Tracking email performance – open rate and clicks with your Gmail and Google Analytics

Tracking email performance - open rate and clicks with your Gmail and Google Analytics

The ability to track our emails performance was always saved for the big email marketing services tools, known as %Opens and the %Clicks. No more! using the Google Analytics Measurement Protocol in our emails we send, we can measure our email performance using Gmail. Track rather our user opened the email, and with the right UTM’s on all links in the email, we can also track where exactly the user clicked and optimize the email. We can also segment the user according to the banner/button/link/icon/image he clicked in the email.

Knowing more about our user will help us segment him smarter, serve him the best ad (advertisement) and treat him with what most suits him so that he will convert the fastest and in the most efficient way.

There are many companies that provide us (part of the tool) these email performance measures:

  1. Subscribers: Amount of users we send them the email
  2. %Opens: Users that opened the email divided by all users we send the email to
  3. %Clicks: Users that clicked on a link in the email divided by all users we send the email to

The top email marketing services companies are: Mail Chimp, Campaign Monitor, Email Brain, Stream Send, Mad Mimi, Benchmark Email, Get Response, Constant Contact, Graphic Mail, Boomerang and some more.
From now and on, I want to introduce to you the new email marketing services company: You!
After completing this guide you’ll be able to know in real time how many users opened your emails, where did they click and did this session lead to any conversion.

So let’s start measuring our email performance using Gmail

The first thing we will want to do is build a pixel that will trigger a hit, that we want to send Google Analytics every time a user opens our email. Our hit will be a pixel that once a user opens his email he will also open this tiny pixel (1×1) that will notify Google Analytics our user “viewed” the pixel and if you follow my directions properly you will also see in your real-time reports the email open.

the pixel will look as the following:

So what do you need to configure here so that it will match to your needs:
tid – This needs to contain the property of your Google Analytics (this is where you will see the event)
cid – This is the cookie of the user, in case you have it you can fill it with the cookieID, otherwise you can just enter a random number
uid – This is the UserID, in case you are using the userID feature (you need to enable it in your property), you can fill it in here. If you are not using/don’t have a userID you can drop this parameter
dh – This is the host name of the event. Best practice, use mail.YOUR_DOMAIN
dp= – this is the page that fired the event. Best practice, use /FP/email/TITLE_OF_EMAIL the FP refers to Fake Page (see in this article a use of it), we want to know this is an email, and the title of the email
ec – This is the Event Category, use Email
ea – Event Action, here we will want to know the user opened the email use OpenedEmail
el – Event Label, you can be as particular you want, describe the email, its title, the campaign or anything that will help anyone understand what email this is.

If you filled in all above you are half way done.
You can test your pixel you just built without the img src:

https://google-analytics.com/collect?v=1&t=event&tid=UA-00000000-0&cid=12345678.12345678 &uid=12345&dh=mail.OptimizingAudience.com&dp=/FP/email/summerSaleUpTo70%off&ec=Email&ea=OpenedEmail&el=summerSale

Just copy the link, pase it in your browser, and your suppose to see a black page, the title of the page needs to be collect (1 x 1). IF not, you got something wrong in your link.
Now go to your Analytics property and see if you see in your realtime report the event. In case you don’t please make sure you entered the right property and that you have no filters that filtered your traffic.

Now, let’s enter the pixel in your Gmail, remember we want to measure our email performance using Gmail.
The easiest way is to create a new email. I would suggest you to write in you email AAAAAAA like this:
Embedding the pixel in your Gmail

Then select the text (AAAAAAA), right click, and choose Inspect (element). You’re supposed to receive the same window in the image above.
Track your text (AAAAAAA), right click and choose Edit as HTML, now replace it with the pixel you just built.

You can send your email, and prepare to see rather it was opened or not in your Google Analytics reports.

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