Add a link
To add a link to your email in the content builder:
- Highlight the text or image in your email that you want linked.
- Click the Insert/Edit Link icon. The Link properties dialog box appears.
- Enter a unique name for the link. The link name is used for tracking.
- Select the link type that you want to insert. The type of link determines whether and how user behavior is tracked.
Note: To add an opt-out to page link, you must first create and publish the opt-out form landing page or web form.
- Enter the protocol for the link. This protocol must match the protocol that is used on your server (except mailto). If you're not sure about the protocol, use HTTP.
- Use HTTP for all links unless there is a specific reason not to.
- Use Secure HTTP (HTTPS) only when the link destination supports HTTPS and security is required. You must have a security certificate in order to use this option.
Note: If you use the HTTPS option when you do not have security certification or when it is not supported on the destination site results in a link error.
- Use FTP to link to files that users can download from an FTP site if HTTP does not work.
Note: Most browsers and websites support the use of HTTP for downloading files. Test the HTTP option first (by using the Preview function when you create the site) before you select FTP.
- Enter the URL for the link, for example:
- Optionally, add personalization. Personalization does not appear in the message, but it can be used for individual tracking on your website and in reports.
- Select how you want the target window to appear.
- To open the link in a new window, select New Window ( _blank). The original window remains open.
- To open the link in the top frame of the same window, select Topmost Window ( _top).
- To open the link in the same window, select Same Window ( _self). This option is the same as not having a target.
- To open the link in the parent of the frame set when nested inside another frame set, select Parent Window ( _parent).
Note: By default, Campaign only checks in the main body of the email for an opt-out link. If you want to include an opt-out link in a dynamic content block, an administrator must temporarily remove the requirement for an opt-out link. You can then send emails with the opt-out link in the dynamic content block.
When you create a link in an email, the system automatically adds an underscore and a number (for example 'cnn_1') in the link section. It also increments that number if that link is used multiple times. However, when you import the same links as HTML, the system does not add the underscore and a number after the name.
Note: The forward-to-a-friend functionality shows default content if the email includes dynamic content. However, forwarded contacts will see the same content as the original receiver if email is forwarded directly through an email client that is not using the forward to a friend functionality.
Add a link to a phone or Skype number
Depending on the email client, your contacts might be able to connect with you by phone calls or Skype calls from your email. Gmail only supports this action if a recipient has Google Voice.
- You can provide Skype by adding the following to the code to your template. For phone numbers, replace
- If you want to track this link, use the parameters
xt="SPCLICKSTREAM". For example:
<a href="skype:+1-555-555-0550" name="Phone_Number_Test" target="_blank" xt="SPCLICKSTREAM">Give us a Call!</a>
Add share-to-social links
In the content builder, you can add links to an email that allow your contacts to share your email content with their friends on social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter. For more information, go to Add share-to-social links.
Add a mailto link with a pre-populated subject link
Here's how you can create mailto links with a pre-populated subject line:
- In your email template, type or select the email text.
- Highlight the text and click the Edit/Insert button.
- In Link Properties, change the link type to Email (mailto).
- Enter a valid email address.
- Enter the subject line text.
- Optional: Add personalization to either the email or subject.
- Click OK.
When the contact receives the email and clicks the email link, the pre-designated subject line is included in the reply.
Caution: In Chrome, in the click-to-view version of an email, when you click an Email (mailto) link, you may see a blank web page. To prevent the blank page from opening, switch to source view, find the
<a>tag for the link and remove the target attribute
Add an anchor link
An anchor is a link in your email or landing page that allows recipients to jump to another location in the email. To create an anchor in an email, complete the following steps:
- Create an anchor:
- Click the Anchor icon.
- In Anchor Properties, name the anchor.
- Click OK.
- Create your link text, such as Read More.
- Highlight the text.
- Click the Edit/Insert icon.
- In Link Properties, select Bookmark as the link type.
- In Anchor, select the anchor.
- Save the email.
Note: Anchor link functionality can vary in different email clients.
Edit existing links
In design view, take one of the following steps:
- To edit the link, right-click the link and select Edit or click the icon in the toolbar to open the link manager panel in preview.
- To delete the link, right-click the link and select Remove.
In source view, use the Insert/Edit Link button to insert links into your source and edit their properties.
Remove the underline from your link
You can remove the underline from a link in source view. Complete the following steps.
- Open your email in source view.
