If you send out any emails with links to your site in it, you should think about using Google Analytics tags to track them. Whether you are emailing regular clients, sending out flyers, or have the link in your signature block, you might want to know if people are ever clicking.
Maybe you thought Google Analytics already told you thinks like this, because you have traffic from Gmail and Yahoo in your referrers? Well, this is because they are web based email. Desktop email subscribers will be lumped in with all your direct users. As for the web based email – there is no way to differentiate what kind of email or link they arrived from.
By simply setting some parameters on the end of your URLs, you can track visitors from the various forms of emails. To track email visitors, you need to tag the links on which they will be clicking.
Say you send out a link in an email to people that sends them to http://www.mysite.com/redpage.php
To track who arrived from your email campaign in Google analytics you need to append the URL with some parameters identifying the source. These parameters are then removed by Google analytics when you arrive on the site, and stored in a cookie on your computer so all your subsequent onsite actions can be attributed to the correct origins.
The parameters you need to include are:
Campaign – e.g. February newsletter
Medium – for this it will be email (medium can also mean other kinds of pay per click marketing, banner ads, etc. Link tagging can be used for identifying lots of different types of online ads).
Source – This could be the provider who sends your emails, or more descriptively, it could be the name of the particular email list you are using, or the segment of email users the email went to.
Content – if there are multiple links in your email, you might want to track them separately. You can use different campaign content tags to do this.
To write the tags onto your URL, it will look like this:
Of course, this is a very ugly link, so you need to make sure that it is replaceable with anchor text.