RAAK_Blog-Header_Statistics how to look beyond the basics

Statistics: how to look beyond the basics

Most ESP’s offer a good amount of statistics. But does that suffice to measure the whole impact of your campaign? It provides some data, like opens and clicks. But wouldn’t you rather have an end-to-end solution covering all data in one place: emails, websites, social media, etc.

Email is a means to call to action and to generate traffic towards another channel. Basically: leading people from one channel to another.
To a landing page, a subscription page, a webshop, a brick & mortar store… you name it. That’s why it’s important not to lose track of your subscriber when he or she is led away from that first point of contact.

Many an email marketer loses track of their clients from the moment they leave their email. Pity, as there’s so much potential in the universe beyond the click. So why not tie those loose communication ends back together and start tracking how a client goes from that first email to a conversion? In other words: motivate them to take action or do a purchase.

A conversion is your main goal. It’s the only way to really monetize the value of your efforts when marketing a product or service. But that doesn’t imply you don’t need to keep your focus on what a client does after a purchase. By all means keep that client interested and excited about your offers. Or follow up on what he/she has to say about you (it can influence the behaviour of other potential buyers along the way).
A lot of that information is up for grabs, so be sure to use the right tools and resources to measure and quantify that.

By doing so, you allow yourself to align your approach to what matters to your recipients. It gives you a quicker, more contoured view of what is actually happening.

Let’s get you on the right track with an example on how to do it with the most commonly used analytics tool: Google Analytics. Why GA tracking? Because it’s easy to install and dead simple to use.

1. How to get started
First of you need to set up a Google Account. If you already have one, you’re already half way there. As soon as you’ve set up your account, you have two options. You can add tags to all the links in your email and/or you can add Google tracking pixel to your email. We recommend you to do both.

By setting up an extra segment in your account, you can easily access all data regarding the sending scheme of your emails.

2. How to set up your links
To define the source your traffic is coming from, you need to set up your links with the known Google tags. This allows you to get a quick overview in your dashboard and see how your efforts are working out. Here is an overview of those tags what they stand for:

  • utm_medium -  The medium/channel you are using, in this case: email
  • utm_campaign – The name of your campaign, e.g. Newsflash_March
  • utm_source -  Use this to define the list you are using. Or the name of the program you have written out. e.g. Welcome email, Confirmation email, Subscribers, Prospects,  etc. You can interpret this any way you want to. 
  • utm_term - (optional) Can be used to have an extra focus on certain keywords. If you are using different calls to action or a/b testing, this would be a great way to differentiate them in your stats.
  • utm_content - (optional) Can be used to follow user specific behaviour. By adding the clients profile id or user id.

Google has set up a page that allows you to easy set up these links. Click right here to access their link builder.

3. Monitor activity in your emails (advanced)
As we previously mentioned, you can also add a tracking pixel in your email. This tracking pixel offers you more detailed information on the ‘events’ happening in your email. It will allow you to track activity in your email in real time, the geo location, behaviour, etc… It does takes longer to set this up, because you need to complete all the information needed to make it as detailed as possible.

Here’s an example of that link:

<img src="http://www.google-analytics.com/collect?v=1&tid=UA-XXXXXXXX-1&cid=CLIENT_ID_NUMBER&t=event&ec=email&ea=open&el=recipient_id&cs=newsletter&cm=email&cn=Campaign_Name">

If you’d like to use this technique, this link will show you how to set it up properly.

4. Integrate the tracking code on to your website, webshop, …
The one does not go without the other. Make sure you integrate Google Analytics on your other channels as well. This will allow you to properly define your goals and easily track how to achieve your KPI’s.

Conclusion

 It’s time to take your stats to the next level and fill in the blanks of your reporting. Okay, there are other options next to what Google offers — such as Litmus or Email On Acid — but this is the most complete way to bridge the gap between email and website.
New options and opportunities will just present themselves in the near future …

Posted on
Mar 11, 2016