Unlike traditional marketing methods, conversion tracking offers the opportunity to track and measure ROI directly related to email campaigns.
With or without marketing, burgers, jeans, and mortgages are sold in the normal course of business. Providing actual ROI for traditional marketing efforts is considered marketing's Holy Grail - incalculably valuable but eternally unattainable.
ROI is measured either in dollars or website visits. Conversion tracking makes it possible to capture real behaviors and record real revenue against specific e-marketing efforts. Conversion tracking tracks the user's movement by updating statistics on the tracking server as he moves from an email to either an internal or external landing page, through associated Web pages, and ultimately to a conversion page. The feature requires an externally hosted web page or a Campaign landing page.
- How much revenue was generated as a direct result of the latest hamburger ad on TV?
- How many shoppers went to the local mall to buy blue jeans because they received a flyer in the mail?
- How many new mortgages were applied for that can be positively tied back to the recent spate of radio commercials?
Conversion tracking terms
Clickstream: Generally speaking, clickstream refers to a sequence of web pages accessed by a user during a browsing session. Specifically, it refers to the tracking of data relating to such a session and the ability to capture and report on that data.
Clickstream links track the link activity and force the appending of the Mailing ID, Recipient ID, Job ID, and Report ID. Clickstream links are only required on a single link in an email if you need to see the Conversion tracking data in the single mailing report.
Clickthrough: Clickthrough relates to clicking a hyperlink within an email and the tracking and reporting of that click. Clickthrough tracking can be related to a web page that is part of a tracked clickstream, but it doesn't have to be. Clickthroughs are discussed here only to avoid confusion with clickstreams.
Conversion: The goal of a commercial website is to convert people from website viewers to customers, or from prospects to opportunities. A conversion typically occurs when a user indicates his or her intent to purchase, usually by putting merchandise into a web shopping cart or clicking a Buy It Now button. In addition to purchase-related conversions, it is often useful to consider the following types of conversions:
- File downloaded
- Whitepaper requested
- Appointment scheduled
- Sales Call requested
- Seminar/Training registration
Landing page: A landing page is a website page that is the destination of a particular link within an email. The landing page is usually the starting point of a clickstream. The landing page is usually related to a marketing program and is often not accessible directly from other pages on the website. All references to landing pages in this document do not refer to the landing pages product.
Viewing reporting on conversions
You can find reports on how my clickstream and conversions campaigns are performing through single mailing reports classic, single mailing reports in reporting, or through XML API reporting. Read through the following sections to get reporting on conversions.
Share-to-Social causes many clicks for one contact record
The clickthrough report displays an increase in reporting activity because all of the emails contain a related Recipient ID, and each click is displayed for that single contact.
If a recipient or contact of an email shares an email address with their social networks or co-workers, there is an increase in reporting activity on the clickthrough report's unique total clicks. This is because the email contains the related Recipient ID, all clicks are tallied for that one user.
The number of recipients that clicked on an email's web version link
You can view this information by navigating to Reports > Reports (classic) > Single mailing, then select All contacts and clickthrough page from the dropdown menu just below the mailing report tab.
Top domains reporting information unavailable
Top domains reporting is not available in the following circumstances.
- Active/Inactive autoresponders
- Program emails
- Canceled emails
- Automated messaging groups (Transact)
Top domains reporting collects and organize the data on your contacts' top domains when the email prepares to send and then finalizes the compiled data when the send is completed. If autoresponders and program emails are used, this information is not able to complete because it is continuously sending. For canceled emails, the send isn’t completed so the data is not provided.
Top domains report showing more than 100%
In the Top Domains Report tab, the domain open percentage might report more than 100%. This number represents the gross amount of opens per domain. One contact with this domain was sent the email. This one contact opened the email 3 times. Therefore, the open percentage is 300%.
