This past week we have been talking a lot about moving from the dependency on social networks to focusing on one of your greatest potential strengths as an online business owner – your newsletter list. These readers are even better than those following you on social platforms. They love you and your content, products or services so much they have given you permission to talk them via email.
Today we are talking about tracking those email signups. When we know where they came from and what triggered their action, we can duplicate it and further market it. Google Analytics provides us this information with just a simple setup.
Most quality newsletter services will allow you to direct subscribers to a certain page on your website after confirming their opt-in. I have a “Thank You” page set up on all of my blogs that welcomes new subscribers to my community and lets them know what they can expect from my newsletters. I can create a Goal within Google Analytics that will then track how many people visit this page, what content they viewed prior to this one (before they subscribed) and even where this traffic came from (direct referral, social network, etc.).
Setting Up Goals in Google Analytics
There are a number of conversions, or Goals, you can track in Google Analytics:
- When a visitor subscribes to your email list
- When a visitor makes a purchase from your site
- When a visitor downloads your free report
- When a visitor visits your contact page (may be especially useful to service providers)
- Time on Site
- Pages Per Visit
You can also track specific outbound and internal clicks, these are called Events, but let’s start with the basics – Goals. With Goals, you can measure downloads, purchases or opt-ins. You will just need the URL associated with the completion of those activities. This may be a download page or a Thank You page you have created for new subscribers or purchases.
Once you know what you want to track:
- Log into Google Analytics
- Click Admin on the top right
- Choose the site for which you want to create a Goal
- Click Goals
- Click + Goal
- Name your goal (Ex. Subscribe to Email)
- Choose Destination, Time Duration, Page/Visit or Event depending on the type of activity you are tracking. I am setting up a Goal for tracking email subscribers. Therefore, I chose Destination and entered the page slug, not the entire URL (the last part of your page’s URL yourdomain.com/slug).
Where Can I See My Conversions?
After your Goals have been set, you will want to check them on a regular basis. It’s simply a matter of visiting Conversions in your Google Analytics account. Click Source/Medium to see where the subscribers came from – and use that information in your marketing plan going forward. 😉
You should also look for blog posts that are generating newsletter subscribers. In your Google Analytics Reporting, you are going to hit Conversions > Reverse Goal Path. Here you can see what page or post was viewed prior to joining your newsletter. You can now further promote these posts and create similar content, perhaps even offsite via guest posts, to encourage more signups. You will also want to revisit any popular posts that are not converting like you want and make sure they include a call to action within the post either via a signup link or opt-in box.
This is one of those simple things you can do that can make a difference in your conversions. It also allows you to see behind the scenes into how visitors are interacting on your website which is always a good thing.