Post-click tracking

  • Updated

This topic is for administrators and developers with administration access rights in Optimizely Campaign.

Post-click tracking lets you analyze actions by email recipients on your website. You can see if a customer placed or canceled an order, viewed a product, and base marketing actions on this information.

To integrate post-click tracking and use collected data in email marketing, every visitor action must be assigned to a recipient with an email address. Post-click tracking and target groups include these functions:

  • Date and time range selection. Configure post-click filters so that only post clicks generated in a defined time range or at a specific date are matched.
  • Autocomplete for product names. Input fields for product names or similar, are designed as drop-down lists or with an autocomplete function, to ensure correct entries when creating target groups.
  • Mailing-independent customer actions. Import post-click data not assigned to a mailing, but with an email address. For example, if a new customer orders for the first time providing an email address, order details are available as post clicks in the target group module when this customer registers for a newsletter.
  • Universal interface for integrating web analytics software. Integrate almost any web analytics software in a unidirectional way, such as Google Analytics, eTracker, Adobe Analytics and Webtrekk.

Post clicks can only be processed if Optimizely Campaign can connect them with a recipient ID via a cookie or appropriate URL parameters.

Setup

In your Optimizely Campaign client

If post-click tracking is set up together with your client configuration, you can use one or more post-click services (this is either Optimizely's post-click tracking or the web analytics software you are using) in one client. If you are not sure that post-click tracking is configured in your client, contact customer support. For each post-click service, the desired categories to be tracked are defined. Typical categories are purchased products, viewed product, product group or numeric values like product price or revenue. Use these categories to define target groups or evaluate the success of mailings.

On your website

The proprietary post-click tracking uses tracking pixels, a transparent image file (GIF) of one pixel width and height, which is loaded from a server when a customer clicks on a link. Loading of the file will not be noticed, and when done, the URL of the tracking pixel and attached parameters are submitted to the post-click tracking server.

The parameters represent the defined categories, the mailing ID (except for customer actions where no mailing is necessary), and the recipient ID, usually the email address. Integrate the tracking pixel on an appropriate page, such as the "thank you" page displayed after placing an order. The post-click tracking server stores the data in a database available to Optimizely Campaign, together with the detected click time.

One tracking pixel can transmit up to 19 values (nine string values and ten numeric values). One parameter is reserved as an identifier, ensuring that each post click is only tracked once, such as when a page is reloaded.

Storing the SSL certificate

If the site where the tracking pixel is implemented uses an SSL certificate, the post-click tracking also needs this. To order and store the certificate on Optimizely's server, provide Optimizely with the following:

  • A domain. Domain name, such as example.com, for which the certificate is issued.
  • A contact person from your IT department. First name, last name, company name, address, CIP code, phone number, email address and fax address (if available).
  • A contact person for organizational issues. First name, last name, company name, address, CIP code, phone number, email address and fax address (if available).
  • An administrative email address. For administering the certificate, must have the same domain part as the domain the certificate is issued for. Example: If your domain is newsletter.example.com, the email address must be one of admin@example.com, administrator@example.com, hostmaster@example.com, or webmaster@example.com. Note that only the local parts admin, administrator, hostmaster or webmaster are allowed.

Creating a tracking pixel

A tracking pixel consists of an image URL, which is added to your website:

<img src="{url}" width="1" height="1" alt="" border="0">

The placeholder {url} must be replaced by the actual URL, to which the submitted parameters are attached. You can create a tracking pixel with or without a cookie.

Tracking pixel with cookie

When a mailing recipient clicks on the tracking link, a cookie is created that contains recipient data such as recipient ID and mailing ID. You can use additional parameters for the tracking pixel, for example to attach product names, prices and item numbers.

