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For all the gains made in social media, email marketing remains one of the favorite digital marketing tools of businesses of all Google Analyticssizes.  Why?  It is the closest thing we have to a one-on-one relationship in digital marketing and we can easily evaluate email campaigns for their effectiveness.  Think about it: when someone signs up for your e-mail list they are asking for you to contact them with offers and information they believe they may be interested in.  There’s a lot of strategy behind a well-run e-mail marketing campaign including a strong focus on message, design, deliverability and list development/management.

And while those are important topics that merit discussion (which we’ll do in the future), there’s a more pressing question I’d like to explore today: do you know if your email campaigns are working?  It seems like a simple question, but there can be a lot of complexities that cloud the picture quickly.  I’d like to show you a report available inside Google Analytics that can help you quickly assess whether or not your email campaigns are delivering traffic to your Web site or not.  It is called, appropriately, the “Campaign” report.

The Campaign Report in Google Analytics

Google Analytics Campaign Report Selector

Once you login to your Google Analytics account, you’ll see a left-hand dashboard that includes several report options to choose from. Inside the Traffic Sources –> Sources report, you’ll see an option called “Campaigns.”   Clicking on this option (highlighted in the red box in the image to the right) will open up a new report and the screen will refresh.

Campaigns are Google’s attempt to organize the traffic that comes to your Web site from several different sources.  The report can be used to evaluate performance for a wide variety of campaigns: QR codes, print ads with custom URLs, banner ads placed on specific Web sites and, yes, even your email marketing campaigns.

Special note: using the “Campaign” report to track your email marketing campaigns works best when you use an email service provider (ESP) that enables tracking.  At Dijital Farm, we use an ESP that automatically inserts “Campaign” tracking to all of our clickable links in the e-mail.  If your ESP does not provide this option, you may want to consider making use of Google URL Builder, a free tool available from Google that will allow you to create custom URLs that insert this tracking code.

Once you’ve opened the Campaign report, you’ll see a grid like the one shown below:

Google Analytics Campaign Report Grid

If you’ve tagged your email campaign links correctly, the “Campaign” column will show your email subject line (or the naming convention you elected to use).  The next column will show you the number of visits for that email.  This should correspond to the number of clicks your recipients made within the emails (available within your ESP report).  The next column shows the number of pages per visit, which reveals the average number of pages that the “clickers” viewed during their visit after they clicked on a link within the e-mail.  There are other columns available as well; you can easily customize this report to show a variety of data to help you assess your situation.

How to Use the Campaign Report Data to Evaluate Your Email Campaign

The answer to this question is completely dependent upon knowing what you wanted to accomplish with your email campaign to begin with.  Was it to boost the total number of visitors to the site?  Were you looking to drive them to specific pages on your site?  Did you want to entice them to purchase a specific product available for sale within your site?  Once you know what you’re looking for, you can customize the Campaign report to isolate what you’re seeking.  And once you have that information, you can compare it to the goals that you and your team set for the campaign to help you judge whether or not the email campaign was a success.

Of course, there’s a lot more to the Campaign report. I would encourage you to explore this report to see exactly what it can do.  If you need help with Google Analytics, setting up a custom report or interpreting what the report is telling you, be sure to contact Dijital Farm at (919) 901-0485 and we’ll be happy to help!