Find Out Where Your Email Subscribers Really Come From

When you log in to any analytics tool, for instance HitSniffer or Google Analytics (or both if you're a super geek like me) you're greeted with an overwhelming amount of data. Having this wealth of information at your fingertips is awesome, but it can also hinder you.

When it comes to analytics – less is more. And by less I'm talking about segmenting your visitors like there's no tomorrow.

I've written before about how to create custom segments in Google Analytics so I won't repeat that (only link to it) however in this post I want to show you how to not be mislead when it comes to seeing where your email subscribers really come from.

Visits Isn't Always The Best Metric

To be sure you want to measure visits over time. The general trajectory of the graph we like to see if up and to the right. However visits alone doesn't tell the story of where the highest converting traffic is. Here's what I mean.

This is a screenshot I took this morning of my Google Analytics visitor stats between April 1, 2012 and April 26, 2012:

Dempsey Marketing Google Analytics  April To Date

Looking at this the United States looks pretty awesome with 44.34% of all visitors, with the UK trailing quite behind with a modest 9.23%. But guess what? For April, when it comes to email subscribers, these two countries are two of my lowest converters! (Sorry everyone)

Now there could be many reasons for that, some of which might be uncovered by further analysis. Let's table that for now and focus on where my email subscribers came from this month.

To find that out, assuming you have set up goals (which I hope you have!), you want to:

  1. Expand the Demographics menu on the left
  2. Select Location
  3. On the map overlay click the Goal Set 1 tab (or whichever set you use to track email conversions)
  4. Sort the data by your email subscription goal

In graphic that looks like this:

Google Analytics Goals By Country

Google Analytics Goals By Country

Once you have the data sorted you will see exactly where your email subscribers are coming from. For me it's:

Dempsey Marketing Email Subscriptions By Country

Dempsey Marketing Email Subscriptions By Country

Hold on a second – what is this?! Even though a mighty 44.34%of my visitors came from the US it only accounts for 0.23% of my email subscribers. The top countries? Unexpectedly Israel, Indonesia, Spain and Thailand.

Very interesting stuff.

Focus On What Really Matters

The lesson here is to not be bowled over by certain large numbers when focusing on what really matters to your business. One of the KPIs (key performance indicators) I use is email subscribers.

If I was looking purely at visitor numbers I might think that the US is great. In this case I found out, at least for this month, it wasn't compared to a few other countries.

From here I could look at a few months of historical data and look for trends to see if I can take advantage of this. If subscribers from Israel are steadily going up I'd try to find out why and how I can get more.

The bottom line though is to look past the big numbers and focus on the outcomes that really matter for your business. After all, that's what metrics are all about – actionable insight.


  1. That’s good when u have a tools to trace where your guest from. Its a very big help in all circumstances. Thank you

  2. Robert, it feels good to get large numbers of readers.  Still, when they don’t convert or join the list, it’s like a storm that blows over leaving little in the rain barrel.

  3. Thanks for this information. I haven’t been using goals either. Something to look into.

  4. Hi Robert,

    This is awesome information.

    I haven’t been using goals at all, mostly because I didn’t understand why. But that’s back when I actually didn’t have a goal for my website, now that I’m running a business, it’s all different.


  5. Thanks for these informative post.Now I’m aware about all of these.It can help me a lot.

  6. Setting Analytics Goals…
    Is that a complicated process?
    Have you discussed in past?

    • I haven’t discussed how to set up goals since the new Google Analytics UI was released however it’s not too hard. I can do a post about it though as there are a lot of cool things you can do with them.

      • Thanks Robert.. I am looking at that section now.
        One Blog, You Can Build It has a FREE audio and Text Giveaway of Think and grow Rich. Over the years thousands have filled in the form..
        That is one I would like to track..
        knowing most are NOT from USA…
        Also have a page to purchase our Webinar library

  7. Thanks Robert,

    I wasn’t aware that you can check your conversion or subscription through country location on Google Analytics. I’ll try this technique to see my website conversion.

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