Piwik: Tracking Campaigns

piwikFor a website I work on regularly we send out notifications that students must complete course review surveys at the end of every school quarter.

We want to send out notifications such that students must see these notifications somehow, and respond to our request. Currently we send out recurring emails and also notify students through a custom dashboard notification in our campuswide Moodle installation.

In order to better gauge our notification throughput:

  • Are students getting our emails?

  • Are students clicking links found within in the emails?

  • Or, are students primarily interacting with the dashboard notification in Moodle?

In order to answer this we need to be able to analyze click-throughs, or sources, of traffic coming into our website.

We use Piwik for our website analytics and it supports a great feature called campaign tracking. For detailed, up to date, information on to implement tracking campaign urls on your website please see the Official Piwik Campaign Tracking Documentation. What follows here is a brief synopsis.

In order to track the source of a user through our notifications we append a pk_campaign query string url parameter to the url in either an Email or as a part of a link in the Moodle dashboard.

For our reminder emails, we embed the url parameter onto an image:

<img src=”http://site.com/images/email-logo.png?pk_campaign=reminder-DDMMYYYY>

For our Moodle dashboard we can insert a URL for users to be directed to our site as:

<a href=”http://site.com/?pk_campaign=moodle-DDMMYYYY>Please login and finish your Course Reviews</a>

By utilizing Piwik and campaign tracking urls we can tell how effective each method of advertising is for our student body. For convenience Piwik also supplies a campaign tracking url online generator tool. Piwik also provides a detailed report over days of when those clicks occurred:

Email Openings over 1 month period.

Email Openings over 1 month period.

Piwik is: free, nice looking and may be self hosted (so you control the data) which meets all of our security needs! You should definitely take a look at it.

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Author Spotlight

David Gurba

I am a web programmer currently employed at UCSB. I have been developing web applications professionally for 8+ years now. For the last 5 years I’ve been actively developing websites primarily in PHP using Drupal. I have experience using LAMP and developing data driven websites for clients in aviation, higher education and e-commerce. If you’d like to contact me I can be reached at david.gurba@arvixe.com

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