutely something we would like to help you avoid. I reached out to our upper level of support and they have told me that this indeed can be done. I forwarded all of your information and your request to the team and they will be contacting you to assist you with this!
I chated (using the chat ap) with tech support.
They recommended that I place <a></a> around my link.
That was great for telling their scripts to not replace my link with the tracking link. But, it didn't do the substitution of the recipient's email :-(
Hoping for a better solution. I want my cake and I need to eat it too:
1) Do the variable substitution
2) Don't use a tracking URL
Here is the <a> I'm using:
<a href="http://www.padtinc.com?list=simulation&email=$subscriber.email" target="_blank">
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I apologize for the delay! I see that you had some correspondence with our Tier 2 support. I hope that they were able to get everything taken care of with you. Let us know if you have any further questions!
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OK, with the help of support I figured out a simple way to do this.
To recap: I want a URL that has a variable substitution in it so that I can have a link that points to a page on my site and I know who is coming. The solution for this is to use the older "advanced editor" to modify the HTML and get it to recognize the variables.
My problem is that i also have to turn tracking off! That is because many of my customers are large corporations that block any link that is a "tracking link." Bummer for statistics but it is what it is.
The key is that if you use the advanced editor and HTML, you can not consistently turn off tracking AND get variable substitution. It is one or the other. But with XHTML you can delete the <OpenTracking/> tag and you are good to go.
So here is what works for me:
Test it out. Save and Return, Etc....
Probably a better way, but this works.
Hope this helps someone.
Actually, what was suggested didn't work for me.
What did was switching to XHTML and deleting the tracking tag.
Perfect, it looks like you're almost there. The system defaults to turning that tracking on in the editor you're using, so we just need to tell it not to track that link by adding track="off" within the first element. So your final link in your example would look like:
<a href="http://www.padtinc.com?list=simulation&email=$subscriber.email" target="_blank" track="off">
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Question about the track="off" parameter:
I'll try to test it myself, but I'm curious if that flag is telling only Constant Contact not to use its replacement tracking URL. I ask because I'm testing an advertiser's doubleclick.net tracking URL on a banner, which then redirects the user to the client website.
It wouldn't have been so bad, except the poor URL got really mixed up about its very nature when I sent it to myself where Outlook 360 laid on yet another replacement (their safe URL check). Microsoft eventually decided it was OK, but I thought it might be a tad more direct to eliminate one of the steps.
track="off" doesn't seem to be for me anyway. Wonder what's up with that.
Well, most recipients won't have that Outlook link check (I hope), and even then Outlook eventually decides the link is OK. Eventually not quick enough for semi-serious leads, though ... Don't know how hard I would keep trying to click on a banner.
These are great questions so thank you for including as many details as you did. The good news is our Advanced Support Team is specialized in these custom coded emails. In fact we have created a ticket in your account with this team for further assistance. One of these support agents will be reaching out directly within 4 business days with more information about security and link tracking.