Audra Hopkins / Marketing / November 13th, 2017
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4 Ways Google Can Save Your Association’s Email Campaigns

Email campaigns are important marketing tools for associations. But, are your email efforts making the desired impact? Tracking your email marketing with Google Analytics can help.

Why should you track your email campaigns? Well, analytics tell you a lot about your association’s email efforts (and, I mean a lot). Email analytics provide insights into your email marketing like click through rates, open rates, email shares/forwards, and more. Let’s dive into the use of Google Analytics for email marketing analytics.

 

Why Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a web analytics service that tracks and reports web traffic and ROI. It’s also the most widely-used analytics service on the internet.

While Google Analytics offers a premium paid service (Google Analytics 360), it also offers a free service with a lot of great features to use for tracking email marketing efforts. To get started, you can sign up for a Google Analytics account and read up on how to the basics.

Your association has a lot to gain from using Google Analytics to track its email marketing campaigns. It’s cost-effective, easy to navigate, and provides unique features for optimal analytics measurements.

 

1. Set up campaign tracking with campaign titles

A Google Analytics campaign title is essential for tracking email campaigns. The tool is simple to use and provides great feedback for associations looking to analyze their marketing labor.

Why are campaign titles important? Let’s say someone visits your association’s website from a social platform like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Google Analytics identifies where the traffic comes from and tags it accordingly as “Social Traffic.” This tells your association what traffic comes just from social media.

But for email, without using a campaign title to track, traffic from your email campaigns is tagged as ‘Direct Traffic.’

When it comes to Google Analytics, a campaign title allows you to track the success of a single email campaign. According to Google, the tool allows you to “collect information about the overall efficacy of those campaigns, and also understand where the campaigns are more effective.”

Add campaign titles to your emails in the “reports” tab of Google Analytics. Campaign titles automatically link to the emails sent to your members. Google Analytics then tracks web traffic from email efforts as its own separate traffic.

 

2. Want more control over email campaign tracking?

Campaign titles are a great way to track email campaigns. However, your association might want a more hands on approach to email tracking. Setting up UTM parameters on your emails give you more advanced tracking options.

What exactly is a UTM parameter? UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module and is the format Google uses for tracking URL’s. In other words, a UTM parameter are small, manually created segments of a URL that provide Google Analytics with more information about that specific link.

If your association wants more advanced tracking options, you can create UTM parameters for your email campaigns. For example, let’s look at the URL “www.yourwebsite.com/?utm_source=emailcampaign.” The section following the question mark is the UTM parameter, which is recorded as “email campaign.” Google Analytics will track any traffic brought from that link under the section “email campaign.”

Use UTM parameters to organize your email campaign tracks. You can save your association time and effort sorting through analytics this way. UTM parameters are flexible and easy to manage any way your association wants.

 

3. Organize your emails with advanced segmentation

Tracking your email efforts is important already. But how do you know which emails work the best to attract web traffic? This is where advanced segmentation is necessary.

An advanced segment for Google Analytics allows your association to track specific types of email campaigns. For example, let’s say your association wants to experiment with a different style of email. You’d want to see if your efforts were more or less effective that your typical email style, right?

To set up an advanced segment in Google Analytics, visit the advanced segment section above the reports section in Google Analytics. Then, choose the “Create New Segment” option. Finally, set the medium to “Email.”

Categorize your segment any way your association wants. Your emails can be segmented a number of different ways. Advanced segmentation for Google Analytics makes organizing your email campaigns pretty effortless.

 

4. Measure email analytics with real-time reports

You’ve gone through every step in order to track your email campaigns. Now it’s time to review the results. And with the real-time reports feature on Google Analytics, you don’t have to wait for numbers.

Even if you’ve just sent out an email campaign, it can be tracked in real-time as members read, open, and click-through to your association’s website. You’re able to watch your traffic occur the moment you send your email out.

Locate your real time reports in the ‘Real-Time’ tab in the left menu. Then, select ‘Traffic Sources’ and after that ‘Email.’

Your report will tell you as it occurs: How many people are visiting your website currently just from emails, which email campaign they’ve come from (if using advanced segmentation), and what percentage of traffic comes from which campaign (again if using advanced segmentation).

Google Analytics offers a variety of features for analytics and campaign tracking. These four methods will allow your association to track its email marketing efforts in an organized, effective fashion.

 

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