10 Replies Latest reply on Sep 11, 2018 10:58 AM by Sanford Whiteman

    404 Page Not Found Error for Email Links

    Greg Liewer
      This may be an internal only issue but wanted to see if anyone else has had this particular 404 error.

      The Challenge - We sent out a test email to one of the sales people to let them review some content and check out the links for a May event. When clicking on the links to the registration landing page he was lead to a 404 error. Same thing happened when we sent the test email to our IT team. Within our department all links work and when sent to personal email accounts at Yahoo, Hotmail and (of all places) AOL the links work as well.

      What we think the Issue is - It appears that Outlook, or something else, is changing the URL/redirect code from a mix of capitals and lowercase to all lowercase letters and this may be affecting the link to the page? That's all our IT dept has been able to notice.

      Question(s) - Has anyone else experienced a similar issue? Could this be something with an Outlook setting internally?

      We know it isn't a universal issue but only seems to be affecting others that receive the email internally. The concern is that we're sending out a lot of emails with links that may not be working that we're unaware of.
        • Re: 404 Page Not Found Error for Email Links
          Josh Hampleman

          We are going through a similar issue currently as well.  We have actually stopped our Marketing communications currently to work on finding a solution.

          Hopefully we get some stuff fixed in the next couple of days before this becomes an even more serious issue.

          I believe we may have a meeting with a Marketo rep tomorrow afternoon to work this out.

            • Re: 404 Page Not Found Error for Email Links
              Sanford Whiteman

              You're looking into this as a case-sensitivity issue as well? That sounds pretty off-kilter to me. The vast majority of web servers (the Unix-based ones) are case-sensitive, so Outlook would be pretty much breaking the web. And of course the only website you have to worry about here is your branding domain, since that's where OL needs to redirect. Can you verify that a rewritten link to your branding domain differs only in case from the correct link as in other mail clients? What're the other pieces of technical evidence you're bringing to Marketo?

                • Re: 404 Page Not Found Error for Email Links
                  Josh Hampleman

                  On Monday we sent out some messaging to our Leads.  The forwarded messages from our Leads back to us had been redirected to a new link (completely different) that was broken.  If we sent it to ourselves there was no issue and the same was true for a majority of our Leads.  So rather than break relationships and cause frustration between our Leads and our Sales Team dealing with the Leads we decided to hold off until we fixed this issue.

                   

                  So the strange things are:

                  • It doesn't happen to all of the Leads that are located in the same environment (Company)
                  • We've had no issues last quarter with the same type of program

                   

                  So having just got off the phone with a Marketo rep it appears that we need to update our CNAME and change our Email Branding Domain to match our new update.  We are hopeful that this will fix our issue but time and testing will soon tell.

                    • Re: 404 Page Not Found Error for Email Links
                      Sanford Whiteman

                      So it isn't a case-sensitivity issue -- that makes sense because if that were happening due to client software (Outlook) it would be breaking way more than Marketo links!

                       

                      About CNAMEs and branding domains:

                       

                      Only one branding domain can be valid at a time (unlike landing page domains, you can't have domain aliases, you get only one).

                       

                      If you have a private DNS server that contains a manually-managed copy of your public DNS zone, this can cause confusion similar to what you describe.  For example, hampleman.com's public DNS record (which the rest of the world uses) might have click.hampleman.com's CNAME set up incorrectly, or not set up at all.  But if inside hampleman.com's headquarters there's another DNS server with a copy of the zone, and that zone is set up correctly, then internal users -- using the internal DNS server -- will say, "Works for me" while your leads will say, with equal certainty, "It's broken."  This kind of setup is called split DNS.  It's almost always a bad idea unless it can be justified for security reasons.  I don't know if your company uses it, but if so your IT staff needs to be acutely aware of the possible problems it can cause, and must learn to mistrust internal users' testimony about external DNS issues.

                       

                      Another situation can be broken DNS replication.  This happens when some public DNS servers have the right data, and some have the wrong data, and they are not properly communicating to both use the latest, synchronized records.

                       

                      Still another DNS-related cause can be very long TTL (expiry time) on a bad DNS record, like 7 days or 30 days.  If you set a TTL like this, then you realize you mistyped something, you're going to have some people who see the old, bad record for a very long time, while newcomers will only see the new, fixed record.  Any TTL beyond a day can get kind of hairy for this reason.

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                      • Re: 404 Page Not Found Error for Email Links
                        Taryn Spiller

                        Josh,

                         

                        Were you ever able to resolve this issue? We are going through the exact same issue right now and I can't seem to figure it out.

                  • Re: 404 Page Not Found Error for Email Links
                    Allison Sparrow

                    Greg Liewer are you guys using tokens for the links? Also, do you guys have a Litmus account?

                    • Re: 404 Page Not Found Error for Email Links
                      Kristen Carmean

                      You might want to try seeing what happens if you make those links of class mktNoTok.

                      • Re: 404 Page Not Found Error for Email Links
                        Greg Liewer

                        HI everyone,

                         

                        Thanks for all of the responses. Since it had been four months I actually forgot I had posted this. We weren't using tokens for the list or have a Litmus account. Not sure what happened on our end but the problem did solve itself. Magic I guess. I should have updated the post but am glad someone else was able to be helped.