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Can Google Analytics help my e-mail marketing?

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Answer: Marketing professionals know that careful, accurate and constant campaign tracking and analysis are just as important as delivery itself. Integrating Google Analytics into your e-mail marketing is an easy—and free—way to make this possible.

Google Analytics has become one of the industry’s most powerful Internet marketing tools, helping advertisers, publishers and Web site owners improve their sales conversion, campaign targeting and marketing initiatives. It is a robust Web statistics software application provided by Google free of charge.

You can learn where your visitors come from, whether referred by search engines, ads, e-mails, blogs or affiliates. And you’ll know which cities, states and countries your primary visitor traffic resides in, so you can more carefully target future ad campaigns.

While hugely popular with webmasters and usability professionals, some marketers have yet to realize the value Google Analytics plays when used to monitor e-mail marketing campaigns.

Using Google Analytics, e-mail marketers can gain greater control over the effectiveness and cost-efficiency of each campaign, sending carefully targeted, relevant messages.

To get started, create a Google Analytics account by visiting www.google.com/analytics. Follow the directions provided to place tracking code onto the relevant Web site files, then add parameters to URLs in each e-mail marketing message, denoting which visitors arrive as a result of each e-mail marketing campaign.

Once an e-mail campaign is properly coded and delivered, Google Analytics automatically monitors resulting Web site traffic, telling you which links were most popular with your recipients, when they visited your Web site, how long they stayed and where they navigated following arrival. You can then adjust your campaign variables to improve results over time.

Campaign managers can also drill down using the Segments drop-down menu. This provides even greater detail on individual campaigns, keywords, geographic regions, browser types, operating systems and visitor activity, like the most popular landing and exit pages.

Google Analytics dramatically enhances the abilities e-commerce companies have in retaining and converting customers. Simply use the E-commerce tab to display purchase information to calculate ROI numbers for your campaigns.

Using Google Analytics, e-mail marketers can discover simple ways to more effectively tailor their promotional messages. They can design messages to their audience’s preferences, minimize steps in the purchase process, reduce shopping cart abandonment, improve landing page effectiveness and keep visitors on the Web site even longer by identifying and optimizing the weak links where most people exit. And it’s free.

Dan Forootan is the president of StreamSend Email Marketing (www.streamsend.com), a provider of e-mail marketing solutions.

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