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NOTE: This blog was originally published in 2011 but it was requested that we keep it live in the system and not archived. Some of the detail contained herein may be out of date. The original author is no longer available to comment.


Hi analytics folks - I'm Corey Mathews, a senior consultant on the strategy team here at Jive. I recently had a client ask me how they could see how many people were clicking through from their email digests, so I thought I would write up some instructions that might be of use to others as well. I welcome your feedback and any interesting insights once you have the tracking in place.



As you group members know, the Jive platform does a very good job of tracking activity within community - every time a person performs an action on an object within a location at a time, it gets logged so you can report on it. For example, when I CREATE this BLOG POST in SBS ANALYTICS on SUNDAY, it will be recorded in the Jive reporting. Other aspects of traditional web analytics tracking not directly related to activities - like referring sites, search terms, bounce rates, etc. - can be found in a web analytics tool like Omniture, Coremetrics, Webtrends, and Google Analytics. The concepts will remain the same for any platform, but this post will specifically deal with Google implementation.


Another thing that web analytics tools can be used for is click tracking. Just like you would tag your links for an inbound email or online ad campaign to your website, you can tag the links from your Jive system-generated emails. Jive sends out emails to registered community members for a variety of reasons, like when they subscribe to email digests or follow updates on a particular piece of content in the community. If you don't tag your inbound links explicitly, the inbound traffic gets lumped under Direct Load, and you won't be able to tell if members are clicking through from emails or not.  You'll see the traffic coming in but not understand the source. That's why we need to set up a GA campaign specifically for the community email tracking. Here's how:



  1. The very first step is to add your GA tracking code in the Jive admin tool. If you're already using GA for your website, be sure to set up a new profile so you can track Jive activity discretely. You'll need to cut and paste the code that Google provides into the Reporting > Settings > Third-Party Integration Third-Party JavaScript Code textarea. The day after that code is added, you should start to see activity come through to GA. If you don't click, the "Check Status" link in your GA Profile Settings.
  2. Next, head over to the Google URL Builder. You're going to need to enter your community URL, a source (can be "community" or "Jive"), a medium ("email"), and a name for your campaign. When you click on Generate URL, you'll be provided with a URL tracking code. Cut and paste the code starting with ?utm_source.
  3. With that tracking code in hand, head back to the Jive admin tool and navigate to System > Settings > Message Templates. You'll see a list of dozens of email templates, but we can start with a basic shared element - the Email Header template at the very top of the page.
  4. Click on the edit symbol for Email Header, and you can edit the link for the name of your community at the top. If you've already customized this template - perhaps to have a graphic logo or some special treatment - you can still look for the <a> tag associated with the link back to your community. In the default version of the template, the code will look something like this:

    <h1 style="color: #333333; font: bold 22px Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin: 0; display: block !important;">

      <!-- To have a header image/logo replace the name below with your img tag -->

      <!-- Email clients will render the images when the message is read so any image -->

      <!-- must be made available on a public server, so that all recipients can load the image. -->

      <a href="${sbsInstanceURL}" style="text-decoration: none; color: #E1E1E1">${sbsName}</a></h1>

  5. At the bottom of that code snippet, you'll see href attribute pointing to ${sbsInstanceURL}. You can append the utm_source (from the generated URL) to the end of that variable like so:

    <a href="${sbsInstanceURL}?utm_source=jive&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=System%2BEmail%2BTracking" style="text-decoration: none; color: #E1E1E1">${sbsName}</a></h1>

  6. Save the changes to that template, and going forward, any time a community remember receives an email from your community and clicks on that URL, it will be tracked in Google Analytics under Traffic Sources > Campaigns.
  7. The real value will come in once you repeat this modification for additional message templates, especially Email Digest, Direct Messages, Document Watch, and other email templates that your members are receiving. If you append the tracking code to the URLs within those templates, you'll have a much more robust view into the email activity.


For the majority of your users who may be relying on email as their primary means of communications from the community, you'll see a substantial amount of traffic coming through from email templates.  In Jive 5, we've beefed up the activity and communications streams to make email less essential, and I've actually turned off email notifications for many of my community interactions. There are still things I always want to be emailed about, like direct messages, @ mentions, and what my favorite groups and community members are up to. Even for an email-minimized member like me, you'll still get value from tracking email activity.

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