What effect could email phishing have on my campaign?

If you're using HTML versions of your message in addition to the click tracking feature of your email service, you should keep a few things in mind.

What is email phishing?

Have you ever received an email message that appeared to be from a bank, or PayPal, or your Internet Service provider that seemed suspicious? If you did, more than likely you trashed that message, and it was probably a good thing you did.

"Email Phishing" refers to malicious activity by spammers who send out thousands of email messages that look as if they're coming from an established business or institution.

In fact, they are falsified messages attempting to illegally gain personal information from the recipients.  Email service providers such as Yahoo, Gmail, and Hotmail filter messages of this nature and trash them or send them to the junk folder.

Of course, you aren't sending these types of messages, but without taking a simple precaution, it can be an issue for your email marketing campaign.

How phishing can affect your email

If you send an HTML version of your message to your subscribers and have click tracking turned on to see how successful your links are, take a moment to consider how your links are formatted.

There are two types of links that can appear in these messages:

  • Clickable URL addresses (e.g. http://www.example.com)
  • Contextual hyperlinks (e.g. Click here to read my new article) 

The mismatch problem

If you enter a URL address and make it clickable in your message with the click tracking feature turned on, your subscribers will see the address you enter.

But if they click it, they will first be sent to an address that begins with something like clicks.aweber.com so that your service can track the click before sending them to the address you entered.

Because of this mismatch, the email services that look at your messages for suspicious content may think you're attempting to trick readers into thinking they're going to one location when in fact they're being sent to another. 

As a result, your message may go to the junk folder or missing altogether.

How to avoid issues

Preventing this from happening is simple.  If you'd like to track the links in your messages, just be sure to use a hypertext link instead of a URL address.

So, for example, if you have a link going to your blog, you don't want your link to appear like this:

Instead, enter the link like this:

  • Don't forget to visit my blog for updates.

Further reading

Review the knowledge base article on inserting and editing hyperlinks into your HTML messages for more information on how to add links to your messages.

Our blog also offers several articles on how to get the best deliverability for your messages.

If you enjoy the articles, be sure to sign up to receive them by email so you don't miss the messages that will get you better results from your email marketing campaign.

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