Tracking campaigns with the Google Analytics integration

Our Google Analytics integration makes it easy to insert tracking links into your campaigns so that you can see what visitors do on your website after they click through a campaign you've sent. You can use Google Analytics to track the conversions from your campaign, see the path visitors take through your site, and optimize your website content. It's a useful tool and we recommend using it so that you have a way to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns, in addition, to open and click through rate. 

In this article, we'll discuss:

How to set up the Google Analytics integration

Google Analytics is enabled on a per campaign basis. When you enable Google Analytics on your campaigns and automation emails, we'll automatically add Google Analytics utm URL parameters to your links.

Before you enable Google Analytics on your campaigns and automation emails, make sure that you have the Google Analytics tracking code installed on your website. For more information on how to set this up, see Google's documentation.

On the Campaign Summary page, you'll see the option to enable Google Analytics:

Click the red toggle to enable it.

You'll be presented with a modal window asking you to specify the Google Analytics Campaign Name. Type the Google Analytics Campaign Name into the field provided, then click "Done."

This is the name that will appear in Google Analytics under the Campaign tab of the Acquisition category of reports:

ActiveCampaign will insert this tracking URL into all links in your campaign so that when a contact clicks a link in your campaign, Google Analytics is informed they were referred by that specific email campaign.

In your Google Analytics reports:

  • The utm_source is who sent the email. If you have branding turned on, it will show "ActiveCampaign." If you have branding turned off, it will show "Newsletter" instead. For information about turning branding on and off, see this article.
  • The utm_medium is the marketing channel/tactic being used. In this case, it will be “email.”
  • The  utm_campaign is the name of the campaign you specified when you enabled Google Analytics on the Campaign Summary page for your email.
  • The utm_content will be the subject line of your email.

Note that it can take over 24 hours for Google Analytics data to update so if you send a campaign you won't see that data reflected in your reports immediately.

Campaign clicks vs. Google Analytics Sessions

Google Analytics sessions and clicks in your campaigns are tracked differently from one another. 

How campaign and automation email link clicks are tracked:

When a contact clicks a link in your campaign or automation email, we instantly redirect those contacts to one of our link tracking domains then immediately send them to the intended URL. When a contact is redirected to one of those link tracking domains, it's logged in our system as a link click. Link click metrics for each campaign and automation email are made available to you in your campaign reports. Read more about link tracking in this help article

How Google Analytics sessions are tracked:

Google Analytics logs JavaScript enabled pageviews that result from campaign link clicks.  A session in Google Analytics is a group of interactions (page views, events, social interactions, and a transaction) that take place on your website within a given time frame. A single contact can have multiple sessions and a session can expire after 30 minutes of inactivity. 

In Google Analytics, several things happen before a session is finally loaded:

  • When a click in the campaign takes place, the browser is pointed to your landing page.
  • Your website then responds to this request and starts to transfer data from the web server to the contact's browser.
  • When the browser starts to download the landing page, there may be a request for several files at the same time. This includes JavaScript, CSS, images, video, audio, and more. The requests for JavaScript include the Google Analytics tracking code.
  • The contact's browser and security settings must support cookies, JavaScript, and images. If any of these are disabled, Google Analytics may not be able to record a session. 
  • The contact's browser then sends a separate request to the Google Analytics servers.
  • The session is then recorded.

For more detailed information about tracking campaigns with Google Analytics, see Google's documentation on that topic.

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