Life would be so easy if a campaign makes money and everyone is happy. But in this world where people are fired for a lot less than a 25% decrease in a campaign year over year, you need to be armed and ready to prove to your boss that your strategy is adding benefit and value to the company.
The ONLY way to do this (and continue to getting larger budgets) is to:
1) Measure the success
2) Share the success with the team
If you don’t, the credit will be evenly distributed, which is not a bad thing since I truly believe in being a team player, but not a good thing if you are trying to save your job.
So, I recommend using campaign tracking (UTM) codes on all your efforts to be able to measure the impact in one Google Analytics report.
Yes, it is more work on the front end, but during the campaign you can sit back and spend time on optimization instead of endless data gathering from multiple sources for reporting.
Plan out all your marketing tactics in all channels.
Let me show you how this works and embedded a few “secret” tricks of the trade in the mix.
STEP 1: CREATE YOUR URLs
SECRET 1 You can use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of all your URLs for media (social, PPC, email, Q/R codes, display ads).
Campaign Tag Management Template: Free PDF
Campaign Tag Management Template: Purchase and Brand the Excel Template
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Watch a video demo of this excel Google Analytics Campaign Tag Management Template.
Then append every URL will a string of code that tell Google Analytics what channel it came from, what campaign and even the CTA they click on.
SECRET 2 –> If you are a newbie, there is a handy tool called the URL builder that walks you through the 5 things you can track:
Here’s an example of how you might track a promotion from Facebook:
Let’s say you have a new ebook called Marketing is BS and want to track from a post sent at 7am on July 4th, 2014. Use the Google Analytics URL Builder to add in your destination URL (the landing page).
- Your source might be “facebook”
- Your medium might be “post_07042014″ (what makes sense to you)
- Your name might be “bs-ebook”
Your new URL would look like this – http://www.yourwebsite.com/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium= post_07042014&utm_campaign=bs-ebook
Or what if it is an email and you want to track different links:
- Your source now would be something like launch email (because you’re sending an email instead of a post)
- Your medium would be “email” (this should match your Google Analytics setup, typically these are the standard names unless you have customized, it is important to make sure you have a standard for all campaigns)
- Your campaign content could be the CTA link name, or to make it easy, SECRET 3 I just use link1, link2, link3 and then later I can match back to the initial creative
- Your campaign name is the same
The URL for the first link you’ll use in that email would look like this – http://www.yourwebsite.com/?utm_source=launchemail&utm_medium=emailutm_content=link1&utm_campaign=bs-ebook
Other links would be the same but instead of link1, you would put link2 etc. until the last link.
The final step is to append any other internal source codes to the end using the appropriate syntax, ie. ?referral=2345 so that this is passed and save in your database.
(SECRET 4 this won’t be saved in google, BUT you can search and find the URL in google if needed which comes in handy incase your source codes don’t pass for some reason)
STEP 2: USE THE LINKS IN YOUR PROMOTIONS
This is probably the hardest part since typically there are multiple vendors and staff involved. I recommend hosting that Excel sheet and keeping it updated on a shared Google Docs account.
STEP 3: SET UP AN AUTOMATED REPORT IN GOOGLE ANALYTICS
I recommend doing a pre-launch to test your code and make sure they all pass, then go 100% on your email spend and email blasts.
The campaign report is under traffic sources and it will pull up a list of all your campaigns:
Click on your campaign name in the list (in this case bs-ebook).
(Note how you want to be consistent with naming conventions especially if you are automating reports to other people in your company.)
If you drill down into the campaign you can see a comparison of key metrics by tactic. If you have your eCommerce set up or goals you can even measure conversion.
To see down to the content level, it is a bit tricky. SECRET 5 You have to go under “other and then under Acquisition > Ad content – this will pull up individual links for emails.
STEP 4: BE THE AGILE HERO
By supplying real time data to key decision makers, they will be able to flag tactics that aren’t pulling the ROI you were looking for and optimize. You might find some changes bring in lead conversions but are low on revenue. If your facebook retargeting ads are doing better than paid search, you can reallocate budget. You now have the full story to optimize the promotion elements that YOU control and do a full campaign ROI based on spend and revenue at an point during the campaign – in a matter of seconds.
And even more importantly, a benchmark against other similar campaigns (to compare top CTAs, CPAs, CTRs and conversions).
Have fun and don’t forget to share your secrets in the comments area to help others.