Supercharge That Holiday Campaign Part 1: UTMs

by Adam Clarkson

Last updated on November 28th, 2018

Crazy Egg Email UTM tracking

With the holidays coming up, you’re probably right in the middle of an email marketing campaign with big ambitions.

If you’re using an email marketing solution or an ESP, they’re giving you great analytics on how your emails are performing with your audience. You’re seeing sends and opens, clicks and engagement. And depending on how well integrated your system is, you’re getting some visibility into ROI.

But what happens in-between? The problem with every list that’s created about “Important Email Marketing Metrics” is that they go hard on metrics related to email specifically, and then jump to conversions. They don’t fill in the gaps between a click in an email and a conversion on your site.

What are those email subscribers doing on your site before the purchase, or, perhaps more importantly, instead of purchasing?

Trying to decipher that information with Google Analytics can require a Masters Degree and a Google Certification. But with Crazy Egg, all you need is a few minutes to install javascript and we do the rest of the work for you.

It’s time you went a layer deeper on understanding what your email subscribers are actually experiencing when they engage with your brand.

Today we’ll share how Crazy Egg can help you get the most out of your most critical campaigns with features that are already built into your subscription. Fruit doesn’t get any lower-hanging than this.

Part One: Urchins

See exactly what email-driven visitors are doing (and not doing) once they reach your site, in your Crazy Egg dashboard, with no additional setup. This is possible through UTM parameters!

In case you didn’t know, UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module — the precursor to Google Analytics that originated the approach.

Urchins already live in your Snapshot reports

All email marketing software (optionally) appends these UTM parameters to links embedded in your mail outs. Here are what those UTM parameters look like:

Once a visitor lands on your site (let’s say for a Black Friday flash sale) , Crazy Egg analyzes those parameters to determine exactly where the visitor came from, as well as the campaign and other useful attributes that connect them to specific marketing initiatives.

In the above example Crazy Egg knows that the user came from an email marketing campaign (utm_medium=email) and also the particular campaign (utm_campaign=blackfriday1).

From there it’s easy to show the click behavior of those visitor segments directly within your Confetti reports. Just select Google Campaign Medium from the Confetti dropdown menu (the “Google” label in the dropdown is an artifact from the origins of UTM tags in Google Analytics).

Fruit doesn't get any lower-hanging than this. If you're putting UTM parameters in your links use the confetti report to see exactly what those visitors are doing once they hit your site.

If you’re using the utm_medium parameter in your email links, you will see Email listed, plus:

  • The corresponding number of website visitors arriving via this channel
  • Most importantly, the confetti overlayed on the snapshot of your page showing exactly what they clicked on

In this confetti report orange dots show clicks from all visitors arriving via email.

Once you have this data as a baseline, you can start to analyze your customers’ behavior and come up with an action plan. Here are some suggested paths of inquiry:

  1. Compare this visitor segment’s confetti to confetti from other referrers or sources. How is it different?
  2. What behavior were you expecting this group to exhibit?
  3. How did their actual behavior differ?
  4. What can you do differently in your email campaign to optimize clicks and conversions?

Likewise if you select Google Campaign Name you will see all the unique email campaigns you have running and the corresponding number of visitors from each.

The results will likely surprise you (that’s why you measure).

Once again take a close look at what those visitors are doing by using the checkboxes to filter and isolate certain campaign visitors.

UTMs Tracking Is Not Just For Email

We’ve used email as an example here because of its high popularity, its value to ecommerce merchants (particularly during the most lucrative time for online shopping – the holiday season) and because it’s consistently the highest ROI channel for marketers. That being said, Crazy Egg’s Confetti report tracks UTMs wherever you use them, like paid advertising or social media.

We’ve built Crazy Egg to help you make the most of every visitor to your website; UTM tracking is another way we help you segment your audience according to the variables and parameters you’re paying attention to, so you can see what’s working, fix what isn’t, and test new ideas.

Some additional reading from our knowledge base that will help you get the most out of UTM tags:

How to track campaign source information – describes how to ensure UTM parameters are set appropriately to track all your marketing efforts, not just email.

A Handy Guide to UTM Codes: Know Which of Your Campaigns Really Work – includes a breakdown of all the unique parameters and what they are typically used for.

The Ultimate Guide to Using UTM Parameters – a handy article written by one of the best in the business, and our Co-founder, Neil Patel.

In Part Two… Putting the “Custom” in Customer

UTM parameters are the most popular way to tag and track referrer information on the web. It helps that they’re free and have been evangelized by Google for years. But they aren’t the only solution, and for a variety of reasons, they can fall short.

For example, when a specific tool you’re using has its own URL parameters embedded and native to their product. What do you do then?

In Part Two, we’ll show you how to use Custom Variables in Crazy Egg to get the most insight out of other referral information (perhaps from an ESP), or even by using Custom Variables to append data from your customer data warehouse.

We’re talking:

  • Gender
  • Company size
  • Revenue
  • Product adoption….

Whatever you track can be appended to the audience segments you can quickly filter through and visualize in Crazy Egg.

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