Troubleshooting Email Marketing Links and Tracking in Kentico

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When using email marketing in Kentico, the tracking capability plays a significant role in the whole marketing process. Kentico allows you to track opened emails, clicked links, unsubscription rate or contact activities. The information can then be used elsewhere in the system - e.g. for marketing automation or contact segmentation.

As long as everything works fine, everyone is happy. But what if the tracking stops and the links are not displayed correctly? Well, then it is time to troubleshoot!

Below you can find some of the most common issues regarding email marketing tracking and links functionality. As there were changes between Kentico 8.x and newer versions, suggestions for a solution for each issue are addressed per their respective Kentico version.

Clicked Links Are Not Tracked

Is link tracking enabled?

Check the settings in the Email marketing application -> edit the newsletter or email campaign -> Configuration tab -> On-line marketing section -> Track clicked links checkbox, which needs to be enabled.

Are the links in the sent emails in the correct format?

All tracking links in Kentico are handled by Redirect.ashx handler. When someone clicks on a tracking link in the email, the request first goes to the Redirect.ashx file with the subscriber specific parameters and then the original URL of the link is returned in the response. Tracking links are generated only during a real email campaign (newsletter) sending, so they are not generated for draft emails. Below are the correct link formats (the @ character is URL encoded to %40):

Kentico 8.0 – 8.2

<protocol>://<domain>/CMSModules/Newsletters/CMSPages/Redirect.ashx?linkguid=<linkGuid>&subscriberguid=<subscriberGuid>&contactid=<contactId or empty if the subscriber isn’t a contact>

Example:

http://advantage.kentico.com/CMSModules/Newsletters/CMSPages/Redirect.ashx?linkguid=bd5abe58-05e2-4400-9f40-d27db725a5f6&subscriberguid=2e96c1ed-212f-46e2-9cfd-8d45e4b36342&contactid=

Kentico 9 – 10

<protocol>://<domain>/CMSModules/Newsletters/CMSPages/Redirect.ashx?linkguid=<linkGuid>&email=<subscriberEmail>&hash=<hash>

Example:

https://www.kentico.com/CMSModules/Newsletters/CMSPages/Redirect.ashx?linkguid=c5de2b23-0ef6-40fb-9f83-491a3e088c59&email=some.subscriber%40kentico.com&hash=c87a1cc6b79fa85b469d472a8002fe93f752320519f6977a35331edf8f1fd664

Opened Emails Are Not Tracked

Is opened email tracking enabled?

Check the settings in the Email marketing application -> edit the newsletter or email campaign -> Configuration tab -> On-line marketing section -> Track opened emails checkbox. This setting needs to be enabled.

Is the tracking image in sent emails in the correct format?

Opened emails are tracked by inserting a tiny image (1x1 pixel) at the end of HTML body element of each sent email. The source URL of the inserted image points back to Track.ashx handler that logs the statistic and returns the image. Tracking images are not inserted into draft emails as there isn't a subscriber context and it doesn't make sense for drafts. The image’s HTML tag needs to be in the following format (the @ character is URL encoded to %40):

Kentico 8.0 – 8.1

<img src="<protocol>://<domain>/CMSModules/Newsletters/CMSPages/Track.ashx?subscriberguid=<subscriberGuid>&issueguid=<issueGuid>&contactid=<contactId or empty if the subscriber isn’t a contact>" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="position: absolute; bottom: 0; width: 1px; height: 1px;" />

Example:

<img src="https://advantage.kentico.com/CMSModules/Newsletters/CMSPages/Track.ashx?subscriberguid=ca88398b-3fc7-43ee-b249-17769a2e1921&issueguid=84d59d92-4a4d-455a-bb71-df7b8c6ab685&contactid=1016" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="position: absolute; bottom: 0; width: 1px; height: 1px;" />

Kentico 8.2

<img src="<protocol>://<domain>/CMSModules/Newsletters/CMSPages/Track.ashx?subscriberguid=<subscriberGuid>&issueguid=<issueGuid>&contactid=<contactId or empty if the subsriber isn’t a contact>" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="position: absolute;bottom: 0;width: 1px;height: 1px;border: 0;margin: 0;padding: 0;background-color: transparent;position: absolute !important;bottom: 0 !important;width: 1px !important;height: 1px !important;border: 0 !important;margin: 0 !important;padding: 0 !important;background-color: transparent !important" />

