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Relenta mass email stats with Google Analytics

Relenta’s mass email functionality is great for sending out service notifications to customers. It really is as easy as composing an email and using “Dear [FIRST]” instead of  “Dear Customer.” (Learn about email merge tags here.)

Yet what if you want to track the performance of a promo email? It does take some setup. You’ll need to use Google Analtyics. Plus, you’ll need to be using their new Universal Analytics/analytics.js to get this all to work properly.

Once you get the hang of it, however, it’s great. All your web and email analytics will be under one roof, opens, clicks, conversions. Plus there’s a neat trick that will allow you to track users as they move across devices and your website that I’ll post at a future date.

1. Make sure all of your contacts have a unique identifying number. If they don’t, first, create a custom contact field called “User_ID”. Then download your contact list, and use Excel to populate that custom field. (Hint: Start the first contact off with 101 and use consecutive numbers.) Upload the contact list and your contacts should have a unique identifier in their records. Now for the fun part. (Hint #2: Make sure to add unique identifiers to all your future contacts.)

2. In Google Analtyics (GA), click on Admin, make sure you select the appropriate account, and click Custom Definitions > Custom Metrics.

Step #2 Screenshot

3. Click New Custom Metric, name your metric Email Opens, set the formatting type  to Integer, set 0 for the minimum, and 1 as the maximum value. Make sure you’ve checked the Active box. One even will be registered for each open.

Screenshot of step 3.

4. Place this snippet of HTML code at the end of your email (but make the following changes first):

<img src=”[User_ID]&t=event&ec=email&ea=open&el=[User_ID]&cs=promo&cm=email&cn=140107&cm1=1″ />

Replace the letters after UA- with your tracking ID. You can find it in Google Analytics under Admin > Property Settings. Also, if you’ve named your unique indentifier something other than User_ID, make sure it matches. Replace the six-digit date after cn= with the date of your campaign.

Please note: make sure any links in your email have Google Analytics tags that match your properties above.

For example, you’d add this to the end of every link, making sure to swap the date for the date of your campaign:


So a link from the email to the page would look like this:

In GA, click Behavior > Events > Top Events to see your Open report. Not only will you be able to report opens but you’ll be able to report clicks and conversions from your campaign all for free through Google Analytics.

My data, my precious data!

Now that’s working smarter! (Thank you to the good folks at Lunametrics for originally posting about this.)

  • Jason

    “Now that’s working smarter!”

    Really? That’s not working smarter. Why would anyone spend the time to do this when 99.9% of other email marketing platform has this as a basic free function? Here’s a better (although I feel silly to even mention it) solution….Have it as a basic feature like every other email marketing platform. Even the low-end platforms has this. In fact I don’t know of any platform that doesn’t…and I’ve used most of them. Icontact, constant contact, aweber, mailchimp, response….All of these low-end solutions offer this.

    If Relenta wants to be taken seriously as a email marketing solution they truly need to address it. I’ll pass…no thanks.

    • Thanks for your reply, Jason. It’s in the works. This is just a smart workaround. There is an advantage though — most email marketing companies force you to store all of your statistics in their system. You lose them if you ever close the account and the downloads are often difficult-to-decipher Excel spreadsheets. If you do tie other email marketing into Google Analytics, you still have to switch between accounts to mash together a report. This way puts all email performance directly into Analytics, providing a much more convenient way to follow the actions of an email recipient as they move from open to sale.

  • We, on the other hand, prefer to look at our glass as half full 🙂

  • jacob wallace
  • Brent Miller

    One thing I didn’t elaborate on is the need for each contact to have a Unique Identifier. This can’t be personally identifiable piece of information like an email address. An easy way to give each contact a unique identifier is to create a custom field called Unique-id. Then download your contacts to a csv file. Use Excel to quickly create a unique value for each field. (Google how to do this; it is really easy.) When you upload the csv file to Relenta, it updates each record. For new records, as you create them, give them a string a numbers from the current date and time. For instance, if it is 10:52am on 9/10/2015 then your number could be 91020151052. If you use the 24-hour time format, your numbers will never repeat. 10:52pm would be 22:52.

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