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New Feature for G Suite and Gmail Users: Branded Tracking Domain

If you’re a G Suite or Gmail user using GMass for your email marketing campaigns, you may notice that the domain gmreg.net or gmapp.net is used in your emails’ open tracking, click tracking, and unsubscribe link elements. For example, if you hover over a tracked link before clicking it, and notice the URL that it points to, you’ll notice that it points to gmapp.net, and then this redirects to the actual destination URL.

Now you can swap out the default tracking domain for your organization’s own domain. If your domain is mycompany.com, for example, you can set up email.mycompany.com, or x.mycompany.com or news.mycompany.com and use that branded tracking domain with GMass. There is some technical setup required to make this happen though. Specifically you have to add a DNS record — a CNAME record with your chosen host aliasing to “x.gmtrack.net”. Note that this used to be track.gmass.co but we’ve recently changed it to x.gmtrack.net.

How to Set Up

First, create a CNAME record for your chosen host such that the tracking domain aliases to x.gmtrack.net. If you don’t know what a CNAME record is, you may need to consult your webmaster or domain administrator. Here’s a Google Support page on how to set up a CNAME record.

How do you know if you’ve set up the DNS record properly? Try “pinging” your tracking domain and see if the x.gmtrack.net IP address is pinged. On Windows, open up a Command Prompt and type “ping your-tracking-domain”. On a Mac, open up Terminal and do the same. I’ve set up link.wordzen.com to be the tracking domain for my own GMass account, for example, so I “ping link.wordzen.com” and see if the ping shows a connection to x.gmtrack.net:

In this case, I’ve set up the tracking domain “track.wordzen.com”. To test my DNS record, I ping track.wordzen.com and look for a successful connection to x.gmtrack.net.

After you’ve completed the DNS setup, you must submit your tracking domain to GMass.

If you don’t have control over your domain’s DNS…

If you don’t have the ability to set up a branded tracking domain, but still want to isolate yourself from the behavior of other users, you can register one from scratch.

What are the benefits?

There are two benefits to setting up a branded tracking domain:

1. A branded tracking domain creates a more trustworthy impression to your email recipients. Savvy Internet users hover over links before clicking them, and seeing the domain with which they’re familiar (your organization’s domain) as opposed to GMass’s default tracking domain can go a long way in increasing trust, and ultimately increasing your click-through rate. The world’s biggest brands use ESPs (Email Service Providers) to send their email marketing campaigns, and they all employ branded tracking domains instead of the default Email Service Provider tracking domain.

2. Setting up a branded tracking domain isolates your reputation from the reputation of other GMass users for deliverability purposes. Meaning, if a spammer uses GMass, and the spammer’s emails contain the default GMass tracking domain, and this causes the default tracking domain to be listed by a domain-based spam blacklist, and if your emails contain the same tracking domain, the deliverability of your emails could be affected. If, however, you set up a branded tracking domain, that only your users use, you can protect yourself from being adversely affected by another user’s actions.

Are you a regular Gmail, not a G Suite user?

Even if you’re not a G Suite user, you can take advantage of this feature if you manage your own domain and send email campaigns with GMass from a regular Gmail account (your email address is @gmail.com or @googlemail.com). The default tracking domain used for regular Gmail accounts is “gmreg.net”, but if you manage your own domain, you can assign a branded tracking domain to an individual Gmail account similarly to how you can assign a branded tracking domain to an entire Google Apps domain. Follow the same setup procedures outlined here.

35 Comments
  1. Yes, absolutely. This will apply to the unsubscribe link, the open tracking pixel, and click-tracking.

  2. Hi Ajay, If possible could you please assign a dedicated tracking domain to Port Melbourne Colts Football Club..The error message coming up is that we have reached our limit..We normally send 189 to 192 emails on a average each week.
    Maree McDonald portcolts.mailinglist@gmail.com

  3. Hi. Just a silly question:

    If I send to a group of say 500 people, and in the "to" field add the group name instead of each email address individually – does GMass still send to each individual address on the list or will it send as a bulk?

  4. Hi Ajay, great product. I've sent a couple campaigns but I don't see that the links have a assigned GMass URL (for tracking). Instead they just have the exact intended URL. Is there something I'm doing incorrectly? I plan to setup our own custom domain but was hoping to make sure links were being tracked correctly to begin with. Thanks.

    1. Agreed. I’m staring at the “Custom Resource Records” section of my domain in Google Domains, but I have no idea what to put in for the values.

      When selecting “CNAME” from the record type, you are asked to provide 3 sets of values: “Name,” “TTL” and “Data” Which of these 3 gets the x.gmtrack.net? Does a record in addition to the CNAME need to be created?

