When using an e-mail campaign to further an online marketing strategy, it can often be difficult to assess how well it is working or not working. Unless e-mail is the only form of marketing used to spread awareness for a website, there is little way to tell if a visitor found the site through e-mail marketing or through other means. Google Analytics can be used to fix this problem by providing data that will help to gauge the successes or failures of e-mail marketing strategies.
Open Rate Tracking
The e-mail open rate is exactly what it sounds like: a measure of how many people opened a given e-mail. This is a good place to start when tracking the success of an e-mail campaign - after all, if no one is reading an e-mail, they certainly aren't ending up on the website it advertises. Knowing how many people are reading the message in the first place can alert you to a few things. For example, if very few people are even opening the e-mail, perhaps it needs a better subject line, or perhaps the first few lines of the e-mail that appear in the preview aren't enough to grab the reader's attention. On the other hand, if e-mails have a high open rate, they could be used as a template for future campaign e-mails.
After opening an e-mail, the next ideal step would be for recipients to click the links within it. Google Analytics helps track an e-mail campaign's click-through rates; that is, the number of times a link in an e-mail is clicked to bring the user onto a certain website. Comparing click-through rates and open rates is a strong way to tell whether or not an e-mail campaign is working - after all, the primary goal of an e-mail campaign is to bring a user to a website.
Beyond The Click Tracking
Some of the most useful tracking information is gathered after users have clicked on an e-mail link. Google Analytics allows for beyond-the-click tracking that can gather information such as which pages users were linked to from their e-mails, which of these landing pages resulted in the most clicks afterwards, how many pages visitors viewed after being linked through campaigns, and even which page they left the website on. This sort of information can be used to assess how many visitors used the website beyond their landing page, and which e-mail messages are resulting in more or less website visitors. These statistics are invaluable when modifying or improving aspects of e-mail marketing.
Google Analytics uses campaign tags (extra information added to links that is passed back to Google) to assess the productivity of each link inside every e-mail that is filed under that campaign. This allows Google Analytics to sort information for each e-mail so that you can know which e-mails are working well and which ones are not. The different e-mails in a campaign that link to a website are sorted in convenient charts along with the number of visitors they resulted in for the website. These charts give a clear indication as to what is working well in an e-mail campaign and what is not.
Google Analytics is designed to be a highly useful program for marketers of all kinds. E-mail marketing can be easily tracked and recorded on this program. It can be set up to track nearly anything, often requiring only that a campaign tag is added to e-mail messages. When launching an e-mail campaign, Google Analytics is an incredibly useful tool to gauge its success and help to pinpoint where it needs to be improved.
Maciej (ma-chi) is the SEO Director of a Naples, FL based inbound marketing company, Brandignity, helping small to mid-sized businesses with full service SEO plans, pay per click advertising, blog writing and social media.