Mail merge campaigns sent via GMass can now be click-tracked. To turn on click-tracking for a mail-merge campaign, just check the box in the Settings box before clicking the main GMass button. Note that click-tracking is turned on by default.
All hyperlinks will be converted to trackable hyperlinks in the following format:
Certain links will be left alone and not tracked, including “mailto:” links and “tel:” links. All other regular web hyperlinks will be converted to trackable links if click tracking is on. Additionally, previously tracked URLs will not be tracked again. For example, if you track a link in one campaign, and that URL is converted to:
and then you copy/paste that tracked URL into another campaign, it will be left alone and not converted again.
Skipping certain links
There are cases where you may not want a particular link tracked. Learn more here.
When someone clicks on a link in an email campaign, a report will go into the GMass Reports –> Clicks label in your Gmail account.
Not all links are tracked
If you’ve sent mail merge campaigns with your Gmail account and have used GMass’s click-tracking feature, you’re used to having all of your clickable URLs altered to be tracked. In certain cases, however, phishing scanners were flagging the tracked links when a URL was used for the anchor text. Many email marketing experts have already written about this issue, so I won’t expound upon the history of phishing in this post.
The important change to be aware of is that GMass’s click tracking feature now skips tracking on links where the anchor text itself is a URL rather than a word or a phrase.
Meaning, if your links looks like this:
Go to http://www.wordzen.com for an awesome email editing service!
where the links is a URL itself, then we won’t track that link.
If your links looks like this, however:
Go to Wordzen for an awesome email editing service!
the anchor text is now “Wordzen” instead of “http://www.wordzen.com”, and so GMass will track this link.
You’ll also notice that if you’re a Google Apps user, the clickable links now point to our new domain gm.ag instead of gmass.co.
Interestingly enough, we tested other popular email marketing services to assess how their click tracking functions worked, including MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Campaign Monitor. Surprisingly, none of these services skip click-tracking on links where the anchor text is a URL, meaning emails sent from those services will get flagged by phishing scanners if click tracking is enabled and links with URLs as anchor text are present in the message.
I believe GMass, despite doing it differently than these other popular email marketing tools, is now implementing click-tracking the proper way. We hope that the rest of the email marketing industry will soon follow suit.
We filter out certain User Agents
Recently we noticed false clicks of links in email campaigns from the Yahoo! Slurp User Agent, and in the last few days we’ve noticed a new bot clicking links in users’ mail merge campaigns: BLEXBot.
The User agent for BLEXBot looks like:
Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; BLEXBot/1.0; +http://webmeup-crawler.com/)
We are now filtering out clicks from this bot, meaning they won’t count towards your campaign clicks. We aren’t sure yet how the BLEXBot is getting access to the unique tracking links that are included in click-tracked email campaigns sent by GMass users, but we’re working on finding out. It might be the result of a data sharing agreement between Google and the folks who control BLEXBot.
If you’ve noticed that in the last month you’re getting more clicks than you’re used to, it might be because of Yahoo!’s Slurp Search Bot. In the last month, we’ve noticed a substantial increase in the number of clicks for email campaigns that have click-tracking turned on, and most of those extra clicks are being generated by the Yahoo! Slurp bot. Specifically, you may have noticed the User Agent:
Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Yahoo! Slurp; http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/
or a click notification that looks like this:
Why is this happening?
Yahoo!’s Slurp search spider has been around for a while. We think that in the last few weeks, Yahoo! made a change such that the spider is now clicking the links in the email messages of all Yahoo! Mail users, where it previously did not auto click all the links within emails. So if you’re sending email campaigns to @yahoo.com users or any address hosted by Yahoo! Mail, or to an address that forwards to such an address, you may be getting false clicks from the Slurp spider.
What change did we make?
On August 14, 2017, we modified our click tracking handler to ignore clicks from the Slurp search spider, so you shouldn’t see any more clicks generated by the spider.