It’s no secret that email marketing is an essential part of any comprehensive marketing plan. In its simplest form, this technique uses email to promote your firm’s products or services, and can be one of the best tools for professional services firms to maintain a customer base and nurture new leads. When done well, email marketing keeps you connected to the people who mean the most to your firm and helps build confidence in your brand.
Ideally, your email marketing content should drive traffic back to your website. But does it? Using Google Analytics can help you answer this question.
As an example, Jaffe pays close attention to how our Newsstand articles perform each week, which helps us shape our content and topics. When analyzing metrics, we find it particularly helpful to look at article performance over time to determine how the email marketing piece performed. This will show how the article was further read throughout social media using organic search traffic and other referral sources. A particular article may not generate traffic or a significant amount of interest after one week, but when we look at the metrics over a longer period, we find the article is actually quite successful.
Here are six metrics, measurements or categories we always check to determine how successfully an article is generating traffic to our website. (See the end of this article to learn how to find the metrics mentioned.)
Pageviews from Email
This metric counts users who visit your site when they click on a link in one of your emails. Obviously, if you are taking the time to send an email marketing campaign with links back to your site, you want to see how the campaign is resonating, and whether your audience is clicking the links. When looking at performance the first week out, this metric gauges the initial traffic to the blog or article.
Pageviews from Social Media
This metric shows traffic generated from social media posts. Your email campaign should be one arrow in your marketing quiver, not the only one. Blogs and articles should be re-purposed through a variety of marketing channels, especially social media. Pulling an excerpt from a blog post into a social media post should increase traffic to your website. Analyzing this metric can help you determine which platforms give you the most traffic, calculate the ROI of your social media campaigns and see what content works best with which social platform.
Pageviews via Organic Search
This metric gives the number of pageviews generated by an internet search. Ideally, your firm’s SEO expert optimizes your content to increase the visibility of your web page in search results. Good SEO can continue to pay dividends over time. If you produce a solid piece of content that ranks for frequently searched keywords, traffic to that web page can snowball.
Analyzing your organic search traffic can help inform topic choices for future posts. A great example is a recent blog post by my colleague Stephanie Holtzman about the importance of pro-bono legal work. Her article generated an average amount of pageviews from our eblast and social media; however, visits via organic search exceeded our average nearly 10-fold. It’s important to note these outliers to determine the best way to leverage the traffic they attract to your website.
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who arrive on a web page and leave after visiting only one page. You’re aiming for a low number here, because a high bounce rate suggests that your landing pages are failing to lead your visitors to other pages of your website. You want your e-newsletter to drive people to your site, but you also want them to explore additional pages once there. To reduce the bounce rate, consider adding internal links on your landing pages to encourage visitors to learn more about your firm and, ideally, create the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Time on Page
As the phrase indicates, this metric tells you the amount of time, on average, that visitors spend on reading your blog post. Using this metric, you can identify the posts that attracted the most visitors who took the time to read the content. Look for trends in web pages with high time on page (do more of this) vs. low time on page (avoid). What were the topics? How long were the articles? Did visitors find the articles via an eblast or organic search? Discovering these trends can inform your content strategy in the future.
Pages per Session
Visiting Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages will allow you to see the number of pages a person viewed during their website visit. Getting visitors to visit other pages on your site should be a goal of every blog post. If your posts have a low number of pages per session, it may mean that you need to add more internal links that send visitors to other pieces of content on your site.
To find the metrics outlined above, follow these simple steps in Google Analytics:
On the left-side panel, choose Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.
Set your date range using the calendar dropdown.
Under “Secondary Dimension,” choose Acquisition > Default Channel Grouping (This allows you to quickly check the performance of each of your traffic channels, such as email, social, direct, organic, etc.).
Use the search box to enter a keyword for the article or blog you would like metrics for.
You don’t have to be a Google Analytics guru to conduct a quick analysis of your email marketing efforts. The time spent will provide an invaluable wealth of data you can use to fine-tune your content marketing efforts and capture even greater returns.