The idea of an email campaign is fairly straightforward: you send emails to a group of people, encouraging them to take a specific action or to visit a specific website. In theory, at least.
In practice, it can be quite the challenge to track the success of your email campaigns. After all, how do you know if your efforts are paying off? Are people actually taking the action you intended them to take? Is the email you’re sending actually reaching the recipients?
Thankfully, Google Analytics can provide you with the answers to all of these questions, and much more. In this article, we will discuss how to use Google Analytics to measure email campaigns and achieve your goals.
Why Email Campaigns Matter
You may be wondering why you should even bother measuring and tracking your email campaign. After all, it’s quite easy to send emails and spread the word through social media.
While this may be true, there are several important reasons why you should care about email campaigns. First, emails allow you to target the right audience and to engage them better than any other form of marketing. When you consider that people spend 3.5 hours a day (40 hours a week) on their phones, it’s easy to see how having a better understanding of your email campaigns could make a significant difference in your business.
Not only that, but there are also specific email marketing measures you can take to track the success of your campaign. We’ll discuss a few of these later on.
The Importance Of Open Rates And Click Through Rates (CTRs)
When someone shares or clicks on a link to one of your articles or social media posts, that’s essentially what happen in online marketing. However, when someone clicks on an email link or opens an email message from a marketing campaign, that’s known as a conversion, or a click-through rate (CTR).
What’s important to note here is that not every social media share or click on an email link leads to a conversion. For example, if someone sees a hilarious meme or video on social media and wants to share that with their friends, they may do so, but unless you’re looking for people to simply subscribe to your email list, you won’t see much value here. However, for every bit of content that does lead to a conversion or an action, you can track that individually in Google Analytics and determine the value of that particular piece of content.
Measuring Email Campaigns With Impressions
One of the most basic things you can do to track the success of your email campaigns is to look at the number of times your emails have been opened or clicked on. This is known as the impression count or the open rate and is something you can find in your Google Analytics under the Behavior section.
One advantage of this measurement is that you can determine the open rate for different email blasts, like the one you’re currently sending out versus the one you sent two weeks ago, and see the difference. This gives you an idea of whether or not your strategy has worked and if you should alter it accordingly.
How To Measure Email Campaigns With More Depth
While the open rate will give you a good idea of whether or not your email campaigns are effective, it doesn’t provide you with all the information you need to know. For example, if you’re looking to grow your email list, you can see how many people opened your last email compared to your first email, which should give you a general idea of whether or not your strategy is working.
However, if you want to know more specifically how effective your last email campaign was, you can click on the Impressions column in your Google Analytics, and this will take you to a more detailed report where you can see the number of times your email was opened by each individual. From here, you can identify specific things you can do to increase the number of people who open your emails and click on the links you send out.
Use More Than One Metric
While the open rate and click-through rate are extremely helpful for understanding how effective your email campaigns are, you should also look at other metrics as well. For example, do you have a higher click-through rate on emails that have a CTA (Call-To-Action)?
Depending on your business, you may want to encourage people to click on a link in your email or open an email from you, however, you may also want to direct them to a particular place on your site. In order to do this, you can use CTAs in your emails and track their effectiveness. For example, you can use a button like this one from MailChimp:
This button will take the user to a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) when they click on it. This can be anything from a blog post to a product page or landing page.
What’s important here is that you don’t just use one metric to define the success of your email campaigns. Instead, you can look at several to get a better idea of how effective your strategy is and what changes you need to make.
The Different Kinds Of Emails You Can Create
As we’ve established, emails allow you to engage with your audience in a way that no other form of marketing can. This is why it’s so important to track the success of your emails – you can use the information you find here to tailor the future of your communications and to see which method of outreach is working best for you.
In addition to being able to track opened emails, you can also monitor the performance of your email campaigns. This can be done from Google Analytics as well, under the Behavior section. When you’re looking at the performance of an email campaign, you’ll see the following things:
- the number of times the email was opened
- the date the email was sent
- which affiliate programs the email was optimized for (if any)
- the amount of revenue earned from the email campaign (if any)
One of the most important things to consider when measuring the performance of your email campaigns is the format they’re sent in. There are three basic formats to consider:
- Raw Text
Depending on your business, you may want to consider using one of these three formats to send your emails, but to track their performance, you’ll need to look at the emails’ analytics.
HTML And Text
HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language and is the standard format used for most web pages as well as emails. As you may guess, HTML allows you to format and style your text the way you want it to appear. This can be a great option if you want to get your point across in a more effective manner to your audience.
What’s important to note here is that not all HTML-formatted emails are created equal and you should always look at the quality of the HTML before you make any assumptions about the effectiveness of an email campaign. Furthermore, while you may want to use HTML to format your text, you don’t necessarily have to – you can use plain text instead, which will work just as well, if not better. It’s a matter of personal preference and what you feel comfortable with.
While you may not always have the time to sit down and craft an entire email in HTML, there are cases where it makes sense to go the extra mile. One of the benefits of using raw text is that you can continue to use your favorite programs to send your emails without any restrictions, like minimum inboxes or word counts.
However, what you lose out on by using raw text is the ability to track the performance of your emails. The only thing you can do within Google Analytics is to look at the number of times the email was opened, which, as we’ve discussed, isn’t particularly useful for figuring out the effectiveness of your strategy. This is why it’s important to have a back-up plan just in case you do decide to go this route.
The Importance Of Affiliate Marketing
If you’re looking to grow your email list, one of the best ways to do so is through affiliate marketing. This is when a third party (also known as an affiliate company) earns a commission when someone clicks a link or buys a product that’s been pitched to them through an affiliate link.