Track When Promo Email is Opened with Google Analytics

E-mail use has increased over time. Companies and people alike are using it as a marketing tool. They send sensitive marketing information, financial reports and newsletters among other things via e-mail. The question of whether the intended recipient received the message is a non-issue. This is because most e-mail providers will tell you if you have sent the e-mail to a non-existent recipient or not. To know whether the person the e-mail was intended for has opened it or not is another issue altogether.


Knowing this is the only way that one can gauge the effectiveness of the e-mail. Luckily, Google Analytics have the answer to this problem. There is a way that one can know if the recipient of your e-mail opened the mail in question, when and where they did that or if they just spammed it.


Email service provider tracking can be used to check if a client opened one’s email or not. It however has more limited capabilities compared to Google Analytics. The latter boasts of being able to give tracking information in real time. It can also give demographic information complete with a specific location. What is even better is that one can do the tracking themselves without professional tech help. The service is also free. All one has to do is embed an image tag into the html of the e-mail in question. The unique web address (URL) of the embedded image contains all the information needed for Google Analytics to do its job.


This information is the sent email campaign, the recipient’s account information and the sender’s account. This means that for one to use Google analytics as an e-mail tracking device, they need an account complete with a tracking ID from Google Analytics (GA). This means that if one has a g-mail account, all one needs to do is integrate the GA system into the account. If one does not have an account, one can go straight into creating a GA tracking ID on their site. After one has successfully embedded the image in the e-mails and sent them out, it is important to specify how he or she wants to receive the reports.


A sample of the embedded URL as explained above is We look at what each segment of the link signifies from the last typed all the way up.

URL Component


cn=Campaign Name Campaign Name identifies the campaign to you
cm=email Campaign Medium could segment social vs. email, etc.
cs=newsletter Campaign Source allows segmentation of campaign types
el=recipient_id Event Label specifies a unique identification for this recipient
ea=open The Event Action helps specify exactly what happened
ec=email Campaign Medium could segment social vs. email, etc.
t=event Tells Google Analytics this is an Event Hit Type
cid=CLIENT_ID_NUMBER A systematic tracking ID for the customer
tid=UA-12345678-1 Your Google Analytics Tracking ID
v=1 Protocol version within Google Analytics


These reports generated by Google Analytics are useful as they give insights into customer behavior such as at what time most e-mails are opened. This is useful information as it tells a company about the most visited parts of their site, the time when most people visit the website, their physical locations among other things. This can help in future market planning and forecasts.


It can also help in determining what time the website can be brought down for restructuring as one can accurately average when it has the least traffic. Over time, one can learn each individual customer’s interests by the mails they open and those they do not. The reports from the tracking can help better strategize and come up with better marketing plans. At the end of the day, even if one is not in business, it helps to know if one’s intended e-mail recipient opened their e-mail or not. It at least makes judging them easier.


Knowing the efficiency of your e-mail campaigns is very important as such tools could generate up to 40% additional revenue of existing customers if you deal with a high retention based businesses. Additionally, it is a tool that could be used to reveal the most active clients, as well as a guidance towards tailoring messages towards certain people.