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Tracking Your Campaign with Google Analytics

Justifying a marketing budget can always be a tough decision, but with modern day techniques brought into the arena the decision just got a hell of a lot easier.

The illustration shows how you can use these tools to successfully track the response from your marketing campaign to drive traffic to your website and ROI. The key to a successful campaign is to ensure that you are targeting the right audience, if the database is not filtered, cleaned and updated after each use then the campaign is doomed from the start.

As with any form of advertising the creative concept and message has to appeal to your targeted audience, so to start with there needs to be some intensive brainstorming. Once your message and files have been produced the next thing to do is to prepare them for tracking. This blog is presuming that you have set up Google Analytics, as well as a campaign specific page on your website and that you have some basic HTML experience.

Track a market campaign

Preparing the email

Build your usual HTML email (remember style sheets are not supported!), now we are going to add your tracking to the email links.  So here is your usual web link 'http://www.example.com/' what we need to do is add the Google Analytics campaign specific code - '?utm_source=campaign-email&utm_campaign=campaign-name&utm_medium=email' to the end of the URL.

  • utm_medium is used to designate the channel of this particular marketing campaign.
  • utm_source should differentiate sources of traffic within a given channel.
  • utm_campaign is unique campaign name.

This code only needs to be attached to the tail end of all URL's linking directly to your website. Links to download PDF files need to be treated differently as Google can not track PDF downloads when not directly downloaded from the website, so we need to send those links to a HTML redirect that tracks the download as part of the campaign within Google. Which leads us onto the next step.

Creating the HTML Redirect for a PDF

Create a HTML page 'http://www.example.com/pdf-name.htm' and set up a redirect to the PDF download. Ensure that Google Analytics code is inserted on the redirect page...rather than tracking the download what is tracked is the visits to the HTML redirect page.

Creating the HTML Redirect for the Printed Collatoral

Create a HTML page that has a campaign specific URL directed to from your printed collatoral eg. 'http://www.example.com/campaign-name'. Set up another HTML redirect on this page to your website, again ensure that this page has your website Google Analytics code on it. Within the redirect URL add your campaign tracking code as in the email but this time change the 'utm_medium=email' to 'utm_medium=print'. So it should look something like this:

<meta http-equiv="REFRESH" content="0;url=http://www.the-domain-you-want-to-redirect-to.com/?utm_source=campaign-print&utm_campaign=campaign-name&utm_medium=print">.

That's all folks!

All you need to do now is Go Live! and check your Google analytics to watch your campaign success.

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