5 ways to use Tracker.ly instant links

Our clients often tell us that their favourite feature is our instant links, something we came up with back in 1995. That’s because it lets you track each marketing message without having to go through the extra effort of setting up a unique tracking link for each marketing message.

To create them, just add a dash plus text to the end of an existing link you created in Tracker.ly. For example, if you went into Tracker.ly and created a marketing tracking link, “yoursite.com/product” to redirect to an affiliate link, you could then create new copies of that link on-the-fly like “yoursite.com/product-link” when you’re writing an email or putting an ad in Facebook. Just use the original link, and add a dash and extra text when you’re publishing it.

The neat thing is that each of these instant links will be tracked separately, but also combined. This lets you see which campaigns are doing well in the redirect link report, so you can put more resources into the ones that drive traffic, and stop putting money and energy into the ones that don’t. And, it lets you see how much traffic all of them send to the affiliate link combined in the destinations report.

You can use instant links work on descriptive links branded to your websites and secondary domains, and on short links on our domains or on your own short domains.

Here’s a few clever ways our clients use this technique.

1) Multiple links in emails:

Marketers often put more than one link to something they are promoting in emails. Using several copies of the same link tells you how far down people read your emails and which paragraphs of copy get people to click. All you do is create one link, like yoursite.com/product and then put something like -1, -2, and -3 at the end of it each time you use the link in the email like this:

-> yoursite.com/product-1
-> yoursite.com/product-2

The first time someone clicks it, the link will be created automatically in Tracker.ly as its own separate tracking link, with all the same features as the original link. Some of our clients have used this technique to continually improve their copywriting skills and they never would have done it if they had to go to a tracking service and make each link in advance.

2) Call to action links:

Instant links can contain anything after the dash, as long as the result is still a valid link. That means you can use -text or -text1/text2, or even -text1-text2.html, etc. Just no spaces or other invalid characters.

Some of our clients use different calls to action on each link in an email or article, which connect with the paragraph of text above it, like these:

-> yoursite.com/product-getdiscount
-> yoursite.com/product-limitedtime

3) Social post tracking:

Many of our clients just create one link that they use everywhere when promoting a product, but then they create a dash link to let them know that some of the clicks are coming from a specific post on a specific platform. For example:

-> yoursite.com/product-fb-1 (first post on facebook)
-> yoursite.com/product-gp-2 (second post on google plus)

Then, you can also do searches to show all the redirect link URL’s with “-fb-” to see everything you posted on Facebook.

4) PPC ad tracking links:

If you’re paying for traffic, you probably have lots of ad variations. This method shows you which ads send the most traffic. I suggest creating a single link that you just use for PPC ads for easier filtering, but you can use the same one you use in emails and everywhere else if you want:

-> yoursite.com/product-adwords/ad1
-> yoursite.com/product-adwords/ad2

5) Page and email open tracking:

You can also track pages and even conversions with Tracker.ly using a single redirect link to a tracking pixel. Just upload an 1×1 transparent empty.gif to your site and create a redirect link to it like yoursite.com/pixel -> yoursite.com/img/empty.gif.

Then, you can put that redirect link on pages and emails to track when they are viewed like this:

-> yoursite.com/pixel-homepage
-> yoursite.com/pixel-blog-{post_title}
-> yoursite.com/pixel-email-{page_title}

We used a little PHP and WordPress code on the Tracker.ly website to automatically add the page and post title into the pixel. We setup one pixel tracking link in Tracker.ly and never touched it again. And whenever we add a new WordPress post, it automatically adds the tracking link, just like the example above. Without doing anything, we get a whole list of every page and post on our site, with traffic graphed over time.

(And we liked it so much, we do it for you automatically when you setup Tracker.ly on a website. They all appear in the “Tracking Pixel” report.)

There’s lots of other ways to use these as well. If you come up with something clever, let us know!