Analytics Anonymous

Greg Nason | August 30, 2017

Email service providers offer analytics that enable marketers to know which users clicked which links within an email blast. But once the user has left the email and is perusing the website, their behavior is now anonymous. Google Analytics tracks their path through the site, but you can’t tie them back to the email link that was clicked to know exactly whose path through the website you’re seeing.

Or can you?

Enter the Google Analytics User-ID. If you can uniquely identify a user via a website login, or click from an email, you can pass this information to Google Analytics to see the session activity of known users. Google Analytics does not receive personally identifiable information such as email address, name or phone number, so you assign every user in your mailing list or database a user ID. By passing this unique user ID in the query string of the link to your website from the email, you can store that value in a cookie, and pass it to Google Analytics on every page hit, thus de-anonymizing that user.

You then create a view within Google Analytics for these users and use the User Explorer to see specific user activity. Then to eliminate the need for cross-referencing, you can use the PII Viewer Chrome plugin to merge the actual user details into your Google Analytics view.

Are you currently collecting only aggregate data from your website analytics? We can help.