One of the most important parts of any advertising strategy is analytics. You can’t know whether your campaign was effective unless you know your data on clicks, conversions, and ROI.
It’s no different with email advertising, which is why we’ve created the Paved platform with email marketing analytics in mind. We make it easy to track the results of your campaigns in real time, as soon as they are sent.
As with any platform that has its own built-in analytics, there are sometimes disparities between the numbers you see in Paved and those you find in Google Analytics, or whatever analytics program you use on your website.
Not to worry, though. There are simple explanations for these differences, and it is possible to use your advertising platform reporting in combination with Google Analytics to get a well-rounded picture of your campaigns.
Common Causes of Different Reporting Between Platforms
One of the biggest points of confusion for Google Analytics users is the difference in terms between various analytics platforms. For instance, when you look at your results in the Paved platform, we will show how many clicks your email advertising campaign got.
But, when you log into Google Analytics, you won’t be able to see how many clicks your campaign got. Instead, you’ll be looking at either sessions or users.
These metrics in Google Analytics don’t generally perfectly line up with clicks on your email advertisement for a few reasons.
The first reason for a disparity is that sessions is not necessarily a measure of traffic. According to Business to Community, “a session is defined as a group of interactions one user takes within a given time frame on your website.”
For Google, that time frame is 30 minutes. That means that a user could click on your email ad once and stay on your site for over 30 minutes, in which case they would count as two sessions, but only one click in your advertising platform.
Similarly, a user might click on an ad, visit your site, and then leave, only to click again a few minutes later and revisit your site. In that case, this one user would log two clicks and only one session.
In this case, both numbers—clicks and sessions—can be valuable in their own ways, but it is important to understand what exactly each metric is telling you so you can truly understand your campaigns.
Bounces During Load Time
Another reason your clicks, users, and sessions may differ is that your landing page probably takes a few seconds to load.
While this time may seem negligible, it’s still enough time for a user to click away while your site is loading. Up to 40 percent of site visitors click away after only 3 seconds of delay, according to Facebook.
In this case, the user would register as a click in your ad platform, but a session wouldn’t be logged in Google Analytics.
You can combat bounces during load time by ensuring that your site loads quickly and that your tracking code is in the header so that it loads more quickly than if it was in the footer or body of your page.
You could also be seeing differences between your advertising platform and Google Analytics if you’re using filters to examine your analytics.
For instance, you might have a filter set to exclude visits from your office domains, or your personal IP address. If an employee clicks on an ad, or you test your own ad by clicking on it, you would see different reporting in Google Analytics than in your ad platform.
For the most accurate email marketing analytics, you should always use as few filters as possible when looking at the results of an ad in Google Analytics.
If you do have filters in place, just know that it may cause some differences in the results you see on different platforms.
Users Opt-Out of Tracking
Finally, Google does make it possible for users to opt-out of tracking in Google Analytics, and some ad blockers will also block tracking as well. There’s even a Chrome extension made by Google that allows users to opt out of tracking.
If your users have opted out of tracking in Google Analytics, it will result in incomplete recording of site usage.
Using Platform Reporting and Google Analytics Together
The best way to use Google Analytics and any advertising platform reporting for email marketing analytics is to know what you’re looking at. While some numbers may seem more impressive or flashy, ultimately what matters is what the numbers can tell you about your user behavior.
By using Paved to track your email ad open and click rates, as well as Google Analytics to gain insight into what users are doing once they reach your site, find the cracks in your funnel, optimize your email marketing, and scale your strategy.
Ready to see how easy email advertising can be? Sign up for Paved today to get started finding, contracting, and paying publishers all in one place.