In the example, replace news.example.com with your URL.

http://news.example.com/pc?mg=1234567890&bi=0&service=default&fvalue1=[product ID]&fvalue2=[number of items]&fvalue3=[price]&gvalue1=[category1]&gvalue10=[order number+product ID]

Parameters

  • mg. Mailing group. Submits the ID of your Optimizely Campaign client. To see the client ID, open the Optimizely Campaign menu and select Administration > API Overview > REST API.
  • bi. Browser identifier. Is set to 0 by default. The user agent of the browser is used. If you have a proprietary implementation identifying the user agent, you can submit the value with this parameter.
  • service. Identifies the post-click service to be used. In this example, the proprietary Optimizely Campaign post-click tracking (default) is used.
  • fvalue1 to fvalue10. Can be used to submit ten different numeric values (example names in brackets).
  • gvalue1 to gvalue9. Can be used to submit categories (string values).
  • gvalue10.Is reserved for the identifier, for example shopping cart ID. If multiple tracking pixels are used for each product, this identifier must also contain the product ID, to differentiate the tracking pixels.

    The identifier is an indispensable parameter that assures the creation of unique post-click data. Missing or incorrect identifiers may cause data loss or incorrect sales figures.

Use case

A common use case is tracking of sales figures like revenue, number of bought items, order number, and shopping cart ID. Place a tracking pixel on the order placement page. Only one tracking pixel is necessary. The URL, including attached parameters, is as follows:

/pc?mg=1461858149&bi=0&service=default&fvalue1=20.0&fvalue2=3&fvalue3=8866442211&gvalue1=mark.spencer@example.com&gvalue10=1234567890
  • /pc?mg=1461858149&bi=0&service=default&fvalue1=20.0 = Revenue
  • &fvalue2=3 = Number of bought items
  • &fvalue3=8866442211 = Order number
  • &gvalue1=mark.spencer@example.com = Customer's email address
  • &gvalue10=1234567890 = Shopping cart ID

For more data, you can load a tracking pixel for each item bought. The URL used for the tracking pixel is identical for each tracking pixel; only the attached parameters are different. With this setting, post-click data for product ID, product name, and price, can be submitted. The tracking pixel URL is the same as in the example above. An additional parameter with the product ID (fvalue) and/or the product name (gvalue) is submitted.

Tracking pixel without cookie

If you use a tracking pixel without a cookie, you must use URL parameters to identify the recipient. Usually these are the mailing ID and recipient ID but you can also replace these two with bmMailId. An advantage of bmMailId is improved data privacy because the recipient's email address is not visible in the URL. To provide bmMailId for Post Click Tracking, add the field function {bmMailId} to your link parameters.

Following rules for combining the parameters in a URL apply:

  • Providing either bmMailId or the combination of mailing ID and recipient ID is sufficient to identify a recipient.
  • Providing bmMailId and also the mailing ID and recipient ID is not advisable but it works if the information in all parameters is consistent.
  • If there is any inconsistency in the data provided, an error (code 400) is returned.
  • If the parameters provided are insufficient for identifying a recipient, an error (code 400) is returned.

You send the data to Optimizely Campaign, where you can analyze it as a post click event. You can use additional parameters for the tracking pixel, for example, to attach product names, prices and item numbers.

In the example, replace news.example.com with your URL.

http://news.example.com/pc
?type=userEvent
&authToken=[authorization code]
&service=default
&bmMailId=[information about the campaign and the recipient]
&fvalue1=[article number]
&fvalue2=[amount]
&fvalue3=[price per unit]
&gvalue1=[category]
&gvalue10=[order nr + article nr]

Parameters

  • type. Identifies the tracking pixel type. The userEvent type does not contain a cookie with additional recipient data.
  • authToken. Authorization code for the data transfer to Optimizely Campaign. To see the authorization code, open the Optimizely Campaign menu and select Administration > API Overview > Post-Click Tracking. You can find the authorization code in the User Event Basic URL.
  • service. Identifies the post-click service to be used. In this example, the proprietary Optimizely Campaign post-click tracking (default) is used.
  • recipientId. Recipient ID, usually the email address.
  • mailingId. ID of a single message, that was sent to a specific recipient.
  • bmMailId. Contains information about the campaign and the recipient, only readable for Optimizely Campaign.
  • fvalue1 to fvalue10. Can be used to submit ten different numeric values (example names in brackets).
  • gvalue1 to gvalue9. Can be used to submit categories (string values).
  • gvalue10. Is reserved for the identifier, for example shopping cart ID. If multiple tracking pixels are used for each product, this identifier must also contain the product ID, to differentiate the tracking pixels.

