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William D King: Email marketing data – How do I find out who is opening and clicking on my emails?

William D King

Email marketing data is one of the most important things to understand in email marketing says, William D King. Knowing who opens your emails and who clicks on your links allows you to make targeted offers, use long-tail keywords in your subject lines, and make it easy for you to segment your email lists.

To answer this question we will go over how to use Google Analytics to track which links are clicked on in each campaign explains William D King. Then we’ll look at some tools that allow you to see which of your subscribers opened an individual email (and even in what order they opened them!). Finally, I’ll walk through using this information together with Google Analytics goals. And actions reports seeing how many people took action as a result of clicking on an email link.

Step 1: Link clicks in Google Analytics

To see which of your email links are being clicked on. You’ll need to add a bit of code to each one. This is done in the HTML section of your email. Just paste the following code onto each link you want tracked: <a href=”YOUR LINK HERE”><img src=”http://www.123contactform.com/images/submit_btn_email_1x.gif” width=”120″ height=”20″ alt=”Email Signup”></a> The part that goes “YOUR LINK HERE” should be replaced with the URL where people will be taken when they click on the image (you can also use javascript links here instead of img tags if you prefer). You can track up to 4 links per message using this method.

Step 2: Paste the code into your email HTML

After step 1 you need to paste the code into your email HTML. This is done by editing the “Message” tab of your campaign in the Campaign Monitor software. You can edit it online if you are not using CM or have a web designer working on designs for you. But you might want to check with them first. Because they might have some preferred methods that will make future updates easier for you says William D King.

The final result should look something like this (remember – YOUR LINK HERE should be replaced with one of your actual links!):

Step 3: View link clicks in Google Analytics reports

Now that you have added the tracking code to each of your links you can see which ones are being clicked on in Google Analytics.

Begin by opening the following report in your GA account: Conversions -> Goals -> Week of (last week) Note that goals are set per profile, so if you have more than one profile for your site you will need to change this setting to match your primary profile view. If you only have one profile then it should be fine as is.

When the report opens click on “goal sets” towards the top left, and select the goal set where the link was added says, William D King. You’ll see both events and virtual pageviews listed here.All of these reports will show how many people took action after viewing each link. When you look at either of the “events” or “virtual page views” reports. Make sure you are looking at the correct profile. If you added the code to your primary domain it will be set as the default for that view.

Step 4: View link clicks in Google Analytics Goals reports

Now that you have seen which links people clicked on. The next step is to see what kind of action they took after clicking. This tells you whether your subject line was compelling enough to provoke an action after merely viewing the link. To do this go back into Conversions -> Goals and select the goal where you added a link with tracking code. Then click on “Actions” on the left side of your report list. Make sure again your date range includes last week.

You can now see which of your links was responsible for each goal conversion. Note that these Goal Actions reports also show how many people. Those who did not click on any links (or only the one tracked) ended up taking action anyway. You might find that a subject line or offer. That gets good open rates has very few links clicks and vice versa. Not every email will get clicked. However – sometimes you produced a bad email and it either did not spark enough interest to warrant clicking at all. Or people got bored and moved on to something else before they clicked anything! This is why tracking opens and bounces in addition to link clicks are important too.


Track your links with Google Analytics using the code above! You can then view information about link clicks in the Conversions -> Goals reports. Viewing this data tells you which subject lines are compelling enough. To earn a follow-up action, and you can use this knowledge to refine future campaign topics. Or calls-to-action (like “buy now” or “contact us”).

If you want to track more than 4 links per message. It is possible to do so by nesting img tags. But keep in mind that it may make reading HTML sources harder for people who try. For example: <a href=”YOUR LINK HERE”><img src=”http://www.123contactform.com/images/submit_btn_email_1x.gif”></a> If you want to track links that only show up in HTML, then you should use a tracking redirect since it will not interfere with viewing the source code.