Here at E-Nor, we pride ourselves on being a global leader in web and mobile analytics and digital marketing optimization. When we have the chance to grow our team to make the company stronger, we jump at the opportunity. So when well-seasoned analytics industry veteran, John Henson came into the picture, it made perfect sense for E-Nor to welcome him with open arms.
John has a very strong background in all things analytics, from strategy to implementation to analysis and consulting, across enterprise digital analytics platforms including Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics (SiteCatalyst), CoreMeterics, customer experience tools such as ClickTale, qualitative/voice of customer tools, as well as data visualization and analysis tools including Tableau. He has worked with a variety of industries including business-to-business, e-commerce, media, education and governmental agencies. Early in his career, John held a consultancy position with our friends and very smart folks at LunaMetrics in Pittsburgh. He was heavily involved in Google Analytics before moving to San Francisco where he took an in-house position in the online education space with Apollo Group. Here, John leveraged his mastery of Google Analytics and SiteCatalyst to support the advanced analytics needs of the Apollo Group. According to John, experiencing the practitioner side after a consultancy position gave him a lot of enlightenment about how consultants can be more effective in empowering large organizations with data and insights.
“It’s a level of understanding that I’m not sure how to put down in writing. You get to see the day-to-day operations of the organization and you start to understand some of the behavior that baffled you as a consultant. And then you work with consultants, and are baffled by some of the behavior that used to make perfect sense,” states John. He shares with us that one of the challenges with being on the practitioner side is that you become focused on just the tools you use at one organization, solving for one set of problems. The work and experience feels deeper than on the consultancy side, but more narrow and focused. John is hoping to regain a broader expertise again by coming back to the consultant side of things.
John has spent numerous years within our industry, but he didn’t start off that way. He is originally from Ohio, where he attended the University of Dayton, earning a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering. It wasn’t until a few years after college that John discovered his interest in measurement and optimization. And even though (as it may seem to most) that there’s a huge difference between chemical engineering and analytics, he has seen the connection between the two. According to John, chemical engineering is very much about problem solving, which is a great for working in analytics.
“(Start) with a set of information that often seems to fall short of having enough pieces to solve a problem, and figuring out how to solve it anyway. These are the types of skills that make engineering a great foundation for almost any endeavor, including analytics. Although there isn’t a lot of coursework in the program around statistics specifically, there is a strong grounding in calculus, differential equations, numerical methods, etc. that one can at least be comfortable hanging out with the real mathies. And sometimes even get some of their jokes,” says John. “I really like solving problems and figuring things out. I like the satisfaction from helping other people find and accomplish their goals. I like making decisions based on logic, and data, and facts and using those things to find the right answer to a question. Digital analytics brings those and other things all together nicely in one place, so it is a really good fit.”
John joins E-Nor as a Solutions Architect, assisting global brands solve very complex digital measurement challenges. He will also support E-Nor’s clients in analytics tool evaluation, advanced implementations and deliver maximum value from Google Analytics Premium. It is John’s goal to move back to Ohio soon to spend more time with family and friends, as well as enjoy various outdoor activities in his home state. This move allows for enhanced support of E-Nor’s clients in the Eastern Time Zone, and will provide additional assistance to our New York and Tampa Bay area offices.
In addition to his analytics expertise, John is also an experienced blogger within the digital analytics industry. While if you asked him, John would be modest about his contributions to the industry as a whole, he’s written several blog posts that hit on foundational elements within the digital community, bringing focus to key points in which people were struggling with.
We are excited about the opportunity to bring John on board, and who knows, with his expert blog writing experience in the past, we may be able to get him to share some of his knowledge and stories here with you!
As the need for digital analytics continues to grow throughout the world, so does the need for a highly experienced and global organization.
That would be…us! We’re expanding our services to accommodate this growing demand!
In 2003, we established our headquarters in the heart of Silicon Valley, in Santa Clara, California. Since then, we’ve grown to include offices in Southern California, New York City, Dallas and Tampa Bay.
This year, we’re really excited to announce our most significant expansion ever with the opening of a European office headquartered near Brussels! The new office will serve the growing digital analytics markets in EMEA.
We welcome Miko Kershberg, Managing Director (Europe) – who plays a key role in our expansion. Miko has more than 15 years of experience as an internet marketing expert. He has a passion for digital analytics and an in-depth knowledge of conversion optimization, SEO, SEM, email marketing and social media.
