Why set up a tracker domain using Pardot?
Tracker domains permit you to hide your Pardot-hosted content (pages, assets, forms, etc.) behind a branded CNAME (Canonical Name) or vanity URL. ("Canonical" means "according to the rules.”) This is also known as an Alias URL. You can then build your assets (such as custom landing pages, redirects, and forms) within Pardot so that the tracker domain provides a user-friendly transition to your Pardot assets. A Pardot default link begins with “go.pardot.com.” However, when using a tracker domain, links can always appear as a branded domain link instead.
Your corporate brand is always preserved when you use your own tracker domain. This is especially important during email marketing. Your web visitors always want the assurance that your website, and the associated Pardot pages and forms, are all legitimate. Using your own branded domain name gives them that sense of security that only a unique branded web address can provide.
Pardot can provide your visitors with a seamless, personalized experience while exploring your brand website. The main purpose for setting up a tracker domain is to give your visitors that seamless experience when clicking on links to the pages and forms that you host and on the Pardot-hosted email marketing pages and search results. There is a high probability that your visitors might become confused as to what website they are using if the URL changes from your company URL to “go.pardot.com” as they click among the various forms and pages. Therefore, companies do not want the visitor’s browser URL address bar to reveal the “go.pardot.com.”
The tracker domain can also be used for individually tracked links sent in email marketing campaigns sent to your prospects. A tracker domain cannot be exactly the same as your corporate domain name, so it is better to choose a simple alias that is very close to your corporate domain name. For example, if your corporate domain is “yourname.com”, then you might consider something like “go.yourname.com.”
You can send marketing emails from your domain with Pardot by first authenticating them through the two most widely recognized email authentication standards: Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) and Sender Policy Framework (SPF). Major ISPs and corporate spam filters check for these types of email authentication before placing the email into a designated recipient’s inbox. In order to achieve good deliverability, proper authentication of marketing email is critical.
Be sure to include a text version of your email
Even though your marketing email is in HTML, an accompanying plain-text (ASCII) alternative version is essential. A Multi-part MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) bundles a simplified plain-text version of your email together with the HTML version. Unless you’re sending out just a plain-text email, multi-part MIME should be part of every email marketing campaign. Here are two important reasons to use multi-part MIME in every marketing email:
- Emails that use only HTML raise a red flag to spam filters. When the marketing email also incorporates a plain-text version, spam filters are much more likely to pass it on through. Make sure you take the time to create a plain-text alternative. Don’t be confused with a lazy spammer!
- Some people actually prefer plain text. Those people would rather have text-only emails. (The “keep it simple” crowd.) Because email client programs and apps provide users with the option to receive only a plain-text version of an email, it’s important to use the multi-part MIME format to provide your version of the plain text. Your subscribers may not receive your email at all if they have enabled this setting and you only send an HTML version. Some users may also perceive HTML emails as being a security or privacy risk. They may choose not to load any images and they may want complete visibility of all links that are included in an email. In addition, users may prefer plain-text emails because of the increased loading time (bandwidth) that emails with lots of images consume.
You can include a text version of your email marketing campaign by using the Pardot Text Content editor located below the HTML email editor. We recommend using the “Import from HTML” button and then make any formatting improvements to ensure the content looks correct when viewed as a text-only marketing email.