We recently ran a campaign via BetaList to invite new users to our Private Beta, and took the opportunity to measure where our sign-ups were coming from.

How we measured the traffic source for sign-ups:

We used Events in Google Analytics to tag sign-up events, so we could track that specific action in Google Analytics.

If you aren't familiar with events in Google Analytics - they allow you to tag your website to track specific user actions that are much more valuable than just page loads. Here's a great overview by Anna Lewis. We tend to use events a lot because we want to learn how people are engaging with our website. :)

Events in Google Analytics:

The image below shows a snapshot of some events last Thursday. NOTE: This doesnt show total traffic, it specifically shows the number of users who took a specific action (i.e. Joined our Waitist):

Events in Google Analytics

Lessons learned:

Now I know this example is pretty trivial, (we were running just one campaign at the time) and in this case you can see that the betalist drove the majority of our key events (not a great surprise) but that's not our real learning, which is why I still wanted to share: because when you look a little more closely, there's some interesting stuff happening... and this is why I love to be able to see into the data.. :)

10% of signups were coming direct

We noticed that about 10% of signups were coming direct. Humm.. They weren't coming from the Betalist campaign, or from SEO, or any other sources. They were literally typing PopcornMetrics.com into their browser and coming directly to our site and signing-up! Wow!! Now, that is the kind of thing that makes me curious, and this is why I love to be able to see into the data, because its only when you start looking at the data that you start to notice unexpected things.

Where were the direct users coming from???

I can't tell for certain, but my hunch is that the people who were signing up were also referring others. Given that we don't currently have any social share set up for when people signup, I'm now inspired to test that hunch by adding some social sharing to our signup thank you page and measuring the effect. If my hunch is correct, then by adding the social sharing we'll leverage our sign-ups and push up our referrals. Yay! More users! :)

Google / SEO Traffic

As an aside, we also saw that our organic Google signups were comparatively low, so thats something we'll also want to take a closer look at that. I guess we probably have some work to do there. :)

How to view the Events in Google Analytics?

If you want to know how we set the data, we just went to Behaviour > Events in Google Analytics and selected the Event Action we were interested in (the Google Event we were sending when people signed-up) and then we selected Source/Medium as the secondary dimension.)

If you want to get started start tagging your own website to track user events to Google Analytics feel free to check out our visual tracker tool.

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