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How to Track Direct Mail Using Google Analytics

September 3, 2015


Did you know that you can track traffic generated via your direct mail campaign using Google Analytics?

While direct mail might not seem like a natural match for an online tracking tool such as Google Analytics, it’s surprisingly easy to track the online traffic that your website receives as a result of your offline marketing efforts.

There are several ways to track your direct mail postcards using Google Analytics, ranging from simple to slightly more complicated. Read on to discover how you can use this powerful online tracking tool to monitor your next direct mail campaign.

Tracking online traffic from offline marketing

In order to track your campaign using Google analytics, you’ll need to include a call to action that prompts recipients to visit your website.

This can be as simple as including your website’s URL in the postcard (which results in slightly less precise tracking) or, for more detailed information, you can include a vanity URL to direct recipients to a specific landing page.

A vanity URL is a special URL that redirects users from one page to another. As an example, a vanity URL like could redirect users to a page with a longer URL, even one that includes specific values, that’s more difficult to type.

If your campaign’s call to action doesn’t direct users online, you won’t be able to use Google Analytics to track results. The easiest way to use Google Analytics as part of your direct mail campaign is to send users to a specific landing page.

If you choose not to send users to a specific landing page, you can still use Google Analytics to track your campaign by monitoring traffic and user behavior on the drop date of your direct mail campaign.

Monitoring traffic to your landing page

Once you’ve set up a custom landing page for your campaign and mailed your direct mail postcards, you can use Google Analytics to learn how people interact with your website.

You can even track your campaign’s response rate and conversion rate online using the conversion tracking feature of Google Analytics.

To use conversion tracking, you’ll need to set up a conversion goal – usually a form entry or online sale – using Google Analytics before you begin your campaign starts, then place the conversion tracking code snippet on your landing page.

If you’d prefer not to track conversions and just view data about how recipients are behaving on your landing page, you can do this using the Landing Pages features of Google Analytics.

Click through to the Content tab, then click Site Content and Landing Pages. This will show you how many visits each specific landing page has received, the average time spent on the landing page and other useful information.

You can use this data to enhance your campaign. For example, it recipients visit your landing page but only spend a few seconds there, you may need to make changes to your direct mail campaign’s message to better match your website’s content.

How can you use Google Analytics to improve your results?

Google Analytics is an extremely popular tool for online marketers for many good reasons. By digging into your website’s data, you can learn more about your target audience’s wants, needs and online behavior.

It’s also a massively powerful tool for offline marketers. When paired with a direct mail postcard campaign, Google Analytics can help you accurately track your total earnings, measure ROI and discover opportunities to improve your campaign.

Does your direct mail campaign send users to an online landing pages? If so, how can you use Google Analytics to more accurately track your results and find new opportunities to enhance your return on investment?