How to track your newsletter performance with Google Analytics – part 2

We will go further into newsletter tracking and try to get all important stats from Google Analytics such as emails sent and emails openings. The advantage to doing this is that for most digital teams, the people creating the newsletters are not necessarily the ones analysing the data. This can help bring the teams a more in-depth view into their work and also a new angle in analysing the newsletter. Before you go ahead and implement this, you should be aware of a few aspects and make some important decisions. First, will you all be using the same Google Analytics account? Since the newsletter opens will send a lot of visits to your Google Analytics account and most of them will be bounces (a high percent of users will not click on the newsletter to go to the website), take into consideration that using the same account will interfere with your existing data from the website. Second, you can create a new, separate account. If you choose to create a new account you need to find out, if you use user tracking, how to link the user activity with the user activity on the website. For Google 360 users this is simpler because they can join views, but for regular Google Analytics users, this might be a struggle. The third option, which I recommend, is to create a second Google Analytics tracking code and run it in parallel with the one you're currently using for the newsletter. Now, let's dive into how you can track email opening and email clicks. The usual Google Analytics script will not work for email clients. However, Google Analytics also includes event tracking which can be used through an embedded image pixel within the email body. Implementing the Google Analytics pixel provides great information like real-time tracking, browser and operating system details and demographics. Insert this snippet in the body of your email like this: <html> <head> ... </head> <body> .... <img src = "Paste the URL here of the Google Analytics implementation"> </body> <footer> ... </footer> </html> Most of the newsletter platforms have an HTML editor, which you can find by searching the sign " <> " in the template. This will let you add <img src = URL> in the body of your email. The URL image pixel looks might like this: <img src="http://www.google-analytics.com/collect?v=1&tid=UA-12345678-1&cid=User_ID&t=event&ec=email&ea=open&el=recipient_id&cs=newsletter&cm=email&cn=Campaign_Name"> Building the URL of the Google Analytics implementation can be done with Google Analytics tool named: Hit Builder. You can also test the URL in the tool and see the hit in real time in Google Analytics. You have two options when sending the openings: as an event or as a custom metric.  Before you go ahead with the HIT Builder let's get familiar with the components of the URL: URL Component Explanation cm1=Custom metric This can be cm1,cm2 etc based on what you've created as a custom metric tid=UA-12345678-1 Your Google Analytics Tracking ID cid=User_ID A systematic tracking ID for the customer t=event Tells Google Analytics this is an Event Hit Type ec=email The Event Category helps segment various events ea=open The Event Action helps specify exactly what happened el=recipient_id Event Label specifies a unique identification for this recipient cs=newsletter Campaign Source allows segmentation of campaign types cm=email Campaign Medium could segment social vs. email, etc. cn=Campaign_Name Campaign Name identifies the campaign to you   To see openings as a custom metric, you should first create a new custom metric in the Google Analytics admin interface named Email Opens. Log in to Google Analytics, and click on Admin. Select the Account and Web Property, and click on Custom Definitions under the Web Property column. Then click on Custom Metrics. In the next window, click on the New Custom Metric button, and give your custom metric a name, formatting type, minimum and maximum value, and make sure the box is checked for Active. You may also find some other benefits to using Google Analytics tracking this way over most email service provider (ESP) tracking. It provides great system information like real-time tracking, browser and operating system details, demographic information including location, and will even tie in nicely with your web reports. How To Use Your Results The event tracking results can be seen in Google Analytics right away. Below are some examples of where you can see reports within Google Analytics. Real Time Events of openings for the newsletter: GA events This report shows the tracking for opens of the emails sent. You can now see how long it takes for people to start opening the newsletter after you've sent them. With this information, you can compare it with past newsletters and see if people are opening it faster or slower, which helps you determine if the subject of the message is motivating enough. Also, you can see what times of the day get the most opens and plan your newsletter schedule around that information. User location With the user location, you can see where in the world people are opening the message you're sending. This can help you determine who your most active audience is and if you should start tailoring your content towards different nations. If you have access to a translation service, this would also be helpful to determine what languages would be beneficial to add to your marketing content. Google Analytics also has a guide, which I recommend to read as well:  Email Tracking - Measurement Protocol.   Get Social! Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook and keep up-to-date with our Google Analytics insights.

