Tracked links are not your average links — they have some superpowers.
By the end of this video, you’ll understand how tracked links work, and how to use them to track contacts’ activities and trigger actions.
So What exactly is a tracked link?
Tracked links in Ontraport are pretty nifty for two reasons.
For one, you can change the destination of the link even after it’s out in the wild.
For example, if you send someone an email with a link to “yoursite.com/promopage” then that link is out there — it’s not changing.
If you want to change what people see when they click on it, you have to edit the page itself, because that URL is always where they’ll end up.
But with tracked links, you can change the link destination any time down the road. That’s because tracked links send people to your Ontraport tracking domain first, then redirect them according to the settings. And you can change those settings.
So, when you create a tracked link, we swap it out for another one, something like “yourdomain.ontraport.com/tl/1“. And then you put that link in your email or on your site instead of the original . When people click on it, they’ll get redirected to the destination you set up in your tracked link settings.
So, if you have a product launch or some offer with a deadline, you can send out a tracked link. Then change the destination when the offer is over, so people get to a ‘you missed it!’ page instead.
The second cool thing about tracked links? Ontraport records clicks in contacts' records, and you can use that click to trigger automations. This works for any identified contact - that is, anyone who’s a contact in your account and their browser is cookied. In our “Contact tracking” video, we explain all about how cookies work and how Ontraport identifies people. So go ahead and watch that video if you haven’t already.
So, maybe you want to make a page that says ‘click here to register for our free May class’ and ‘click here to register for June’. You can use tracked links to automatically register anyone who’s already identified. Or you could say ‘click here if you’re a cat person’ and ‘click here if dogs’, then use that click information to trigger relevant follow up. The sky is really the limit.
Now let’s take a look at where to find and Create tracked links.
You’ll find tracked links tucked in the admin menu, in the “Data” section. Here, you’ll see all your active tracked links along with some basic info, like number of visits and destination URL.
When creating a new tracking link, you’ll need to create a name. This is just for your reference; your contacts will never see it. But make it easy to remember – something like “Spring Blowout Promo” – because it will be used throughout the app when creating automations for your campaigns.
The destination URL is where people get sent after clicking your link, so make sure the URL is correct. As I mentioned, you can change the destination URL at any time without having to generate a brand new tracking URL.
Now Let’s talk about Where tracked clicks show up and how to harness their awesome power.
Once you’ve created a tracked link, you can use them anywhere you build a link in Ontraport. So, in an email, you create a link by highlighting text then clicking the link icon, then selecting your link from the Tracked Link option here.
It works just the same way in Pages.
If you need to grab the link directly, because you want to paste it somewhere else, you can do that by going to the collection of tracked links in admin, checking the box next to the link you want and clicking Get Link Code.
After someone clicks a tracked link, you can view the click in their contact log.
But the real magic is in using these clicks in your automations. Tracked links appear in both trigger and goal elements inside automations. This means you can use these clicks to move contacts around the map.
For example, if your goal is to get a lead to visit a page on another domain, you can use a goal element with the criteria “clicks tracked link.” Then you won’t have to continue following up with leads who’ve already visited that page. Since you’re using a tracked link, you’ll see the click no matter where you’ve posted the link.
With a tracked link, you’d be able to see which students have completed a lesson so you can keep track of their progress, for instance.
One thing to keep in mind as you build automations with tracked links is that they’re not logged automatically. Instead, they’re queued for logging and processed over time, so it can take up to 15 minutes to log a tracked link click.
Tracked links are a simple yet powerful tool. And we’ve just scratched the surface in learning how to create and use them.
Want to go even deeper with your site visitors’ activities? Be sure to check out our Marketing Performance Optimization course.