Setting up custom link branding
Custom link branding allows you to use your own sub-domain instead of the Action Network domain for click tracking links. This makes all links in your Action Network email come from your sub-domain, like an.dogsrule.org, rather than actionnetwork.org.
The link sub-domain should be the same as your reply-to domain and is something that you set up in collaboration with the Action Network support team. This is complex to set up, and it needs to be set up correctly, otherwise you risk your links not working or being flagged as malicious.
Note that when you set up custom link branding, you'll see a difference in your click rate. This is likely because of bots clicking your links with the old or new links (so you'll likely have a decrease using the new link branding). This means that your click rate will be more accurate with link branding. Keep an eye on your action rates to make sure your program is still performing!
- Choose what you want your domain to be. This will be the domain you use in your reply-to and will also display your links.
- Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know you’d like to set up custom link branding. Send us your chosen domain, and remember it MUST be the same as your reply-to emails. Example: if your reply-to is email@example.com, your custom domain is dogsule.org.
- While we generate your DNS records, make sure that the email you use in your reply-to is a real email address that can send and receive messages. This is important so that you can respond to people who reply to your emails.
- We will generate DNS records for you and email them back to you. Once you receive them, you'll need to install the DNS records on your domain. Here are instructions on how to do that for various systems:
- Next you need to proxy the subdomain by installing an SSL certificate. This is very complex, and important to get right. Here's some general instructions on how to do that for various systems:
If you have questions about how to do this, please reach out to your provider. Our support team will not be able to help you with this step. We also recommend looking at various YouTube tutorials.
- After you've installed your DNS records, turn off proxying. We cannot validate your DNS records if they are actively proxied.
- Reply back to us and have us validate that your DNS records SSL certificate is set up.
- After we verify, this will immediately turn on link branding. You must turn back on proxying on your DNS records.
- Now you can test. Verify that all links are represented as your sub-domain, including the unsubscribe link in the footer of your email. If your SSL certificate is set up incorrectly, going back and fixing it will take hours, and in the meantime, any links you send in your emails will be broken. So please talk to your provider if you're unsure!
- You're all set!
Frequently Asked Questions
- What does link branding do?
By default, any link you send is transformed to an Action Network link when you send an email. But you can (and should) have that link changed to your own sub-domain. This is important otherwise you risk your links not working or being flagged as malicious. When you set up link branding, the links are transformed to your domain, rather than Action Network’s.
- How does link branding work?
In order for your links to be transformed to your domain, it is necessary for you to install an SSL certificate on your domain. An SSL certificate encrypts the emails in transit and authenticates the legitimacy of the sender.
- What is a sub-domain?
A sub-domain is an additional part of your domain, usually prefixed to your regular domain. So if your regular domain is dogsrule.org, your sub-domain is an.dogsrule.org, where an is the prefix.
- What does DNS stand for? How do I know which one I use?
DNS stands for Domain Name System. It's where you purchased your domain name. If you're not sure which one you use, type in your domain name in the search here. The next page will show you where your current DNS records are.