- In the link, add the following text inside the
STYLE="TEXT-DECORATION: NONE". The following sample shows what your code might look like:
<a href="http://www.example.com" name="link_20151019_080401719" style="TEXT-DECORATION: NONE" target="_blank" xt="SPCLICK'"Example Text</a>
Tip: To change an image-mapped link to a forward-to-a-friend link, since image-mapping is not supported in the WYSIWYG editor, add this code the email source code. Be sure to change the shape and coordinates to fit your image.
<area xt="SPFORWARD" shape="rect" coords="534,319,683,582" href="#SPFORWARD"
Change the name of a link
All links are tracked by their name. If you didn't name your link when it, after you save your email, a name will be assigned.
It's important to understand that any name that you provide applies to all links with that same URL. To separately track two links that go to the same page, change the name that is associated with the individual links.
On the links tab, take the following steps:
- Click Edit next to the link that you want to rename.
- Change the link name and click OK.
In design view, take the following steps:
- Click the in the email body.
- Right-click on the link and select Edit: Link.
- In Link Properties, change the link name and click OK.
In source view, take the following steps:
- Click the in the email body.
- Find the HTML code for the link that you want to edit.
- Change the
xt='SPCLICK' name='parameters to use your new name.
Personalize link names
You can personalize a link name by using
%%LINK_NAME%%. This link personalization code requires that you turn on site analytics.
%%RECIPIENT_ID%% %%MAILING_ID%% %%MAILING_NAME%%
To turn on Site Analytics for one of the providers, go to Settings > Org Admin > Organization Settings > Integration.
To apply link name personalization on your URL, do one of the following steps.
- In your site analytics settings, set it up as Append string for links.
- When you edit the email body, in link properties, select Insert Personalization > LINK_NAME.
- Manually append
%%LINK_NAME%%in your link URL.
Customize click-to-view links
By default, a click-to-view in browser link is included in the preheader information of the email. You can disable this default and create a custom link.
Disable the default for individual users
- As an admin, go to Settings > User management.
- Click the user's name.
- Expand the Mailing and Landing Page Settings section.
- Under preferences, clear the Default Click to View Link at Top of Mailing option and save.
Disable the link on individual emails
- Open an email.
- On the Email Settings tab, clear the Show 'Click to View in Browser' link at the top of this mailing option and save.
- Go to Settings > User Profile.
- Under mailing & landing page preferences, clear the Default Click to View Link at Top of Mailing option and save.
Create a custom click-to-view in browser link
- Disable the default click-to-view in browser link.
- In the email body tab, enter your "click to view in browser" text where you'd like it to appear.
- Highlight the text.
- Click Insert/Edit Link.
- In link properties, select Custom Click to View.
- Configure the link settings:
- In Show On Click, select which version you'd like to show. HTML version is the most common. You can enter a web page.
- Click OK.
- Optionally, you can change the color of the link. For example, for a green link, add the following attribute link in the body tag:
Track your links
In Campaign, there are two ways to track links.
A tracked link is used to track and report on users who follow the link to a product page on an external site. The tracking ends here.
A clickstream link also tracks and reports on users who follow a link to a product page on an external site or landing page, but a clickstream link then follows the sequence of clicks that are performed by the users while they browse a website or an landing page.
While a tracked link shows only as a click in reporting, a clickstream shows two places in your reporting. For the clickstream type, you see both clicks and clickstream. The clicks are the actions that are performed when a recipient clicks a clickstream link in the email. The clickstream reporting includes the sequence of clicks the recipient took after they opened the destination website or landing page.
For clickstream links to work and report properly, you must have tracking enabled and the proper code inserted into the HTML of each page that you want to track. The reporting information displays under the Advanced Tracking metric in the single mailing report.
Note: You cannot track a link contained within a Flash object.
No opt-out link provided
When the link to an opt-out page is a regular tracked link, your email will not fulfill the opt-out link criteria. As a result, you might see one of these errors:
- Mailing does not contain an opt-out option
- No opt-out link provided in HTML body
- No opt-out link provided in text body
To resolve, you need to include an opt-out type link, such as:
- Opt out (to page)
- Opt out (one click)
- Opt out (custom)
- Opt out (mail)
If you want the system to not display the warning, set up a URL as your Custom opt-out link in the org settings:
- Go to Settings > Administration > Organization settings.
- Click to expand Opt out/Suppression settings and click Edit.
- Click Add. Provide a URL and a description.
When you send your email, you can declare which custom opt-out link to send with the email (if you have an 'Opt out (custom)' type link). You declare which link to use on the Delivery options page of the send experience. You can follow the same steps for your mailing's text version.
Opt-out form isn't available to select
What if the opt-out form that is associated with the contact source for your email doesn't show as an option or the link type web form doesn't show when you create an opt-out link?
