UTM Campaign tags: marketing pixie dust that you control!

If you’ve hung around here for a while, you’ll have heard a little about UTM Campaign Tags. They are the magic ingredient for making sure that visits from Instagram, Pinterest and anywhere else show up in your Google Analytics reports correctly.

Why doesn’t this happen right in the first place??

To know where a visitor came from, Google Analytics has to listen in to the conversation happening between the visitor’s browser and your website. Often this conversation includes information about the last page the visitor looked at (their traffic source).

This is called “referral” information.

But sometimes, for a whole bunch of technical reasons, it doesn’t have this information or it’s wrong. In many of these cases, the visit will be attributed as “direct” traffic – the catch-all black hole bucket of mysterious visits! – and you’ll never know if your marketing actually worked.

Campaign tags let us control all the information about the source of the visit and leave nothing to chance.

See? Magic!

Keep reading to find out how and where to use campaign tags for marketing your handmade shop!

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Stop! Protect that data! – Preparing Google Analytics with backup & test Views

Before you start creating or testing things with Filters in Google Analytics, it’s important to take some steps to keep your data safe.

What’s the danger?

Whenever you make changes to your GA settings for things like Goals, Filters, Content Groupings etc. — all the things I describe in my articles — the changes to your data are permanent. You need a backup without any of these changes, just in case you get something wrong…

Like accidentally creating a filter that removes ALL your traffic and you don’t notice for a week… right during a big ad campaign!

Oops…

A Testing area takes it one step further to let you test out these settings first, then apply them to your main set of data only when you’re sure they’re working correctly. It’s up to you to decide how risky you think a change is and whether you should test it out first.

How do we do this in Google Analytics?

In Analytics, you can have multiple ways of viewing the same data. These are called, appropriately, Views.

In this guide, we’ll create a backup “Raw Data” view to preserve everything with the default settings, and a “Test” view for trialing more complicated Filters before applying them to your main View (normally called “All Web Site Data”).

IMPORTANT: These instructions are for Universal AnalyticsGoogle Analytics 4 comes with a built-in method for testing filters without needing to maintain separate Views. (In fact, the concept of “Views” no longer exists!)

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The Unexpected Value of Organic Search Traffic

Years ago, almost all of my clients also partnered with a Search Engine Optimization agency.

Google was king and SEO was strategy #1.

Then social media marketing took over as businesses discovered the value of free exposure on Facebook and Twitter. The results were faster and it was no harder than SEO.

Now it’s 2018. Organic reach on social media is a shadow of its former self. Advertising costs on the major networks (AdWords and Facebook) are doubling every year.

If your marketing strategy is getting more complicated and expensive every month, it’s time to re-discover the value of organic search traffic.

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The Second Best Way to Run a Successful Re-consent Campaign

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We don’t want to lose you!

Confirm your subscription!

Sound familiar? Yep, they’re the bleating calls of a million businesses rushing to ask you to consent (again) to their email marketing.

Whether you all it re-consent, re-subscribe or re-permission, it’s all the same: an attempt to get your consent to their marketing in a form they didn’t already have.

Why get re-consent?

This is related to the GDPR, which is making consent more strictly defined. Businesses who bundled marketing consent into other services or that didn’t give enough granular information on their sign up form might decide that the consent they have now won’t be good enough on May 26th.

It also reminds us that we need a good “audit trail” for our consent. Businesses that have moved contacts between systems might have lost their original consent records – even though they know they got them – and might choose to re-permission, just to be safe.

Finally, it’s a good idea to ask for re-consent from inactive or old contacts, regardless. You might run re-consent campaigns regularly, or even have them automatically go out when a contact is a certain “age”.

You run a business… does this mean YOU need to get re-consent!?

Disclaimer

The definitions and requirements for consent is a legal topic. I’m not a lawyer and none of the information in this article should be interpreted as legal advice. Please do your own due diligence to determine if or how much of this information is relevant to your circumstances, and whether you should seek professional legal advice.

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SERIES: Data Privacy for Makers

For the last few months, the internet has been abuzz with talk about data privacy. From Facebook scandals to updated Privacy Policies to new laws, it’s everywhere!

So it’s perfect timing to get to know your obligations as a business owner, for the data you collect and store for your customers, contacts and website visitors.

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Create a Privacy Policy for Your Shop & Secure Your Customers’ Trust

If you’ve been following the steps to get up to speed on data privacy, your final step is to update (or create) your shop’s Privacy Policy.

Do I need a Privacy Policy if I only sell on Etsy?

All shops should have their own privacy policy, even if only you sell on Etsy or don’t even have an email list! If you run a business with customers, you handle personal data.

Do I need a Privacy Policy if I’m not worried about the GDPR?

Yes, you should have your own privacy policy even if you don’t think the GDPR applies to you or if you’re not worried about it. Here’s why:

  1. Customers are expecting more transparency and honesty, regardless of the law.
  2. Other privacy laws almost certainly apply that require a privacy policy. “GDPR standards” should work for these too (though seek legal advice if you’re unsure).
  3. Certain features in Google Analytics (and other tools) require notices that Etsy doesn’t cover in their own privacy policy, such as Advertising Features.
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Do You Need Consent for Your Advertising & Analytics?

We’re used to asking people to sign up to newsletters and email lists. We might need to tweak how we do it and refine our “consent process”. But the basics stay the same:

People actively send us their details.

But personalized advertising and analytics happened in the background. No questions asked.

Until now!

This article is all about asking for user consent. You will still need to update (or create) your privacy policy for all the advertising and analytics tools you use, even if you aren’t required to collect consent for all of them.

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Avoid the Blacklist & Do Email Marketing Consent Right

Google “email marketing best practices” and you’ll get millions of results.

Literally.

But also unsurprisingly. The internet is chock full of marketers wanting to tell you how to write can’t-say-no subject lines and make-money-while-you-sleep drip campaigns.

But what about the basic email best practices? You know: how to send emails that are legal and ethical.

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Keep Your Customer Information Safe: It’s Your Responsibility!

Just like you need to have a basic understanding about tax laws and business registration laws, you need to get the gist of how to keep your customers’ details safe and secure.

Understanding your obligations will help you:

  • Know what information you can ask for and how to ask for more.
  • Deal with any customer requests about their data.
  • Make sure you’re telling them the right information during checkout and in your privacy policy.
  • Vet the tools and services you use to make sure they help you stay compliant.
  • Inform your customers if they might be affected by a security breach in any of the systems you use.
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7-Question Data Audit (plus how to choose GDPR-compliant tools)

Before you can take any action — update your privacy policy, add a new opt-in box or change your consent process — you need to know what data you currently collect and what you do with it.

Luckily, it doesn’t need to take you all day. It’s just a simple record of the different sources of people’s information, where you store it and what you do with it.

In fact, you can do it with just 7 questions!

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