Universal Analytics image to click tracking

This is a demo of how you can use Google Analytics to track opens of an email using an image that when loads, triggers a hit to GA, and then be able to link that image hit with a later session that clicks through to view and possibly convert.

Applications include email tracking and affiliate sales tracking.

To use:

  1. Upload an image you would like to appear. This can be any .png, including a 1x1 pixel.
  2. Construct the URL for the event you would like to track. cid=uniqueId, if you include p=1 it will track as a virtual pageview (so be able to be used in GA funnels), c=campaign name
  3. If you use p=1, it will record opens under '/vpv/email-view/' (+ campaign from c if present). This makes you able to use the GA Goal funnel reports to report performance.
  4. If you use nohit=1, it will not record an email view (used for displaying the image below without triggering a email view, for example)
  5. The cid parameter will construct the anonymous ID for GA to link sessions together. It can be text or a number. An email address works - example: cid=mark.edmondson@example.com
  6. Put that URL as where the image is loaded from. It has to "hotlink" the image, if it loads via a CDN it won't work e.g. if you load the image into Twitter, Facebook etc. they save it on their own servers
  7. Every view of that image URL will result in a hit in GA. Send it in an email.
  8. To link sessions, the landing page should be setup to accept the cid. An example is available at this location
  9. Any links in the email (or the image) that land on the landing page with the same cid as above (e.g. cid=mark.edmondson@example.com) will be linked to the image view session. Put utm_campaign etc. parameters on there as well if you like
  10. You may want to filter the cid parameter in the UA settings as it is probably PII
  11. Extensions: use the Cost Upload API to create impressions: https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/config/mgmt/v3/mgmtReference/management/uploads/uploadData

The Current Image:

Upload New Image

Example Image URL with event data, cid=blah, virtual pageviews (p=1) and email_campaign as an event label and pageview: /vpv/email-view/email_campaign


Example URL for links in the email for same user, cid=blah

http://your-appengine-id.appspot.com/landing-page?cid=blah + utm parameters

....example full click URL


URL builder to use to add campaign parameters

URL Builder