Measuring the Effectiveness of Email Marketing in Google Analytics

Emails are a great means of communication so you want to make the most out of them. So how do you know if you are? Email programs are usually pretty good about tracking opens, click through rates, bounce rates, etc., but can you drill deeper into Google Analytics to understand what your recipients are doing after they click? Using Google’s UTM Tracking codes, you can track the success of your emails right from within Google Analytics to see how effective your campaign is at driving sales or conversions.

UTM Tracking Codes
The Google URL Builder can track into Google Analytics by using UTM tracking codes. These codes can be categorized by five different attributes:

  1. Campaign Source (utm_source)*
    This is the name of the newsletter or email you are sending.
    Example: 2012-July-Newsletter
  2. Campaign Medium (utm_medium)*
    This is the name of the medium.
    Example: email
  3. Campaign Term (utm_term)
    This attribute is not required but should be used for paid search. Use this to identify the keywords of the ad. This is probably not needed for tracking in email marketing campaigns.
    Example: women’s+shoes
  4. Campaign Content (utm_content)
    Here is where you can differentiate ads, offer content and two links that may both go to your website.
    Example: “new-shirt-feature-ad” or “logo-link” or “footer-link”
  5. Campaign Name (utm_campaign)*
    You should use this attribute to identify a specific product promotion or strategic campaign.
    Example: “labor-day-sale” or “product-announcements”

*Google recommends only using the campaign variables that you need. Keep in mind that Source, Medium and Name are all required fields.

How to Implement Google UTM Codes in Email Links
If you’re email platform doesn’t already integrate with Google’s UTM tracking codes, using this tool is fairly simple. Go to the Google URL Link Builder Tool. Enter the URL that you are linking to, as well as the information for the five corresponding categories explained above. Click “generate URL” and voila, Google spits out a URL for you to link to in your email.

How to Use the Data Tracked
To see the results after you send your email, visit Google Analytics and look under “Campaigns” which is found in the “Traffic Sources” section. This should give you a good idea if your emails are producing the results that you want. If not, experiment! Test out different links and anchor link text to see what is helping drive the most traffic and leading to the most conversions.


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