Have you ever wondered how to track link clicks in your campaigns? Seems Adam Ziółkowski has found a way when he worked on outbound campaigns at Livespace. It’s a tactic borrowed from marketing. You just put UTM tags and monitor your campaign in Google Analytics. Read to learn from Adam how to do it.
How to go deeper when analyzing outbound campaigns
Let me tell you about a cool (and actually pretty popular) way of analyzing outbound campaigns.
What’s the background?
Well, if you’ve sent at least one outbound campaign in your marketing life, you must have analyzed at least those 2 basic metrics:
- Open rate – How many people have opened your emails?
- Click rate – How many people have clicked on the link you’ve attached inside.
Pretty obvious, right?
But let me tell you about the shortcomings of using only those two metrics. Let’s say that you’ve sent your email to 1000 prospects and you’ve scored 5% click rate. That means that you now have sent around 50 people to your website.
But do you know what happens to them afterward?
Did they love your website’s content so much, that they now will send you secret love letters?
Did you spark their interest enough, so that they signed up for a free trial?
Most importantly, did they trust you enough so that they became paid clients?
How to use UTM tags + Google Analytics?
Fun fact: Analyzing performance & behavioral metrics is fairly easy and doesn’t require almost any extra effort. All you need is around 2 minutes before you send your campaign and an extra minute or two after that.
Step #0 What are UTM tags?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m assuming that you’ve at least heard of UTM tags. If you have not, here’s a short description:
It’s a short snippet that you add to your links that sends additional information to your Google Analytics console. What’s that additional information? Mainly about where did certain website’s visitors came from (which you can then use for further analysis)?
Your regular link without any UTM tags would look like this: https://www.livespace.io/en/
And the link with UTM tags looks like this: https://www.livespace.io/en/?utm_source=woodpecker&utm_medium=mail&utm_campaign=sales_analytics_for_saas — where everything after the original link is the UTM part that tells that the person who clicked that link came from Sales Analytics for SaaS campaign, distributed by email and that you used Woodpecker to do launch this campaign.
Pretty specific information, right? If you want to learn more, this article about UTM tags might help.
Step #1 Tag your links with UTM codes.
Use a pre-built spreadsheet template to enrich your links with source, medium & campaign tags.
Now, there are many ways of approaching UTM tags, but the way I’d do it, is this:
- utm_source = woodpecker
- utm_medium = mail
- utm_campaign = [insert descriptive name of this specific campaign]
Together, the link would look something like this: https://www.livespace.io/en/?utm_source=woodpecker&utm_medium=mail&utm_campaign=sales_analytics_for_saas
Note: there are 2 more UTM tags: utm_term & utm_content, but they are not essential for most campaigns, so let’s leave them for another occasion.
Step #2 Insert enriched links where they belong
This may seem like a no-brainer (and it kinda is…), but a lot of people skip this step by mistake, so I’m gonna emphasize it:
You have to actually put those links where they belong. Otherwise, it just won’t work. So copy that link from your spreadsheet and use it in your email campaign.
Step #3 Analyze the results
Now, the fun part.
You head over to your Google Analytics console, then go to the Acquisition tab, then All traffic >> Source / Medium. What you can see right there is a short little table with all the sources that your traffic comes from.
You’ll probably have a lot of google / organic, (direct) / (none), google / cpc (if you use Google Ads) etc. But what you’re looking for is the exact source/medium combination that you used to tag your campaign.
Woodpecker/mail it is.
Found it? Great. Now, what metrics do you want to look at?
Users & Session in the Acquisition column — it tells how many people have come to your website from this particular campaign.
You might want to go a little deeper and take a look at Behavior column, where you can track:
- Bounce Rate (how many people have immediately clicked back after getting on your website) — the lower, the better
- Pages / Sessions (how many pages have people from this specific campaign opened on average) — the more, the better
- Avg. Session Duration (how much time did those people spend on your website) — the more, the better
- And if you want to analyze whether they signed up for the trial account (or requested a demo or whatever your first acquisition point is), go to Conversion column with:
- Conversion Rate via this specific source
- Conversion – simply the number of conversions
- Conversion Value (if you added the information about goal value to Google Analytics)
How do you automate all that?
Now, if you do those outbound campaigns a lot (or if you are a marketing manager with several channels under your coordination), you might not want to spend too much time to manually access all those information every time another campaign is sent.
And that’s when you can use automation to help you. In fact, there’s this nifty Google Spreadsheet add-on called ‘Google Analytics’, which allows you to pull data from your GA console.
How to use it?
After you install it, you can either create reports manually (by clicking ‘Create new report’ and then immediately ‘Run reports’) or you can ask it to run those reports automatically, on any given time. Cool, huh?
What about paying clients?
Now, after analyzing Conversion column in your Source / Medium report, you already know how successful you are with incentivizing people to sign up for the trial account. Great, but how many of those people will eventually become paid clients?
We don’t know that yet but there’s a way to find out. You just need to make sure that the information about the UTM tags is sent to your lead management system. We, for example, use Intercom. Our IT department has written a script that adds that information to every trial account.
From there, we can easily analyze:
- How many paid clients did your email blasts really bring
- What’s the LTV of each client (per each campaign)
- What ROI (more or less) can you predict for your future email campaigns
Now that’s advanced analytics!
That’s about it. Thanks Adam for the article.
What does Woodpecker think of this?
I don’t think we tried UTM tagging in our campaigns, as we have a custom link tracking option built into Woodpecker. Here are resources about custom link tracking:
Still, if you prefer to have your data in Google, follow Adam’s advice.