E-Mail Tracking - You’re (Probably) Doing It Wrong


If you’ve ever sent out an email or a newsletter to your clients, I hope you tracked the links through Google Analytics!

Now this is the point where people usually say “no, but we tracked it using this other software we have” (Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, “some custom thing we have”) - WRONG!

Does your email sending software also track your Revenue and your Goal Conversions? …. I thought not, “Opens” and “CTR” are important, but they aren’t as good as revenue or ROI!

Tagging your e-mail campaigns with your GA code is so important for measuring attribution of sales through your website. Without tagging, any sales that should be attributed to email will probably get incorrectly credited to “Direct” or “Referral” - which is just plain wrong, why do people allow it to happen?

Once you have your attribution mastered, you can work out the ROI of your email campaign, (Yes, a shock I know!) then use this new data to decide if it was profitable and if you will be sending out another…. All sensible marketing decisions. Well done!

Now I’ll be honest, the Google Analytics campaign tracking code can be a pain to get your head around if you’re not technically minded (or even if you are) so what I’ve done below is provided some snippets you can copy in to your emails links to track your campaigns correctly! Easy.


The anatomy of a correctly tracked link…

You can use Google’s own URL builder here - but people often put the wrong values in the wrong boxes and it all becomes a big mess.


This is the list of people you are sending your email to, “newsletter” or “customers” or “prospects” or “facebook+users” (notice that instead of spaces we have to use plus’s “+”)


We’re sending our email via email… so leave this as email, make sure it ALWAYS says the same value,  “Email”, “e-mail” use 1 way of spelling and stick to it!


This is the unique identifier for this campaign, it’s name.  The name of a campaign is the purpose of the email, what is the email about? Promoting a summer sale, in this example, or it could be a new product launch. Again, we’ve replaced spaces with plus’s.


Listed below are some sensible options for how you could go about tagging your links

Fill in your website address below to get the links customised for you.


E-Mails sent to Existing customers

Seasonal Sale Promotion

Holiday Events

New Product Launch

Discount Promotion

Retention email - We’ve missed you!


Emails sent to a Newsletter List

Monthly newsletter

Seasonal Sale Promotion

Holiday Events

New Product Launch

Discount Promotion


A note about other parameters

There are also a few other parameters you can add on to a url that aren’t required. The most important one we use is the utm_content parameter that lets you differentiate between different links in the same email, so if you are sending out a news bulletin with 5 different stories, you would add a unique utm_content string


(but yours would be more meaningful names)

If you have any questions about this post or would like some advice, please go ahead and ask in the comments below.



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