Tracking Email Marketing Revenue-Generation and Conversions

One of the questions that I frequently get asked when discussing our Performance-Based Email Marketing program is, “How do you track the conversions and revenue that your emails generate?”

Unfortunately, there are very few companies tracking conversions and revenue back to their email marketing campaigns. So let me explain a few different ways that this can be done.

Google Analytics

Yes, the very same tracking code that you probably already have on your entire website is perfectly capable of tracking conversions back to your email marketing campaigns.

First and foremost, you need to setup your email links for Google Analytics. To do this, all links will need to use the following parameters.

utm_medium – This tags traffic as having come from your email marketing. I suggest that the value be “email.”

utm_campaign – This tags traffic with the name of the email campaign. I suggest you use the send date without punctuation. If sending a split test, then include something to note the version after the date, “20101119A.”

utm_source – This one is really optional, but is good if you want to further refine your reporting. For example, if you have multiple retail stores, you could tag the email campaign with a code for the store where the email address came in from.

If you have an e-commerce site, then you will want to enable that specific function by going to your Profile Settings, then enabling E-Commerce Website in your Main Website Profile Information. From there, the process is a little bit more complicated and will require some custom programming on your website. Google has a full explanation of the process.

If you want to track conversions, then you will want to enable Goals by going to your Profile Settings. Inside the second section, click Add Goal. The process is very simple and will require you to enter the URL of your conversion’s thank you or confirmation page. By tracking the number of times this page has been viewed, Google Analytics can provide you with a fairly accurate total on the number of conversions generated by your email marketing.

Email Service Provider Integration

Another place where you will likely find conversion tracking is with any of the major email service providers. Many of them have custom tracking code that can be placed on your landing pages and will display the conversion data with the rest of your email statistics.

Typically these require you to place Javascript on your landing pages, similar to Google Analytics, but may also require some server-side script to be placed as well.

Finally, once you have this setup, your ESP should automatically insert the required link appends to enable this tracking.

Call Tracking

The above solutions work great for website conversions, but what if you want to generate conversions over the phone? You can do that as well with call tracking. Unlike the first two options, this technology isn’t going to be free. You’ll need to choose a provider first.

These systems work by providing you with unique 800 numbers that you can use on your various campaigns. Typically, one dedicated 800 number for all of your email marketing campaigns is sufficient, but you can also use more to increase your level of reporting.

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