Using Google Analytics to Track Email Campaigns

In past articles I talked about using Google’s URL builder to track traffic from paid search channels outside Adwords (like MSN and Yahoo for example.)

In this article I thought I’d quickly show you how you can apply that same technique toward tracking of email campaigns as visitors have asked this as well.

Remember, generally Google Analytics looks for a few basic values in each link (yes you can track more items, but these are the basics.) The three basic pieces of information Google looks for in links is the campaign source, campaign medium and campaign name. The actual Google variable representations are listed below as a refresher but I have included some text that will help you from the email perspective.

  1. Campaign Source (utm_source). This identifies the name of your email marketing system, such as ConstantContact. If you don’t use a thirds party email marketing system, you can label your campaign source something general like ‘Email Marketing’.

  2. Campaign Medium (utm_medium). This identifies the campaign instrument used. In the case of email marketing, your medium is ’email’.

  3. Campaign Name (utm_campaign). This identifies the name of your campaign. The Campaign Name helps you differentiate between various campaigns or unique messages within each. Most Email Marketers use their message subject line or other identifying value for this parameter.

Here’s what the URL Builder might look like with those three variables filled in for an Email campaign:


Viewing Email Campaign Results

Once you have built your url and inserted it into the proper location within your email, tracking will automatically begin. With the tracking results you can find out a number of things including: which links were most popular with your recipients, when they visited your website, how long they stayed and where they navigated following arrival.

With this information you can refine your future email marketing to gain better results.

How to view campaign results in Analytics:

  1. Log into your Google Analytics account.

  2. Click ‘Traffic Sources’ from your Dashboard.

  3. View your ‘Top Traffic Sources’ or click ‘View Full Report’ to see all traffic sources.

  4. Locate and click the link identifying your email marketing Campaign Source. In our example above, your Campaign Source is your email marketing product, i.e. ConstantContact, or ‘Email Marketing’.

On your Campaign Source page, Google Analytics provides details on the number of visitors generated by your campaign, the number of pages they visited, average time on your website, percent of new visitors to your website and the average bounce rate.

Campaign managers can also drill-down using the segments drop-down menu. This provides even greater detail on individual campaigns, keywords, geographic regions, browser types, operating systems and visitor activity, like the most popular landing and exit pages. Each results page provides the means to drill-down even further and fine-tune your data.

Here is what the top level report might look like when segmented by ‘Source’ in Google Analytics:

Here is what the top level report might look like when segmented by ‘Medium’ in Google Analytics:

Here is what the top level report might look like when segmented by ‘Campaign’ in Google Analytics:

To get more detailed information on each you can further filter, segment, etc… and even drill down by clicking the link to the page you want to see more information on.

Now, if you haven’t had the ability to do so already, you can get better metrics from your email campaigns within Google Analytics.

Got any other ideas for email tracking with GA? Post your ideas below. I’d like to hear them.

Facebook App Allows Fan Page Admins to Create User E-newsletters

February 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Email Marketing, Social Media

File this one under cool things to try in 2010: Facebook Fan Page administrators can now let their fans create personalized e-newsletters including content from the fan page.

Fb-funded NutshellMail, which operates a web based service that culls social media applications,  recently introduced the new feature to its web service.

The NutshellMail Facebook application allows you, as your e-commerce site’s Fan Page admin, to add an “Email Newsletter” tab to your page. By adding a newsletter, fans can opt-in to receive e-mailed content — highlighting your most recent posts — along with their Facebook updates.

Installing the application is fairly easy.

Step 1. On the Nutshell Facebook Application Page, select your page and click “Add Nutshell Mail”

Nutshell Mail Facebook

Step 2. Select EMail Newsletter from the Drop Down Tab.

Step 3. Follow the App’s instructions for how to receive updates. In order for this to work, you’ll need to allow the Application access to your Facebook profile. Don’t worry, your person status updates will not go out to your Fan Page Fans.

Step 4. Be sure to promote your new e-newsletter function to your fans as well as in your next email send to customers.

Once your email is approved (Step 3), you can adjust your account settings to receive e-mail updates as often (or as little) as you want.  You can customize what you receive  Using the Account Settings > Pages tab on

As for why an e-commerce site would want to add this function to its Fan Page, studies show that consumers are more likely to purchase based on their own opt-in preferences to e-mail. What better way to get your brand in front of your consumers or fans than to be in an email they opted to have you in.

75 Words to Consider During Your Next Electronic Campaign

Social media and e-mail, for all of their popularity, can only offer so much reach to potential customers. You can have the perfect sale at the perfect time using the most pristine analytics possible but lose conversion because your message got lost along the way.

How can you be sure your message will get in front of as many eyes as possible?

  1. Consider using some of the most popular retweetable and repeatable words on Twitter and Facebook.
  2. Avoid words that will land your message in a customer’s spam filter

The 20 Most ReTweetable Words & Phrases (according to are:

you twitter please
retweet post blog
social free media
help please retweet great
social media 10 follow
how to top blog post
check out new blog post  


According to spam filter experts, there are at least* 55 words or phrases you want to avoid in your e-mails include:

#1 Accept credit cards Affordable
All natural Apply online Bargain
Best price Billing address Buy direct
Call Cards Accepted Check
Click /Click Here / Click Below Click to remove Congratulations
Cost / No cost Do it today Extra income
For free Form Free and FREE
Free leads Free membership Free offer
Free preview Full refund Get it now
Giving away Guarantee Hidden
Marketing Marketing solutions Money
Name brand Never No Hidden Costs
No-obligation Now Offer
One time / one-time Opportunity Order / Order Now
Order today/ Order status Orders shipped by priority mail Performance
Please read Price Risk free
Sales Satisfaction guaranteed Save $
Save up to Special promotion Urgent
US dollars    


You may obviously need to use some of the words above in your next e-mail, however, be sure to use the word(s) sparingly and never put a word like Free or Now in all capital letters. Increased frequency or repeated use of these words can highly increase your chances of an email landing in the spam folder.

Many third party email systems like Constant Contact, iContact, and AWeber automatically pre-check your email for you against a spam database and then give it a “spam rating”. The rating is supposed to help you gauge how your email stacks up against other spam and thus provide an idea of whether it will be caught in spam filters or not. I highly recommend one of these types of services if you are not already utilizing a third party system.

*This list was adapted from For a list of 250 words and phrases to avoid, take a look at Words and Phrases that Trigger Some Spam Filters at

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