Use Google Analytics with your email campaigns

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When you enable Google Analytics on your direct and automated campaigns, we'll automatically add utm URL parameters to your links. When a contact clicks on one of these links, Google Analytics is informed that they were referred to your webpage by that specific campaign.

There are two ways to integrate Google Analytics with your campaigns:

  • Admins can enable Google Analytics for all campaigns on your account's Settings > Advanced page. When this setting is enabled, Google Analytics is on by default for all campaigns, but you can turn it off on a per-campaign basis if you need to. This is done on the Campaign Summary page
  • You can enable Google Analytics on a per-campaign basis. This is done on the Campaign Summary page for each campaign you create

Take note

Before enabling Google Analytics on your campaigns, ensure you have the Google Analytics tracking code installed on your website. For more information on how to set this up, see Google's documentation.

Enable Google Analytics for all campaigns

With this option, you're enabling Google Analytics for all campaigns by default. Once enabled, your campaign name will populate the "Google Analytics Campaign Name" field on the Campaign Summary page. These names appear in Google Analytics under the "Campaigns" tab of the Acquisition reports category. 

If you'd like to change the Google Analytics Campaign name, you can do so on the Campaign Summary page. Open the campaign and navigate to the Campaign Summary page to get there. Then, click "Customize" next to "Google Analytics" and enter a new name in the modal that appears. 

To enable Google Analytics for all campaigns:

  1. Click Settings on the left menu.
  2. Click the "Advanced" option on the left and scroll to the bottom of the page
  3. Click the Google Analytics Tracking toggle to set it to the "On" position.
  4. Click "Save Settings."

Any campaign you make after turning on this setting will enable Google Analytics. This setting does not retroactively update campaigns you have already created. 

To turn off Google Analytics for a campaign, go to the Campaign Summary page and click the Google Analytics toggle to set it to the "Off" position. 

Enable Google Analytics for a single campaign

With this option, you're enabling Google Analytics for a single campaign. 

  1. Click Campaigns on the left menu.
  2. Locate the campaign you wish to update.
  3. Navigate to the Campaign Summary page.
  4. Click the Google Analytics toggle to set it to the "On" position.
  5. A modal window will appear and display the name of your campaign in the "Google Analytics Campaign Name" field. If you'd like to change the name, you can type it into the field provided. This name appears in Google Analytics under the "Campaigns" tab of the Acquisition reports category. 
  6. Click "Done."

Information displayed in your Google Analytics reports

Below is the information you can find in your reports from Google Analytics. 

It can take over 24 hours for Google Analytics data to update. You may not see campaign data in Google Analytics immediately. 

utm_source The source of the email send. If you have branding turned on, it will show "ActiveCampaign." If you have branding turned off, it will show "Newsletter" instead. 
utm_medium The marketing channel/tactic being used. In this case, it will be "email."
utm_campaign

The name of your campaign. This is located on the Campaign Summary page for your email.

utm_content The subject line of your email.

 

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 and 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 available in your campaign reports. Learn more about Link Tracking

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, which can expire after 30 minutes of inactivity.

In Google Analytics, several things happen before a session is finally loaded. When a campaign link click occurs, the browser is pointed to your landing page. Your website then responds to this request and transfers 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 simultaneously. 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 be unable to record a session.

Then, the contact's browser sends a separate request to the Google Analytics servers, and the session is recorded. 

Causes of discrepancies between link clicks and Google Analytics sessions

Discrepancies between link clicks in Campaign Reports and Google Analytics sessions are common. Several scenarios could cause this, some of which are listed below: 

  • A contact clicked a link in your email multiple times during the same Google Analytics session. Your campaign report would show multiple link clicks, and Google Analytics would show one session
  • A contact clicked a link in your email one time and was redirected to your website. They were then inactive on your site for more than 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, the contact comes back and interacts with your website. Your campaign report would show one link click, and Google Analytics would show two sessions
  • A user clicked a link in your email once and closed their browser before the page (and Google Analytics) could load. Your campaign report would show one link click, and Google Analytics would not track a session
  • You tested the URL or email link prior to sending the email to your contacts. Google Analytics will include these tests in their sessions. In this case, the numbers in Google Analytics may be higher than what you see for clicks in your campaign report
  • Google Analytics tracking code was not correctly added to your site, or contacts are going to pages that do not have Google Analytics installed. In this case, your campaign reports will show link clicks, and Google Analytics will not show sessions

Discrepancies between link clicks and Users or Visitors in Google Analytics are also common for the reasons listed above.

What to do when there is a large discrepancy between link clicks and Google Analytics sessions

Our Customer Experience Team can help you determine if Google Analytics utm URL parameters are being added to your campaign links. However, you may need to contact Google Analytics to resolve the issue.

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

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