How to measure the performances of your phpList campaigns with Matomo Analytics?

phpList will give you valuable insights about:

  • how many emails have been sent.
  • how many bounces you got.
  • how many recepients open it.

But you cannot know if those recepients did what you expected them to do. In order to do so you can use an analytics solution. For the scope of this course we will use Matomo Analytics. To make it simple, as an email is made of HTML, you cannot do much in the email itself, but once the recepient reach your website the data collection gets richer. There are several things that you can measure in Matomo Analytics:

  • what are the links recepients clicked on?
  • who is the recepient of the email, his center of interest? You can also use it for A/B testing (it is a bit intrusive, makes sure you have the consent of your recepients to do it)
  • how many goals those recepients achieved on your website?
  • did they open the email they received (it makes more sense to measure it within phpList, but you can do both)?

Tracking links automatically

Technically, you can edit each of your link to insert any parameter you need. But you don't want to do this by hand as it will increase the risk of missing some, make some typos and it is time consuming. So you will use a specific feature from that in phpList. You will find it under:

Config --> Settings --> Always add Google tracking code to campaigns

Put the option on Yes. When you activate this feature, each link of the emailing will have parameters added to it, those parameters are named utm and are the one of the solution Google Analytics. phpList use the following utm parameters:

  • utm_source: which represents the version of your phpList.
  • utm_medium: which takes the value email.
  • utm_content: which is the type of content you choose... either text or HTML
  • utm_campaign: which is the name you will give to your campaign.

Note that they currently do not add the keyword parameter which would be the anchor link. As Matomo converts those parameters into understandable parameters for Matomo Analytics you will be fine. You will just need to add a plugin if you want to see all parameters in.

Tracking links manually

You can also track links manually, this is very helpful when you want to go beyond the simple link tracking method. Let's imagine for example that you are using attributes in phpList, you can easily use them within your manual link tracking in order to push those information out to Matomo. You will need for that to add your parameters such as:

so in phpList jargon it will be:|name|&interest=|interest|

Here it means that the recepient who clicks on this link will send those data to the website once he lands on it. Then with Matomo, you can easily read those parameters and decide to send them as:

  • user id.
  • custom dimensions.
  • events (like for an A/B testing for example) any other reports you would find useful.

Tracking goals

Once the recepient land on your website, you can measure the goals they achieved based on the interaction you defined as the most valuable.

Measuring open emails

Thanks to the pixel measurement you can easily integrate a tracking within each email you are sending. There are several caveats to this method:

  • Some email providers are opening pixel once the message is received.
  • It will populate some actions within your Matomo wheareas you probably don't want them.

Note that URL will need to be encoded, use

Last modified: Saturday, 28 September 2019, 10:39 AM