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When Email Marketing Meets Digital Analytics

Michael Engberding, Strategic Data Consultant @ Mapp
When Email Marketing Meets Digital Analytics

Understanding your business’s performance isn’t just about crunching numbers on a report. It’s about connecting your digital activities with your overall business objectives. By evaluating success and monitoring campaigns using the right data at the right time, you can gain valuable insights.

Full-fledged datasets in an all-encompassing database provide the metrics you need to develop meaningful business KPIs and set targets that drive your business forward. Yet, many digital businesses have fragmented tools, separate components, and disjointed departments. This creates data siloes and gaps when combining data to get insights from marketing and digital analytics. Instead, this needs to be a unified view.

If you’re a number-driven digital business struggling to get these insights, you need to make your data sets work. In this blog post, we share how to bridge those gaps and focus on the importance of email marketing and digital analytics.

The Dynamic Duo: Email Marketing and Digital Analytics

These two candidates may seem like a match made in heaven, but unfortunately, they often find themselves disconnected. Sometimes it’s due to a lack of expertise, technical know-how, or ownership issues among stakeholders. But combined, you’ll see growth in your data-driven business activities!

Here’s how to bridge the gap and combine these forces.

#I: The search for the missing link

Sometimes, it takes a little nudge in the right direction for email marketing and digital analytics to come together. Here, starting from scratch, we define congruency!

With a Marketing Acquisition Model in place, you can understand how customers and visitors interact with your products, services, and digital assets like websites and apps. Therefore, we need a well-developed campaign concept in general, and for our data engagement, we need information on newsletter campaigns in detail.

Every newsletter link should be equipped with detailed campaign information, allowing you to track recipient interactions. When recipients click and follow these links, you can track their actions as campaign clicks, session starts, or even as events on your website. It’s all about capturing the valuable data that fuels your insights and decision-making. Here’s what it looks like via Mapp Marketing Cloud.

Mapp’s Marketing Automation (Mapp Engage)

With our Marketing Automation capabilities, you’ll find a range of placeholders designed to capture detailed information about your campaigns, including the message content itself. This information, which can be message-specific, group-specific, user-specific, or metadata-related, plays a crucial role in conducting an in-depth analysis of the merged data. These placeholders, particularly the message identifier, should be included in the ad media, also known as the campaign URL, to ensure comprehensive tracking and analysis capabilities.

Mapp’s Intelligence & Analytics

On the other hand, our analytics capabilities take care of tracking and evaluating campaign URLs while organizing all campaign information into predefined categories. By using the standard tracking opt-in with the message identifier, it establishes a connection between historic, present, and future tracking data for each recipient who clicks the newsletter. This ensures comprehensive tracking and analysis for a more complete understanding of your campaign performance.

#2: How to Frame Analysis

When merging email marketing with digital analytics data, one important aspect that’s often overlooked is the dimensional nature of the data. Since email marketing analysis has its focus on the newsletter batch send-out time. In digital analytics, time is always event-based, like the time of the visit, the page load, etc.

Finding a comprehensive solution can be challenging and even difficult. Relating website events to the newsletter send-out time, or vice versa, only provides a part of the picture. Instead, a conceptual solution is necessary which is why it’s important to ask yourself, “What exactly are our needs?” To answer this, the datasets must be flexible and drillable to provide meaningful insights to help uncover your answers:

  • Being flexible: having both analytical options available. For example, provide multiple views with time dimensions to analyze both perspectives.
  • Being drillable: having an all-in-one view. This gives an extensive pivotal view with exchangeable, filterable, and switchable dimensions.


Imagine you send out a batch of emails with metrics like “sents” and “clicks.” At the same time, you’re tracking web analytics metrics like “nl sessions” and “visitors.” Now, let’s say t1 is the date of the email batch send-out and t2 is the date of the web event:

Table 1: Flexible view with Email Marketing perspective

Table 1: Flexible view with Email Marketing perspective

Table 2: Drillable view where web-date is subjected to Email Marketing perspective.

Table 2: Drillable view where web-date is subjected to Email Marketing perspective.

The latter provides blended data on a highly granulated base, allowing you to drill down to hours and even minutes. The flexible and drillable tables exemplify to prevent not narrowing down the data perspective and analytical options. Being on the drillable side enables you to conduct data-mining practices like grouping, rolling, and filtering for deep diving into your data.

The Benefit of Infusing Digital Analytics with Email Marketing

The Campaign Perspective

Generally, campaign performance, reach, and conversions are crucial insights for marketing, particularly email marketing. By combining web analytics with email marketing, you can broaden your horizons and gain new opportunities to understand how subscribers and customers interact with campaigns on your website. This integration provides valuable insights into customer behavior and enhances the overall understanding of campaign success.

At least for clickers on a session basis, you have new options for various insights on campaign traffic, customer behavior, and website goal achievement. With digital analytics, you’ll learn what happens after the click and who of my clickers is a valuable prospect, customer, or returning buyer. This is highly valuable for marketers to target more effectively.

As this data union encompasses cross-session, user, and message-related data, you have access to a wealth of information about your recipients and their past activities. This includes acquisition data, visit frequency, engagement patterns, interests, and goal achievement metrics, such as orders and conversions.

The Goal Perspective

There are numerous business models out there, and monetary goals are prevalent across the board. However, it’s often challenging to directly link an order to a newsletter, since a newsletter serves as a touchpoint within a specific point in the customer journey. This type of contact could occur during an ongoing session or a previous session.

In Mapp Intelligence, we differentiate between assisting and conversion campaigns, allowing us to assign a value to each newsletter touchpoint based on its position in the customer journey. This enhances our understanding of the potential goal achievement through email marketing activities and provides greater transparency.

Once the data is connected, we gain access to various conversion metrics. For instance, we can analyze the number of delivered emails in relation to conversions from that campaign, or focus on campaign sessions that resulted in conversions. When taking a funnel perspective, we can examine in-session or cross-session product views, add-to-basket events, and product purchases, providing standard or custom-defined conversion metrics based on newsletter activities for comprehensive marketing reporting.

To Wrap Up: Merging Both Datasets Can Be Truly Remarkable

With the successful integration and merging of the two datasets, we’ve unlocked the ability to analyze email marketing data in a cross-session and user-related context, which is truly remarkable. This opens new possibilities for developing business relevant KPIs and setting meaningful targets. It’s crucial to leverage your data effectively, adopting a conceptual approach while remaining flexible and drillable in your analysis.

At Mapp, our dedicated Customer Success Managers and Strategic Data Consultants are ready to empower you in driving your business forward. Whether it’s consulting on KPI development, goal achievement, data collection, or visualization, we’re here to support you, our growth hacking services are a step in the journey of data-driven success. If you would like to know more about our Strategic Data Consulting, find out more here.