Act on Extremely Relevant Data with Advanced Segments


Julie Waite

This is the third post in a series on Google Analytics by Chris Casarez, a Google Analytics consultant and employee of Transamerican Auto Parts, a Bronto client. This post requires a basic understanding of properly tagging links. If you are not familiar with campaign tracking, you may want to read Email Marketing and Google Analytics: Add Power, Save Time before reading this tutorial. Also, it’s longer than the typical post you’ll find on the Bronto Blog; however, it’s packed with valuable information. A keeper!

While Google Analytics provides useful metrics, implementing Advanced Segments can really add to their power. With Advanced Segments, you can cross-reference information that would otherwise not be possible. While Analytics now comes packed with a few Advanced Segments, you also have the option of creating your own Custom Advanced Segments using the criteria you choose. To view your accounts current Advanced Segments, simply click the Advanced Segments link on the left hand navigation, and you’ll be taken to the Manage Advanced Segment page (see image below). 

Manage Advanced Segments

Creating an Advanced Segment for your email marketing channel is extremely useful for drilling down and uncovering email-specific data. For example, for any given email campaign you can learn which products consumers are buying, how long they are remain on your website, and how many pages they tend to visit. Armed with this data, you can compare these numbers to your overall website metrics or even test against other marketing channels. For example, how long are visitors from your email campaigns staying vs visitors overall or visitors from the search engines.

Creating Custom Advanced Segments

Below are the 7 steps to create a custom segment to measure activity for visits coming from an email campaign. In this scenario, we’re using Bronto as the  medium:

  1. Click on the “Advanced Segments” link on the left hand navigation.
  2. From the Manage Advanced Segment page, click “Create New Custom Segment” link.
  3. Once on the Create Advanced Segment page (see a screenshot), start typing “medium” into the search bar on the left.
  4. Once Medium shows up as an option on the left, click and drag it into the empty dimension or metric field.
  5. Under Condition, choose “Matches exactly” and under Value, type “bronto.” (or whatever your medium is)
  6. Click “Test Segment” if you’d like to see visit results (this will help ensure you’ve filtered your information correctly).
  7. Name your segment (in this example, the name will be Bronto) and click “Create Segment.” You’ll now be redirected to the Manage Advanced Segments page.

Once you’ve applied your new ‘Bronto’ Advanced Segment, you’ll be viewing metrics that apply specifically to visits from Bronto. In other words, the Product Overview section will be a listing of all product sales that result from visits from Bronto. Viewing the Site Search section will tell you what your email recipients are coming to your site and looking for. The Map Overlay section can provide valuable information on where your successful clickthroughs tend to come from. Once you’ve created an Advanced Segment, you can always reselect it, either by visiting the Manage Advanced Segments page or by simply selecting them from the Advanced Segments link on the upper right section of your panel (see screenshot).

Comparing Your Email Marketing Channel Against Other Marketing Channels

Google Analytics allows you to select multiple Advanced Segments at once. With more than one selected, you will be given metrics for each selected Advanced Segment. This allows you to compare the value of your various marketing channels. If you want to compare CPC campaigns to your email marketing campaigns, follow the 7 steps above but substitute ‘Bronto’ with ‘CPC.’  You can then select both segments from the “Advanced Segments” link on the upper right section of your panel. With these segments selected, all of your metrics will show a comparison between the two channels. You can do this with any source, medium, or campaign that brings traffic to your website. Find out how these channels are categorized by viewing them in your All Traffic Sources (under Traffic Sources) section. See what this looks like.

Comparing Your Email Marketing Channel Against the Overall Site Average

The pre-packaged Advanced Segments Google introduced includes an “All Visits” segment; therefore, by selecting this segment as well as the Email Segment, you can compare visits from your email marketing channel to the overall website average. Now you’ll be able to compare the performance of email campaigns to the site average overall. You can then select both segments from the Advanced Segments link on the upper right section of your panel. See it in action.

Comparing Email Campaigns Against Each Other

By creating unique names for your email campaigns, you’ll be able to compare them against each other by creating an Advanced Segment. In this example, the email campaigns are named according to the date they were sent. Create an Advanced Segment for each campaign you want to compare by filtering for their campaign names. This can be accomplished in a similar manner to filtering Bronto as a medium; however, in this case you are selecting the name of your email campaign, and filtering as a campaign. Once you’ve created segments for the email campaigns you want to filter for, return to the dashboard and select the campaigns you’d like to compare by selecting them after clicking the Advanced Segments link on the upper right section of your panel. Finally, choose the metrics you want to compare.

Segment Campaign Email

Advanced Segments Get Better With Use

The more you use Advanced Segments, the more valuable they’ll become. You’ll be surprised at how much of their usefulness you’ll discover on ‘accident.’ Please share any great examples you’ve come across in the comments area below. Chris Casarez is a Google Analytics consultant and employee of Transamerican Auto Parts, a Bronto client. You can read constantly updated Google Analytics tutorials on his website: and receive updates via his twitter account.

3 Responses to “Act on Extremely Relevant Data with Advanced Segments”

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    Thanks for sharing your custom segment! In addition to Yahoo! and Gmail I imagine this would also work for Hotmail and any other provider that includes the word mail in their referral source?



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