2017-01-18

How to track your newsletter performance with Google Analytics - part 1

Newsletters are the most common form of digital marketing I have seen in the past years. I really don't know any website that doesn't send at least 1 newsletter a month, whether it's an ecommerce website, news website or a B2B presentation website. There are a lot of email marketing platforms, but the question is how profitable are these newsletters? Most platforms provide some form or analysis on the performance of each newsletter. Most providers can show you the numbers of emails sent, the number of users that opened your newsletter and the number of clicks in the email. Along with Google Analytics, you can see how impactful these newsletters are. I want to show you some hacks to dive deeper in analysing each part of your newsletter and improve your newsletter marketing. Analyse each section in the newsletter separate Most of the newsletter that I saw had several links in them so the best way to track them is to tag each link in a distinctive way using the Campaign Content parameter (utm_content). If you do not know what UTM parameters are, please take a moment to read this article: Why should you tag your campaigns? Using the blog post above create your tagged link and add the &utm_content=link1 OR &utm_content=second banner OR &utm_content=Discount banner (whatever works best for you when analysing the data) at the end. Here is an example: http://www.littledata.ro/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20%25off&utm_content=banner1 Here is a newsletter as part of a campaign named: "black friday2" with 3 banners in it. You can see from the data bellow that the top banner had the most clicks, but, in fact, the second banner is the only one that converted. This means that in the future we should move the second banner as a primary banner to have a higher visibility and in this way increase the number of transactions. You can tag all your links in the newsletter (the logo, banners, hyperlinks, products and so on) And see how each section is performing and what is driving the customers to click in the email. In a real email marketing platform, I strongly recommend searching the provider blog to see if they already support this in any way. Here is MailChimp solution for tracking the newsletter performance in Analytics. If the platform you are using does not support Google Analytics at the moment you can just build the URL with Google's URL builder or our simple Littledata URL builder and add it as you normal do in the newsletter. Track users on how they get on your website from a particular newsletter We've tested some hypotheses and the first one is to make a group of users in Google Analytics that come from a newsletter. The standard way is just to tag the newsletter with UTM parameters and create an audience based on that traffic. But to be more precise and go further with the analysis, we can add a new UTM parameter to all the links in the newsletter that contained the User ID. So now this traffic is not random but it's from a customer we've engaged with already and I do have historical data. The benefit of doing so is that, in an era of mobile devices and cross-device interactions, people read newsletters on the move and react or buy on different devices at different times as a result of the same campaign. You, as a marketer need to understand the cross-device movement and so I recommend that you read about this in the blog post: User Tracking To be able to track the activity of each individual user in your newsletter, you need to build a URL with a User ID parameter in it. This step is similar to the one before so you can add on to the URL you already built for your banners and add the unique identifier number of each client like this: http://www.mywebsite.com/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20%25off&userID=3D12345 The User ID is generated by the platform you're using, so please take your time and find out if your email marketing solution supports this, along with the email address you've imported and the User Id from your back end. We use Intercom, where you can just add it into the link with a simple click, like this: The platform you're using might be different but if there is an option to import the User Id along with the email address then it is likely that your platform supports this in some way. Once you've added this to the URL, you can then set up a URL variable in Google Tag Manager to pick it up and set up a field with the pageview that will be sent to Google Analytics. For more information, here's how to set a field in Google Tag Manager. Be sure to check back next week for part 2! If you have any questions or would like more help, please get in touch with one of our experts!   Get Social! Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook and keep up-to-date with our Google Analytics insights.

