Specification for tracking system.
The purpose of this system is to track the status of bulk emails, whether they have been opened, whether various links have been clicked and so on.
We have a large opt-in mailing list that we email once a month. We currently use an outside provider to monitor the emails, but would like to bring this in-house. We use Groupmail from infacta as our engine for sending the emails so that is all taken care of.
We create an email for various clients, and in that email have links to various parts of their website. We would like to track that click through, and the way naturally would be via redirect.
For example if the client was the BBC and they wanted a link to one of their pages, say [url removed, login to view] if we just stuck that link onto the email we couldn’t track it. However, if we had a database on one of our webservers that redirected it, we could create a link thus :
<A href="[url removed, login to view];amp;i=44274&amp;u=" !*contact_id*!>BBC NEWS LINK Click Here</A>
Where ourdomain is the domain of our tracking server
C is our client id
I is the hyperlink id
And u is a merged (by groupmail) id of the contact to whom we are sending the email.
When the reader clicks through, our server can read the iis log, and store that data in an sql database (mysql?)
Furthermore, to track whether the reader has opened the email, a link to an invisible graphic would be placed on the page with this kind of a link:
<img src="[url removed, login to view];u="!*contact_id*! border="0" width="1" height="2">
C= our clients id
And u=the reader id
When the email was opened, (and the popup not blocked) the event would be recorded in our database.
All simple stuff so far.
Logins and reports.
First off we’re going to need an admin system. This will be where our administrator can create client Ids, and also create campaigns (open links and page links).
What we want is :
1 Create Client:
This will create a client page with name and an ID, and a user name and password.
2: administer client
Allows edit of 1.
3: create campaign
Creates an id for the campaign, and takes a description (eg ABCSpecifier July 2006)
Must list the clients that will be using this campaign
4: add links to the campaign
Need to be able to create an ‘Open page’ link, which will show the html code to be cut and pasted into the email,
Likewise need to be able to create a ‘link’ page where we put in the real link we want to be redirected to, and the system will produce a redirect link that will be cut and pasted into the email.
3,4 & 5 to be editable, and by admin only
That’s pretty much it for the admin side.
Once logged in, they will be able to view the list of campaigns that have been created on their behalf.
If they click on a campaign, a stats page will come up.
This will show the list of links that were on that campaign associated with their account, along with the number of clicks through. ( a graph would be nice showing clicks over time, but not essential)
It will also show the number of people who opened the email on that campaign.
If they click on the link, they can see all those people that clicked through on that link – with brief detail – eg email address (by linking the contact_id with that of the contact_id stored in the database). A further button (show detail) will list the same contacts, but by full detail, including postal address and telephone etc, all linked again by contact_id.
All associated contacts in both formats (ie brief and detailed) should be able to be exported in a csv list, with all open/link thru detail (dates/time etc)
Email recipient side
A very simple form that enables the email recipient to log in to a screen and amend his address details, and to add further details, such as interests in various products (customisable via a database).
Will have a user name and password which is store in the database.
Would also like it time stamped so that we can track when or if they ever log in.
Also allows them to add further interested people to the mailout list.
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