Why aren’t we all recording web traffic from emails?

Recording web traffic from emails is an issue as old as internet marketing, but I still see many people not tackling it properly. It’s quite simple. If your website visitors come from another website, they arrive with data telling your visitor analytics application where they came from. There they all are, in the ‘Source’ report: ‘google/organic’, ‘widgetworld.com/referral’ and the like. But if they come from an email, they won’t come with data saying where they came from. In Google Analytics, they all get bundled – with loads of other stuff – under the almost useless label of ‘(direct)’.

It doesn’t have to be this way. You just need to ensure that if you’re putting links in marketing emails (whoever’s sending them out) that they’re ‘tagged’ in a way that your visitor analytics application can understand.

For Google Analytics, this means using the ‘Campaign URL Builder‘ tool. Instead of your link being to your product page at bluewidgetcompany.co.uk/products, when you tag it, the link will be to bluewidgetcompany.co.uk/products?utm_campaign=… Nobody will see the tags, and nobody clicking on the link will be aware of what you’ve done. But Google Analytics will now have some proper source data for you to analyse.

If you’re reading this in an email, and click on this link, you’ll get taken to our website but we won’t know where you came from. But if you click on this link, you’ll be recorded as having been a visitor from the BMON Daily Blog, email version, and from the specific blog ‘Blog_04-02-2017’.

Use this for your own emails, of course. But don’t forget to apply it to emails that other people are sending out too. You can test the link and see how it appears in Google Analytics before you send it to them.