One of our readers recently inquired about how we assess the effectiveness of our email newsletter.
To see how effective each email is for your business, combine Google Analytics with special tracking links in your email newsletter.
We’ll show you how to set up email newsletter tracking in Google Analytics step by step in this article.
Why should you use Google Analytics to track the traffic to your email newsletter?
When you send out an email newsletter, at least one link to your website is almost certainly included. Your email marketing service should be able to tell you how many times a link has been clicked (your click-through rate). Most providers, however, are unable to show you what happens next.
Google Analytics comes in handy in this situation. It can be used to see what people do after they click a link in your newsletter.
Assume you own a restaurant that delivers to customers’ homes. You’re curious as to which of your weekly newsletters resulted in the most people completing your online food ordering form.
Perhaps you’re planning to open an online store. Knowing which of your email campaigns resulted in the most sales would be fantastic.
Perhaps you want to make money by blogging. You’d like to know which campaigns resulted in people enrolling in your online course.
Setting up email newsletter tracking and seeing how many sales each email generates for your business is fairly simple with Google Analytics.
Let’s get this party started.
Developing Trackable URLs for Email Newsletters
You must add special tracking parameters to each link in your newsletter if you want detailed insights in Google Analytics.
To put it another way, you won’t be able to use a standard link like:
Instead, you must use a URL that includes special parameters, such as this:
A UTM code is the last part of this URL, everything after the question mark.
It may appear difficult, but don’t worry; it’s actually quite simple to make.
Let’s look at two simple methods for creating trackable URLs for your email campaigns.
Method 1: Use MonsterInsights to create trackable URLs (Recommended)
The perfect Google Analytics wordpress plugin is MonsterInsights. It makes it simple to install Google Analytics in WordPress and displays beautiful traffic reports right in the WordPress dashboard.
The URL builder tool is available in the free version of MonsterInsights. However, if you want to use eCommerce tracking features, we recommend upgrading to the PRO plan (we will talk more about eCommerce tracking later in this article).
The MonsterInsights plugin must also be installed and enabled. See our complete guide to installing a WordPress plugin for further information.
Then, in your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Insights » Tools.
You should see the URL Builder tool appear. The URL you want to include in your newsletter is the first piece of information you’ll need to fill in. If you’re linking to your home page, this might be the main website URL.
We’re holding a sale and linking to the website’s online store in this example:
Your email newsletter subscribers will be tracked as a ‘campaign’ in Google Analytics. This is the term used by Google Analytics to describe email or advertising promotions.
For Google Analytics to track your campaign, you’ll need to enter the source, medium, and name.
Source: Set to ‘newsletter’ or something else useful.
Medium: This should be set to ’email’.
Name: You can call it whatever you want, such as ‘jan_sale’ or ‘april_tshirts_sale.’
Make sure to use underscores between words if you’re using more than one word for the source, medium, or name. Neither spaces nor hyphens should be used.
If you’re not running ads, you can leave the Campaign Term field blank. If you’re split testing your emails or ads, you can use the Campaign Content. For this example, you can leave it blank once more.
You should now see your unique URL at the bottom of the page, along with the tracking information:
You can now include this URL in your email newsletter and use Google Analytics to track clicks.
Method 2: Using Google Analytics, manually create trackable URLs
The URL builder in MonsterInsight is a useful tool for saving time because it generates UTM codes for you. Here’s how to manually create your trackable URLs if you prefer.
Get the URL you want to use first.
For this example, we’ll use https://www.site.com/shop.
After that, you’ll need to make your own UTM code. We will take it one step at a time.
To make your URL more interesting, add a question mark at the end, like this:
Then, add the utm_source:
After that, add the utm_medium and the ampersand (&) symbol:
Finally, include the utm_campaign: and another ampersand (&).
For the campaign’s name, you can use any word or phrase you want. If you’re using multiple words for the source, medium, or campaign name, an underscore can be used to separate them.
That is all there is to it. You can now use your tracking URL in your newsletter.
In Your Newsletter Campaigns, Use Trackable URLs
You can use your URL in emails once you’ve created it, either using MonsterInsights’ URL builder or manually.
You can paste the URL wherever you would have previously used the standard URL in your email.
When you insert a URL into Constant Contact, it looks like this:
Tip: Trackable URLs can also be used in regular emails. If you do a lot of email outreach, this makes sense. You can also use trackable URLs in social media, ads, and other places.
Send out your newsletter after you’ve finished your email and wait for some clicks. After that, you can view your report in Google Analytics.
Using Google Analytics to View Your Email Newsletter Report
Log in to Google Analytics and select Acquisition » Campaigns » All Campaigns from the drop-down menu.
The data for the campaign(s) you’ve created should then appear.
Change the date for the report to the current day if you’ve just sent out the newsletter. By default, Google Analytics displays data from the previous seven days.
Using this report in conjunction with your Google Analytics goals is a great idea. Here’s an example of how effective our newsletters were at getting people to fill out an inquiry form:
Conversions from Email Newsletters are being tracked.
What users do after they arrive on your website is the most important part of your newsletter tracking.
For example, if you run an online store, you might be interested in knowing which emails resulted in a sale. You might want to track if you wanted users to fill out an order form.
The simplest way to do this is to use MonsterInsights, which will take care of almost all of the setup for you.
Using Google Analytics to enable eCommerce tracking
You must first enable eCommerce tracking in Google Analytics. It is a fast and convenient procedure.
Go to Google Analytics and sign in. Make sure the correct website is selected in the top left corner.
Then click ‘Ecommerce Settings’ in the View column.
‘Enable Ecommerce’ can now be turned on. At this point, we also recommend enabling ‘Enhanced Ecommerce.’ This will keep track of additional information. In MonsterInsights, you can also see eCommerce reports.
Save your work by clicking the Save button.
Using MonsterInsights to enable eCommerce tracking
To use the eCommerce features of MonsterInsights, you’ll need the Pro version. WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, MemberPress, and LifterLMS are all compatible.
If you haven’t already, install and activate MonsterInsights.
Then, under Insights » Settings, enter your licence key and click the Verify button.
Go to Insights » Addons, find the eCommerce addon, and click the Install button below it once you’ve entered your MonsterInsights licence key.
Following that, go to Insights » Settings and select the eCommerce tab. Your eCommerce plugin (for example, WooCommerce) should have been automatically detected.
Tip: Enabling ‘Use Enhanced eCommerce’ will allow you to see the MonsterInsights eCommerce report as well.
That’s all you have to do because MonsterInsights will take care of the rest. Google Analytics will now be able to track your site’s eCommerce transactions.
You can now see details of your eCommerce transactions when you visit Google Analytics.
Go to Acquisition » Campaigns and, as before, click the ‘All Campaigns’ link. Then, from the Conversions dropdown menu, choose ‘E-commerce.’
Links, clicks, buttons, and forms can all be tracked.
Not every website has a shopping cart or an eCommerce platform.
If you have a simple order form, for example, you can track which email campaigns prompted users to fill out the form. If your website has a call-to-action button, you can track that as well.
We hope that this article has shown you how to use Google Analytics to track email newsletters.
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