10 Replies Latest reply on Jan 18, 2018 3:32 PM by Huihsing Kiang

    Best Practices for PDF in Email

    Kayleen scott

      Hi! Can you share best practices for creating an email that has a PDF? The PDF is not on the company website.

        • Re: Best Practices for PDF in Email
          Sanford Whiteman

          Well, a Marketo email can't "have" a PDF as an attachment, only as a link. So I don't know what kind of best prax you're looking for.

          • Re: Best Practices for PDF in Email
            Keith Nyberg

            Hey Kayleen,

            I'm going to take this as a simpler question regarding how to get a PDF linked in an email (apologies if that was not your question).

            As the guys mentioned, you cannot include an attachment in emails sent from Marketo, but you can include a hyperlink to the PDF. Now this raises the question of how to get a link for the PDF since it's not on your website. This is done but simply uploading the PDF into Marketo in the Images and Files section of the design studio (or hosting the asset where you store your other assets in the cloud). This process, hosting the PDF in Marketo, will provide you with a URL link to download the PDF. So to reiterate, here are the steps:

            1. Upload PDF to Design Studio in Images in Files
            2. Copy the URL provided once the PDF is uploaded
            3. In your email, you can hyperlink text like "download the pdf" with the URL provided for the asset.

            Sanford's article really speaks to gaps in web tracking specific to direct PDF downloads (which Munchkin doesn't track) and following his process provides additional tracking benefits when compared to simply including the download link as I outlined above. Hope this helps.

            Sincerely,

            Keith Nyberg

            7 of 7 people found this helpful
            • Re: Best Practices for PDF in Email
              Patrick Irwin

              This is for un-gated content. Sometimes gated is best practice for us. We put the link in the email to a landing page with a simple form to request the document (just the email address will often do since the account is well known)./ A successful completion goes to another landing page with the link. That is then extremely trackable, better than a clicked link.

              • Re: Best Practices for PDF in Email
                Huihsing Kiang

                If the PDF link is going to be the main CTA in your email, I'll highly encourage you to send the users to a landing page to download the PDF instead of a pdf link in your email directly. I had trouble-shooting the PDF links so many times for the Marketo end users and learned it in a hard way. Whenever a PDF link is used in an email by Marketo end users, 70% of chances there will be problems.

                 

                Here is why:

                1, PDF can't be tracked. Other than the clicks on the email, you won't be able to know anything else such as time on the page, bounce, conversion, etc.

                2. PDFs have to be optimized to the ideal size to be loaded quickly as Yoav mentioned. If the file size is too big, users won't have the patience to wait for the PDF to load. It'll defeat the whole purpose to even send out this email. You won't even know they have not viewed the PDF cause you will only see the # of clicks. It depends on the length of the PDF and if it's rich in graphic, you may not be able to optimize it to the ideal size for the speedy download without sacrificing the quality of the PDF.

                3. PDF links don't render well in IE browser when you add the Marketo link tracking in the email. The link may be broken for some IE users depends on the version of IE they have. We ended up have to uncheck both "Track link" and "include mkt_tok" if more than 10% users are going to open the email in IE. Very little can be tracked after unchecked the link tracking.

                4. If your PDF is a marketing material, it's also the SEO best practice to have a landing page. I have the constant conversation with my stakeholders and educate them to build a landing page for a valuable PDF. A simple landing page with a paragraph and a couple of bullet points before they hit the "download PDF" button will save you from so much headache and millions of the tracking questions.

                  • Re: Best Practices for PDF in Email
                    Sanford Whiteman

                    1, PDF can't be tracked. Other than the clicks on the email, you won't be able to know anything else such as time on the page, bounce, conversion, etc.

                    Yes, the tracking questions are exactly what my blog post linked above (which seems to have been lost in the shuffle) is about.

                     

                    3. PDF links don't render well in IE browser when you add the Marketo link tracking in the email. The link may be broken for some IE users depends on the version of IE they have. We ended up have to uncheck both "Track link" and "include mkt_tok" if more than 10% users are going to open the email in IE. Very little can be tracked after unchecked the link tracking.

                    Including mkt_tok doesn't make sense for static assets, so you can certainly turn that off to reduce the URL length (that's the cause of the problem you're referring to), but you don't have to turn off Clicked Link tracking completely.

                     

                    IE doesn't have any more of a problem with tracked links that go to a binary asset than with tracked links that go to a web page.