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Tracking newsletter referrals

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 150 posted 1:36 pm on Jun 9, 2001 (gmt 0)

I send out a weekly newsletter for one of my sites, and thought it would be nice to be able to track how many referalls each link in the newsletter generates. I thought of using links in the form of page.html?ref=1234 so that log entries traceable to the newsletter would be created.

I'm assuming that as the page is pure HTML, the server will basically throw away the ?ref=1234 portion, or am I missing something?



WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 150 posted 2:54 pm on Jun 9, 2001 (gmt 0)

We used to do something similar but we were using asp and just did a server side redirect for each link and it was really easy to track.

If I was just playing with HTML I might just build a page that is simply a javascript redirect or a meta refresh that bounces folks through. Then you just watch for the redirect pages in your logs.

For example: news0901.htm would refresh to news.htm or whatever. This way you can also track dates (news0901 = september 2001 newsletter).

I'm sure there's some better way to do this on the server but not being a scripting type person this is an easy and effective method if the volume of newsletters and rediervt pages is fairly low.


WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Msg#: 150 posted 4:12 am on Jun 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

I did something similar. I created a directory with nothing in it but a htaccess file and a 404 redirect. The links I used in the newsletter were just "domain.com/directory/12.htm" and none of those files actually existed - they were just codes for the linke. The 404 logged all the headers and then sent the user via a location redirect to the proper page.

ErrorDocument 404 http*//www.site.com/cgi-bin/404.cgi

Where 404.cgi is my script handler that is the header logger and a print "Location: httprealurlhere"


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 150 posted 6:16 pm on Jun 19, 2001 (gmt 0)

yup - I have several folders set up for direct mailers, banners, newsletters, etc that are chuck full of redirects. Redirects are great considering that they are clean, unassuming, and are easy to pull stats from if you have a homegrown tool that pulls hits(clean) and referrers for you.


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 150 posted 12:55 am on Jun 27, 2001 (gmt 0)

Forums for e-newsletter publishers haved mentioned a $45 perl script called ProLinkz (prolinkz.com). I'm not affiliated but just bought it. Set it up last week. Looks good but not enough time with it to recommend it.

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