What should you be tracking?

Email marketing produces more tracking data than just about any channel.

Some things are crucial for monitoring on each send, others are worth the occasional glance or ignoring all together. We all know the importance of reporting, and yet many marketers are unaware of what they should be tracking and the tools which they should be using. Here is my take on what to track to help you make the most out of your email campaigns.

The Basics

Every email system will track bounces, opens and clicks and the stats generated on the back of this provide your core analysis of the success of your emails in comparison to others. If you do email marketing you will be doing this already so we won’t dwell on these.


Having a list of click-thru’s and how many times each one has been clicked on has some use, but a more visual and immediate means that even non-analysts can draw rapid conclusions from is the heatmap. This overlays click numbers in a colour coded fashion on top of your email so you can see the warm spots for lots of activity, and less active spots. You want to see the areas you want clicked to be providing the warm spots – if not then it’s back to the drawing board to redesign those call to actions.

Revenue & Conversion

You can tag your links with codes to track the eventual success of your email in Google Analytics but this will only provide so much useful data. A better approach is to use the tracking code provided by your ESP who will hopefully be able to provide you with reports showing not only how many conversions and revenue the email generated, but which links had better conversion paths than others.


With the rise of smartphones and tablets it’s important to understand what devices your customers are using. This should show what percentage of your audience is opening on Smartphones and what type, allowing you to make an informed decision on whether it’s worth re-designing your emails to take into account mobile (Hint: It will be!)


Email systems like GraphicMail provide the ability to seed your send with major email providers such as Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo so you can see whether you made it into the inbox. GraphicMail does this test before any emails go out, as well as after the campaign is finished so you can see if the volume of the campaign sent the email into junk, or caused any delays.


Looking at the basic campaign stats will only give you so much insight, and after a while you might see the same things each time. One way you can really learn where your response is coming from is to drill down on your reports by different segments. An obvious and immediate one for many would be to split them by gender – how do males and females respond to the email? From this you can see if you have any underperforming segments, and calculate the opportunity size for investing in targeting these differently to bring the results up to the same level.