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How click tracking works

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:

https://www.gmass.co/gmass/c?l=a49161a3-f464-436c-b9eb-7c0efbc318c0&r=d87f514c-0070-4ec0-91db-a1de52a341e7

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:

https://www.gmass.co/gmass/c?l=a49161a3-f464-436c-b9eb-7c0efbc318c0&r=d87f514c-0070-4ec0-91db-a1de52a341e7

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.

Reporting

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! Slurphttp://help.yahoo.com/help/us/ysearch/slurp)

or a click notification that looks like this:

Yahoo! Slurp Bot
A sample click notification from GMass where the click came from the Yahoo! Slurp Bot.

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.

81 Comments
  1. Hey Ajay, I am currently having a problem with a Gmass Reports label on the gmail, it simply doesn't appear neither in the gmail bar, nor in the settings. Tried to search it up on the Internet, but didn't succeed. Would you please tell the possible reasons for this problem?

    Best regards,
    Nandin

  2. Nandin – The "GMass Reports" label only shows up AFTER you have at least one reporting event take place, like an open, or a click on an email sent via GMass. You can send yourself an email with GMass, and open it, and then the labels will show up on the left.

  3. Hi Ajay,
    I can only track open clicks if the email is sent to one person. Is it possible to tracked opens if it sent to more recipients?

    BR,
    Karolina

  4. Are there any plans to create a user-friendly dashboard to follow email tracking? It's awesome to see who's opened emails, but quite difficult to manage and make business decisions when the data comes in the form of a ton of emails.

  5. Karolina — yes, GMass tracks opens to all recipients of a mail merge campaign. Make sure your emails are HTML emails. You can do that by making any word bold or adding at least one link. Gmail will sometimes default to plain text instead of HTML, if nothing in the body of the email requires HTML. Feel free to email me at hello@gmass.co if you need more help.

  6. Yes, I know our Reporting isn't the greatest right now. We won't be creating a dashboard, because my software development philosophy for GMass is to create a UI-less experience, but I will improve the email notifications that you get when there is an open or a click. Stay tuned for that.

  7. Hi Ajay I need help with none of the buttons working in my Settings. Have emailed you a screenshot and video to show that each click does nothing. Have re installed and disabled all other Extensions etc. Still no buttons work. Please help.

  8. Hey Greg – I sent you an email to schedule a screen share session for Friday morning Chicago time. I'm sure I can figure out what's going wrong during that session.

  9. I just installed and tested Gmass with 11 test emails. I used my own gmail accounts and those of my coworker.

    I checked the opens in the Gmass reports and it shows 3 of my gmail accounts opened the email when in fact, they did not.

    What's the cause of this and how can I fix it. This is worthless to me if I'm getting phantom "opens" and possibly clicks that aren't taking place.

    Steve

  10. Also,

    My partner opened one of the emails sent to her hotmail account once and it shows she opened it 6 times. The click tracking isn't working at all.

  11. Hi Ajay! Gmass is so cool, I love the daily report of my campaign. Will you send us a final report to after the whole campaign ended? thanks for the info, just i need to know what to expect.

  12. Hi Ajay! While we're loving the GMass for the personalization, it's really not showing up any track reports for emails opened, unsubscribed or link tracking. What exactly to expect? Is there anyone we can write to, in the team?

  13. Steve – it's likely that you opened those messages yourself from your Sent Mail folder. That is the one flaw with open tracking right now. If you open the messages yourself, then it will count as the receiver having opened it.

    1. Hello Ajay,
      Would it be possible to not count the sending address as opener of the email ?
      I just realized that if i open a bounce (which arrives at first in the inbox), it does count as an OPEN, making it quite confusing.
      Declaring one or even a couple of adresses (for testing) which should not count as open would be a very neat feature.

  14. Right now, there is no final report that is sent, but I'm working on that feature. Right now you get real-time reports after any event (open, click, unsubscribe).

  15. It's likely that you're not looking in the right place for reports. Be sure to click the expansion triangle to the left of the "GMass Reports" label to drill down and see the sub-Labels.

  16. Hi Ajay! Playing around with using GMass, particularly for click tracking, but when I send an email using the Chrome extension, I do not see any reports for clicks. I have Campaigns, Opens, Replies and Sent Copies.

    What am I missing?

  17. Gregory — are you sure you've registered at least one click for an email you've sent? And that you had "Click Tracking" turned on? Email me at support@gmass.zendesk.com with your Gmail account address and I can tell you what's going on.

  18. Hi Ajay,

    I have a campaign to run where I have 10 different email templates to email but all have got only one link to track. I will be using the same link in all my 10 campaigns. How to track this, please explain ?

  19. If I send a campaign and I am tracking the opens, I have noticed if I forward it to my CRM software and the email is opened it counts as an open email. Anyway to check where it was from?