“We are absolutely delighted to welcome Miko to the E-Nor team. His extensive experience and noteworthy track record complement our core values and mission to deliver unsurpassed analytics consulting, ensuring our continued growth in Europe and beyond.”-Feras Alhlou, Co-Founder and Principal Consultant, E-Nor
For more than a decade, we’ve proudly advised many of the world’s top brands, Fortune 500 and governmental agencies. We’re dedicated to keeping current with cutting edge internet and mobile technologies, constantly perfecting and evolving our digital analytics strategies for the benefit of our clients. The new European office will not only expand our presence, but allow us to continually offer premium services to organizations throughout the world.
And when we say “Premium”, that’s what we mean! Google Analytics Premium, in addition to E-Nor’s comprehensive suite of analytics consulting solutions, will be available to serve all global customers on an expanded basis!
If you’re doing online marketing right, you probably have a gagillion tags, scripts, pixels running on your website. You might have some on all pages in the main template, some on certain landing pages, etc. Some may conflict with others, causing errors, while some might just be on pages unnecessarily, possibly causing issues like load time problems.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have them all organized in a system where you can test them out and then deploy certain tags on certain pages? That’s what Google Tag Manager does. It’s a content management system, but for tags.
While, it can be a daunting task to remove, replace and reorganize all your tags in order to implement it, with a little strategy and planning, it might actually make your life a whole lot simpler. Here’s how we helped a high profile client implement it on their site.
Global Brand Hi-Tech company consolidates process, simplifies deployment and tracking of marketing tags worldwide with Google Tag Manager
Yesterday, the Google Analytics team gave an amazing presentation on the recently launched platform Universal Analytics, a new user-centric way to measure user-interactions across devices, platforms and environments. It shifts the focus for the platform from being “visit centric” to “visitor centric”.
In the presentation from our Googler friends, Nick Mihailovski, first talked about how we can measure beyond web and app in Google Analytics and then Andrew Wales spoke about how we can optimize experiences across devices. Finally, Pete Frisella tied it altogether and talked about how we can measure online and offline experiences together using Google Analytics.
Please enjoy the presentation here:
After the presentation, I felt left out I wish I was up there expressing my love of Universal Analytics. This is how I imagined it would go if I was part of the presentation (with an appearance by a good friend of mine, Avinash Kaushik):
Please join me in thanking the Google Analytics team for all they’ve contributed to the Digital Analytics industry.
Why would anyone want such granular level access? Any large (to midsize) organization will have their own data-mining warehouse, not only for online data, but for everything. Examples are product inventory, shipping tracking, phone calls, store sales, phone sales data, salesforce lead data, PPC data, etc. The ability to combine it with raw, granular online data will give companies that last piece of the comprehensive universal puzzle, resulting in virtually unlimited insights.
A while back, we wrote about the digital marketing and analytics uses of using Google BigQuery, stitching together multiple data sources as in the picture below:
BigQuery basically allows you to crunch and query massive amounts of data using “…Google’s massive compute power…” “…store as much data as needed and pay only for what you use. Your data is protected with multiple layers of security, replicated across multiple data centers and can be easily exported.”
We’re excited to announce Feras Alhlou has been nominated for a seat on the 2013 Digital Analytics Association Board. The DAA is a non-profit, volunteer-powered organization consisting of big names in the analytics industry that, among other things, aims to unite and educate individuals who have a passion and aptitude for digital analytics.
If you’re a member of the DAA, and believe in Feras’s vision for the organization, vote for him! When asked by the DAA Election Committee where he would like to see the organization in two years, his response was:
“Looking ahead, I envision DAA as a leading organization in the broader analytics space. I would like to see membership go beyond web analytics to also include a larger spectrum of marketers and business analysts. As the industry tends to grow, so too should DAA, to embrace those who utilize various digital aspects in their day-to-day responsibilities.
“DAA should be seen as an educational resource throughout the communities in which the organization is established. By reaching out to existing businesses, colleges and universities, DAA can be seen as the go-? to organization for digital know-how. And in turn, grow and gain membership.”
Feras is the Principal Consultant of E-Nor, Inc. which he co-founded in 2003. He is passionate about improving his client’s ROI and has led his organization to implement and launch successful digital marketing and analytics strategies for E-Nor’s diversified client base. Under his leadership, E-Nor has worked with numerous Fortune 500 companies and organizations within the educational, government, retail, B2B, High-tech and non-profit sectors. The company has achieved qualifications as a Google Analytics Premium Authorized Reseller, Google Analytics Certified Partner (GACP), Google AdWords Certified Partner, Google Urchin Software Certified Partner and Google Website Optimizer Certified Partner.
