Understanding how the user journey has fundamentally changed means we need to look at the measurement of our email campaigns in a new way. This video explores the challenges and opportunities of measuring the true impact of our email campaigns. It explores the mobile user journey and explains how to use analytics tracking code for your email campaigns.

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Hi. I'm Daniel Rowles from Target Internet, and in this video we're going to be talking about email marketing measurement. We'll start off by putting email marketing in perspective, and then we'll talk about two key issues that you really need to consider when you're trying to measure the impact of your email marketing.

Email marketing is not really seen as the sexy or exciting bit of digital marketing anymore because we're very interested in social media and those other new and newer channels. But in reality, email marketing can be really effective. Most of the studies show that they two key channels that have the best return on investment are normally search engine optimization and email marketing.

There's a big difference between doing email marketing well and doing it badly, and a lot of email marketing is done badly. It's shouting out sales message, and we just ignore these kinds of emails now.

When we're measuring, we want to look at what impact our email marketing is having. One thing you might be aware of is if you send out an email and there's a link in that email that goes through to your website, somebody clicks on that link, goes through your analytics, unless there is tracking code on those links, will show that traffic from your email as being direct traffic.

Let's talk about what tracking code is and what direct traffic is. Direct traffic in your analytics is basically people that just type in your website address or bookmarked you and go straight through to your website. But actually when you click on an email, Google Analytics and other analytics packages don't know where you've come from, so that traffic shows up as direct traffic, which can be quite misleading.

What we need to do is put tracking code onto our links. Tracking code is a bit of extra code that goes onto a link, and when it goes through analytics it identifies exactly where it's come from. Some email marketing tools like MailChimp have a button that you can click, and that button will automatically add the Google Analytics tracking code. Or if you just search the phrase "URL Builder," there's a little form that you can fill in from Google, and that allows you to add tracking code as well.

That's great. We've added our tracking code. In our analytics, we can see how much traffic is actually coming through to our websites from our email marketing.

Then what we might look at is how many people ended up doing the thing that I wanted them to do. They converted. They completed whatever my goal was that came from email marketing. We might look at that, and we might find it's a very low number of people that got my email and directly went on to maybe fill in the form or make a purchase. We might say, "Is email really working?"

What we need to think about is where did the email fit into the user journey? Did someone get an email, then do a search, then come in from Facebook, then do another search, then actually purchase? Email is still part of that user journey.

But, if we've got our tracking code set up, and then we've set some goals in our analytics, we can go through and we can see did people do the things we wanted them to do. I can look at a report like Multi-Channel Funnels, which is another report in Google Analytics, and that will tell me every stage of the user journey and where email fitted in. Because quite often email isn't the last thing you do, but it is an important touch point along the way.

That's fine. That's a fairly straightforward way of going through and analyzing your email marketing. But there's also a real change in behavior that we need to consider. A lot of us now will get an email and we'll read that email on our mobile device. Something like 80% of emails are actually read at some point on a mobile device.

But then we might go and respond to that email on our laptop. I might get your email. I read about your brand. I have some sort of familiarity because I already subscribe to your email. Then I'm going to go through to my computer, and I'm going to do one of two things. I may go through and type in your website address directly. Or I may go through and just search your brand name or your product in Google.

What you then end up with is your email marketing is driving more direct traffic, that is people typing in your website address, and it's driving more organic search traffic. We need to understand how these different channels are working together. There's no real way of tracking directly in analytics that you read an email over here, and then a number of hours or days later you went in and did a search in Google. We can't necessarily connect the two things because they're on different devices.

What we have seen lots of evidence of though in a number of organizations where they've just switched off their email marketing, obviously they haven't got any traffic from email anymore, but also their direct traffic and their organic search has dropped fairly significantly. Because email marketing was a good brand touch point, it reinforced. It reminded people, and that led to traffic coming through other channels.

So what you need to be really careful of is when you're measuring the impact of your email, you don't 100% rely on the analtyics data that's coming directly from email. You also think about what impact is that having on direct and organic search traffic as well because there's always a connection between these two things. That's really increasing because of the way we use mobile devices. We kind of triage our emails in one device. We're actually maybe going to respond on a different device.

Make sure you're using email marketing effectively. Make sure you're measuring that. But also think about the connections between different channels and the cause and effect they might have with one and the other as well.

I hope you found this video useful. Please subscribe if you did. We'll see you again on targetinternet.com.