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Getting Started with Email Analytics

Posted February 1, 2013 by Geoff Phillips

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EOA Email Analytics is a powerful tool that can help you learn more about your subscribers. This guide, and the video at the bottom, will show you how to get up and running with EOA Email Analytics. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to email the EOA support team.

What's a Tracking Code?

In order to generate your stats, you need to include our tracking code in your email. When your email is viewed by your subscribers, this tracking code will load an image from our servers. This enables us to discern what email client the recipient was using, and how they interacted with your email (printing, forwarding, deleting, and so on).

Getting Started

To get started, click "Email Analytics" from the dashboard of your EOA account. When you have created some campaigns, this page will show your archive. Click "Start a New Campaign," on the left.

Creating a Campaign

1. Details

First, you'll need to fill in the details.

Name your campaign with something unique so that you can reference it easily later. This name will appear in the URL of click-tracking links if you select that option later. Next you'll select a project. For an independent contractor, each project might be a different client. If you work for one company, each project might be a different type of email (monthly newsletter, holiday newsletter, product release, etc.) Name the list of subscribers you'll use for this email. If this is your first time using analytics, you should probably make the list include all of your subscribers, and name it something like Main List. If you're a contractor, you should probably have a different list for each of your employers. Enter the current number of total subscribers in the last field and try to be exact. This number will help determine your percent of opens, clicks and so on.

2. Engagement Tracking

Set your time zone to accurately gauge when your email was read and when it was sent out. The three threshold settings below will help determine how long readers were engaged with your campaign. The read threshold is the maximum amount of time that we will track engagement. Any amount of time over the skim threshold will be considered "read," but you can continue to track engagement after the skim threshold is reached. The read threshold can be set from a maximum of 30 seconds or to a minimum of one second more than the skim threshold. A higher setting enables you to analyze not only how many readers got past the skim threshold, but also how many readers stayed on for 15 seconds, 20 seconds and so on. A lower setting lumps all users who got past the skim threshold into one group. The default setting for the read threshold is 15 seconds.

The skim threshold should represent readers who glanced at the email but didn't keep it open long enough to read the whole thing. The default setting for the skim threshold is 7 seconds.

The delete threshold should represent readers who opened the email just long enough to delete it. Sometimes subscribers will see an unwanted email and delete it without opening it, but many other users open all emails in sequence and delete or read them as they go. Mobile users also often find it easier to open a message and then delete it. Because of this we include a low threshold, below which emails are considered not to have been read at all. The default setting for the delete threshold is 2 seconds.

Note: We recommend that you use consistent read, skim and delete thresholds on each of your analytic campaigns. This will allow you to compare your average engagement across multiple campaigns over time. You can set the defaults for this in your user settings (Settings/Analytics) and save them.

3. Subscriber Tracking (Optional)

To collect individual-level data, you'll need to add a unique piece of subscriber data from your mailing software. While we recommend you use subscriber email address, you can use any unique identifier. You can use the drop-down menu to select the default merge tags at some popular ESPs, or enter your own in the box. Ways to view this data will be added in a future release.

4. Click Tracking (Optional)

We can track which of your links are clicked and how many times if you select this option. To do so, we will include a query string with each link. Our system automatically modifies your links to enable click tracking, all you have to do is paste your HTML into the start form. If you are using Google Analytics, make sure to check in the second box, titled "Add Google Analytics?"

If you modify the HTML of your email after this step, you'll need to go back into your campaign, go to settings, and complete this step (click tracking) again.

5. Benchmarking Diagnostics (Optional)

Checking in this box will open up a short list of questions. These questions won't affect your email; they just make it easier to review the differences between email campaigns at a glance.

For example, you might compare your last 6 monthly newsletters and find that June was your best month by far. Checking your benchmarking diagnostics, you see that June was the only monthly newsletter that included an incentive offer. When you look at click tracking for the June newsletter, you also notice that the incentive link had excellent click through rates. You can conclude that the incentive offer had a powerful effect on your campaign, with stats to back it up.

We strongly recommend that you record this information for each campaign, as you may find it surprisingly hard to remember the details of the newsletter you sent out 6 months ago. Being able to easily reference when you started including a link to the web version of your email or optimizing for mobile devices helps make sense of the data that analytics can deliver.

6. Click "Generate Tracking Code"

This should take you to a page with a tracking code. Because your campaign hasn't been activated yet, you can test this code by adding it to your email (we recommend that you place it just above the closing body tag) and sending a few test messages. You'll see data begin to appear in your campaign. When you're ready to send out the real email blast, make sure to activate your campaign first.

Activating Your Campaign

Once you click the red "Activate Campaign" button at the top of the content area, the code is activated immediately, and any test data you've collected will be deleted. Keep in mind that tracking codes stop recording data one month from the activation date.

You'll probably want to include a unique tracking code on each campaign you send out. This is so you can compare the stats between different emails.

Collecting your Statistics

Once you send your campaign you'll begin to see your stats appear within EOA. It may take a little while from the time your subscriber opens the email before your graphs and data update inside your report.

If only a few people have opened your email, the data is likely to be quite skewed. Therefore, allow a little time for your recipients to begin opening your message before you try to interpret your Email Analytics stats.

This video will walk you through getting started with a campaign, as well as all of the features Email on Acid Analytics offers.

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