Understanding message conversion tracking

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Learn how conversion tracking works, how to edit tracking settings, and details around email and SMS tracking. For each campaign and flow sent, Klaviyo automatically tracks conversions. This allows you to analyze the performance of your marketing channels and their individual success.

What is conversion tracking?

A conversion occurs when a recipient opens your message and then takes another action (such as placing an order) within the conversion period or the attribution window.

Klaviyo defines conversion events that involve orders (e.g. placed order, fulfilled order, ordered product, etc.). However, this does not include if a subscriber simply opened your email or started a checkout.

While most other platforms only track revenue conversions, Klaviyo automatically computes conversion analytics for all metrics in your account. By default, the window is 5 days for email and 24 hours for SMS, but you can adjust this in your account's email and SMS setting pages, respectively.

Note that the default Klaviyo email and SMS attribution windows may differ slightly from other platforms and vendors.

How does conversion tracking work?

There are a few important notes about conversion tracking:

  • Multi-channel or cooperative attribution
    If you are using more than one marketing channel, Klaviyo looks at each, individual channel's (SMS and email) attribution window. From here, it is determined if either of those channels should get revenue attribution at the time of purchase. For example, if an SMS attribution window has closed, but the email attribution window is still open, and the customer interacted with email during that time period, attribution will go to the email.

  • Conversion open and click tracking
    Conversions are tracked if someone opens or clicks, or if Apple Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) automatically opens the email. However, if you would like to exclude the MPP opens from your conversion metrics, you can adjust this setting. Conversions are only tracked if someone opens or clicks a message, and does not include if they just received the message but made no further action.

  • Conversion period tracking
    The conversion period begins when a subscriber receives a message. Only follow-up actions that occur within the conversion period or attribution window are counted.

     

  • Conversion period timing
    For both email and SMS, we look at message attribution per day. As a result, whatever day you send a message will be the day we will count all attributed rates and conversions. For example, if you email all recipients on a Friday and they open this email on both Friday and Saturday, those opens will be attributed to only Friday.

  • Conversion reporting
    The above is also important to keep in mind when viewing any analytics reports that use message attribution. If you only view analytics for an individual day, Klaviyo will not attribute conversions associated with a message that may take place on a different day. In other words, querying individual days means you are giving campaigns less time to generate revenue and your analysis will not give the bigger picture.

    Instead, select a broader timeframe that accounts for your conversion window.

Why does Klaviyo track conversions in this way?

Conversion tracking that relies on pixels can be unreliable. For example, if someone reads an email on their phone but makes a purchase later from their laptop, conversion tracking that relies on pixel tracking would miss that conversion. Klaviyo does not use pixels, so the conversion analytics are more accurate. Instead, Klaviyo calculates conversions based on data directly from a built-in integration or our API.

You do not need to decide in advance which metric you want to focus on for conversion tracking. While most other platforms only track revenue conversions, Klaviyo automatically computes conversion analytics for all metrics in your account.

An ecommerce business, for example, will probably focus on the number of purchases that occur because of an email. However, if you're interested in how many people view at least one product page or start a checkout after receiving an email, you can view this conversion data as well. This allows you to compare the impact of different campaigns across different performance standards.

Email open tracking

Unlike conversions, Klaviyo tracks open events by placing a tiny, invisible pixel image at the bottom of every email. Whenever a recipient opens or clicks your email, we record this invisible pixel (web beacon) as "viewed" and mark the email as opened. We will continue to track your opens and clicks regardless of your chosen conversion window. This method of open tracking is the industry standard and less likely to cause issues with spam blockers or mailbox providers (MBPs).

Learn how to edit the location of your tracking pixel in your account’s settings.

Potential open discrepancies

It is possible (in rare cases) for a recipient to click an email without opening it. For instance, this happens if they click a link before the email loads completely. Additionally, Apple Mail Privacy (MPP) may also account for opens that were not made by the subscriber themselves. Because of this, when you set up a segment of customers that did not open an email, always include both open and click filters. This ensures that you capture any users that were tracked as having clicked but not opened the message. You can also adjust your email conversion settings in your Account to track MPP opens by default.

