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The Ultimate Guide to WordPress Email Tracking

Track emails sent from your WordPress website and enhance your marketing and admin workflows with these pro tools and tips.

WordPress Email Tracking Blog Post Featured Image

Are you looking for a way to track emails sent from your WordPress website? If so, look no further. In this article, we’ll show you the simplest method to track your WordPress email opens and clicks. And because we promised you that this was the ultimate guide to WordPress email tracking, we’ll show you the most powerful ways to incorporate these engagement metrics into your WordPress workflows. And even how to expand your marketing channels!

Our preferred email tracking tech stack includes two of the most popular and user-friendly WordPress plugins: WP Mail SMTP Pro for email tracking and Uncanny Automator for seamless workflows and plugin integration. Whether you’re a WordPress business owner or developer, tracking email opens and click-throughs is easiest with these pro tools.

Here’s how you can ensure deliverability, gather metrics and improve engagement. And don’t forget to scroll through to the end for tips and tricks on turning your admin emails into powerful marketing channels.

How to Setup WordPress Email Tracking in 2 Steps

When it comes to email tracking, WordPress users can choose from dozens of plugins and apps. And while virtually all CRMs come with some form of email tracking, there’s rarely a way to track the admin emails (user registration, password resets, order receipts, etc.) sent from your WordPress website. Fortunately, that’s precisely where WP Mail SMTP Pro comes in as the most popular and user-friendly mailer plugin around.

wp-mail-smtp-plugin-homepage

1. Install and Activate WP Mail SMTP Pro

To get started with your email tracking, you’ll need to install and activate WP Mail SMTP Pro. After you’ve purchased your license, we recommend following the WP Mail SMTP Setup Wizard to ensure that you configure all of your settings correctly. The exact steps will vary depending on your web hosting service and existing CRM (if you have one) but the Setup Wizard will guide you through the process in simple steps.

Note: While you can download the free version of WP Mail SMTP on your WordPress website, you’ll need at least a Pro license in order to make use of features like email logging, tracking and reporting. Throughout this article we’ll be using WP Mail SMTP Pro.

2. Enable Email Tracking

After you’ve completed the setup process, WP Mail SMTP makes it easy to enable tracking for both email opens and clicks. From your WordPress Admin Sidebar, simply navigate to WP Mail SMTP > Settings and click on the Email Log tab. In the new screen, check the following boxes:

  • Enable Log
  • Open Email Tracking
  • Click Link Tracking

wp-mail-smtp-pro-email-log

WP Mail SMTP will now keep a detailed log of your WordPress email opens and clicks. At the bottom of the screen, you can choose your desired Log Retention Period to determine how long WP Mail SMTP will store your tracking data. Once you’ve selected your Log Retention Period, click Save Settings.

You can now check out your email tracking logs by navigating to WP Mail SMTP > Email Log from your WordPress Admin Sidebar.

wp-mail-smtp-email-log

That’s it! That’s all there is to setting up WordPress email tracking with WP Mail SMTP. Now all you need is a convenient way to optimize your email tracking and to incorporate it into your existing workflows. And why not expand your CRM’s capabilities while you’re at it!

3 Ways to Optimize Your WordPress Email Tracking

As promised, in this section, we’ll walk you through integrating WP Mail SMTP with your other WordPress plugins and apps to optimize your email tracking. We’ll even show you how to turn admin emails into marketing channels with automations that can add tags to your contacts based on their email interactions!

Install and Activate Uncanny Automator Pro

To improve your WordPress email tracking and to integrate it into your existing workflows, you’ll need to purchase an Automator Pro license. Uncanny Automator is the #1 WordPress automation and integration tool. Using simple combinations of triggers and actions, you can connect your favorite apps and plugins and automate your workflows.

For WordPress email tracking, Automator can connect your admin emails directly to apps like Google Sheets or even to your CRM so you can measure more engagement metrics in real-time and share them with the whole team.

You can purchase an Automator license from your WordPress website as an administrator. Navigate to Plugins > Add New. In the search bar, type in “uncanny automator” then press Enter on your keyboard. The Uncanny Automator plugin will be the first search result. Click Install Now then Activate.

install-automator-plugin

To purchase your Automator Pro license, navigate to Automator > Settings from your WordPress Admin Sidebar. Under the General tab, click on License then Get Uncanny Automator Pro and follow the instructions.

get-uncanny-automator-pro

Now that you have Automator Pro installed and running on your WordPress website, you’re ready to take your email tracking to the next level.

