Pardot Knowledge Base

Testing the View Online Tag

Last Updated: Apr 19, 2017 | Print this Article
The View Online tag (%%view_online%%) allows you to create an online version of your emails for recipients who may have trouble viewing HTML messages. When inserted, the tag creates a web version of your email to be viewed in a browser. Therefore, you will want to follow the below instructions to test that your View Online link is working.

Usage Notes:
  • Because the View Online tag creates a personalized URL for each viewer, the email must be sent from the Send tab to create a View Online link. Sending an email from the Test tab doesn't create the link.
  • When a prospect clicks the View Online link, the variable tags from the email will be populated with the values that are in their prospect record at the time View Online is clicked, regardless of what those values were when the email was originally sent.
  • The web version will display the HTML version of the email message, even if the prospect received the text version of a multi-part (text and HTML) email.
  • You must use a test list -- if you don't send the test email to a list, the View Online link will not work properly.

Creating the View Online Link

It is best to hyperlink text because a URL will be substituted for the tag. One common example is: Having trouble reading this email? View it in your browser. Note: When creating this hyperlink (to %%view_online%%), you will need to select the protocol: <other> in order for the link to render well. Otherwise, our editor will add in href="http://%%unsubscribe%%," which is not a valid URL. To add the view online tag in the source editor, Having trouble viewing this email? <a href="%%view_online%%>View it in your browser</a>.


To add the view online tag in the source editor, use %%view_online%% as your url in a hyperlink. Your code should look something like this:
Having trouble viewing this email? <a href="%%view_online%%">View it in your browser</a>.

Testing Instructions

In order to test your View Online link, you will need to create yourself as a prospect and send yourself a test list email by following these steps:
  1. Create a test list
    • Navigate to Marketing > Segmentation > Lists.
    • Click +Add List.
    • Name the list something like "Internal Test List."
  2. Create yourself as a prospect
    • Make sure that you are not already a prospect in the system.
    • Navigate to Prospects > Prospects List.
    • Click the +Add Prospect.
    • Create a prospect for each email address that you would like to test.
    • Be sure to add each prospect to the test list.
  3. Send yourself a test email
    • Sending to your test list:
      • Navigate to the Marketing > Email > New Email.
      • Follow the email wizard steps.
      • Select in the email template for the appropriate test.
      • Make sure that you select your test list in Step 4: Recipients.
      • When the email arrives in your inbox, it should include all variable tag data.
        • For example, if you used the %%first_name%% tag, you should see your name displayed.
        • Links will also be tracked/rewritten by the system and will appear using your vanity tracker domain.

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