          1. Hi Robb,

            I did the exact same thing with my Namechep domain

            For me it is Host and Value
            Host is contact.cloudmedia.club
            value:x.gmtrack.net

            And TTl is automatic

            Not able to ping it even after 72 hours

            Can you kindly help?

  5. Hi AJ,

    Thanks a lot for your great posts.

    I had planned to send emails which include a link (not a hyperlink) to my website set up as a submdomain “collaborate.domain-name.com”.

    Would this work to avoid domain-based email blocking?

    Thanks,
    Giorgio

  6. Hi,
    I followed Go-Daddy’s instructions for creating a DNS record. I have a gmail (not G-Suite) account and used three default tracking domains:
    x.gmtrack.net
    gmreg.net
    link.gmreg5.net
    When I “ping” them in the terminal prompt in my mac, I get this error message:
    cannot resolve link.nesawg.org: Unknown host

    Can you tell me what I might be doing wrong?

    1. Hi Tracy,

      Please try these settings:
      Type: CNAME
      Host: link
      Points to: x.gmtrack.net
      TTL: leave at 1 Hour default

      Click save. To test if it’s working, go to your browser and go to link.nesawg.org. If it forwards you to the GMass website then your CNAME entry has been successfully added.

      Please contact our support team through http://gmass.co/g/support with a screenshot of the DNS record your setting up for the CNAME entry if you’re still running into issues.

      1. No, that’s not how you set up subdomains in GoDaddy if your website is hosted by another company. I figured it out. If GoDaddy owns your domain name but your subdomain is hosted elsewhere, you have to go to the DNS record management page, click on the last page of the records, scroll down PAST the listed records to nameserver, and when you get to the box on the right that says Forwarding, enter the subdomain you want to forward in the “subdomain” and the appropriate GMass URL from the article above. I don’t have a G-Suite Account so I used gmreg.net. Seemed to ping on Terminal but does not go to a registered domain name, so I’m going to test again and see if I need to use the other URL provided.

        1. Hi Tracy,

          The instructions I’ve provided is how you would set up a CNAME entry for GMass – since we are going to be using a subdomain such as track.yourdomain.com to be used as your tracking domain and pointing it to the GMass tracking URL (x.gmreg.net or x.gmtrack.net)

        2. I’m not following…I’m trying to do the same thing and I have my domain (esacompliance.org) with GoDaddy but the site is hosted with wpEngine. I do have Gsuite. I went into the forwarding area as you mentioned and put form as the “subdomain” and then x.gmtrack.net in the “forwards to” area and clicked save. Now when I go to my address bar and type in form.esacompliance.org it takes me to Gmass. Does this mean I’m all setup correctly? I don’t believe so though because when I ping form.esacompliance.org in my terminal nothing comes back. VERY CONFUSED!!

  7. Hello please i,m having issues setting up my custom tracking domain for gmass,,i don’t have a website but i purchased a domain from godaddy

    1. Hi Fortune,

      Please contact our support team through http://gmass.co/g/support so we can assist you in setting up your custom tracking domain.

    1. Hi JJ,

      You will need to create a CNAME it is found in your domain’s DNS settings. It is not simply forwarding to x.gmtrack.net your subdomain. There’s an article you can refer to from GoDaddy found here: godaddy.com/help/add-a-cname-record-19236

  8. I have a regular gmail account and cannot figure out the CNAME record. I contacted name cheap and they said “You can setup CNAME with us only for domain based email addresses.”

    These instructions are not very clear for those using regular gmail accts. Please help with this.

    Thank you.

  9. I tried setting this up for Google Domains.

    Did email.MYDOMAIN.com for the @ field
    Then put 14400 for the TTL.
    Set x.gmtrack.net for the DATA field.

    Still cant ping email.MYDOMAIN.com. It is a Wix website and a Google Domain registrar. Any help?

    1. Hi Amin,

      If your Nameservers have been switched over to Wix, you’ll need to add the CNAME entry in Wix.

  10. Hi – I’m having trouble with the CNAME entry. I’m using SiteGround and I went into the cPanel and DNS editor and created the CNAME but I can’t ping it. It looks like this…
    Name: email.mydomain.io
    TTL: 14400
    Class: IN
    Type: CNAME
    Record: x.gmtrack.net

    Does the above look correct?

    When I try pinging it from Command Prompt it says: “Ping request could not find host email.mydomain.io. Please check the name and try again.”

    Please let me know what I’m doing wrong here.

    Thanks!

    1. Please ignore this comment. I tried it again and now everything works. I guess it takes 15min to go through. All set!

    2. Hi Roman,

      The host should always just be a single string such as email, view, or track and should not include your domain. In your case, the hostname should just be the word email without anything after it.

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