1.  Customize and Share Your Email Tracking Metrics

Automator will help you optimize your WordPress email tracking using recipes (i.e. combinations of triggers and actions). As a first example, we’ll show you how to create a simple Automator recipe that syncs your email opens to Google Sheets. With a recipe like this, you’ll be able to calculate custom metrics (such as how long it takes users to open emails from the time they’re sent) and update your charts and graphs in real-time. You’ll also be able to share your email tracking statistics with the whole team without giving everyone admin access to your WordPress website.

Step 1: Create a New Recipe

From your WordPress Admin Sidebar, navigate to Automator > Add New. A pop-up window will appear where you can select your recipe type. Because your mailer plugin isn’t technically a user on your website, every recipe with a WP Mail SMTP trigger will have the recipe type Everyone.

recipe-type-everyone

Step 2: Name Your Recipe

Giving your emails eye-catching subject lines makes your contacts want to open them. Similarly, giving your recipes names that makes them easy to recognize at a glance will help you manage your automations as you create more. For example, we’ve named this recipe Email Open Tracking in Google Sheets. It’s not exactly click-bait but it does get to the point.

Step 3: Configure Your Trigger(s)

In the Triggers panel, from the menu of available integrations, click on WP Mail SMTP Pro.

automator-integrations-wp-mail-smtp-pro

From the drop-down list that appears, select An email with specific text in the subject line is opened.

wp-mail-smtp-trigger-an-email-is-opened

Automator will prompt you to enter the specific text in the email subject line that you would like to use to track opens. You can use this property to help target and track specific types of emails. For example, if we wanted to track the performance and interaction of our password reset emails, we might enter “Password Reset” in the Text to match field.

automator-wp-mail-smtp-text-to-match

When you’re finished, click Save. Your trigger should look something like this:

automator-wp-mail-smtp-an-email-with-subject-line-is-opened-trigger-live

Step 4: Configure Your Action(s)

In the Actions panel, click on Add action. From the menu of available integrations, click on Google Sheets.

automator-integrations-google-sheets

From the drop-down list that appears, select Create a row in a Google Sheet.

google-sheets-action-create-a-row

Automator will present you with an editor where you can select the Drive, Spreadsheet and specific Worksheet where you’ll be tracking your email opens. Once you’ve selected the correct worksheet, click Get Columns and Automator will retrieve the first value (presumably the title) of each populated column in your selected worksheet.

automator-google-sheets-get-columns

After Automator populates the Column fields, you can fill in the Values fields using tokens. In Automator, tokens are dynamic pieces of data pulled from your WordPress website and even from within recipes.

To select the user’s email as a token, for example, click on the Asterisk in a value field. Next, expand the recipe’s list of trigger tokens and select To email.

automator-trigger-token-to-email

You can use these tokens to automatically sync data such as the user’s email address and the date and time when they opened the email. For example, we want to automatically calculate how long it takes our users to open their password reset emails. We can do this using date and time tokens and a simple formula in Google Sheets. Here’s how we’ve decided to populate our fields using tokens:

automator-wp-mail-smtp-google-sheets-tokens

Note that we’ve left the Time Elapsed empty because we want Google Sheets to calculate the value by subtracting the Date Sent from the Date Opened. However, you can perform calculations right in Automator by clicking on the Asterisk then selecting Modifiers > Calculations and using the Date Sent and the Current date and time tokens. When you’re finished, click Save. Your action should look like this:

google-sheets-create-a-row-action-live

Step 5: Go Live & Track Emails Your Way!

With your recipe’s trigger and action all set up, you’re just about ready to customize your WordPress email tracking metrics. All that’s left for you to do is to toggle the recipe from Draft to Live.

automator-wordpress-email tracking-opens-google-sheets-recipes

With this recipe, any team with access to the Google Sheets file will be able to track your WordPress email opens and clicks in real-time. Not to mention, they can compile, collate and/or recalculate the data anyhow they’d like. Include other Automator tokens to give your team even more tracking metrics to work with.

Now that you know how to track your WordPress email opens and sync the data directly to Google Sheets, it’s time to kick it up a notch. With Automator and WP Mail SMTP, you can just as easily track your email clicks to get more granular with your engagement metrics.

2. Integrate Email Click Tracking Into Your Sales Funnel

Click tracking can help you measure the success of your email marketing campaigns. But with Automator, click tracking can help you improve their success. With this recipe, we’ll show you one of Automator’s unique functionalities to generate unique WooCommerce coupons that keep your customers moving through your sales funnel.

