What is email campaign tracking?

Measuring the effectiveness and return on investment of your email campaigns. 

Your goal should be to know with accuracy the ROI of each email campaign, and if possible tie conversion data to specific subscribers.

In order to achieve this goal we have predefined several email marketing platform in TrackingDesk, so you can easily track your campaigns with minimum manual settings.

Email Marketing Platforms

Most email marketing platforms have custom fields, macros and tags that can be used in campaign URL's in order to track subscribers' engagement and performances. 

In addition, in many cases, they make use of standard UTM parameters to help you track your campaign performances in Google Analytics.

In this article we will explain how UTM parameters can be used with TrackingDesk, and how to add additional parameters to help you track additional parameters such as subscriber lists and individual subscribers.

What are the email marketing platforms we recommend?

UTM parameters usage

UTM parameters are either automatically added to your campaign URL's by the email marketing platform (ex: Mailchimp, Active Campaign, Drip, Get Response) or you need to set the URL parameters manually.

Either way, if you want to track each subscriber's engagements and conversions, you will probably have to add additional parameters to your campaign URL.

Note: The email marketing platforms that we have integrated have those parameters preset, so you don't need to worry about it.

Example:
You insert the URL http://trackingdesk.com in your email template and the email platform will transform it like:

http://trackingdesk.com/?utm_source=mailchimp&utm_medium=email&utm_content={subjectLine}&utm_campaign={campaignName}

Naturally the placeholders {subjectLine} will be replaced with the actual subject line of the campaign.

For TrackingDesk to be able to track those parameters, you need to set your traffic source accordingly so the parameters are mapped to the tracking template. 

If you wish to track additional parameters such as Subscriber List or the Subscriber ID, you need to set additional custom fields. We will use Active Campaign as an example. You can find the personalisation tags on this page.
The tags that are relevant to our tracking template are the following:

  • contact id: %CONTACTID% 
  • list name: %LISTNAME%

    You can add additional custom fields such as the email address or the first name.

To setup your Traffic Source (Active Campaign):

#1 Add a Traffic Source & Select Organic from the Predefined list

#2 Add custom parameters

#3 Save the Traffic Source

How to create a campaign for Active Campaign

  • Add a Campaign
  • Select the Active Campaign Traffic Source
  • Search & Select the site or landing page you wish to set as a destination URL
    Assuming you've previously already added your landing page in TrackingDesk
  • Set the destination URL of your Call to Action
    Assuming you've previously added an offer link in TrackingDesk
  • Save
  • Copy / Paste the Organic Script to the head of your site / landing page.

Before your can add the campaign URL to your Active Campaign email template call to action, you will need to modify the URL in order to avoid duplication of UTM parameters. The reason is that when you save your email template, Active Campaign will automatically add the corresponding UTM parameters to the URL.

The Campaign URL as produced by TrackingDesk

https://servedbytrackingdesk.foo/cW2fgb0t6vHC_bOeY?utm_source=&utm_medium=&utm_content=&utm_campaign=&eid=&utm_term=&http_referer_short=&html_page_title=&html_page_caller_url=&firstname=%FIRSTNAME%&email=%EMAIL%&subscriberid=%CONTACTID%&listid=%LISTNAME%

Deconstructing the TrackingDesk Campaign URL

The campaign base URL

https://servedbytrackingdesk.foo/cW2fgb0t6vHC_bOeY

The Query String

utm_source=&utm_medium=&utm_content=&utm_campaign=&eid=&utm_term=&http_referer_short=&html_page_title=&html_page_caller_url=&firstname=%FIRSTNAME%&email=%EMAIL%&subscriberid=%CONTACTID%&listid=%LISTNAME%

The Landing Page URL (after redirect)

https://lp.trackingdesk.foo/lp2-blue

The Query String section that needs to remain on the campaign URL

firstname=%FIRSTNAME%&email=%EMAIL%&subscriberid=%CONTACTID%&listid=%LISTNAME%

Final URL to be added to your email template

If you track with the Organic Script:

https://lp.trackingdesk.foo/lp2-blue?firstname=%FIRSTNAME%&email=%EMAIL%&subscriberid=%CONTACTID%&listid=%LISTNAME%

If you track with the Redirect URL:

https://servedbytrackingdesk.foo/cW2fgb0t6vHC_bOeY?firstname=%FIRSTNAME%&email=%EMAIL%&subscriberid=%CONTACTID%&listid=%LISTNAME%


These settings apply to Active Campaign as they carry the TAGS specifically used by Active Campaign. However, the same settings can be used with other email marketing platforms as long as you define the custom parameters in the Traffic Source, according to the email marketing platform you are using.

Things to know to plan your tracking template with your email marketing platform:

  • Can you setup default URL parameters
  • Does the platform automatically append the UTM parameters?
  • What are the merge fields used to identify subscribers, list name etc... 

NB: Each platform uses different parameters and you need to comply with their requirements so you can match those with TrackingDesk Traffic source tracking template.

Mailchimp merge tags

Aweber personalization

Drip Step by Step guide

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