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Fix URLs in Field Merges

tangkw
tangkw Posts: 16 Red Ribbon
edited Jun 30, 2020 4:47PM in Dream It

Currently, Eloqua doesn't officially support using full URL field merges in <a> tags.  According to Eloqua Support, URL-based field merges can only be used as text (e.g. <p><field merge containing a URL></p>) or as query string parameters of a static URL (e.g. www.example.com?p=<field merge>).

While you can still use a URL-based field merge as a link, this is unsupported and can cause all sorts of issues.  For example, if the URL has a query string in it, this will break Eloqua's system tracking parameters because Eloqua doesn't recognize the existing parameters and appends a 2nd ? to the URL.  For example, if the original URL in the field merge is www.example.com?p=sneakers, Eloqua will change this to www.example.com?p=sneakers?elq=12344&elqaid=5566&elqcampaign=89898.  This also happens with Eloqua's external tracking.

The current support for text or query string parameters is very limiting, especially if you're integrating with a 3rd-party system, such as eCommerce engines or site optimization platforms, to send emails that drive people to personalized pages such as abandon cart.  These systems typically use complex query-string based URLs to dynamically assemble pages.

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Comments

  • Dave Zeltser
    Dave Zeltser Posts: 34 Bronze Badge

    One of the things i had strongly suggested was adding a UI to field merges in URLs with and without tracking. For example sending a link to a survey with a unique parameter or a redemption code parameter.

    If we could control these field merges we could do some really interesting things. Right now its a hack only available in the HTML editor where you are manipulating and fooling the editor into adding/appending a field merge onto a tracked URL. Sometimes you have to add a junk parameter as a placeholder as well. Would be nice if it was made easier...

  • bkhayes
    bkhayes Posts: 48 Silver Badge
    edited Jun 30, 2020 7:36PM

    One of the things i had strongly suggested was adding a UI to field merges in URLs with and without tracking. For example sending a link to a survey with a unique parameter or a redemption code parameter.

    If we could control these field merges we could do some really interesting things. Right now its a hack only available in the HTML editor where you are manipulating and fooling the editor into adding/appending a field merge onto a tracked URL. Sometimes you have to add a junk parameter as a placeholder as well. Would be nice if it was made easier...

    This functionality would be a good addition to Eloqua, totally agree! There is a current work-around, but again, it's not perfect. When creating emails in the new design editor, you can uncheck the "Add tracking for untracked external pages" if you desire having the field merge be part of the domain name/path and not just a query parameter. Again, not perfect, and I'm not 100% certain, but you may lose tracking too?

  • tangkw
    tangkw Posts: 16 Red Ribbon
    edited Jul 1, 2020 1:04PM

    This functionality would be a good addition to Eloqua, totally agree! There is a current work-around, but again, it's not perfect. When creating emails in the new design editor, you can uncheck the "Add tracking for untracked external pages" if you desire having the field merge be part of the domain name/path and not just a query parameter. Again, not perfect, and I'm not 100% certain, but you may lose tracking too?

    Yup.  You lose tracking.  Not only that, but if you have external tracking (auto-append of Google Analytics / Adobe Analytics parameters) turned on, unchecking "Add tracking for untracked external pages" has no effect on that functionality, so the resulting link still breaks.

    So your choices are

    1) break out each query string parameters into separate field merges and then hard code the URL, which defeats the purpose of URL-based field merges, or

    2) turn everything off and lose tracking (Eloqua and 3rd party web analytics).  For web analytics tracking, you can hard code the parameters, but then you can't re-use the assets in different campaigns, which is a large trade-off.

    The work-around suggested by Eloqua support was to just have the URL field merged as text <e.g. in a p tag>, but then again you lose tracking and you're also reliant on the email client converting the URL text into a link, which means you lose formatting control as well and provide a reduced user experience.

    Post edited by Unknown User on