'Invisible space' behind link in an email

Anonymous
Not applicable

'Invisible space' behind link in an email

Hello there,

Recently, we had an issue with a campaign link that apparently had an 'invisible space' behind it.

In Marketo itself, the link works perfectly fine and redirects you to the correct page. However, when sending the actual email out, Marketo all of a sudden puts something like '%20' behind the link (because apparently there is a space at the end of the web link).

Of course, one can say that you always should send test sample emails to yourself (and I'm pretty sure we did that and didn't encounter an issue, but we could be wrong).

Has anybody else had this issue? We double double check our links nowadays. However, to make it even better/ easier, isn't it possible that Marketo automatically will give you an 'error message' when this invisible space occurs so we know that we should double check the link? This would be extremely helpful!

Thanks!

5 REPLIES 5
SanfordWhiteman
Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: 'Invisible space' behind link in an email

But the space at the end isn't necessarily wrong. It's not an invalid URL, no matter how unlikely it may seem. Maybe a popup warning would be nice, but this can be a slippery slope toward thinking all manner of unusual-but-valid URLs are typos, y'know?

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: 'Invisible space' behind link in an email

Thanks for your feedback, Sanford. Interesting to hear that the space at the end isn't necessarily wrong. However, this space at the end did cause the error for us by saying the webpage did not exist when someone clicked on the link.

Maybe I'm misinterpreting you, but wouldn't it be helpful if there was a pop up warning that only focuses on an 'invisible space' at the end?

Thanks again!

SanfordWhiteman
Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: 'Invisible space' behind link in an email

True, on your webserver it may be a 404.  But on another server it may be perfectly fine -- it likely would have originated from a typo, but now that's the real URL and without the space they'd get a 404. 

I concede that a warning would be mostly harmless as long as it could be bypassed. Just worry about too much "intuition" about typos in valid URLs.  It reminds me of when forms don't let me enter an email address because it seems "too long" even though it conforms fully to technical limits.

What I think would be better overall is if there were a button you could press to validate all URLs.  Based on user-specified config (checkboxes), this feature could check for extraneous spaces as well as missing UTM codes and mktNoTok classes, for example. I wrote a little bookmarklet to do this once, but it proved too hard to roll out to our users. I'll open an idea for it.

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: 'Invisible space' behind link in an email

Hi Sanford Whiteman,

I just tried to search if there were any reactions on your idea, but I was not able to find it.

Did you open the idea? Otherwise I'm more than happy to open it.

Thanks!

Diederik_Marte4
Level 6

Re: 'Invisible space' behind link in an email

We had this! Someone copy/pasted a link into an email. By accident it had a whitespace at the end. In testing it works without issue. But on an official blast, links are appended with a tracking code. In that case you get a link that doesn't meet standards and will fail (e.g. domain.com/page.html ?mkt_token=xxx). We have now implemented the "whitespace-check" in our review procedures.

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