Why is MailMerge365 not tracking or replacing my links or why are they being replaced by strange looking links?

If you have click tracking enabled, your links get replaced by an intermediate link (e.g. https://xxx.tlink.re/...) that lets our servers know the user has clicked it and then redirects them to the original URL you specified. For this to happen three things must be true:

  1. Click tracking enabled: First of all make sure you have "Click tracking enabled" in your campaign settings. Only then will MailMerge365 attempt to replace links with tracking links.
  2. Only web links: MailMerge365 will only replace http and https links, not tel, skype, mailto (email) links.
  3. HTML emails only and only links with descriptive links: In order to not trigger phishing detector when the tracking links is injected, the link text (what the user sees) and the actual link it points to cannot be identical. You must use a descriptive link text (e.g. Homepage or My Scheduling Link) and link that to the URL you want to guide the user to. Therefore this feature is also only available by default on HTML emails. 

Difference between a Masqueraded Link and a Pure Link

A pure link simply means you the actual link is visible to the recipient ( not recommended):

Please book an appointment with me in my scheduling tool: http://example.com

A masqueraded link means the text visible to the user is different (more descriptive) and when the recipient clicks they are redirected to your link ( recommended):

Please book an appointment with me in my scheduling tool.

Why is this a problem when we enable click tracking?

Tracking of links works by replacing the actual link you specify with an intermediate link that registers the link and only then redirects the user to the actual link.

An HTML link is composed of two parts: the link text (the visible text) and the link url (where the browser will go to if clicked). A common practice of phishing emails is to show you a link text that is legit (e.g. yourbank.com) but actually replace the link url with a compromised link (e.g. fakebank.com). So phishing detectors are very wary if an actual link is displayed but points to a different one. This is less so if the link is descriptive and not an actual URL. Therefore by default we do not replace pure links with tracking links. 

Enabling tracking of pure links

You can change this setting in your account under "Enable tracking of pure links". This will replace emails in text emails and allow for use of pure URLs in HTML emails but will also mean that the text visible to the user will be changed and the tracking becomes visible to the recipient.

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