External Trackers

External Trackers allow you to track activity outside of the domains defined in your universe, for example whether a newsletter, e-mail, or web page has been viewed or whether a hyperlink has been clicked. It can also be used in social channels (Facebook, Twitter etc. to be able to track the social origin of visitors to your channels). Within one External Tracker you can define several tracking elements. There are two types of tracking elements available:

  • A tracking URL is a substitute for another URL. When a visitor opens the tracking URL, BlueConic will create a visitor profile, register a click, set profile properties and then routes the visitor to the original URL.
  • A tracking pixel is a transparent image with a dimension of 1 x 1 pixels, typically used as a beacon on external pages. A reference to the URL of a tracking pixel can be added to HTML and when that HTML is opened in a browser, BlueConic creates a temporary visitor profile and registers a view, and optionally some profile properties for that visitor can be set. If the visitor follows a tracking URL within the next 10 minutes the temporary profile is persisted, otherwise it will be discarded. The Owner Channel for a Tracking Pixel is the channel on which the Tracking Pixel is placed and the channel can be of any type.

Creating an External Tracker

An external tracker is a group of tracking URLs and tracking pixels. Open "More > External trackers" and click the button Add external tracker to create a new group of external trackers.

Enter a name for the external tracker and select a tracking channel. The tracking channel defines which channel will be attributed for visitors following URLs or viewing pixels. This is a required field, as the External Tracker will not function without a defined tracking channel.

 

With the external tracker set up, it is time to add Tracking URLs and Tracking Pixels.

Tracking URL

Create a new Tracking URL by clicking the button Add tracking URL:

Start by clicking "Select Url" and entering the URL of the target page where you want to send visitors that follow the link.

Next, define profile properties rules. These rules allow you to store information in a visitor's profile when the URL is being clicked.

You can create rules to store static values:

Or, you can create rules to store dynamic values taken from querystring parameters in the tracking URL.

For example, let's assume that you would like to keep track of the newsletter id in a visitor's profile when the visitor clicks a link in a newsletter. Using the templating engine of your Email Service Provider (ESP) you are able to add the newsletter id to any link. The ESP mailing template would contain something like this:

<a href="https://acme.blueconic.net/s/5d?nl_id=%%newsletter_id%%">click here</a>

A visitor clicking the link in the newsletter would open a url like:

https://acme.blueconic.net/s/5d?nl_id=6647

To pick up the dynamic "nl_id" querystring parameter from that URL and add it to a profile property "Newsletter Referrer", add a rule like this:

This allows you to pass individualized information from your ESP to BlueConic via tracking URLs. You can add as many querystring parameters to the tracking URL as you want. Only parameters mentioned in rules will be picked up. As a security measure querystring parameters added to the tracking URL will not be passed on or appended to its target URL.

Your visitors will sometimes share URLs, for example by forwarding newsletters. Exercise caution in picking up uniquely identifiable information from URLs into profile properties that are used for profile merging.

To generate the tracking URL, click Save.

  • Tracker URL: This is the actual tracker URL for use in external communications. This is a base URL; dynamic parameters may be added as a querystring, e.g. https://acme.blueconic.net/s/5d?nl_id=6647&c=Gnu%20Inc
  • QR code: Click on "view" in the table to open a tooltip with the QR code. The QR code is available in different sizes. Select the required size from the drop-down list and save the QR code image (by right-clicking on the image and choosing "save image") to use it in other media.
  • Target URL: Click to modify the target URL for the Tracking URL. If people click the Tracking URL or scan the QR code they will be redirected to this URL. If needed the target URL can be changed later.
  • Profile Properties: You can specify one or more profile properties that need to be set when a visitor entered your channels via a tracking URL.
  • Copy and delete: When you hover with your mouse over the last column, a copy button and a delete button will appear.

    The copy button will copy your Target URL and the profile properties settings so that you can edit these and (after saving the tracker) a new tracking URL and QR code will be generated. The delete button will delete that Tracking URL from the list. Learn more about Copying and Deleting Rules

 

Tracking Pixels

You can add Tracking Pixels to your external tracker by clicking the [Add Tracking pixel]-button. This will ad a new line to the Tracking Pixel table.Tracking pixels work similar to tracking URLs. The table contains the following columns:

  • Tracker URL: This is the URL of the tracking pixel. Add the link to this pixel to your HTML code to track all viewers of this pixel. Like tracking URLs above, you can add dynamic parameters as a querystring.
  • Profile Properties: You can specify one or more profile properties that need to be set, when a visitor that already has a BlueConic profile views the tracking pixel. You can select a profile property and define the value that needs to be stored. Enter a static value, or enter the name of a querystring parameter that will contain a dynamic value. For example, add a parameter "nl_id" and a value to the querystring of the tracking pixel URL like so:
    https://acme.blueconic.net/s/PE.gif?nl_id=6647

    to be able to pick it up like this:

  • Copy and delete: When you hover with your mouse over the last column, a copy button and a delete button will appear.

    The copy button will create a new Tracking pixel with the same profile property settings. It allows for quick creation of a new pixel when only small changes in the profile property settings need to be made. The delete button will delete that Tracking pixel from the list. Learn more about Copying and Deleting Rules.

Saving, Copying or Deleting an External Tracker

Like most objects in BlueConic, External Trackers can be saved, copied or deleted using the Save button menu.

Learn more about Save, Save As and Delete.


Related items

In the right hand sidebar, the "related items"-widget is displayed. It shows the other objects in BlueConic that are directly related to the External Tracker that you are managing.
External Trackers can have the following types of related items:

  • Channels: The tracking channel for this External Tracker
  • Profile Properties: The profile properties that are set by this External Tracker.