Email Marketing and GA4 Analytics: Enhancing Campaign Performance

Email Marketing and GA4 Analytics: Enhancing Campaign Performance

Email marketing and GA4 Analytics can enhance campaign performance by tracking email marketing, and using reports to optimize campaign features & resources

By: Mussarat Nosheen | 6 mins read
Published: May 2, 2024 1:18:29 AM | Updated: Jun 16, 2024 04:51:16 AM

Email marketing and GA4 analytics are a match made for enhancing campaign performance. 

Why? Let us explain.

The world has 4.26 billion email users with 27% of consumers stating that regular newsletters are likely to make them purchase from a brand. 

The importance of data analytics cannot be overstated with an impressive 47% of marketing decision-makers convinced email marketing could benefit massively from data-driven decision-making. 

You need data analytics to make data-driven decision making and Google Analytics is an industry leader in the analytics technology, dominating nearly 27% global share. 

GA4 is a website and mobile app performance tracking tool that facilitates (e-commerce) advertising success. Combining email marketing with Google Analytics 4’s web analytics to drive engagement, conversion (key events), and revenue makes complete sense.

We will explain using GA4 for email marketing and enhancing campaign performance.  

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Email Marketing and Google Analytics 4

Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy that involves sending targeted, personalized emails to promote products, and services, or engaging with subscribers. 

It can involve various types of emails:

  • Welcome Emails
  • Newsletters
  • Lead Nurturing Emails
  • Promotional Emails
  • Survey Emails

It is a direct communication channel between businesses and their audience, allowing for tailored messaging based on recipient preferences and behaviors. 

With Google Analytics 4 (GA4) email marketing efforts can be optimized through robust tracking and analysis of key metrics.

Though they may vary from business to business, the most popular email marketing metrics of 2023 were conversion (or key events) rate, open rate, and click-through rate.

GA4 enables marketers to gain deeper insights into email campaign performance, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to enhance overall campaign effectiveness. 

Email marketing campaign optimization with GA4 can be achieved in three stages:

  1. Setting up Email Marketing Tracking in Google Analytics 4
  2. Analyzing Email Marketing Campaign Performance in GA4
  3. Leveraging GA4 Insights to Optimize Email Marketing Campaigns

We will discuss each of these one by one. 

1. Setting Up Email Tracking in GA4

The first stage in enhancing your email campaign in GA4 is to set up email tracking. 

Let us go over the steps below. 

Set Up Campaign URL

A campaign URL is a version of your website that can track users arriving on your website. 

When you create a new email marketing campaign, you also create an exclusive campaign URL that you send out in the email for the readers to click and perform a desired action. 

These URLs have the Urchin Tracking Module or UTM parameters, a code snippet, at the end of the URL that tracks information like source, medium, campaign, term, and content. 

When a user clicks the link you shared in the email, UTM parameters populate in GA4, showing details in the Traffic Acquisition and other reports. 

You can do so when setting up the campaign URL. 

  • Go to Google’s Campaign URL Builder
  • Fill out the campaign’s UTM parameters in the provided form. 

Enter campaign utm parameters in the URL builder

  • Once the required fields are filled, it will generate a Campaign URL for you. Copy this link.

Copy the campaign URL and paste into the Email copy

  • Now, paste the URL to your marketing email.

  •  Tada. You are done. 

Send a Test Email and See the Parameters in the Debug View

You have successfully implemented the UTM parameters for the email campaign. It is time to test and see if it populates the parameters in your Google Analytics 4 property. 

Follow the steps below to perform the task.

  • Go to your Email Marketing Platform and send a test email. 
  • Once the email lands in your inbox, click the link provided in the email and browse your website.  This should send data to your GA4 property.
  • Now, go to GA4 > Admin > Data Display > Debug view.

Open Debug view in GA4 to find the email campaign data there 

  • Go to the Extensions icon next to the web URL you are in and check in the drop-down if the Google Analytics Debugger extension is turned on. Refresh the website (opened from the campaign URL).
  • Return to the GA4 DebugView, here you will find the actions taken on your website in real-time. Click the most recent page view.
  • In the page_view event, you will find the UTM parameters tracked by GA4; including the campaign, medium, and source (and any other parameters you set up). Click the “campaign” parameter, and you will find the name you set up in the URL builder for the campaign.   

If you do find these parameters in the debug view, it means everything was set up correctly. Next, wait 24-48 hours for the email campaign data to populate into Google Analytics 4 reports. 

2. Analyzing Email Campaign Performance in Google Analytics 4

Once the users start responding to your email marketing campaign by clicking the campaign URL and visiting your website, GA4 will begin collecting the data.

But it would take a day or two; before you see the data in the reports section. When it does happen, you can use the following methods to review your email marketing campaign performance. 

Traffic Acquisition Report

The Traffic Acquisition Report gives detailed information about the visitors and their interactions with your website or mobile application. 

To track your email marketing campaign, take the following steps. 

  • Go to GA4 > Reports > Traffic acquisition. Since email is among the top ten traffic sources, it is listed at the bottom. 

Track your email marketing campaign in Traffic Acquisition report in GA4

  • You could also type “Email” in the search bar to find statistics about users from this channel. 

Search email in the traffic acquisition report to track performance of email campaigns

  • Then, click the plus sign next to the drop-down menu and add a secondary dimension by clicking “Traffic source” and choosing “Session campaign” from the options. 
    Choose session campaign to explore the performance of individual email marketing campaign in GA4
  • Alternatively, you could simply choose “Session source/medium” from the drop-down menu in the report. 

Or, just select Session source/medium in the traffic acquisition report to see the individual channels, including email marketing channel's performance in GA4

Exploration Report for Email Marketing Campaign Performance

We need to build an Exploration report to conduct an in-depth analysis of your email campaign performance and identify the relevant information to optimize your campaign. 