Tracking multiple sites so that visitors can go to both sites at the same time
The campaign only appends the webSyncID variable to page URLs when the destination URL is different from the current page domain and is registered as a domain that needs to be tracked. The webSyncID must be passed along to the next site domain in order for that domain to add behaviors/events to the same contact. If a visitor clicks a link on SiteA that goes to SiteB which is not having the webSyncID will cause the visitor to look like an anonymous visitor on siteB.
We use first-person cookies, which means siteB.com can not read the cookie set for the same contact on SiteA.com. This is the safest and preferred cookie standard. We pass the visitor id along to the various sites the customer is tracking in order to associate all the visitors' behaviors with a single contact in the Campaign. The webSyncID passed to siteB will cause the SiteB cookie to get set to the same value as the siteA cookie - both of which map to a single contact in Campaign.
Keep in mind, if a visitor goes to siteA and then closes the browser and later goes directly to siteB, the Campaign will not recognize this as the same visitor. However, as soon as the person identifies themselves (say by submitting a form, or because they got a Campaign email that sent them to a site) we will associate the behavior of that site to the person's contact record.
A visitor goes to siteA and submits a form - site A web tracking is now associated with that visitor. The same visitor goes directly to siteB (no link from siteA) a month or so later. SiteB stores the visitor's behaviors anonymously. If the visitor then submits a form on siteB - the record will get matched in the database say on email - and we will recognize that this is the same person who was on site A and associates the behaviors from both sites to the same contact. Also, keep in mind, the main reason for adding a listing of all the domains a company has in the web tracking code is so that we can know when to add the webSyncID to any links on the page that are pointing to another tracked site. If the customer is not actually linking the sites together, there is no value in adding them to the meta tag. In the above scenario, where I have tracking on two sites that do not have links pointing to each other, the visitor can still have the behaviors associated together - assuming they submit a form on both sites or visit the sites through Campaign email.
A single contact in the Campaign can sometimes get associated with multiple cookies if each site they visited sets the cookie before it was associated with cookies from other tracked sites for a given customer. This is an okay outcome and the Campaign will associate the various cookies to the same contact as each one gets identified (submit a form, visit the site from email).
If you are using Campaign hosted forms, then no custom programming work is needed. If the forms are not externally hosted, then you will need to write the code that reads the ID of the cookie and pass it along with your submit form or the API call that you make. This way, the Campaign can connect the anonymous visit behaviors with the new or updated record you create through an API.
No forward link in the forwards reported
While you review reporting metrics, you see several forwards listed. However, in the sent mailing, you see no forward link.
When someone shares an email by using the Share to Social feature, Acoustic Campaign creates a special Click-to-View version of the email that collects performance metrics from Facebook or Twitter. This Click-to-View event is considered a forward. To see who forwarded your email on a social network, go to Reports > Reporting, then click Share to Social under the Single Mailing Reports report type.
Web tracking for the same domain
For security reasons and for data integrity reasons, it is not possible to use web tracking for the same domain in more than one Acoustic Campaign organization
For example, you may consider creating sub-domains off of your main domain and tracking these separately, but your website would need to be programmed in such a way that, once a visitor hit one of the sub-domains, all links would be re-written accordingly. For example: Assume sub-a.domain.com and sub-b.domain.com. These sub-domains would point to the same physical website at domain.com but would work in such a way that if someone visited sub-a.domain.com, any link would keep them on sub-a.domain.com and not accidentally take them to domain.com or sub-b.domain.com.
Difference between "viewed web page" and "visited web site"
The Visited website selection finds anyone who has visited an internally hosted website (Example: www.pages05.net/demo) or a Web Tracking enabled external site (Example: demo-assets1.com). The external pages shown under Web Site are listed in Settings > Organization Settings >Web Tracking Settings > Qualified Domains.
When selected in your Query Editor, the drop-down menu will present the URL of both internal web pages and Qualified Domains. The Viewed web page selection only applies to Web Tracking enabled web pages and their subpages. If Web Tracking is enabled on mywebsite.com and mywebsite.com/about, the query will find contacts who have visited those pages.