2017-01-12

Common reasons for tracking events

In this article, you will learn why it is important to track the events that happen on your website, what the process of doing so is and how to read the information from your Google Analytics account. Every action that a customer makes on a website is generically called an “event”. An event can be the press of a button, the completion of a form or playing a video. Google Analytics defines events as “user interactions with content that can be tracked independently from a web page or a screen load. Downloads, mobile ad clicks, gadgets, Flash elements, AJAX embedded elements, and video plays are all examples of actions you might want to track as Events.” When recording an event on one of your website pages you must detail the following components to Google Analytics: Category, Action, Label (optional, but recommended), Value (optional). An event hit includes a value for each component, and these values are displayed in your reports. For example, you might set up a video "play" button on your site so that it sends an event hit with the following values: Category: "Videos" Action: "Play" Label: "Baby's First Birthday" Value: “2” Category A category is a name that you supply as a way to group objects that you want to track. Typically, you will use the same category name multiple times over relating to UI elements that you want to group under a given category. Actions Typically, you will use the action parameter to name the type of event or interaction you want to track for a particular web object. For example, with a single "videos" category, you can track a number of specific events with this parameter, such as: Time when the video completes load "Play" button clicks "Stop" button clicks "Pause" button clicks Label With labels, you can provide additional information for events that you want to track, such as the movie title in the video examples above, or the name of a file when tracking downloads. Value Value differs from the other components in that it is an integer rather than a string, so use it to assign a numerical value to a tracked page object. For example, you could use it to provide the time in seconds for a player to load, or you might trigger a dollar value when a specific playback marker is reached on a video player. If you start tracking the event on your page you can then create reports as this one: Action  Label:"Gone With the Wind" Label:"Mr Smith Goes to Washington" Totals Play 10 visits w/Event 5 visits w/Event 15 unique events "Play" Pause 2 visits w/Event 8 visits w/Event 10 unique events "Pause" Stop 2 visits w/Event 3 visits w/Event 5 unique events "Stop" Totals 14 unique events for GWTW 16 unique events for Mr Smith 30 unique events for category "videos"   Here is a list of the most common events we track for our clients: Scroll depth - this is very useful when you have a single page website or a lot of content on every page. It is important for you to know if the client notices the full page, and if not, to be sure to move the call-to-actions in the first part of the page or improve the user experience. Playing videos - when you have video content events, as shown above, you can see if the audience is engaging with your content. You can then see if the video has a good position or if it has a good and intuitive title and so on. Nowadays, Video content is king, you just need to find a way to get people see your videos. Hover on Product Order Button - if you are conducting serious research on what people want to buy from your website and what actions they do in correlations with a product you can see the numbers of mouseover on an add to cart button beside the usual add-to-cart action and remove-from-cart. How your client refines their search - you can find what are the most wanted colours of this season, if your clients are discount hunters or if most of your clients wear a shoe size 36 and you don't have any in stock. Find what client research on your website and provide a better experience for them. Affiliate link clicks - if you are in the affiliate business you already know that affiliation platforms don’t give you all the information you need. We have helped our clients to see exactly what call-to-action was the most pressed, what review was the most convincing and where your traffic go. Choosing the right call-to-action in affiliation is almost of the same importance as getting traffic. Nowadays, almost, every website has a carousel. If you are tracking the number of resources a carousel uses, then tracking the performance of your carousel is a big thing. You can track events with the banners your clients saw, what banners were pressed and see what banners have the lowest performance so you can make a decision to change them. Events are sent to Analytics, even the ecommerce interactions as product impressions, adds-to-cart, checkout steps, promotions click and more. All the events in the ecommerce section have these goals: find insights about the customer behaviour to make better acquisitions of stock, better discounts campaigns, a more user-friendly interface and provide a more relevant product listing for the client. When you start tracking the events people generate on your pages, the information you will gather will be, most likely, very far from what you imagined. The most important reason why you should start track the events that happen on your website is that all people are different, come on your page from different sources, with different technical skills or experiences with websites. If you want your products or ideas to perform be sure your audience get through all the nodes of your website. Start learning how to implement events on your website right now and start building your digital strategy today! Need some help doing so? Get in touch with our experts! Image: Courtesy of blogoscoped.com