With this recipe, you can turn simple admin emails like order completion emails into powerful marketing and sales channels. Here’s how it’s done.

Step 1: Create a New Recipe

From your WordPress Admin Sidebar, navigate to Automator > Add New. In the pop-up window that appears, select Everyone and click Confirm.

Step 2: Name Your Recipe

As before, you’ll want to give your recipe a name that makes it easy to recognize at a glance. We’ve named this recipe Completed Order Coupons. Once again, it’s not exactly a click-bait title but it serves its purpose.

Step 3: Configure Your Trigger

In the Triggers panel, from the menu of available integrations, click on WP Mail SMTP Pro. There are two triggers that pertain to click tracking and you can select either one. For the purposes of our example, we have selected the trigger In an email with specific text[…]a string is clicked.

wp-mail-smtp-pro-click-tracking-triggers

Next, Automator will prompt you to input the specific text and string. We’re going to be offering coupons to customers once their order is complete so that they’re incentivized to buy complementary products from our new product line-up. As such, in the Text to match field, we have input “complete”. In the String to match field, we have input “new-202306”.

When you’re finished, your trigger should look something like this:

automator-wp-mail-smtp-pro-click-tracking-url-string-trigger-live

Note: To manage your WooCommerce admin emails and edit the subject line and content, navigate to WooCommerce > Settings then click on the Email tab. Also, if you are unfamiliar with URL strings and parameters, you can find a useful resource here that explains the anatomy of website URLs.

Step 4: Configure Your Action(s)

In the Actions panel, click on Add action. From the menu of available integrations, click on WooCommerce.

automator-woocommerce-integration

From the drop-down list that appears, select Generate and email a coupon code.

automator-woocommerce-action-generate-and-email-coupon-code

Automator will present you with an editor where you can configure all of the details of your WooCommerce coupon. Set the type, amount, expiration date, usage limit, applicable products and much more. Use the To email token from your WP Mail SMTP trigger to send the coupon to the customer who clicked the link in the order completion email. When you’re finished, click Save. Your action should look like this:

automator-woocommerce-action-generate-and-email-coupon-code-live

Step 5: Go Live & Click Your Way to More Sales

Toggle your new recipe from Draft to Live to integrate click tracking into your sales funnel.

automator-wordpress-email-tracking-click-recipe-live

Once you’ve gotten the hang of creating Automator recipes, you can use advanced features like filters and delays to create more targeted workflows. For example, we could add a filter to this recipe’s action so that only users who have purchased a specific product will receive the unique coupon code.

automator-action-filter-user-has-purchased-product

3. Integrate Email Tracking and Your CRM

wordpress-email-tracking-auto-tagging

Your CRM likely already has some email tracking features but with Automator and WP Mail SMTP, you can enhance those features. With the recipe above, for example, we’re able to automatically tag our contacts in a CRM such as ActiveCampaign, Groundhogg, HubSpot or MailPoet based on their engagement with our email marketing campaigns. Specifically, we’ve created a unique tag to indicate that a particular contact clicked on a link as part of a Black Friday promotion. We can use that tag to further segment our contacts and continue to drive conversions.

Once you get the hang of creating recipes, you can try adding filters and delays to automate your sales funnel. For example, we’ve added a filter to our ActiveCampaign action so that the contact will only receive a tag and hence launch an email campaign if they haven’t purchased the item in question by the end of our Black Friday sale.

Screenshot of an ActiveCampaign Automator Action with the WooCommerce filter "A user has not purchased a specific product" and a Scheduled Delay.

More Recipes, More Tasty Time-Savings

There’s no need to stop automating now. Uncanny Automator integrates with 100+ of your favorite apps and plugins so you can seamlessly integrate WordPress email tracking into any (or all) of your workflows. What are some of the email tracking integrations and workflows that you would like to see? Let us know in the comments section below.

Until next time, happy automating!

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Brendan Da Costa is a WordPress content writer with a Shakespearean-level gift of gab (his words, not ours). He left a successful career in economics to pursue his passion for writing and discovered the wonderful world of WordPress while building his own website to showcase his work. As a self-taught enthusiast who spends more time tinkering with plugins and themes than he would care to admit, Brendan writes equally for WordPress beginners and veteran developers alike. With his unique blend of expertise and creativity, he continues to elevate the digital landscape one WordPress article at a time.

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