Tracking customer activity with tracking pixels and URLs

In the BlueConic customer data platform, you can use External Trackers to track customer or visitor activity outside of the domains defined in your universe, for example to record whether someone has viewed a newsletter, email, or web page 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 in BlueConic:

  • 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 route 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:

    When that HTML is opened in a browser, where the visitor doesn't have an active profile yet, profile property values to be added or set based on the pixel settings are stored in a cookie that is valid for a year. If, during this year, the visitor visits a site where the BlueConic script is active, a profile is created and the data stored in the cookie is persisted in the profile.

    When that HTML is opened in a browser where the visitor already has a profile, profile property values are added or set in the profile right away. The Owner Channel for a Tracking Pixel should be set to the channel on which the Tracking Pixel is placed, and the channel can be of any type.

Privacy management

External trackers can be added to Objectives, allowing for privacy management of the information that is being tracked. The external tracker will only update a profile if the visitor consented to at least one of the objectives linked to the external tracker. Properties that are defined by the tracker are only persisted if the objectives of the tracker and the profile match.


Creating an External Tracker

An external tracker is a group of tracking URLs and tracking pixels. Select More > External trackers from the BlueConic navigation bar, 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. 

How do I add tracking pixels and tracking URLs in the BlueConic customer data platform?

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:

How do I add customer tracking URLs in the BlueConic customer data platform?

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:

How do I store static values or querystring parameters in tracking URLs in the BlueConic CDP?

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="">click here</a>

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

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:

How do I pick up quertystring parameters in tracking URLs in BlueConic?

This lets you 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.

How do I generate tracking pixels and tracking URLs in BlueConic?

  • 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.
  • 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.
    How do I add tracking pixels and tracking URLs with QR codes in BlueConic?
  • 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.
    How do I copy and delete tracking pixels and tracking URLs in BlueConic?
    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.How do I add a new line to the tracking pixels table and tracking URL table in BlueConic?Tracking pixels work in similar ways 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 this:

    to be able to pick it up like this:

    How to store customer tracking data in the BlueConic customer data platform
  • Copy and delete: When you hover with your mouse over the last column, a copy button and a delete button will appear.
    How do I add, change, or delete tracking pixels and tracking URLs in BlueConic?
    The copy button creates 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 deletes that Tracking pixel from the list. Learn more about Copying and Deleting Rules.



Tracking URLs and tracking pixels result in views, clicks, and conversions. These actions should attributed to one of your channels. Search or enter your Tracking channel to establish the attribution.


Saving, Copying or Deleting an External Tracker

As with most objects in BlueConic, you can save, copy, or delete External Trackers using the Save button menu.

How do I save or save as tracking pixels and tracking URLs in BlueConic?

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.