Feras has an extensive background in digital marketing consulting, search marketing, web analytics, mobile and marketing optimization. He has traveled the globe educating businesses and marketing consultants on the subjects of search marketing, online marketing and digital analytics. He is a member of the Digital Analytics Association (DAA), co-chair of the San Francisco Bay Area DAA chapter, and serves on the DAA Examination Sub-Committee.
Feras is a blogger and writer, and has been published in WebProNews, Wall Street Journal/Smart Money, Web Marketing Today, Independent Retailer and the official Google Analytics blog, among others. He is also a speaker at various marketing and analytics industry conferences throughout the world.
Prior to E-Nor, Feras was the Vice President of Professional Services and Consulting for Syndeo Corporation, a telecom application provider. Feras received a Masters of Engineering Management from the University of South Florida and a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tulsa. Feras is married and has three children and enjoys volunteering, reading, skiing and Aikido.
Some Funny Campaign Material! Help us by sharing!
on his way to deliver a Digital Marketing & Analytics workshop in Qatar, we took the liberty of coming up with these funny campaigns posters. Everything in them are 100% true and accurate and have not been embellished or edited in any way
Working in the Silicon Valley is an awesome ongoing adventure. The spirit of entrepreneurship, creativity, hard work, and fun is always there. Even large companies like Google have the “20 percent time” program, where Googlers are allowed to use 20 percent of their work week to pursue any special project they like, which Google claims many of their innovative products to have originate from.
Here at E-Nor, such innovative spirit is integrated in our culture and company’s DNA. We try to think about data and analytics beyond the 8 (official) working hours Such spirit can be found in a project of one of our lead analysts and long time blogger, Allaedin Ezzedin, in a little fairy tale called “Alice in Marketing Wonderland”.
For your digital marketing amusement, if you’re a child of Analytics ready for a wondrous journey through a world of marketing fantasy, watch the video below!
Sometimes, the urls (and titles) of your pages are not conducive to web analytics reporting. For example, your ecommerce site’s payment, shipping, and order confirmation page may all have the same url for some reason – http://www.domain.com/checkout.aspx. To web analytics, all these funnel pages are reported as one page. You are now stuck, you can’t create ecommerce funnels and measuring shopping cart funnel abandonment is impossible. And there is a more subtle and serious issue as well, in your report, you may find hits (events, ecommerce, social, etc) associated with this url, but you won’t know what part of the order process these hits belong to.
Here’s the actual flow we want to track and understand:
If you have a shipping calculator on your shipping page, a card type drop-down on the payment page, social buttons on all pages, you want to track each of these events on each page. However, it will show like this:
All the urls are the same! How do you know if these events happened on the shipping page, payment page or order confirmation page? You might be able to tell from the event names, but in some cases you may not be 100% sure, and this is definitely not clean and ideal.
While fixing the actual real urls and title tags (assigning unique urls and titles per page) would make things very organized, your content management system may not support this, or you might prefer not to spend that time or money on developers.
Luckily, there is a secret, undocumented method that allows you to actually set the page url and title of a visited page in Google Analytics. More importantly, it will actually associate the hits with these new, more meaningful page urls and titles. Your reports will be easier to read and will provide insights that may not have been available before.
The Issue With Virtual Pages
The traditional solution to this would be to use the _trackPageview method and trigger virtual pages for each “step” (i.e. /virtual-page/shipping.html, etc.).
The drawback here though is still, the actual events will not be associated with these virtual pages you’ve created. They will always be connected to the “real” page, which would be /checkout.aspx (as you can see in the screenshot above). You’re still lacking potentially valuable insights.
SECRET HACK! Setting the URL and TITLE in Google Analytics – _set method
With this new _set method, you can manually set the url and title of the page to whatever convenient name you want.
In the case of the ecommerce example mentioned earlier, for each page you’d like to rename, you can pass the preferred url and title so that it’s separated and meaningful in Google Analytics and associated WITH THE HITS:
We got a couple Google Analytics service calls this morning from some concerned patrons freaking out about traffic in their real-time report that was coming from an international space station (one of them was a government call!).
WTH? International spies? Aliens?
Well, we looked at a couple of other client profiles, and we saw the same exact traffic… and it actually isn’t counted in the real-time counter.
41 visits all day consistently… 4/1… April fools… pssssshhhhh….
Looks like we’ve been dupped by Google Analytics April Fools 2013. Very funny :/
No matter what the latest marketing channel or marketing buzzword is, email marketing is here to stay and you’d better be paying close attention to it. We’ve covered some basic email marketing strategies in the following parts:part 1, part 2 and part 3. But once you’ve got a solid email marketing program, you’ve gotta be measuring how it did! This post is about email marketing analytics, and in line with our “user-centric” approach to measurement, I’ll share tips with you on how to report not only on traditional email metrics, but also how to see a 360 view of your customers and prospects.