    The identifier is an indispensable parameter that assures the creation of unique post-click data. Missing or incorrect identifiers may cause data loss or incorrect sales figures.

Working with post-click data

Third party web analytics programs

To create reports and analyses with third party web analytics programs, use the web interface of the respective program. See the respective user documentation for reporting options.

Analyzing and monitoring mailing campaign success

Use Optimizely Campaign Deep Analytics to add a post-click measure to a report:

  1. Create or edit a report template or an ad-hoc report, see Deep Analytics.
  2. In the Report Data tab, click + Add measure.... and then Post Click....
  3. In the Name box, enter a name for the post-click measure.
  4. If using more than one service (provider), select the provider from the Service drop-down list.
  5. In the Value drop-down list, select whether the measure you want to create is a number, a sum or an average.
  6. If you have selected Sum or Average in the previous step, select a post-click value from the drop-down list. If you do not want to filter this value further, the definition can be saved. If you have selected Number in the previous step, no filters can be added.
  7. To add filters, in the Filter area, click Add +.
  8. In the Category drop-down list, click a post-click value/category and select an operator. Options depend on whether the selected post click is a number or a string value.
  9. Enter a reference value to compare the post-click value with.
  10. Click Apply ✔.
  11. To add further filters values, click Add + and repeat the previous steps.
  12. Click Save.
  13. Continue editing the template/ad-hoc report as described in the user documentation, and execute the report.

Example: Create the post-click measure Men's fashion revenue

  1. In the Value drop-down list, click Sum and then in the of drop-down list, click Revenue.
  2. In the Filter area, click Add +.
  3. In the Category drop-down list, click Shop category and select the equals operator.
  4. Enter the reference value Men's fashion.
  5. Click Apply ✔.
  6. Click Save.

The example requires that a parameter with the shop category is passed in your tracking pixel.

Filtering target groups with post clicks

Do the following to create a target group with a post-click filter:

  1. Open the Optimizely Campaign menu and select RecipientsTarget Groups.
  2. Click Create.
  3. In the Name box, enter a name for the target group and in the Target Group area, click Add +.
  4. In the second drop-down list, click Action.
  5. In the following drop-down list, click has created post click.
  6. If using more than one service (provider), select the provider from the Service drop-down list.
  7. To only consider post clicks created from mailings, select the mailings from the Mailing drop-down list. If no mailing is selected, both mailings and actions not created from a mailing (customer actions) are considered.
  8. Select a date or time in the Period drop-down list to select only post clicks created within a defined time range or at a certain date. Time entered as a number of days ("Exactly 30 days ago") refer to the current day.
  9. In the Category drop-down list, click a post-click value/category and select an operator.
  10. Enter a reference value to compare the post-click value with.
  11. Click Apply ✔.
  12. To add further filters values, click Add + and repeat the previous steps.
  13. Click Create.

Example: Create the target group "Buyers—Men's fashion"

To define a target group that contains buyers of men's fashion of the first quarter of 2021, do the following in the Create target group window:

  1. In the Name box, enter Buyers—Men's Fashion and in the Target Group area, click Add +.
  2. In the second drop-down list, click Action and in following drop-down list, click has created post click.
  3. In the Period drop-down list, click From...until... and select the period from 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021.
  4. In the Category drop-down list, click Shop category and select the equals operator.
  5. Enter the reference value Men's fashion.
  6. Click Apply ✔.
  7. Click Create.

The example requires that a parameter with the shop category is passed in your tracking pixel.