How to Track Links in Cold Emails Without Affecting Deliverability

“To have or not to have links”

If Prince Hamlet was an outbound sales rep, he would have uttered the above statement in a dilemma while sending cold emails.

His dilemma is understandable.

Adding and tracking links is a tricky business.

Get it wrong and your well-thought emails are relegated to the spam folder.

You do not want this especially when you have invested a lot of time and money in sending these emails.

On the other hand, no tracking means you lose insights on the quality of your emails and the behavior of your prospects.

Gaining insights is critical especially if you want to improve your chances of converting these prospects into leads.

So what do you do? Do you add the links or not? Is there a method to add and track links without affecting the delivery rate?

This post gives you answers to all your questions about links and various methods to track the clicks effectively.

Table of Contents

  1. What is Link Tracking in Cold Emails?
  2. What are the Different Ways to Track Links?
  3. How to Track Links in Cold Email?
  4. Best Practices to Follow while adding Links in Cold Emails
  5. Conclusion

1. What is Link Tracking in Cold Emails?

When you send a sales email or a cold email to your prospects, chances are you are inclined to include a link or two. This could be to a calendar page – where the prospect can book a meeting with you. Or to your LinkedIn profile or simply your company landing page.

Tracking the clicks of these links can give you important insights into how your email campaigns are performing.

These clicks signify serious intent, as only prospects who are interested/ positively inclined are likely to click on your link and learn more about you.

You can identify and focus your efforts on these “high engagement prospects” and not waste time on the prospects who have no interest in your product.

Clearly, tracking provides very valuable signals to the salesperson and it makes imminent sense to track all links in sales emails sent by you.

But tracking can have an impact on the delivery rate of your emails.

This is because various email service providers consider the presence of links and tracking them as one of the means to filter an email as spam.

As a result, it is important for you to evaluate the various options and be deliberate about how many links you include in your email and how you choose to track them.

2. What are the Different Ways to Track Links?

Based on the sophistication of the software that you use to send your emails, you have multiple choices when it comes to adding and tracking links in your email.

2.1 Don’t Add Links

The easiest route is to not add links at all in your email which can increase your deliverability significantly.

If you are already plagued with low delivery rates, then this is the safest route to go.

Also, if you are sending these emails to large organizations, it is better to avoid links in the emails as these organizations tend to have sophisticated spam filters and can filter emails even with a single link.

The example below is a cold email that doesn’t have a single link –

Cold Email with no links

2.2 Add links but don’t track

The second option is to add links but not track them.

This allows you to get visitors on to your site from the email – at the same time minimize the chance of getting caught in spam.

2.3 Tracking with UTM

UTM codes are text snippets that are added at the end of a URL to track the clicks. A typical URL with a UTM code looks like the link below-

UTM code

The section marked in red is the original URL while the text following it is the UTM code.

Adding UTM codes is one of the simplest ways to track the clicks of a link. All it takes is to use a UTM link builder to generate a UTM code and link it to a text in the email.

In the example below of a UTM generator, a URL with a UTM code will be generated upon filling up the form which has parameters such as the website URL, Campaign Source, Campaign Medium, Campaign Name, Campaign Term, and Campaign Content.

UTM Generator

Tracking using UTM is ideal if you wish to send the prospect to your own website as it involves adding the UTM code to your webpage which needs you to have access to the website (to install Google Analytics or other analytics software).

Owing to the above reason, it is not possible for you to track clicks to your Linkedin or Facebook page.

2.4 Tracking links without custom domain

In this method, when your prospect clicks on a link in an email sent from an email outreach platform such as Klenty, the prospect first gets transferred to a temporary URL(set by Klenty) for a few milliseconds where the actual tracking takes place.

klenty pipedrive integration

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Klenty, in combination with Pipedrive, helps sales teams maximize their productivity by automating the top-of-the-funnel activities such as reaching out to cold prospects by sending personalized emails at scale. Using Klenty + Pipedrive integration, each salesperson in our team is now able to reach out to and follow-up with twice the number of leads every day, by automating their workflow.…



[Revised and Updated for November 2018]
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