The hows and whys of Goal Tracking and your email marketing

7 minute read

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about Goal Tracking on the blog, and to my mind it’s one of the real hidden gems of our email analysis tools. You might not even know about Goal Tracking as it needs to be activated on your account, however to my mind a lot of people could benefit from using it.

So firstly, what is Goal Tracking and why should you be using it? In a nutshell it’s an easy way for you to get quantifiable results from your email campaigns. You should be using it to help accurately gauge the success of your campaigns and your email marketing ROI. It also gives you the opportunity to focus on the people that have completed your goals and send them targeted follow up content.

We offer two different versions of Goal Tracking in accounts: exit link, which counts how many people complete your goal, and e-commerce, which allows you to associate a monetary value with your goal. Both versions utilise the API and will require you to add a snippet of code to your website, so you’ll either need to be familiar with web development or you’ll want a friendly web developer to get their hands dirty on your behalf.

Exit link Goal Tracking

Exit link tracking allows you to track which of your subscribers clicked a particular link on your website.

Why is this useful? You might want to know how many of your email subscribers downloaded your white paper,  how many made a reservation with you, or perhaps track those who took a look at your promoted product. It can be a valuable tool for any action that isn’t associated with a spend from your subscriber.

The process – A subscriber receives your email and clicks through to your website. From here they can move around the site however they wish, when they click on your goal link they are counted in your email analytics.

The technical bit – When your subscriber clicks through to your website, a cookie is set to record that they’ve come from your email. This allows them the freedom to browse the site as they wish, as their origin has been logged by the cookie. When your subscriber clicks on your goal link, they are channelled through a tracking page before being automatically redirected to their desired location (it’s so quick they’ll never know). The tracking page alerts and then that subscriber is counted in your email analytics as having completed the goal.

E-commerce Goal Tracking

E-commerce Goal Tracking allows you to find out how much money your subscribers have spent on your website after reading your email.

Why is this useful? It’s a great way of calculating exactly how much return on investment you are generating through your email marketing efforts. If making a sale is a defined goal for your email campaigns, then e-commerce Goal Tracking can be a clear indication of whether your approach is proving effective or not.

The process – A subscriber receives your email and clicks through to your website. They can browse the site freely and add as many items to their cart as they wish. When they complete their transaction, records their spend and adds it to the total displayed with your email analytics.

The technical bit – Once again when your subscriber clicks through to your website, a cookie is set to record that they’ve come from your email. They can travel around the site and make their purchase as normal. On your order confirmation page, a 1 pixel x 1 pixel clear image will be loaded (your subscriber won’t be able to see it). The image has code attached to it which returns the value of the transaction to your account, to be added to the total in your email analytics.

What can I do with this information? Well Goal Tracking gives you an extra field in Analyse, and this will help you pin down exactly how well each of your email campaigns have performed. For each subscriber that completes your goal you can also view information such as date and time of goal completion, as well as purchase reference and value where applicable.

What makes these tools really special is that you are able to compile a list of those people who have completed your goals. This can then be used for things like sending related follow-up campaigns, future targeted offers or feedback requests. Why not keep a list of subscribers who regularly make purchases so you can reward them for their loyalty in the future? Conversely, try compiling a list of those who looked at your site but didn’t make a purchase and then follow up appropriately. Our split testing feature also allows you to face off up to five versions of your campaign and see which performed best in terms of goals completed. This works best if you are using exit link Goal Tracking.

Goal Tracking is one of our pro features and needs to be activated on your account. If you’re interested in using it, please get in touch. Do you currently use Goal Tracking? Maybe you’d like more information on the tools or what’s required to get the most out of them? Drop us an email or leave us a comment below.