Example:

<img src="http://www.kentico.com/CMSModules/Newsletters/CMSPages/Track.ashx?subscriberguid=2e96c1ed-212f-46e2-9cfd-8d45e4b36342&issueguid=05e593c9-ce10-4537-96b5-5c1bc7540cc8&contactid=" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="position: absolute;bottom: 0;width: 1px;height: 1px;border: 0;margin: 0;padding: 0;background-color: transparent;position: absolute !important;bottom: 0 !important;width: 1px !important;height: 1px !important;border: 0 !important;margin: 0 !important;padding: 0 !important;background-color: transparent !important" />

Kentico 9 – 10

<img src="<protocol>://<domain>/CMSModules/Newsletters/CMSPages/Track.ashx?issueguid=<issueGuid>&email=<subscribersEmail>&hash=<hash>" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="position: absolute;bottom: 0;width: 1px;height: 1px;border: 0;margin: 0;padding: 0;background-color: transparent;position: absolute !important;bottom: 0 !important;width: 1px !important;height: 1px !important;border: 0 !important;margin: 0 !important;padding: 0 !important;background-color: transparent !important" />

Example:

<img src="http://advantage.kentico.com/CMSModules/Newsletters/CMSPages/Track.ashx?issueguid=9ec42fe8-d16d-42ce-9635-7044aac97830&email=another.subscriber%40kentico.com&hash=41100a66a7eede8a8c5cf1b44133b4e423385223bd0910ed1e4feb46ae895f85" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="position: absolute;bottom: 0;width: 1px;height: 1px;border: 0;margin: 0;padding: 0;background-color: transparent;position: absolute !important;bottom: 0 !important;width: 1px !important;height: 1px !important;border: 0 !important;margin: 0 !important;padding: 0 !important;background-color: transparent !important" />

Unsubscription Links Are Not Working

Does the unsubscription page have the correct (relative) URL specified?

In order to make unsubscription links work, they need to lead to a correct unsubscription page. The URL can be set either in the Settings application or in the Email marketing application which has a higher precedence:

  • Settings application -> On-line marketing -> Email marketing -> Unsubscription page URL
  • Email marketing application -> edit the newsletter or email campaign -> Configuration tab -> Unsubscription page URL

The URL needs to be relative, preferably with a tilde character (~).

Does the specified unsubscription page contain the "Newsletter unsubscription" web part or (in Kentico 10) the "Email feed unsubscription" web part?

The unsubscription page needs to contain an unsubscription web part to ensure that when a subscriber clicks on the unsubscription link, they are correctly unsubscribed. The web part is called Email feed unsubscription in Kentico 10 and Newsletter unsubscription in older versions.

Are unsubscription links in the sent emails in the correct format?

Unsubscription web parts need to receive correct URL parameters, otherwise the unsubscription process will not be successful. Unsubscription links are not generated in emails that are sent as a draft. Depending on Kentico version, unsubscription links need to be in one of the following formats:

Kentico 8 – 8.2

<protocol>://<domain>/<relative URL of the unsubscription page>?subscriberguid=<subscriberGuid>&newsletterguid=<newsletterGuid>&issueguid=<issueGuid>

Example:

https://www.kentico.com/SpecialPages/Unsubscribe/Newsletter.aspx?subscriberguid=2e96c1ed-212f-46e2-9cfd-8d45e4b36342&newsletterguid=6cb33bf8-8968-4cea-ad1a-41578f4486bd&issueguid=05e593c9-ce10-4537-96b5-5c1bc7540cc8

Kentico 9 – 10

In these versions, subscribers can decide if they want to unsubscribe from all or only the current email campaign (newsletter). Again, the @ character is URL encoded to %40.

