Follow that link!

Have you ever found yourself in the position where you need to be able to pull information off of a link but are thwarted because the link immediately redirects? Don’t get frustrated there is a trick.

I found myself using this trick a number of times today, so I thought I would take the opportunity to share it. I was surprised recently, while I was assisting a co-worker de-bug his code, to find out he didn’t know how to do this. So, while this is not a Salesforce specific trick, I hope it helps make your job a little easier.

So, what is this trick?

Inspect, Preserve, Clear and Go!

(I really tried to come up with a cool acronym for this and totally failed. If you can think of one – please share it in the comments)

Let me back up a sec…

Everything you see on your screen is loaded one at a time. Think about it, your email isn’t sent over as one pdf. It’s a set of images and characters that are compiled together to form your email. In under a millisecond, your browser sends a request to the server and in turn, sparks hundreds back and forth communications.

Each piece is a separate call from your browser to the server and back again. Your browser keeps a log of all these calls and redirects, so let me teach you how to access that log and use it to your advantage.

Step 1: Open a fresh tab in your browser

Step 2: Inspect
Right click inside your browser and select “Inspect”

Step 3: Select “Network”

Step 4: Make sure “Preserve Log” is checked

When you are ready – clear the log, paste in your URL into the tab and load. And watch the stream…

Want to try it? Go to google and search for something. Clear the log and click on one of the Ads. Once the stream has stopped loading, scroll back to the top of the log and arrow over the different entries. I used “salesforce” as my search term, and could see the link go through a bunch of redirects before it actually loads

I’ve used the trick to help my CS team many times. I’ve had them copy out the link from the email and send it to me. Then used this trick to pull out the tracking links and the identification for each email.

Best of luck.

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