Marketing campaign analysis & tracking via Google Analytics

In the world of web analytics, one of the fundamental pillars of understanding the site behaviour is through segmentation whose “is to allow your marketing/sales program to focus on the subset of prospects” (1). One of the methods of segmenting the visitors to a web site is via campaigns. It is defined in as:
A specific, defined series of activities used in marketing a new or changed product or service, or in using new marketing channels and methods (2).

To test the effectivness (and to learn) campaigns, I experimented on my personal blog. The plan was simple. I wanted to check if the readers of my blogs who come from various sources behave any differently if the reader is a friend of mine. Albeit a non-brainer thing to verify, it was an interesting thing to see how different my friends behave as target audience as compared to normal readers. So here goes the steps for setting up the campaign and the results.

Setting up the campaign
The first step in designing a campaign is to identify the goal. In my case it was to see if sending out emails whenever I publish a blog was a successful method for attracting better quality audience. A better quality audience in my case is audience who spend more time on the site and visit the site more than once.

Based on the goal, the metrics that I needed to start tracking were Visits, Absolute Unique Visits, Repeat Visits, Time on site, Pages per visit and Bounce rates. I also needed to separate visitors whom I was targeting via emails from the rest of the audience.

To segment the audience, I set up a campaign which is basically appending some special parameters at the end of URLs that can be used for tracking the visitors. To help build correct URLs for Google Analytics, Google offers a URL Builder (3) that gives a URL based on parameters that you want.

If you look at the screen, it has 4 parameters. They are:

1.Campaign source – where are the audience coming from – in case there are multiple sources
2.Campaign medium – how did they reach the site.
3.Campaign term – To see which of the multiple terms resulted the audience reaching your site. In my case there was none since it was not based on search at all.
4.Campaign content – What type of content led to audience reaching the site. It could be a text based ad on Google, a banner, a flash, etc. This can be used to identify effectiveness of multiple content types, if applicable.
5.Campaign name – A name to identify your segment of visitors

Based on this, I set of the campaign for my blog. Screen shows the campaign I setup to track visitors from this blog.
http://rakshay.blogspot.com/?utm_source=ch1&utm_medium=ch1blogs&utm_term=none&utm_content=blog&utm_campaign=collegues

Viewing the campaign
Once having setup the campaign, it was time to wait for people to start ‘converting’. After sending out email about a new blog that I had written, I waited for about a month. To see the results of campaigns, go to Traffic Sources -> Campaigns.

Here you can see the results for your campaign (reported based on the 5th parameter provided above). The report can be analysed in various dimensions like the landing pages and the comparison of traffic against the entire site.

If you look at the image below, the reports very clearly show that the campaign has been a great success for the parameters that I’d defined. The average time, repeat visits and page per visit is much better than average site.

The following screen shows the performance of the various landing pages under the campaign:

The best part – since i’d sent the mail to a limited audience I can exactly calculate the marketing metric of conversion:
No of people targeted (n1) = 26
No of people converted (n2) = 13
Conversion rate = (n2) / (n1) %
= (13) / 26
= 50%
Well, considering that the average conversion from a marketing capmaign on search PPC is around 2%, the 50% I’ve got is nothing short of a jack-pot 🙂

References:
1.Segmentation: http://www.businessplans.org/Segment.html
2.Campaign: http://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/term/82444.html
3.Google Analytics URL Builder: http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=55578

The reference site for the article is my personal blog where I’d written about the funny aspects of the traditional indian arranged marriages. The URLs sent for the campaign were:

  1. Arranged Marriage Blues – Part 1: Entrapment!
  2. Arranged Marriage Blues – Part 2: The Rejection
  3. Arranged Marriage Blues – Part 3: First Meeting
  4. Arranged Marraige Blues – Part 4: Arranged Travel

Do send me your feedback on my other blog too – if you get some free time to have a look:-)

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Author: akshayrangananth

CDN Specialist, Web performance evangelist, and SEO tinkerer.

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