The unsubscription link from the current email campaign (newsletter) needs to look like:

<protocol>://<domain>/<relative URL of the unsubscription page>?issueguid=<issueGuid>&email=<subscriberEmail>&hash=<hash>&newsletterguid=<newsletterGuid>

Example:

https://advantage.kentico.com/SpecialPages/Unsubscribe/Newsletter.aspx?issueguid=654486e8-10ce-4ddd-af3a-8ed1f8ee8962&email=i.am.subscriber%40kentico.com&hash=ed3e985ec9b70afaf6a069289fecd67cc45260309edc174951d3805b2c078dd0&newsletterguid=6cb33bf8-8968-4cea-ad1a-41578f4486bd

The unsubscription link from all campaigns (and newsletters) needs to look like:

<protocol>://<domain>/<relative URL of the unsubscription page>?issueguid=<issueGuid>&email=<subscriberEmail>&hash=<hash>&newsletterguid=<newsletterGuid>&unsubscribeFromAll=true

Example:

http://advantage.kentico.com/SpecialPages/Unsubscribe/Newsletter.aspx?issueguid=654486e8-10ce-4ddd-af3a-8ed1f8ee8962&email=this.is.my.email%40kentico.com&hash=ed3e985ec9b70afaf6a069289fecd67cc45260309edc174951d3805b2c078dd0&newsletterguid=6cb33bf8-8968-4cea-ad1a-41578f4486bd&unsubscribeFromAll=true

Relative Links in Sent Emails Contain Incorrect Domain Name or Some Other Strange Value

Is there any value set in the Base URL property of the email campaign (newsletter)?

Incorrectly resolved relative links are usually caused by incorrect configuration of the Base URL of the email campaign (newsletter). If the issue is that a domain name is not resolved correctly or an incorrect protocol is used (e.g. HTTP instead of HTTPS) in link URLs, make sure that the correct value is entered into the Base URL property (e.g. https://advantage.kentico.com) of the email campaign (newsletter):

Email marketing application -> edit the email campaign or newsletter -> Configuration tab -> the Base URL property.

Activities like Clicked Links, Opened Emails or Newsletter Unsubscriptions Are Not Tracked

If activities are not tracked for contacts who opened, clicked or unsubscribed from newsletters or email campaigns, use the below checklist to find out if everything is configured properly:

Does the email campaign have tracking of on-line marketing activities enabled?

Email marketing application -> edit the email campaign or newsletter -> Configuration tab -> On-line marketing section -> the Log on-line marketing activities checkbox should be enabled.

Is On-line marketing enabled on the site?

Settings application -> On-line marketing -> the Enable On-line marketing checkbox should be checked.

Is logging of activities enabled on the site?

Settings application -> On-line marketing -> Contact management -> Activities -> Log activities checkbox should be checked.

Is logging of email campaign (email marketing) activities enabled?

Settings application -> On-line marketing -> Contact management -> Activities -> scroll down to Email marketing (Email campaign) section -> ensure that all five (or relevant) email campaign activity checkboxes are checked.

Is activity tracking allowed for the actual contact?

In version 8 and 9, you can check this in the Contact management application -> edit a contact -> General tab -> scroll down to Contact settings section -> the Track activities checkbox needs to be checked.

Is activity tracking allowed for the actual user?

Users application -> edit the user -> Settings tab -> Log activities checkbox should be checked.

Is activity tracking enabled for the page that contains either the subscription or the unsubscription web part?

Pages application -> select the page which contains the subscription or unsubscription web part -> Properties tab -> General -> scroll down to On-line marketing section -> the Log on-line marketing activity checkbox needs to be enabled. If the logging of activities is disabled for the page, activities are not logged when the contact is on the page as the page settings have always higher priority than the newsletter settings.

Do the links in the sent emails have a correct tracking format?

Check the earlier examples of the tracking links and ensure they are in the correct format.

Still doesn’t work?

In most cases, the tracking and link issues are caused by one (or a combination) of the reasons above. However, if you’ve tried all the outlined solutions and you’re still experiencing some issues, let us know on DevNet or contact our support and I am sure we will manage to solve it together!

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Pavel Jiřík

Marketing Implementation Specialist at Kentico Software