The beauty of the user-centric approach is that your data will be specific to your customer base. You’re not just looking at “open rates” or “click-through rates” in just email marketing, but you’re measuring the entire user experience. This way, you can better decide what works and what doesn’t work based on the interaction with the user. Tracking helps you to constantly improve your email, web and mobile content and approach based on your customer’s overall behavior.
First let’s cover the basics. Most email marketing platforms, such as Exact Target, Responsys, iContact, MailChimp, Constant Contact, VerticalResponse, etc. all have integrated tracking. In fact, you don’t even need to set anything up – they’ll have a report ready for you as soon as the email campaign has been sent. In the report, you get pretty decent metrics.
Here is a sample of what you would see from an email-marketing provider:
Open Rate – the number of people who opened your email as well as the total number of times your email was opened.
Action: If you have a low open rate, let creative juices flow and come up with more compelling subject lines. Test sending at different times of the day, different days of the week, etc.
Click Rate – the number of people who clicked a link in your email as well as the total number of times links were clicked in your email.
Action: More than likely, the purpose of your email is to get the reader to take action. More often than not, that’s to click on something and go somewhere on your website. If this metric is low, maybe the quality of your content is not where it needs to be. Maybe the offer is not that compelling. Also, make sure your links and “Calls-to-Actions” are visible; the goal is to get more interaction with customers.
Bounces – the number of people who didn’t get your email e.g. their email account could not be reached.
Action: To avoid bounces, make sure you collected the list of contacts yourself by having a sign up list on your site, or having them opt-in to receiving special offers from you once they make a purchase.
Unsubscribes - the number of people who removed their email from your list, using the subscription management link (email platform will always include this on emails sent through their system) at the bottom of the email.
Action: To avoid unsubscribes, make sure the information you are presenting to your customers is relevant to them. When initially creating your list, having subscribers opt-in would most likely decrease this too, since they’ve chosen to hear from you. Most likely if you added someone without their permission, they may not want to be bothered and unsubscribe. Also, maybe you’re sending too many emails? That can be annoying and cause someone to unsubscribe.
Forwards - the number of people who forward the email using “Forward to Friend” at the bottom of the email. The email platforms can (should) not capture data of people clicking the actual forward link in their email client.
Action: You’re doing something right if this is high, if your customers are forwarding to their friends! Keep it up!
Complaints – the number of times a contact reports your message as spam in their email clients.
Action: Similar to unsubscribes, to avoid complaints, make sure you are not spamming your customers, don’t send multiple emails a day and make sure you are sending information that is relevant to them. A great way to ensure people don’t unsubscribe is segmenting your contacts into lists of content that is relevant to them, this way they are only receiving content that they signed up for.
Now if you have been reading our blog and follow our Reporting Framework, you know that you should be trending your KPIs, and you could do that easily in Excel and come up with something like this:
WOW! What happened to our open rates and click-through’s in Feb!! We can see some issues, so now we can take action!
Post Click – Tracking in Google Analytics
Hopefully, you can tell this is all great information for the email blast itself, but what happens after your email subscribers clicked on the link in your email and landed on your website? This is where Google Analytics comes in.
The email platform will allow you to track the amount of clicks and opens for your blast. But what web analytics platforms such as Google Analytics will do, if you have it set up on your website and have properly tagged your emails, by connecting the two, you get insights on what happens after they’ve clicked the links in your email. See how engaged your email visitor is with your site.
Tagging and Segmentation
Adding a simple tag to the links on the email blast will allow you find out:
…if they convert
…fill out a form
…watch a video
…and much more.
This is obviously quite useful, especially if you have eCommerce set up in Google Analytics you can track revenue per email campaign.
Tagging properly to segment your visitors in Google Analytics can be useful when trying to figure out what works best for particular audiences. For example, let’s say you’re having a sale and want to see if “20% off” would capture more attention than “Free Shipping”. The first thing would be to segment your list. Segmenting will allow you to send the same email blast to different sets of people or you can even send two different emails based on your audience to see which performs better. The first email will have a subject line of “20% off your purchase today!” and the second email will be “Buy now & get free shipping.”
Now that you’ve created two blasts, you can add utm tags. A utm tag allows you to make each link unique by adding fields that will appear in Google Analytics reports. To generate this unique link, use E-Nor’s URL builder or another awesome tool for tagging is Campaignalyzer.
