How to Track Email Open Rate with Google Analytics

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You know, it is always good to track our work, to see if we need to improve something. In this case, we are talking about email marketing.When it comes to email marketing, the first thing we need to know is if we are using the right heading: does it lead people to open our email? Of course, even if you write the best and most useful email ever written, if people do not open it your efforts will be useless. And the fact that poeple will decide to open your email is strictly related to the quality of the subject line. So, how can we know if what we write is good enough? Tracking the open rate.What I am going to share with you is a simple URL that you can add to your emails to know if people are open it, and you will get this info directly from Google Analytics.


WARNING: This system works, no matter the email service you are using. Many say that it doesn’t work for Gmail, but I’ve tested it and it works – you can easily test it. If you are a Wealthy Affiliate’s member, this works also with the email service included in your membership.






What we are going to do is creating a URL using the indications contained in the Measurement Protocol released by Google. Basically, we build the URL summing small pieces of code to make a request to Google and say “Google, track this!“.


In the image below, you will find all the pieces we need.


how to track email open rate free with google analytics frustrated affiliate marketers

This infographic was created using Canva


This is the final result:;=/TrackingOpenRate&dt=EmailMarketing


As you can see, we built the URL putting together:

  • The address to which we have to send the request to collect data;
  • The versione of the parameter;
  • The Google Analytics tracking ID;
  • The anonymous ID client;
  • The anonymous IP address;
  • The event hit type;
  • The characteristics of the event – the path you set is what you see in your Google Analytics traffic sources;
  • We added a “&” to separate each piece of code.


I called it “the fake URL” because if you think that this is an address that redirects us somewhere else you are wrong. It is only a piece of text we add to our emails to tell Google Analytics that it has to inform us every time someone open our email.

But we don’t want to redirect our readers somewhere else. In reality, we don’t even want that our readers realize that we are tracking our email open rate. But how can we do that?




Another fake. But don’t worry: we are not going to create an image. We are just going to add the source code to create an image.

To add an image to your content using codes, this is the tag you need to open:




This is one of the few tags that you don’t need to close. But, to make it effective, we need to add an image source. Usually, this source is a file or the URL to that specific image we want to embed in our content.

In this case, we want to use a URL without displaying any image. So, we use our fake URL:


<img src=”;=/TrackingOpenRate&dt=EmailMarketing”>


As you can see, we just copy the URL between the brackets related to the source attribute of our piece of code.


But how can we embed it in our emails to track the open rate with Google Analytics?

If we try to just copy this in our email HTML version we are going to make a mess: the result is that our readers would see the full piece of code in the email they receive. Very bad. To avoid this inconvenience, do this:

Open a new tab in the text editor – I use Notepad++, you can easily download this app. Type the full code but add an element: a piece of text that will be shown in the email you send.
how to track email open rate free with google analytics frustrated affiliate marketers earn your first commission


My strategy is to use my unique selling proposition as the piece of text: this will help make the tracking URL look extremely natural. Moreover, by doing this I can add my email open rate tracking URL in my signature, so I won’t need to add it each time I write an email.


how to track email open rate free with google analytics frustrated affiliate marketers earn your first commission1


But to add our tracking code as I did we need one more step.

Once you type the code in your text editor, save the file as an HTML file. Open the file and copy the piece of text that appears in the browser. Now, you can just paste it in your email.




As I mentioned, the only purpose of this method is to track the open rate of your emails for free. If you are an affiliate marketer, a marketer or a business owner, you might want to track this open rate because you decided to include email marketing in your marketing strategy. But this is not enough.

You track the open rate of your emails because you want to know if you are doing well: are people opening your email? Do you need to improve this rate? If yes, how can you improve your email open rate?




The subject line is the first thing we see in our inbox. So, the subject lines of our marketing emails represent the first thing we need to take care of.

Do you want some tips? If the answer is “Yes”, read this:

  • Keep it short: your subject lines will be fully visible also on mobiles;
  • Keep it real: do not make fun of your readers with fake subject lines! They are giving you their time, respect them!
  • Again…do not make fun of your readers using unethical strategies. One of the most used strategies is the “re:” in the subject: the reader will think that he/she had previous contact with you. Once the email is opened, he/she realizes that it is not true. You lost a prospect.
  • Test: test different subject lines. Try with questions, try asking for a contact without promoting your product in the very first email, just try and track, and set up your strategies once you have enough data.




Writing good marketing emails is not easy, but we need to take care also of the body of our marketing emails, for sure.

Since what we need is knowledge, I am going to suggest some experts that will help you to increase your conversion rate, that is, make more money. And a little investment to improve our business and make more money is worth it, you might find these two products useful.



EMAIL PERSUASION: Captivate and Engage Your Audience, Build Authority and Generate More Sales With Email Marketing – by Ian Brodie

This best seller represents a full email marketing course that covers all the aspects of this marketing strategy:

  • The basics to set a solid foundation of your email marketing strategy;
  • How to win clients through email marketing;
  • How to build a list – a valuable list – of subscribers;
  • The strategies to get your emails opened and read;
  • how to write engaging emails;
  • How to turn subscribers into clients;
  •  How to persuade people – and this is a real science!
  • How to segment your list: send the right message to the right person;
  • And, my favorite part, how to integrate technology with email marketing – you know what I think about this, and you know that I don’t want you to be beated by those competitors who use technology as an advantage!

The fact that this book is written by Ian Brodie is a really good point, because he always keep things concrete and easy and supports firms since 1994. He knows what he’s talking about.




The Email Marketers’ Game Plan

This book is completely different, because it provides you with concrete email campaigns. For those who want also practical copies to use in their campaigns, this is the right tool for you.

This book is focused on allowing you to create ‘swipe files’, that is, templates that you can reuse adapting them to different campaigns, and on overcoming the “marketers’ block”, that block that affects us when we face a blank page and do not know what to write. These campaigns are meant to improve sales, so not to provide a full set of knowledge.


the email marketers game plan frustrated affiliate marketers

Price: $33,14



You reached the end of this article, and I really hope it will help you to improve your email marketing strategy. You know, I didn’t want to provide you with a full course, but to give you some good and concrete tips to increase your conversion rate. Don’t worry: more articles related to the topic will be published, because email marketing is one of the most powerful strategies used by affiliate marketers – and business owners, but it is not so easy to know where to start or how to do things better. So, don’t forget: track your email open rate to check if there is something you need to improve and increase your conversion rate.

Have a nice day and tell me if you need any articles on specific topics! 🙂

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