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A Complete Guide on How to Track Email Campaigns with Google Analytics (GA4)

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Track email campaigns with google analytics(GA4)
Reading Time : 6 minutes

Launching a successful email marketing campaign requires building an email list, double opt-in forms, segmentation, email design and development, automation, and others. But, without thorough email tracking, you won’t be able to track the progress of your email campaigns. That’s why let us show you how to track email campaigns with Google Analytics(GA4).

Why use Google Analytics (GA) for tracking email campaigns?

Google Analytics (GA) is a great free resource that helps marketers monitor their website’s performance and the effectiveness of their campaigns. Google Analytics email tracking has great use cases to gain accurate insights on email campaigns. 

In 2023, Google announced major changes with Google Analytics 4 (GA4) which is soon going to replace its predecessor, Universal Analytics (UA or GA3). Starting from July 1, 2023, GA4 will be the only option for Google Analytics users for tracking.

Since this upgrade will have a huge impact on all marketers, it’s important to understand the differences, what’s changing, what will remain, and how to track your email campaigns using Google Analytics (GA4).  

Major differences between GA4 and UA

GA4, the latest iteration of UA, is designed to replace it with a horde of more relevant features and upgrades to help marketers track data more accurately and effectively. The new range of features that it will offer are event-based tracking, mobile app tracking, cookie-less tracking, improved integration with Google products, a better customizable interface, machine learning capabilities, and zero data limits. 

White UA tools are limited to processing 500 hits for each session, 10 million hits, and 200,000 hits per user per day, GA4, on the other hand, will have no data limits. 

Is it possible to run GA4 and UA simultaneously?

Yes, marketers can run these two suites simultaneously until UA will be obsolete in July 2023. You may start running these two platforms together to make sure the latest version is collecting data accurately and you have efficiently switched to GA4. 

How to Track Email Link Clicks in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

By tracking your email links with GA4, you can monitor and measure the number of visitors flown from your emails to the website, track email opens, and other valuable email insights. 

Check out this step-by-step guide (with screenshots) on how you will be able to track email link clicks in Google Analytics 4. 

First thing first: prerequisites to start tracking email link clicks in Google Analytics 4

  1. Your GA4 account is set up on all web pages
  2. Configuring a Google Tag Manager account
  3. Install Google Tag Manager Container on every webpage

Now, let’s get started. 

Step 1: Activate all “Click Variables” and publish your “Tag Manager” 

1. Find “Google Tag Manager”.

2. Hit “Variables”.

3. Choose “Configure”.

4. Scroll down to access “Clicks” – activate all Clicks variables.

5. Submit all the changes.

Step 2: Configure the “Tag”

1. Access your GTM account 

2. Select “Tag”.

3. Give a name to the Tag.

4. Select “Tag Configuration”.

5. Select the tag type: “Google Analytics: GA4 Event”. 

Step 3: Mention your GA4 Measurement ID 

1. If you are configuring it for the first time, then you need to set the ID manually and mention the “GA4 Measurement ID”.

2. Access your GA4 Account and select “Admin”.

3. Go to the second column – “Property” 

4. Choose “Data Streams”.

5. Select your property. 

6. Copy and paste the Measurement ID.

Step 4: Name the Event accordingly which will appear in the GA4 reports without any space in between. You can use an underscore such as “clicks_to_email”.

Step 5: Create a new Trigger that determines when it will be active on your website. To set up the trigger:

1. Select “Triggering”

2. Press the “+” symbol to create a new trigger.

3. Add a name.

Step 6: Choose “Just Links” for the trigger type from “Trigger Configuration”. The “Just Links” type tracks an event that matches an external URL. When the user visits the website and clicks on its email link, it will open up an email client.

Step 7: Choose “Some Link Clicks” to configure Trigger since you need to track the certain click that links to an email client. Instead of tracking “All Link Clicks”, choose “Some Link Clicks”.

Step 8: Choose “Click URL” from the dropdown menu which is a specific URL that a user will get redirected to when they click it. When a user hovers or clicks on the email link, the email address will appear at the bottom left-hand side ( This is the “Click URL” that opens the Email client when a user clicks on the link. 