  • Go to GA4 > Explorations > Blank.

Create a Blank Exploration report to build Email Performance Tracking report

  • In the Blank Explorations report go to Variables and click to add a Segment. 

Add Segments in Email Performance tracking report in GA4

  • Click Segments and then select User Segment from the opening tab. 

Build a new segment to track email marketing in explorations in GA4

  • In the top left, you will find Untitled Segment, enter Email Marketing there as the name. 
  • In the Add Conditions section go to Traffic source and select First user medium.

Add conditions to the new segment to track email marketing in Explorations in GA4

Add First user medium as the Traffic source in the new Segment in Explorations to track email marketing in GA4

  • Then, click Add filter, in Conditions choose contains, check the box “At any point in time” and in the blank box enter “email” Click Apply and then Save and apply at the top right.  

Build filter into the segment in GA4

Set the condition to include every time and type Email there

  • Next, go to Variables > Dimensions, in the opening tab search and import the dimensions “First user campaign”, “Landing Page + query string”, “Event Name”, “Item name” “Device category”, “Browser”, and “Country”.

Import the desired Dimension in the Explorations report to track Email marketing performance in GA4

Select dimensions

Type and add all the desired Dimensions

  • Now, go to Variables > Metrics and import the following metrics. 
    • Views
    • Total users
    • Sessions
    • Engaged sessions
    • Engagement rate
    • Event Count
    • Key Events
    • Total revenue
    • User key event rate
    • Session key event rate
    • Items viewed
    • Items added to cart
    • Items purchased
    • Item revenue

Import the relevant Metrics in the Explorations report to track Email Marketing Performance in GA4

  • Then, double-click the First user campaign to add it to the Rows section in the settings column. 

Add the First user campaign Segment to the Rows in Exploration report for tracking Email Marketing Performance in GA4

  • Next, double-click the first eight metrics added in the previous step to the canvas. 

Double click to add the desired Metrics to the Explorations report for tracking Email Marketing Performance report in GA4

  • Go to Settings > Cell Types and select Heat map. 

Change the cell type in the Explorations report for tracking Email Marketing Campaign Performance in GA4

  • Finally, rename the report at the top by typing Email Marketing Campaign in the place of Free Form 1.

Choose Heatmap as the cell type in the Explorations report for tracking Email Marketing Campaign Performance in GA4

Congratulations, you have a detailed report to assess your marketing campaign performance. 

3. Leveraging GA4 Insights to Optimize Email Marketing Campaigns

The whole point of setting up email marketing tracking is to leverage GA4’s powerful analytics capabilities to assess performance and make data-driven decisions.

Leverage Data Analytics and GA4 Insights to Optimize Email Marketing Campaigns

So, let us review data-driven methods to optimize email campaigns to drive engagement, and key events and generate revenue. 

1. Understanding User Behavior Across Platforms

GA4 provides a holistic view of user interactions across various platforms and devices. 

Tracking user behavior from email clicks to website visits and key events offers valuable insights into the customer journey. 

Understanding how users interact with emails and subsequently engage with the website or app can help identify friction points and optimize the conversion funnel.

2. Segmenting Email Audiences for Personalization

With GA4, marketers can segment email audiences based on behavior, demographics, and interests. 

Segmentation then paves the way to create personalized emails and offers for marketing campaigns to improve engagement and key event rates.

Relevance plays a crucial role in the performance of a marketing campaign, with 78% of respondents, between the age group 18 - 26, of a survey citing lack of relevance as the leading of brands’ failure to engage their consumers. 

Marketers can utilize these audience segments to offer personalized email content and tailored offers that resonate with specific audience groups. 

3. Email Campaign Attribution

GA4's advanced attribution modeling allows marketers to attribute conversions to email campaigns. 

Implementing a robust email campaign tracking system in Google Analytics 4 and flexible attribution model selection allows businesses to use the model suited to their needs. 

Tracking and monitoring the role of individual email campaigns in the customer journey enables businesses to allocate resources effectively and optimize campaign performance. 

4. Testing and Iterating Email Campaigns

While GA4 does not offer A/B testing, it can integrate with other A/B testing tools to supply the web analytics needed to perform the testing. 

Marketers can experiment with email campaign features like subject lines, CTAs, and content layout for A/B testing. Trying different versions and analyzing the impact on key metrics, helps marketers to identify winning strategies and iterate for continuous improvement.

5. Integrating Email Insights With other Marketing Channels

GA4's cross-platform tracking capabilities allow marketers to integrate email insights with other marketing channels seamlessly. 

It enables businesses to analyze the impact of email campaigns on website traffic, app installs, and in-app purchases, and get a comprehensive understanding of their overall marketing performance. 

This holistic approach enables marketers to allocate resources strategically and optimize the entire marketing mix for maximum ROI.

Conclusion

This blog discusses, “Email Marketing and GA4 Analytics” and how the latter could help enhance campaign performance. 

It is achieved in three stages. First, businesses can set up email tracking in Google Analytics 4 by implementing UTM parameters in the email campaign URL. 

In the second stage, they could monitor and track the performance of their email marketing campaigns via standard and default reports in GA4. The blog gives examples of Traffic Acquisition and a custom Exploration report to do so. 

Finally, the insights provided by Google Analytics 4 can help businesses understand their audience behavior, create segments, and offer personalized marketing content. 

Furthermore, attribution models can assist them with resource reallocation, and they could test their campaigns by integrating their GA4 data with A/B testing tools to optimize campaigns and reiterate for better ROI. 

 

Do you like what you read? Learn more about Digital Analytics on our blog here.