When using the URL builder, there are three required fields:
Campaign Source is where your traffic is coming from. For example, if you paste the link on “Facebook”, and want to track the visits from there, you can use that as your source. In the case of email tagging, you can use it to identify your segment type. For example, use “leads” for a email blast to your leads list. You can use “prospects”, “customers”, “male”, “female”, etc.
Campaign Medium is a marketing medium, or in other words, the “channel” you are using. In this case, it should always be “email” when linking from an email blast.
Campaign Name as it says, names your campaign. For example, you can use “April Newsletter” when linking from an email blast for the monthly newsletter in April. You can use the month and year, or even more specifically use the actual day that you are sending it on. You can also use the name of the product you are promoting in the content. If you are sending out newsletters on a regular basis (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.), we would suggest using the date for the campaign name, because it will make things easier when you are looking at reports. Also, if you are testing to see what type of email is getting more conversions, then you will want to use the campaign name to differentiate the emails.
Tip: Always test that your tagged urls appear in the browser and in Google Analytics! You never know what can happen…
Now that you’ve tagged your email, the data will be found under medium as email traffic for your deep dive analysis.
You can also trend data over time and see if there are seasonal impacts to your user’s behavior. You can see how many people continued ‘shopping’ on your site and even if they ended up purchasing/converting or not. If you are doing A/B testing on which email to send out to all your customers, you can analyze between both sets of data and then make a decision about which offer resulted in more revenue or micro conversions.
The above reports are all dandy, but we are still looking at metrics in isolation. Analysis and optimization is all about context. What if you like to view the entire experience in one report, you want to see the number of list subscribers, the open rate of a specific campaign and the associated revenue in one report? Sure, you could do it in Excel, but that’ll be a lot of work.
What we recommend is automatically pulling data out of Google Analytics into Tableau and then be ready for some serious slicing and dicing (for now, you still have to pull the email providers data from a csv file and into Tableau). Again, if you follow our articles, here we are featured on the Google blog explaining how to do that).
Here’s what you’ll see, a nice dashboard in Tableau showing key campaign metrics nicely trended for four email newsletters (NL_1, NL_2, NL_3, NL_4):
Clicks (of those Opens, how many clicked and visited your site)
Number of transactions
(you can also plot Open Rate, Subscriber/list Growth Rate, Time on Site, email visits from Mobile, etc.)
Analysis note: it’s obvious that the Newsletter 4 (NL_4 in red) just tanked in every aspect so address it immediately. It’s also worth noting that while the Newsletter 3 (NL_3 in green) had less transactions than the Newsletter 2 (NL_2 in orange), the revenue number for NL_3 is slightly higher. This indicates that your average order value is higher and whatever you did to upsell or promote higher ticket items worked!!
Mobile Analytics & Engagement
Don’t forget to assess your users mobile experience and expect that more people are using the mobile phones and tablet to access email, browse and shop. Go to your mobile reports and segment by “medium” and select the “ecommerce conversion rate” metric. You’ll quickly see that your mobile users convert at half the rate than your desktop users!! A quick “lost opportunity” analysis will convince your manager to invest into a responsive design for your site or maybe a mobile site.
This will be the subject of a more detailed blog post, but since Universal Analytics is the future, start thinking of what metrics you want to pull into Universal Analytics from your email marketing efforts. Passing a “user id” (ensure it’s don’t include personally identifying information) is a good start. Work with your email providers to pass the “user id” with the click/visit and then once once the visitor clicks the email link and they are on your site, grab the “user id” and store it in a Custom Dimension. You can then report and export your reports (with user ids) into your BI tool.
Filter out auto-respond emails, confirmation emails.
Scenario: A user arrives at your site via an organic search. The user performs some action which results in him receiving a system generated email containing a link back to the site (for example, an account activation email). If the user clicks on the link to go back to the site, it’s very likely the medium of the original visit will be overwritten to Referral, particularly if the user is using a web-based email client. (In the case of Microsoft Outlook, this would be considered a Direct visit, but the medium wouldn’t be overwritten since returning Direct visits don’t override the original medium.) The “no override” parameter shown below prevents this problem from manifesting. The parameter utm_nooverride=1 can be added to all system generated e-mails, such as registration and password reminder e-mails. For example, a password reset link such as:
Can be updated to
Attribution & Multi-Channel Funnels (MCF) for your email marketing program:
Keep in mind that we all browse many sites before we buy or submit a request for more information. And we are likely to revisit the same site many times before we do so. To see all these touchpoints and how your email channels contributes and assists conversions, make sure you review the MCF reports in in Google Analytics. Here is a snapshot at the Top Conversion Paths along with the number of conversions and conversion values for each path. It takes some of us 5 emails to convert!!
Here you have it! Any other email marketing analytics tips you like to share?