2016-08-01

7 best business and tech conferences in 2015

Every year is jam-packed with conferences, forums and festivals, and I have spent enough time sifting through numerous event programmes for this year. There are plenty of opportunities to learn about new trends and techniques, discuss the future and network with peers, but which major events are worth your time (and money)? Here's my pick of must-attend business, digital and tech conferences in 2015. This list covers events in London only, taking place between March and May. MARCH London Enterprise Festival When: 8-19 March Where: Camden Foundry Twitter: @LEF2015 Hashtag: #LEF2015 The London Enterprise Festival brings together business leaders to share their experiences and stories on this year’s theme, starting and growing a business. Perfect for any company owner, director or manager wondering how to identify trends in their industry and grow in the current business climate. LEF covers various industries over 9 days. From gaming and fashion to education and wellbeing, there is a discussion or workshop for everyone. By having each day very focused on its theme, you have a much better opportunity to connect with the right people and take part in relevant sessions. Bonus points for a feel good factor. The organisers are committed to reinvesting the profits to providing free digital courses to unemployed and subsidising workshops and events that make better entrepreneurs and more powerful networks. Internet of Things Summit When: 12-13 March Where: etc.venues St Paul’s Twitter: @teamrework Hashtag: #IOT2015 The Internet of Things is aimed at technologists, entrepreneurs, innovators, industry leaders and managers. Recommended for futurists and those interested in breakthrough technology and cutting-edge science that will shape our future. It sounds very ominous, but with 200 leading innovators you will explore trends that promise to positively impact our lives and society. Experience two days of revolutionary discoveries, leading research and new technologies with university researchers, Paul Clarke (Ocado) and Jeremy Green (Machina Research). You can get a taste for what to expect at a casual IoT meetup event that's taking place on 28 February in London. Pipeline Conference When: 19 March Where: etc.venues Victoria Twitter: @PipelineConf Hashtag: #PipelineConf If you are looking for something smaller and more intimate, then have a look at a one-day Pipeline Conference. The conference has a more informal feel to it with talks and sessions focused on continuos delivery. The keynote speaker is Linda Rising, an international Agile thought leader, who will discuss the myths and patterns of organisational change. Other speakers will be selected anonymously and announced on or around 23 February. Bonus points for their fantastic commitment to 50/50 gender diversity and donating the profit to after school coding clubs. APRIL Chief Digital Officer Forum When: 9-10 April Where: Park Plaza Victoria Twitter: @IEGroup Hashtag: #DigiLeaders The Chief Digital Officer Forum has an impressive speaker line up that consists of senior digital professionals from global brands. Organised by the Innovation Enterprise, this summit is aimed at anyone with background in digital, analytics, ecommerce, social media and innovation. There are plenty of opportunities to take part in interactive workshops, network with attendees and discuss the future of digital. Join hundreds of other digital leaders at CDOF to hear from experts like Will Burns (L’Occitane en Provence), David Martin (Coca Cola Enterprises), James Keady (Samsung) and others. MAY BriForum London When: 19-20 May Where: etc.venues St. Paul’s Twitter: @BriForum Hashtag: #BriForum BriForum London is a highly technical conference dedicated to the best practices of end user computing, cloud, desktop virtualisation, security and application management. Keynote speaker is Brian Madden, one of the brains behind this event, but we are yet to hear about other speakers and exact topics covered. Nevertheless, BriForum promises to deliver informative two days with high profile speakers and attendees. Digital Shoreditch When: 11-24 May Where: Shoreditch Twitter: @DigiShoreditch Hashtag: #ds15 Digital Shoreditch is the trendiest event on this list. It's a vibrant festival that attracts creative, tech and entrepreneurial people, makers and doers, and others in between. Digital Shoreditch is on for two weeks and with hands-on sessions, cosmic parties and amazing speakers it promises to be one of the biggest digital community events. The full programme is yet to be announced but seeing that Mark Earls (HERD), Rory Sutherland (Ogilvy & Mather UK) and Jeremy Waite (Salesforce) are on the speaker line up, I have no doubts there will be other inspiring people joining them. Bonus points for their visionary look and feel, and Twitter profile photo. UX London 2015 When: 20-22 May Where: Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance Twitter: @UXLondon Hashtag: #uxlondon Organised by design consultancy Clearleft, UX London 2015 brings together inspiring UX speakers and practical workshops. The conference is focused on a different theme each day and is aimed at product, web and user experience designers. On day 1 explore the secrets of product design with leading experts, such as Des Traynor (Intercom), Julie Zhuo (Facebook) and Jeff Patton (independent consultant, Agile coach and author). On day 2 improve your understanding of human behaviour and user experience by hearing from Cecilia Weckstrom (LEGO) and taking part in Sketch workshop with Meng To. Day 3 is platforms day. Learn about the latest design trends for mobile, desktop and smart TV, and join workshops and talks on responsiveness, wearable tech and designing for different screen sizes. What other conferences and events have you marked in your diary? Leave a comment below or send a tweet @LittledataUK.

2015-02-13

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