Email marketing is one of the best ways to speak directly to your audience, because those who opt in for your messages are willingly saying, “hey! I want to hear from you!” But how can you tell which emails are performing best, and who is opening them? No matter which email provider you use, tracking email traffic using UTM parameters is a smart way to dissect who’s loving your emails, who’s not, and what you can do to boost your email strategy. Yeah!

What can I learn from tracking email traffic?

Have you ever felt like email marketing is like sending out messages in a bottle, lonely letters bobbing in the abyss, hoping to reach a reader? The point of correspondence is connection, if your emails aren’t getting the opens or click-through rate you’re hoping for, it’s time to reassess your efforts.

Using a magical tool called UTM codes, you can gain insight into:

  • Email performance, including conversations, revenue, page view, and more
  • Which CTAs and links generate more clicks
  • Audience demographics
  • A/B testing
  • How subscribers interact with your website

You might be asking yourself, “can’t I see this stuff through my email provider dashboard?” Well, kind of, but UTM parameters will provide deeper insight into what users are doing after they leave your email, so basically, this is something you want to enable, like right now.

How to add UTM parameters to email

What is a UTM code? In a nutshell, it’s a handy-dandy piece of code that links sources directly to your Google Analytics, allowing you to keep track of campaigns across mediums, including email, paid search, and more.

How do you enable UTM parameters for email? There are a couple options depending on your email tool of choice, but to keep it simple, let’s look at how to add UTM codes manually.

  1. Start by opening a campaign UTM builder.
  2. Fill out the available fields. If your email has more than one link or clickable image you want to track, use the “Content” field to specify between them. You will need to create a custom code for each element, so clear labeling here will help you understand which element ends up being more successful down the road.
  3. Once everything is filled out, click “Copy & Save” to generate a UTM tracking link.
  4. Going back to your email draft, swap out the original link for the new UTM tracking link. It will still take your subscribers to the same place, but is now backed by tracking power.
  5. Send your email, and let the data trickle in to Google Analytics! You did it!

When building UTM parameters, consistency is key. For cleaner tracking in Google Analytics, we recommend you:

  • Stick to lowercase
  • Never use spaces
  • Decide on using either dashes or underscores, not both

What to look for with email tracking

Now that you are a UTM wizard, you can start using this fresh new data to determine what’s working for your email campaigns and what’s not.

Not sure what to look for? Use your Google Analytics dashboard to see:

  • How your email traffic compares against other sources like paid search, social, etc.
  • Email campaign metrics such as site visits, bounce rate, conversions, etc.
  • Open rates and click-through rates, broken down by each individual link
  • Audience engagement and demographics

Your data will reveal what subscribers like and don’t, allowing you to create more of what they want for more satisfied customers and ultimately, more sales. Win!

Get email strategy help with LDM

Ready to rock your email marketing strategy? The squad at Launch Digital Marketing is here to provide the insight and guidance you need for better performing emails and other digital marketing services, such as SEO, SEM, social, and more. We love helping small businesses across Chicagoland reach their goals, so contact us to create emails your subscribers won’t want to miss.

Meet Crystal Mack

Crystal Mack is a Senior Copywriter at Launch Digital Marketing. With a master's degree in Mass Communication and several published books to her pen name, she is a self-proclaimed word nerd and staunch supporter of the Oxford comma.