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Track Email Signature With Google Analytics/Outlook 2007

Here’s a quick* tutorial on tracking visits to your site from people who click on the link in your email signature.

This works with Outlook 2007, and the tracking we are using is Google Analytics

If you don’t have access to amend your website

  1. Use the following url to generate your tracking link: Google Analytics Link Tracker
  2. Using the details in the following format:Google Analytics Link Builder
  3. Click on the Create URL button, and copy this long url
  4. Create a new email message
  5. Go to the Insert menu
  6. Select Signatures
  7. Select your default signature
  8. Insert your tracking urls, and remember to amend the display text to a short pretty url or some anchor text
  9. Save it and test it works by creating a new email message, inserting your signature (if this isn’t done by default), and checking your links look good and work in Rich Text, HTML and Plain Text.

If you do have access to change your website

Option 1

Ben suggests an alternative method if you have access to your website code.

  1. Use the following url to generate your tracking link: Google Analytics Link Tracker
  2. Create your tracking url described above.
  3. Creating an index page, and use a server side redirect using the following code:Server Side Redirect(or the ASP equivalent) stick that right at the top before the html tag and it will seamlessly redirect.  Your ‘Location’ is the tracking url that you created.
  4. Create a short directory, eg http://www.pushon.co.uk/kg
  5. Put the index page in there and use the link in your signature http://www.pushon.co.uk/kg.

Option 2

Alternatively, use a client side redirect:

  1. Use the following url to generate your tracking link: Google Analytics Link Tracker
  2. Create your tracking url described above.
  3. Set up a redirect by creating an index page with this code** in it:
  4. Create a short directory, eg http://www.pushon.co.uk/kg
  5. Put the index page in there and use the link in your signature http://www.pushon.co.uk/kg.

The benefit of this is that it works with plain text as well as RTF and HTML.

*Gathered moss along the way

**Code is nicked from Google as Ben’s code was stripped from his comment by our security features.

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  • Katrina Gallagher

    That’s ideal… I’m going to pinch that and update the post with a techie version.
    Thanks Ben,
    K

  • Katrina Gallagher

    BTW – the plain text includes your display url only, so it’s not unattractive – but the tracking won’t work.

  • Ben

    There is a better way to do this. This is fine when all parties have html email but you do get the occasional person that has text only. Its impossible to hide the tracking in a plain text email. Also if your mail goes in to junk all the URLs are visible in Outlook 2007.

    The way I would do it is set up a server side redirect. You create blank index.php pages with this code in it.

    Create a short directory, eg http://www.pushon.co.uk /kg

    Put the index page in there and use the link in your signature http://www.pushon.co.uk /kg, works with plain text as well as RTF and HTML.

  • http://www.gocreativedesign.co.uk Andy Wood

    Fantastic – will give this a try!

  • Katrina Gallagher

    Cool, let me know how you get on,
    K

  • Liam

    I have used Analytics in the past for newsletters and found it to be really useful.

    I tend to use a combination of Sitemeter and “Did They Read It?” on my blog, which is good for spying on specific people.

    I am currently looking into integrating GA into my RSS feed as Feedburner referrals aren’t being tracked on Sitemeter and showing as a direct visit :|

  • http://kingoftraffic.net/KingsWeblog/ Ted

    I never would have thought to try something like this,to be honest google analytics covers tracking pageviews from mail.

    I prefer to view and send plain text emails,I know this isnt the most eye catching way to reach your audience.But I believe this can be a more honest way then a big song and dance that takes several minutes to load.

    So is Analytics ineffective in link tracking?

  • http://www.thompsonoutdoors.com/b/ Rose @ Outdoor Sports Blog

    These techniques are really helpful. I was always trying to figure out how to know the number of visitors I’m having at a certain time of week. Thank you for sharing. :)

  • Katrina Gallagher

    Liam – I’ll look into that, it may be the next blog post ;-)

    Ted – Analytics will track traffic and referrals, but if someone comes from a link from a document or email that doesn’t use tracking, then the source will be listed as “none”.

    Rose – no probs, glad you found it helpful.

    Thanks for all your comments,

    K

  • http://www.contactsan.com/ コンタクトレンズ

    Thanks But i think that’s a illegal use of the script because without letting user know we can have his location.

  • http://hoffmanheating.net/ ACHoffman

    i think this procedure is might be complicated thier is other so many ways that we can track the email signature but ill try out this one seems to be diferent….