Each week, we send an email newsletter to our database. The US very consistently shows about 200ish "malformed links" in the email performance report. Each week we will see a similar amount.
Support has said that this is the result of something (automated or otherwise) messing around with the Marketo tracking links, but I was hoping someone could shed a bit more light on which email providers might be doing this, and if there is anything we can do. Since there are 200ish links, it's something like 10% of our weekly clicks in that week. I'd love to know where those people clicked.
Support has said that this is the result of something (automated or otherwise) messing around with the Marketo tracking links
I don't fully buy this explanation (which is echoed in a Marketo support post).
It's absolutely true that mail security software rewrites links (which have already been rewritten by Marketo). So you might have http://www.example.com/landingpage rewritten to http://click.example.com/12qf832akadsf for click-tracking purposes when it's sent out, then rewritten again by the recipient's mailserver to http://mailprotect.mycompany.com/protected/453jnge872356t?thengoto=http://click.example.com/12qf832akadsf.
The lead will see the http://mailprotect.company.com/... URL in their inbox. And it's certainly possible that if the http://click.example.com/... URL is long, the MailProtect URL may end up truncating the original http://click.example.com/... URL that's encapsulated inside the MailProtect URL.
But that doesn't explain how the lead could register a Clicked Email in the correct campaign yet have the URL reported as malformed. Try truncating a Marketo click tracking URL by trimming off the last alphanumeric character. Chances are 99.9999% you'll get a 404 error with "The redirect URL is empty." And I have no reason to believe that this type of "malformed URL" gets logged to the correct campaign -- rather, it doesn't get logged anywhere at all.
So I'd instead be looking into links that were malformed from the start -- I know you use Velocity, so have you exhaustively tested for exceptions (null values, missing array indices, etc.)?
Great thoughts Sanford.
There is always a possibility of the Velocity scripts doing something funky. But...my gut feel is that this shouldn't be a problem in the send where the malformed links are being registered.
Our newsletter has some scripts in it, but they only affected the footer, and a minor story in the middle. There's no way these pieces could account for anything like the volume of link clicks that appear to be malformed. It seems more like the number of clicks we would get to a featured story somewhere up the top - which are all static pieces of HTML.
Having said that, your explanation makes a lot more sense than anything else. So I'll do some digging when I get a chance. Thanks again!
Thinking about it....could I run a smart list based on "clicked link is malformed link"? Or something similar? To try and find the specific leads that clicked the link?
If that's possible, then I could theoretically click every link sequentially from my profile and see which one turns up as a "malformed link" in my activity record.
Did you ever track down and solve your Malformed Link problem? We're experiencing the same discrepancy in our more dynamic emails, which leverage velocity to generate links.
Unfortunately not Scott.
We are tracking all clicks in Google Analytics (and lead scoring in Marketo based on page visits), so as long as Marketo is tracking that a link is clicked, it's not the end of the world. We can get the info from other areas. But we still can't solve the problem, or even narrow it down. Baffling.
Hi Phillip Wild
I've been seeing some similar issues. But I have a quick question about how you are tracking in GA to compensate for this? We have been seeing some funky things in GA where it is not reporting on the utm medium that we have on the links in Marketo. So, I'm wondering if it is something to do with the Malformed links or not? Curious to hear your thoughts on this.
I'm not sure Valerie. We don't see large amounts of untagged traffic from email, which implies that it's tracking properly at the GA level. at the end of the day, if it's reflected in our click rate, and reflected in GA, it's not the end of the world.....we do more tracking in GA than we do in Marketo.
I had this happen a few years ago. It was mailto links that had tracking checked - it appended tracking code to the end of the the email address and showed up in reports as a malformed link.