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Track Emailer Opens in Google Analytics!

Sending our email to customers and prospects is pretty much a standard digital marketing strategy these days. While there are many metrics to track email marketing performance the most important and first step is to know how many receivers open your email. That’s the first step towards success of a well-planned email marketing campaign. Most users were dependant on their email service providers to provide email open data, but there’s good news on this front.

Google Analytics (GA) has traditionally been used to track customer engagement & behavior on the website and now the good news is that it can also be used to track the email open.

There are definite benefits of using GA over most email service provider (ESP) tracking. It provides great system information like real-time tracking, browser and operating system details, demographic information, and it will even sync in nicely with your web reports thus giving you better intelligence to succeed in your email marketing campaigns.


How To Use Your Results

The Event Tracking results are available within GA within minutes. Below are some examples of where you can see reports within GA.


Real Time Specifics




This report shows the tracking Data of opens of the emails we sent to a set of Users. We can see just how long it takes for these Users to start opening their mail from the moment it’s sent. With this information, we can compare past and current data and understand the speed at which emails are engaged with. This helps us determine if the subject of the message is enticing enough to drive engagement.

Also, we get data showing opens across various parts of the day, which allows us to understand which day part is best to send emails to achieve Higher open rates.


Location Specifics


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While this is a very basic example, the map shows where in the world are people opening the messages we had sent. This can help you determine which part of your targeted geography has the most active audiences and if you should start tailoring your content towards these users. 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.

In addition…


To kick it up a notch, we can use these emails to tag visitors with a unique Visitor ID. This will allow you to track visitors to your site across devices. But for this, the corresponding email marketing platform(s) should be capable of supporting this particular implementation.

For example, with this feature, you will be able to see user specific engagement such as,

Visitor ID 12345 (which can be mapped back to a particular email ID in the email marketing platform) opened your mail on his mobile on a particular day. Then, he/she opened the same mail on his desktop on some other day and clicked the email link to go to your website, where he/she engaged with your site (browsed your site) but, didn’t make a purchase or didn’t convert. He/she came back to your site on a different day and made a purchase (or signed up, subscribed, etc.)

On the basis of this behavior, apart from Google Analytics, you can target or retarget each visitor or a set of users with more customized email marketing content thus driving better engagement and conversions.

Case Scenarios


Case 1: Say, you have sent out emails to 1000 users on a particular day out of which only 65% of these users actually opened the mail but took no action indicating no purchase intent. This data can be tracked in Google Analytics and based on this information, you can choose to not retarget them and hence, save up on your marketing costs and efforts. Awesome, isn’t it!

Case 2: Say, you have sent out emails to 1000 users on a particular day out of which only 50% of these users opened the mail and in fact 5% clicked on the link in the email, indicating purchase intent but made no actual purchase took place on the site. This data can be tracked in Google Analytics and based on this information, these set of users can be retargeted with customized email content that could lead to a possible conversion. Better ROI!

Happy email marketing.

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