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Branded Base URLs for Tracking

Question

How do I create a BaseURL for tracking?

Answer

When tracking is enabled for a list, all links in campaigns change to WhatCounts links, encoded for the campaign and subscriber. This is usually not a problem in HTML as the links are hidden by the code. However, in the plain text version of your message, links will appear something like this:

Visit Yahoo: http://wc4.net/t?ctl=4C851AF:F45EDC9A63323A1510417B14066D410B14782C3EB548DFA8&

(NOTE: If you are using a Broadcaster, the wc4.net will be replaced by the default Base URL for your system.)

To enable custom domain names to appear (and work) in click-through tracking URLs, select a subdomain or alias to use for your tracked links. Choose something you think would be appropriate for your company or client. Some examples of subdomains other customers have used include:

  • click
  • news
  • online
  • list

Next, create an CNAME record for your subdomain that points to your siteURL.  On the SaaS, the siteURL is: tracking.whatcounts.com

For example, if your domain name is mycompany.com and you want your click-through URLs to use a domain branded with that URL, you might create a subdomain called clicks.mycompany.com that points to tracking.whatcounts.com

Make sure you have a CNAME record pointing to the domain and NOT an A record hardcoded to point to it's corresponding IP. If an IP change is needed later, you will not have to make any changes to your DNS.

After the CNAME setup you can do a simple test by pasting the domain in the address bar of your browser and hitting the ENTER key.  If it brings up the WhatCounts site, it's been set up correctly.

Once you have confirmed that the domain is set up correctly, the WhatCounts Support Team must things up on our side to allow you to select that Base URL in your Lists.  Just create a ticket for the Support team that includes the Base URL and your realm name(s).

After you have received confirmation that the Base URL set up is complete, go to the ADVANCED tab for your list and select your new Base URL from the Base URL listbox. Click SAVE to save the selection. If you have a single Base URL, it will be used by default for all Lists, but if you have multiple Base URLs, you will need to edit each list to select which Base URL you would like to use for each.

The next time you send a campaign using the list, all the links in your email will reflect the Base URL selected in the List.

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