Next, you need to create a condition that tracks the action with a “Click URL” that contains the email address.

Step 9: Copy the Email address and Paste it into the box. 

From the dropdown option for the conditions, select 

  1. “Click URL equals” the email address to get triggered when the specific URL is clicked, 
  2. 2. “Click URL contains” partial email address to get triggered when a link that contains the partial link address is clicked. 

Both options work mostly in the same way. So, you can choose the method that suits your tracking requirements. 

Step 10: Now, save the “Tag Configuration”  

With this, you have created a GA4 event containing the name “Clicks to Email” which will be in the specific GA4 data stream. The event will get triggered as a user goes to your website and clicks on an email URL text.

Step 11: Submit “Container”

Verify if the “Event” is set up correctly

Step 12: Preview the “Tag Manager”

Step 13: Copy the URL where you want to track lives and connect to the “Tag Assistant”. You will notice two tabs will automatically open: one is “Tag Assistant” and the second is the website which is connected to the “Tag Assistant” in the debugger view.

Step 14: Select the link you want to track in this debugger view 

Step 15: Go to “Tag Assistant” and choose the “Link Click” instance that is related to your outbound click. You can view the new instance of the link – select the sequence and the recent “Link Click”.

Step 16: Here you can view the GA4 event that was set up and test “Clicks to Email”. Select the “Clicks to Email Tag” to view the details of why the tag was triggered. You will notice that the tag is triggered when a user clicks on the element containing the specific “Click URL” (the email address). This proves that the event is working as desired.

Step 17: Publish the “Tag Manager”  

Note that it takes about a day for the event to start working properly and appear in your GA4 account. If you have the same email link on other websites or web pages, you do not need to go through these steps. Whenever a user visits your website and clicks on the element containing the “Click URL” and the defined link address, the system can register an event in GA4. Thus, you can track the number of people who visited your website and click on the element to send you an email. 

You can track when a user clicks on the “Email link” and start the process, but you won’t be able to track whether the visitor has completed the process and sent you an email. 

But, tracking the users who are interested in having a conversation with your business after visiting your website is important.

How to Troubleshoot Email Links and Tracking Issues?

Though email tracking enables you to monitor how recipients engage with your emails, some specific issues may mislead or miscalculate the tracking results. 

Let’s highlight the common challenges and issues that might cause these issues.

  • If the email client has blocked auto-loading images in the recipient’s inbox for senders that are not added to contacts, then, you can not track email opens.
  • If your recipient has email tracking blockers such as Smart Pixel and Ghostery, then you won’t be getting any results.
  • If recipients preview the email partially and close it because they are not interested in your content, it still loads images and generates a false positive. Further follow-ups would frustrate them and lead to unsubscribes or even blacklisting. 
  • If you send an email to a group of people together, email tracking considers the group as a whole and prevents you from tracking group members’ email opens individually. 

Issues that might lead to error pages:

  • Certain query strings might affect email redirects.
  • Often a tracking link takes unusually long to open.
  • Unsupported or misplaced characters in links lead to errors.
  • Security services might block tracking redirects in emails.

Here is how to make your email tracking fast, accurate, and secure.

Set up link routers that process all the click requests received on a link and then redirect each user to the original link in your email. You can also set up link routers separately so that it won’t affect the efficiency in case of a breakdown and ensure that your links are available even when other parts of your workflow are experiencing delays.

Create a discrete system to separate them from the rest of your database. When your links won’t have to contact the database each time someone clicks on them, will make your redirects faster and more consistent.

Using HTTPS in URLs prevents external intrusions whenever someone follows your link. Other HTTP equivalents create a loophole from which spammers can redirect these URLs to their local network.

Do you need help with email tracking using Google Analytics 4? Let Sootra Consulting’s expert team of professionals show you how it works and set up the process for you – all you need to do is drop us a “Hi” at So, let’s start talking!

Also, you can check out our other awesome blogs over here.

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