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Tracking traffic to your website from email signatures

How to track visits from your email signature

Today I was reading a blog about online marketing. I came across a question by one of the readers which I think many authors and small business owners might also ask. “How do i track how many website visitors my email signature generates”. There are a number of solutions available however some are simpler and more effective than others. Unfortunately many email clicks show up as direct traffic which is why it is sometimes hard to gauge how people arrived to your website.

In this post I assume you have some working knowledge of Google analytics or an equivalent tracking software.

Solution 1: Setup an Email visitor page to track visits generated by your emails

In my opinion this is one of the most effective solutions; assuming your website or blog allows you to create new pages you don’t even need a professional to get this done. Create a simple page that welcomes your visitor to your website, you may even want to go ahead and tell them thank you for clicking the link in their email. In this page you should put a few links to the rest of your website content, depending on your skills you may want to use images as links or just work them into the text. I recommend keeping this page simple; a little thank you note for visiting and maybe a small introduction to you and your website.

This type of page is what online marketers call a landing page, it is most often used for advertising campaigns but it can also be very useful for measuring all sorts of arrivals to your website. This page will have URL, (http:// your website.com/email-visitor-page) You can then use this URL as a link in your email instead of simply (http://your website.com)

Using google analytics for example, on the left hand side there is a tab labeled Behavior; once you click it you will have more tabs available to choose from, click site content and then you can either click All Pages, or Landing Pages. If you click all pages you can select the email visitor page and get to know a little more about how many visitors, which country they visited your site from etc. You can also track your visitors path through your website, such as the next page they visited after this particular page.

This option is free to implement and is a good basic solution to knowing how effective your email signature is at getting people to your website.

Solution 2: Use a link tracking company to track email link clicks

There are a number of companies that offer link tracking services, generally the way they work is by creating a special URL just for you! For example at bitly.com you are prompted to provide the URL you would like to track, now there is a small trick you will need to use and it is better explained hereTracking the same link in multiple places This way you can still send everyone to your homepage but simply by adding ?src=email or ?src=XYZWebsit or ?src=Adcampaign at the end of the link like so http://cjdeguara.com/?src=cjweb before running it through the bitly.com link generator it will allow you to generate multiple links that link to the same content.

I know for some of you this may seem a little technical, however when you really look at it, it is quite easy, since most of the hard work will be done for you by bitly.

Step 1: Get your website URL http:// yourwebsite . com
Step 2: Append a simple tag http:// yourwebsite . com /?src=emailsignature
Step 3: Visit Bitly and run this code through their link generator and sign up to their service
Step 4: Use this link in your email signature
Step 5: Visit bitly to check your link analytics and stats, as frequently as you feel the need to.

Solution 3: Google Custom Campaign for tracking visits from email signature.

There is another option which requires a little more knowledge of google analytics but I would be cheating you of a great solution if I did not share this with you. Google analytics allows you track custom campaigns and it does this by allowing you to create special links which it then uses to provide you information about that specific campaign.

In short you can have custom links without using a link tracking service like bitly and can have all the awesome information in your google analytics dashboard under: Tab Acquisition, Tab Campaigns. The problem with this option is it does require a little more technical knowledge than the other options and in Google tech help fashion it is not so easy to find.

Step 1: Visit the following: google help page Scroll through it and find the form builder.
Step 2: Follow the directions listed in the article above and take the URL you have generated.
Step 3: Use generated URL
Step 4: Visit your google analytics dashboard and Go to the Acquisition Tab and click to open the sub tabs – Click Campaigns and depending on what you used as a campaign label in Google’s URL builder you will see it listed under campaigns with regular google analytic options and drill downs available.

Ok, I admit if you use Google Analytics it probably feels like I should have just provided you this solution. The reason this is not my first and preferred solution is because google analytics can be a bit daunting to a beginner and not quite as user friendly as it could be to someone that does not work in the industry. From a setup stand point this is worth the work but for most small business owners I believe it is easier to have a page for receiving email generated traffic and seeing that particular page’s traffic will answer the big question: “Is my email signature generating traffic to my website and how much traffic?”

Solution 4: Tracking mail shots email generated visits

There are a large number of email marketing and providers and most of these provide click tracking for your email campaigns, simply research for the right provider and they will have you covered.

Mailchimp and Aweber for example both have full tracking functionality.

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