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  5. How To Test Your pURLs and QR Codes

How To Test Your pURLs and QR Codes

It’s important to test the pURLs and QR Codes in your Postalytics Campaign to make sure they are working properly before your mailers arrive. Postalytics makes this easy to do with our online tracking “test mode” and a few simple steps we’ll walk through below.

Build and Send Your Smart Send or Triggered Drip Campaign

Your pURLs are generated in real time when your campaign is created, however, if you’ve scheduled your campaign for a future date, we recommend testing them once your campaign is in “Sent” status.

Go to your Campaign Dashboard by clicking the dashboard icon

pURL QR Test Campaign Dashboard

Place Your Online Tracking in Test Mode

We’ve created a unique “test mode” feature that lets you test your pURLs and QR Codes, making sure the stats are being gathered properly, then clear out your stats before your real traffic arrives.

Navigate to Your Campaign Settings Page

pURL QR Test Navigation to Campaign Settings

On the Campaign Settings Page, click “place online tracking in test mode”, under Campaign Status. Once the online tracking is in test mode, click “Back to the Dashboard”.

pURL QR Test Campaign Settings Test Mode Back to Dashboard

Download and Test Your pURLs or QR Codes

pURLs

First, we’ll review how to download pURLs.

You’ll need to download the data file with pURLs appended. To do this, click “Download Audience including pURLs” on the Campaign Dashboard.

pURL QR Test Download Audience pURL to Test

When the data file has been downloaded, open the file and scroll to the far right, where you’ll find the pURL.

how to test your purls - data file

Next we’ll review how to test the pURLs.

Copy and paste the pURL into a new browser window.

If you’re pURLs are working properly, you’ll be redirected to the “Starting URL” landing page that you setup in the Campaign Wizard. You’ll also see stats starting to gather in the Campaign Dashboard.

pURL QR Test Online Tracking Stats

The Starting URL can be modified at any time back on the Campaign Settings page.

QR Codes

Downloading the QR Code is similar to the pURL in that you’ll want to make sure your Campaign is switched to “online tracking in test mode”, and then return to the dashboard. The difference is that you’ll need to be able to view the QR Code image on the mailpiece to be able to test it.

To view the mailpiece, click “Preview Created Mail” in the upper right hand corner of your dashboard. The preview generator can take a minute or so to create the mailpiece view.

pURL QR Test Preview Created Mail Campaign Dashboard

A pop up window will appear with a preview of each of the mailpieces in the campaign. Click “Preview Mail Piece” to view the piece in a new window.

pURL QR Test Created Mailpiece to Test QR

Depending on the format, letter or postcard, you may need to scroll down to find the QR Code. You can either scan it with your Smartphone directly from the screen, or print a copy of your mailpiece and then scan it.

scroll down to PDF view to test the QR code

When you scan the QR Code, you should be redirected to the Starting URL landing page you had setup in the Campaign Wizard. As with the pURL testing, you can always modify the the Starting URL on the Campaign Settings page. Once the QR Code is scanned you should see stats starting to gather in the Campaign Dashboard.

Clear Your Stats and Place the Tracking in Live Mode

Once you’ve confirmed that your pURLs and/or QR Codes are redirecting to the proper Starting URL, and that online activity is being tracked, you can place the campaign online tracking back to “live mode”. 

Next, go back to your Campaign Settings page, scroll down and click “make online tracking live and clear stats”. This will clear out the test stats from your campaign dashboard and your campaign will wait for visitors who enter their pURL and/or scan their QR Code.

Test Your pURLs and QR Codes as Often as You’d Like

If you want to place your campaign in test mode multiple times, don’t worry, you can change between test mode and live mode as often as you like. Later on, if your campaign is live and you’ve already started accumulating stats, you can put the campaign in test mode to try out changes to your Starting URL or personalization on your web page, and when you make it live, choose to leave the stats rather than clear them.

What if My pURLs/QRs Aren’t Working?

If the pURLs/QR Codes are not working properly, you’ll see a 404 error when you try to go to your landing page using the pURL or QR Code, or you won’t see any online stats gathered from the web page(s) that you’re hoping to track.

404 errors are caused when you have domain issues. There are two typical causes:

  1. Your domain hasn’t fully propagated from your initial setup or changes that you’ve made. It can take up to 24 hours for some domain registrars to get changes propagated.
  2. There are some errors in the settings of your domain. Typically there are no errors when you purchase a vanity domain through Postalytics. If you’ve mapped an external domain to Postalytics, then check your domain settings against our “External Domain” user guide.

Online tracking stats not populating typically happens when:

  1. The Postalytics Tracking Code is not installed, not installed properly, or is being blocked at your Starting URL and other web pages. This can be fixed by adding or adjusting the position of the Postalytics Tracking Code in the HTML of your pages.
  2. The Starting URL and Goal/Conversion URL are on different domains. The Postalytics cookie will not follow to a new domain, including subdomains, so be sure that all of the pages you want to track are on the same domain.

Learn More About Postalytics

We love talking with clients, partners and marketers of all types about how Postalytics can be used to solve problems and build great campaigns. If you’d like to talk with us about our pricing or any other part of Postalytics – please reach out!

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