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Tracking Redirect Links with Strict Mode Tracking
With the advent of GDPR and increase in contacts aversion to being tracked covertly, it is more important than ever to obtain a contact's consent to be tracked and establish a bond of trust. Eloqua offers a solution to this in Strict Mode Tracking. This allows you to require consent from contacts in specific countries, based on IP addresses, in order to track their activities.
However, you might have noticed a drop in clickthrough activity on some emails, in particular, emails with redirect links. In order to understand this drop in activity, it is important to understand the purpose of redirect links and how they interact with the strict mode tracking module.
What are Redirect Links?
Redirect links are designed for use with external pages where you are not able to include the Eloqua Tracking Script on the page. They are not meant for use with external pages where the Eloqua Tracking script is included or Eloqua landing pages.
As a quick refresher, a redirect link is a link in an Eloqua Email. This link is to an untracked external page. For a more in-depth discussion, you can review the Redirect Links page in the Oracle Eloqua Help Centre. In the Responsive Design Editor, this is configured in the Hyperlink Properties tab on the left-hand menu in the editor. If the Tracking checkbox, "Add tracking for untracked external pages" is selected then the link is a redirect link. In the HTML or Source editor, any link that includes the elqTrack=true parameter in the query string of the link is a redirect link. This can either be added manually to the link code or it can be appended using the Actions > Manage Links (Hyperlink Manager) menu.
How does a Redirect Link Track a Contact?
When a contact clicks on a redirect link in an email before being sent to their final destination they are briefly sent to Eloqua via your app domain. This brief visit to Eloqua allows us to track the contact's activity before sending them to their final destination.
How does Strict Mode Impact my Redirect Links?
The Strict Mode Tracking module uses a list of Restricted Countries, that you configure, to determine which countries, based on that contacts IP address, should be tracked by default and which will require the contact to opt-in to tracking. Once the module is set up and enabled contact with an IP address that matches a country on the restricted list won't be tracked by Eloqua unless they have accepted a cookie indicating that they have opted in. When a contact is sent to an external page configured with the Eloqua Tracking script for strict mode, or Landing Page setup for Strict Mode Opt-In, they will be provided with an opportunity to receive this cookie and the activity can be tracked if they accept.
When a contact clicks on a redirect link they briefly pass through Eloqua, to have the activity tracked, and then they are sent to an external page where there is no Eloqua tracking and no option to opt-in to being tracked. Since there is no point at which the contact is provided the option to give their consent to being tracked Eloqua will not track the activity.
What can I do to Track Contacts with Redirect Links when Opt-in is Required?
To avoid missing out on tracking a contact when using a redirect link it is best to make sure that your initial interactions with this contact allow them to provide their consent to being tracked such as a landing page with Strict Mode configured or a tracked External Landing Page with an Eloqua Opt-In banner. It is important to bear in mind that the Opt-In cookie is specific to the browser the contact used when visiting the landing page or tracked external page and that a contact who interacts with your content on multiple devices may need to opt-in to tracking more than once.