Although the main focus of this blog will always be search engine optimization, I think everyone would agree that it is useful from time to time to explore other main areas of Internet marketing.
For today’s post, the specific area of email marketing that I would like to address is email marketing. Whether you are completely new to the concept of email marketing, have just dabbled in email marketing or are doing email marketing on a regular basis, it is something that can help you obtain quite impressive results.
If you don’t believe me, just look at the average ROI in four different industries that was compiled by SoftwareProjects from their own internal data:
Now that you have seen the impact that email marketing can have on your bottom line, I would guess that you are interested in learning a little bit more about this topic. Although there are a lot of different areas of email marketing that we could discuss, the one that I want to focus on today is gathering data. Like any type of Internet marketing, the key to being successful with email marketing is making sure that you are collecting data that you can use to analyze what is working and what is not working.
While you may think that Google Analytics can only be used for tracking traffic that comes from sources like organic results or a PPC campaign, you can also use Google Analytics to track the results of an email marketing campaign. Although it takes a little bit of time and effort to setup properly, the data that you will be able to collect will be well worth your efforts.
When you are ready to launch a new email marketing campaign, the first thing that you need to do is create a unique URL that Google Analytics will be able to track. Fortunately for you, Google has a free tool that will automatically do this for you. As you can see from the screen shot below, simply enter the information Google wants into the tool, and then the tool will generate a URL that will allow Google Analytics to properly track the performance of that link.
Before you paste the URL you generated into the email that you plan on sending out, you may want to consider making it a little more attractive. This probably won’t be an issue if you are sending out an HTML email, but if you are sending out a plain text email, the length of this URL could be a little overwhelming to recipients.
You can always mask the URL by doing an internal 301 redirect, but if this isn’t something that you are comfortable doing, you can easily shorten your URL with a service like TinyURL.
After you have a better looking URL, get it into you email and send it out!
Like everything related to Google Analytics, there are always more advanced things that you can do. Once you are comfortable with the procedure I have outlined above, I recommend reading Tracking Email with Google Analytics to find out about a variety of advanced techniques that some people may find very useful.