  20. I am seeing the email I sent to one person is being opened on multiple times. Does this indicate the orgininal email I sent was forwarded to others who are now opening it?

  21. Hello, I would like to know ,
    I need to use the same URL at 2 different campaigns, and to track this URL for each campaign.
    (it’s a landing page URL which I need to use in 2 campaigns or more)
    is it possible ?

  22. Hi Ajay,

    I’m still on the testing phase. I have tried sending emails to 2 different email addresses and see how fast I should receive it. So far I have not received the emails on both accounts.

  23. Is it possible to retrieve a full list of clicks on all campaigns. Can I get a list emailed to me? Or is there a way to retrieve a whole list of all of them?

  24. How do you know who has clicked on UNSUBSCRIBE button in the emails sent through Gmass? How do you track those people who do not wish to recieve our emails from gmass?

  25. The yahoo coming with new applications, in fact, it had changed the part which is yahoo mail community that is internally changed for the user can now easily use the system.

  26. I was curious about if you ever considered changing the page layout of your site? It is well written; I really like what you have got to say. But maybe you can create a little more in the way of written content so people could connect to it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two photos. Maybe you can space it out better?

    1. Thanks for your feedback and will be taking that into consideration in the future as we are trying to continue to improve not only the content but also the aesthetics of our site to ensure ease of use and readability.

  27. Hi,
    Ajay Goel

    Hope you are doing good!!

    As discussed, we can draft unlimited Emails per day.there are only 490 emails per day are working…May I Know what is the reason for 490 emails working only per day.

    Can I get a explanation of SendGrid tool extension for GMass.

  28. Hi GMass – first, I’m a BIG fan and I LOVE your company’s services! I’m setting up link tracking for another new email account and I have a couple of questions. If I have text in the body of the email such as MyWebsite.com (without ‘http’ and without ‘www’), will link tracking be applied to this text? Is there still a chance that emails with this text will be flagged for phishing? Thanks in advance for your assistance! 🙂

  29. None of my links are tracking in the main “GMASS Campaign Report”.

    They are however tracking in the individual “Clicks” report.

    Will this feature be available again today?

    2 of my links use anchor text (no URL) and the 3rd link uses an anchor image.

    I’m a new paid subscriber as of yesterday and need to start my 1st campaign today at 1PM 🙂

    Thanks!
    R

    1. Hi Rene,

      Please contact our support team at https://www.gmass.co/blog/how-to-get-support-from-the-gmass-team/

  30. Hi Ajay,
    I’m getting many clicks from different IP addresses but same email.
    If someone forwards my campaign email is that what would happen?

    1. Hi Bill,

      Yes. The way tracking works is GMass attaches a 1×1 pixel to your emails that are unique to each recipient on each of your campaigns. When an email is opened, this pixel is downloaded and an open instance is recorded.

      Now for example, you sent john@gmail.com an email with the said pixel and he forwards it to 2 other people who also opens the forwarded message, this will trigger 3 different open instances from different IPs (assuming the other 2 were not using the same internet connection). 1 for John plus 2 more for the forwarded message.

  31. Hey there, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog site in Firefox, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some
    overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!

    Other then that, excellent blog!

    1. Hi,

      Once one of your campaigns have registered a click, the clicks label will be generated under your GMass Reports label.

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    1. Hi Shorab,

      Generally, you shouldn’t resend to those addresses again. Address not found is a response from the intended recipients’ server that the email you have sent to does not exist. Resending would more than likely bounce again.

  41. Hi, my links are individualised for each email recipient so I have them listed out in my spreadsheet and they get entered in to the email using your wonderful field feature.

    So my emails look kind of like this:

    Hi {firstname}, please click on {bit.ly}.

    I do this to pass the recipient email address as a query in the relevant URL.

    I’ve noticed that GMass is not tracking these links. Is there a workaround for this situation?

  42. Hi Rahul,

    You could add a different anchor text to change the link text to something other than the actual URL but still have it point to the relevant URL when clicked.

    1. Hi there, I have a question about this as a well. I am sending unique links to 100+ emails, but they all have the same anchor text. Is there a reason these links are still not being tracked?

      Is there anything else I can do?

      Thank You,

      Jordan

      1. Hi Jordan,

        Upon checking, we’re not showing a unique link on for your most recent campaign. Could you please contact our support team directly by going to gmass.co/g/support and providing us with the text you’re using for the link and the campaign ID so we can check on our end?

  43. buenas tardes
    Envié 600 mensajes masivos y me demora más de 1 día en enviarlos (inserté una foto)
    porque es asi???

  44. Hi Marvin,

    My tracking does not seem to be working. I have sent a test email to another email address I have, which I have opened and clicked on links inside but no opens or clicks are showing on the dashboard or clicks / open folders.

    Please help.

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