Email Analytics 101: Identifying Email-Driven Website Traffic

One of the most powerful free tools available to us as Internet marketers is Google Analytics. Most people don’t think of Google Analytics as an email marketing analytics tool, but it’s exceptionally powerful for that purpose. Let’s look at how to get Google Analytics set up for the most basic traffic analysis on your website.

First, inside GA, you’ll create an advanced segment. Go to any section like Visitors, then click on the Advanced Segments button in the grey navigation bar, then click New Custom Segment.

The visitors overview section helps determine website traffic.

Name the segment something obvious, like Email Marketing Traffic. Begin adding OR statements that include the source name of your email marketing service provider. For WhatCounts customers, your sources will be WhatCountsEmail for users of the WhatCounts Professional Edition and Publicaster for users of the WhatCounts Publicaster Edition. You’ll also want to include the generic medium of Email. Save this new segment.

Save this new segment.

Go back to the Advanced Segments menu and now ensure that All Visits is checked, along with your new segment.

Check all visitors.

What you should now see on every page and in every tab in Google Analytics is your overall site audience, plus the audience driven by your email marketing. You can see, for example, the peaks and valleys that correspond to newsletters being sent here:

Website traffic corresponds to the peaks and valleys.

If you have set up Goals for your website, you will also be able to see how email marketing is impacting those goals:

How is email marketing affecting your goals?

In this case, email marketing accounts for 18.38 percent of all goal completions, which is a testament to its ability to gather and direct the attention of your audience.

Setting up this email marketing segment radically transforms Google Analytics from a simple “who visited the website” tool into a powerful, comprehensive dashboard that lets you see your website and email marketing programs working together.

Christopher S. Penn

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