Verify the following items:
- The opt-out form is not associated with a different contact source. Verify that the contact source in your landing pages site is the same as the contact source in the settings.
- The opt-out web form is published. Only published forms appear as an option.
- The link type is set to Opt-Out (To Page). The Web Form link type pulls only opt-out web forms.
Custom opt-out link goes to error page
This error occurs when you add a custom opt-out link under Settings > Administration > Organization Settings > Opt Out/Suppression Settings, but don't include
https:// as part of the URL. Campaign doesn't force you to add the protocol like it does when you create a URL in an email directly. In this case, the system doesn't know whether to use
http:// , or
Custom opt-out link doesn't appear in test sends
If your organization has more than one custom opt-out link set up, its possible a test send might not display the correct opt-out link. The best way to test your custom opt-out link is to do a live send to a query of the parent database that contains the addresses that you want to receive the test email.
You are not charged for live sends to a list of 25 or fewer contacts, so you can include up to 25 internal users on your live test query.
- Create a live test query that contains only your email address and others within your organization to whom you would typically send test emails.
- When you are ready to test your email, choose the live test query that you created as the contact source.
During the send process, your query receives a true "live" version of your email for testing so that you can see exactly what your contacts see. If still don't see the correct opt-out link, the issue is because of one of the following reasons:
- Your opt-out is not set up in your opt-out settings under organization settings. If this is the case, add your opt-out to the settings and ensure that you have a valid URL and unique name.
- You didn't select the proper opt-out link at send time. To avoid this mistake, verify that the proper link is selected on the Hyperlinks tab. You can also verify on the On to Send screen under delivery options.
If you verified all of this, performed a live test, and the link is still not correct, contact support.
Error: Your email must match the address that received the original mailing
Campaign needs to identify the recipient before it allows them to Forward to a Friend. With a link that was public and shared from a social network, Campaign associates the link with the sharer and the original recipient for reporting purposes (among other things). If you are the original recipient, you can share a link to the email without a problem. If one of your Facebook friends clicks your link, they cannot forward to one of their Facebook friends. Campaign recognizes the recipient but none of their Facebook friends, so the forward-to-friend is not allowed.
Error: Cannot complete action, this email is no longer available.
Test emails are automatically deleted from after 14 days and are hard deleted 30 days after that, which causes links to no longer work. The same links in live mailings still work.
Note: The View in Browser link in a live mailing is available for 450 days, which is the default setting for most organizations. Org admins can view this setting in Mailing Content Retention Days on the Archive Settings page.
Link in email text body is replaced with an encoded URL
When you use either a tracked or clickstream link you may see this message. Campaign encodes your URL so that it can be tracked and recorded in the email report.
If you don't want it to be encoded, you can change the link type from Tracked to Not Tracked.
- In your email template, click into the body.
- Click the Text only tab.
- Click Edit Hyperlink.
- Select the link that you want to change.
- Select Link Type > Not Tracked Hyperlink.
When you send the email, you should see the actual URL in the text version. However, there is no tracking available for this text link.
Error: Protocol = http host = null
This issue is usually caused by a badly formed URL in the plain text editor. The best way to troubleshoot is to remove each link and replace it with placeholder text. After each removal, try a test send. If the error continues, continue to remove URLs until you no longer receive an error. When you find the problem URL, rebuild the links with the Link building tool in to ensure that the links are correctly formatted.
The URL in the plain text editor should look something like:
%%HYPERLINK:link_name#SPCLICK# href="http://your_website_url_here" rel="freeklink" title="http://your_website_url_here" />#%%
Please add an important note to this documentation that anchor links (links to other parts of the same email) are not supported by most email providers when using iOS and Android devices. This is per our own testing, and verified by the "Can I email" website as of March 9 2021.
Thanks for the suggestion. I've updated the article.
Where is the anchor link icon located in the beta email builder?
Anchors (bookmarks) are not yet supported in the beta version. This is something coming in a later update.
By chance is there a work around?
Hi there, I have noticed an issues with URL's replicating over and over, and "href=SPCLICK" is added to the corrupted link as well as "XT=SPCLICK" - Can you help with troubleshooting why this is happening and how to resolve it?
Hi! I recommend reaching out to support for troubleshooting.
Is there an update on when anchor links will be supported in the beta version?
Composer for email is no longer in beta and it does have the option to use anchor tags! Here is the documentation: https://help.goacoustic.com/hc/en-us/articles/4402628233113-Create-an-email-in-composer#a7
HI Laura, I am really struggling with getting the anchors to work. How can I get help with this?
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