I have a system on my site that sends an email to a customer with a certain url in it (not a private url, just the info they've requested). The format of this url is just straight on:


When the user clicks on this url, Google Analytics sees this as 'Direct' traffic. However, I also have a lot of 'real' direct traffic, users that just type the url, or use bookmarks, and I need to distinguish these 'mailed' users from the rest.

I was thinking about this:


and then in the frontend (a Drupal 7 site), capture this GET variable ref, and if it is set to mail, then call the Javascript to trigger a Google Analytics Event.

Is this the only way to go about? Or are there other/better ways? Thanks for the input!


I think I've found the answer you are looking for on Google's support page for Analytics.


Click on the bottom link that reads Custom Campaigns and I bet that you will find what you are looking for.

  • Thanks, looks very good indeed! Do you have any experience with this? Will Google Analytics indeed automatically pick up these variables? – Borniet Feb 4 '14 at 12:50
  • From what I've read up on there shouldn't be much issues with migrating. And yes Analytics should pick up these variables. I suggest posting on the mailing list for Analytics. Or try IRC. – Linus Juhlin Feb 4 '14 at 13:19

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