Recently, one of our readers asked us how we measure the impact of our email newsletter.
You can use Google Analytics combined with special tracking links in your email newsletter to see how effective each email is for your business.
In this article, we will share how to set up email newsletter tracking in Google Analytics, step by step.
Why Track Your Email Newsletter Traffic in Google Analytics?
When you send out an email newsletter, it likely contains at least one link to your site. Your email marketing service should be able to tell you how many people click on a link (also called your click-through rate). However, most providers can’t show you what happens afterward.
That’s where Google Analytics comes in. You can use it to track what people do after clicking a link from your newsletter.
Let’s say you run a restaurant that offers home delivery. You want to see which of your weekly newsletters led to the most people filling out your online food ordering form.
Or perhaps you are about to start an online store. It would be great to know which of your email campaigns drove the most sales.
With Google Analytics, it’s pretty easy to set up email newsletter tracking and see how many sales each email generates for your business.
With that said, let’s get started.
Creating Trackable URLs for Your Email Newsletter
If you want detailed insights in Google Analytics, then you need to add special tracking parameters to each link in your newsletter.
In other words, you can’t use a standard link like this:
Instead, you need to use a URL with special parameters that look like this:
The ending part of this URL, everything after the question mark, is called a UTM code.
It might look complicated but don’t worry. It’s actually quite easy to create.
Let’s take a look at two easy ways to create these trackable URLs for your email campaigns.
Method 1: Create Trackable URLs Using MonsterInsights (Recommended)
To track email newsletters, you can use the free version of MonsterInsights to access the URL builder tool. However, we recommend upgrading to the pro plan in order to unlock more advanced features like eCommerce tracking (we will talk more about eCommerce tracking later in this article).
Upon activation, you can go to the Insights » Tools page in your WordPress dashboard and select the ‘URL Builder’ tab.
In the URL Builder tool, the first piece of information you’ll need to enter is the URL you want to add to your newsletter. This might be your main website URL if you are linking to your home page.
In this example, we are running a sale and linking to the website’s online store:
Google Analytics will track your email newsletter visitors as a ‘campaign’. This is simply the term Google Analytics uses for email or advertising promotions.
You’ll need to enter the source, medium, and name for your campaign, so Google Analytics can easily track them.
Source: Set this to ‘newsletter’ or something else meaningful
Medium: This should be set to ’email’
Name: You can use whatever makes sense, e.g. ‘jan_sale’ or ‘april_tshirts_sale’
If you are using more than one word for the source, medium, or name, make sure you use underscores between words. Don’t use spaces or hyphens.
Besides that, you’ll see more options in the URL Builder.
The Campaign Term field is used if you are running ads, so you can leave that blank. The Campaign Content can be used if you are split-testing your emails or ads. Again, you can leave it blank for this example.
Next, you can scroll down.
At the bottom of the page, you should now see your special URL, with the tracking details included:
You can now use this URL in your email newsletter and later track clicks in your Google Analytics account.
Method 2: Manually Create Trackable URLs in Google Analytics
MonsterInsight’s URL builder is a handy tool for saving time, as it creates the UTM codes for you. If you prefer to create your trackable URLs manually, here’s how to do it.
First, get the URL you want to use. We are going to use
https://www.site.com/shop for this example.
Next, you’ll need to create the UTM code yourself. We will take it step by step.
Add a question mark to the end of your URL like this:
Then, add the utm_source:
Next, add the ampersand (&) symbol and the utm_medium:
Finally, add another ampersand (&) and the utm_campaign:
You can use any word or phrase you want for the campaign’s name. If you are using multiple words for the source, medium, or campaign name, you can separate the words with an underscore.
That’s it. Your tracking URL is ready to be used in your newsletter.
Using Trackable URLs in Your Newsletter Campaigns
Once you’ve created your URL, either using the MonsterInsights URL builder or manually, you can use it in emails.
You can copy and paste the URL into your email wherever you would have used the standard URL before.
Here’s how it looks when inserting a URL in Constant Contact:
Tip: You can even use trackable URLs in your regular emails. This would make sense if you do a lot of email outreach. You can also create trackable URLs to use on social media, in ads, and more.
Once you are done with your email, just send out your newsletter and wait for some clicks. After that, you can go to Google Analytics to view your report.
Viewing Your Email Newsletter Report in Google Analytics
Now that you’ve set up custom URLs for tracking in an email newsletter, the next step is to view the reports in Google Analytics.
First, you’ll need to log in to your Google Analytics account.
From here, head to Reports » Acquisition » Traffic Acquisition from the dashboard on the left.
Here, you’ll see all the traffic sources for your website, including direct, organic search, paid search, and email.
To see traffic from your newsletter, simply enter ’email’ in the search bar and hit enter.
This will filter the report and only show traffic from emails.
Next, you can click the blue ‘+’ button under the search bar.
You’ll now see more options to shorten your website traffic.
Go ahead and select Traffic source » Session source from the dropdown list.
After that, you should see traffic from different email campaigns.
This way, you can which campaign was most effective and helped generate revenue.
Tracking Email Newsletter Conversions
The most important part of your newsletter tracking is what users do after they arrive on your website.
For instance, if you run an online store, you might want to see which emails led to a sale. If you wanted users to fill out an order form, then you may want to track that.
The easiest way to do this is by using MonsterInsights to do almost all the setup for you.
Next, you can go to Insights » Addons, find the eCommerce addon, and then click the ‘Install’ button below it.
After that, you need to go to Insights » Settings and click the eCommerce tab. You should see that your eCommerce plugin (e.g. WooCommerce) has been automatically detected.
Tip: We recommend switching on ‘Use Enhanced eCommerce’ as this means you can view the MonsterInsights eCommerce report too.
That’s all you need to do because MonsterInsights handles everything else after that. Google Analytics will now be able to track eCommerce transactions on your site.
Now, when you visit Google Analytics, you’ll be able to see details of your eCommerce transactions.
That said, MonsterInsights comes with built-in eCommerce reports that you can view in the WordPress dashboard.
Simply head to Insights » Reports and switch to the ‘eCommerce’ tab. Here, you’ll be able to track conversions on your store and see how much revenue your store is generating.
For detailed instructions, see our article on how to set up WooCommerce conversion tracking.
Tracking Links, Clicks, Buttons, and Forms
Not all websites use an eCommerce platform with a shopping cart.
For instance, if you have a simple order form, then you can track which email campaigns led users to submit that form. If you have a click-to-call button on your website, then you can track that as well.
We have a separate detailed guide on tracking links and button clicks in Google Analytics with step-by-step instructions.
We hope this article helped you learn how to set up email newsletter tracking in Google Analytics. You might also want to see these tested and easy ways to grow your email list faster and the must-have WordPress plugins for business websites.