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We sometimes send out links to one part of our site that is password protected, at the moment what we are doing to check if the recipient clicks on it, is to not give them the password and when they email back asking 'whats the password ?' we know they have tried to look at it and are keen to look at it.

There are several problems with the above, is there a better way we can track this ?

We use Google Analytics on our site which would currently track 'direct' visit from the email but really what id like to be tracking is to be able to set a value, perhaps in the query string something like "example.com/?=sam" and then i can see that the /?=sam link was clicked on, I would only send out this link to "sam" so I know it was he who clicked it.

Obviously they could remove the query string, but I plan to hide it by using a hyperlink with anchor text.

Is there something like that in Google Anaytics or another way to do it?

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Have a look at User ID - Web Tracking since as GDav indicated, it's not permitted to collect personal data such as a name. –  dan May 14 at 21:24
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

You can build campaign tracking with this Google Analytics tool. However, having it trackable at an individual level is a contravention of Google Analytics' ToS.

"You will not (and will not allow any third party to) use the Service to track, collect or upload any data that personally identifies an individual (such as a name, email address or billing information), or other data which can be reasonably linked to such information by Google."

Even without that limitation, you have the additional consideration of legality in whatever jurisdictions are concerned.

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