How to measure the value of subject lines with Google Analytics

If you’ve been a WhatCounts user of either of our platforms, you’ve likely seen the option to turn on Google Analytics in your platform. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. I’m hopeful by the end of this post that you turn it on and leave it on all the time. Why? Because today we’re going to look at the value of subject lines.

I’m going to assume that you’ve determined and set goals and goal values in your Google Analytics account, assigning real monetary values to the actions people take in your digital channels. If you haven’t done that, then go read this first. I’m also going to assume you’ve got at least one email campaign already sent that’s had Google Analytics on.

Got that? Let’s start setting up a subject line report.

The first thing you’ll need to do is create a custom report:

Next, in your custom report, you’ll want to track goals, goal values, and campaigns:

Finally, we want to restrict this report down to our email marketing. Create a filter, specify include by Regex, and type in WhatCountsEmail|Publicaster. This covers both of the WhatCounts platforms:

What you end up with is a wonderful report of email performance by subject line:

Now we see the value of subject lines – not by opens, not by clicks, but by potential or actual economic value generated. This is a quantum shift in what you can learn about your email marketing. By creating this sort of analysis, you can see what’s gotten people to open, click, consume, and ultimately purchase or perform some activity that is economically valuable to you.

I hope this report is useful, and provides you with some interesting and valuable insights!

Christopher S. Penn
Director of Inbound Marketing, WhatCounts


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