Example of a non-opener segment with users receiving at least 1 email ever, and opened or clicked them zero times ever

Klaviyo tracks click activity by adding unique tracking information to each URL. As a result, when hovering over a link in a Klaviyo email, you may see the URL begin with the example below. Note that this may look slightly different depending on if your account has dedicated click tracking setup.
[unique-account-identifier].trk.klaviyomail.com

Email and SMS website tracking

When you add the Klaviyo web tracking snippet to your site, we are only able to track these events for "known browsers." There are a few different ways we identify a site visitor for web tracking purposes:

  • Website tracking enabled
    When you have email to website tracking enabled and have Klaviyo's main web tracking snippet on your website, Klaviyo will identify and cookie individuals that click through a Klaviyo email or SMS and end up browsing your website.
  • Subscriber opt-in
    When someone has, at some point, subscribed/opted-in through a Klaviyo form, our web tracking code will cookie this person at the time of opt-in.

You can toggle on and off Klaviyo's ability to track email to website activity in your account's email settings.

We add an additional parameter to all URLs in your email to track activity. This is the _kx parameter. The unique encoded value here is then decoded by our web tracking and allows us to identify the user that clicked through the URL.

This parameter is automatically appended and will not impact the load times of your URLs nor break any URLs based on its placement. See the example link below for an idea of how this will look in the URL:

http://example.com/?_kx=J8fjcn003Wy6b-3ILNlOyZXabW6dcFwTyeuxrowMers%3D.McN66

Potential discrepancies between Klaviyo and Google Analytics

Because Google Analytics uses link clicks to track conversions and Klaviyo uses data directly from your database, it's likely the analytics between both services won't exactly align. Thus, there may be instances where Google Analytics does not record conversions when they actually occur.

For example, Google Analytics will not record a conversion if a subscriber receives an email, reads it, does not click on a link, but goes to your store. Or in another scenario, a customer receives an SMS message, opens it, but then eventually makes the purchase from their desktop; Google Analytics will not record this conversion either. However, in both scenarios, Klaviyo recognizes these conversions and stitches them together. In the first example, Klaviyo recognizes that a subscriber first opened the email, and in the second example, recognizes that the SMS message triggered a purchase. Just keep in mind that Klaviyo will only recognize these within the message attribution windows.

Because of this fundamental difference, we recommend deferring to Klaviyo's conversion analytics when possible.

Appending UTM tracking to emails

When creating a flow, email, or SMS campaign in Klaviyo, you can add UTM parameters to your email. You can customize these UTM tracking parameters at an account-level and you can also configure these at an email-level.

By default, Klaviyo will track the following:

For emails:

  • source: list or segment name(s)
  • medium: email
  • campaign: campaign name including campaign id

For SMS messages:

  • source: list or segment name(s)
  • medium: sms
  • campaign: campaign name including campaign id

For flows:

  • source: flow name
  • medium: email (note that this is the default but you can also update your settings to reflect SMS or by campaign)
  • campaign: flow message name including flow id

For example, if you have a welcome series flow and the first email is named "Intro to our Brand" and the flow email ID is A12bc3, then the following UTM parameters will be added to links:

  • medium: email
  • source: Welcome Series
  • campaign: Intro to our Brand (A12bc3)
Keep in mind that, in Google Analytics, the 5 default UTM parameters (i.e., utm_medium, utm_source, utm_campaign, utm_content, and utm_termKlaviyo profile ID) will be lowercased automatically.

Additional parameters

Besides the default parameters noted above, you also have the option to turn on the following fields in your account-level settings:

For emails:

For SMS:

  • ID: you have the option to include campaign ID, campaign name with campaign ID, external ID, Klaviyo profile ID, or link text or alt text.
  • term: you have the option to include external ID, Klaviyo profile ID, or link text or alt text.

For flows:

SMS conversion tracking

By default, Klaviyo sets a 24-hour SMS conversion window, which you can edit in your account settings.

Attribution for SMS occurs when a recipient clicks a text and then takes another action (such as placing an order) within the conversion or attribution window. Thus, the conversion window is the number of hours in which any purchases made after the SMS message was sent and clicks will be attributed to that SMS message.

Note that in order to track SMS conversions for a profile, you will need to have sent an SMS with a link and links must use the Klaviyo link shortener.

Keep in mind that Klaviyo connects attribution to a customer's interaction with both channels at the time of purchase or action. For example, you setup your conversion window for SMS as 1 day, while your conversion window for email is 5 days. If a customer opens an email on day 1 and then a SMS message on day 3, but makes a purchase on day 4, we attribute the conversion to the last message they interacted with that has an open attribution window (i.e., the email). Learn more about multi-channel attribution.

It’s important to note that if you're seeing a lot of unattributed conversions, you may want to extend the SMS conversion window beyond the default 24-hour window.

If you're seeing a lot of unattributed conversions, you may want to extend the SMS conversion window.

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