Track Downloads With Email Analytics

Track Downloads With Email AnalyticsYou may already know about our Email Analytics features. These powerful tools allow you to target your list with pinpoint accuracy, sending messages that respond to subscriber activity.

Anywhere you install our analytics, you can track which of your subscribers visit that page. You can send email newsletters to subscribers who visit your order page, or who look at a specific page or product on your website.

We’ve recently taken things a step further, allowing you to track subscribers who click download links on your site.

How Does It Work?

Any download link on your website can be modified to track subscribers that use it. I came across this post on Chris Brogan’s blog, and I thought to myself that this would be a perfect place to start tracking downloads.

This kind of page, with a free download, is the perfect place to implement download tracking. We could easily follow up with subscribers who downloaded the PDF, asking for feedback on the content in the download, or even linking to related products.

Let’s take a look at the HTML for that download link as it is now:

In order for the link to tell the AWeber analytics javascript that a subscriber has downloaded the PDF, we just add a line or two:

And that’s it – when a subscriber clicks that link, it will be tracked as a page hit to the download!

What Is It For?

Now that we are tracking which subscribers are downloading the PDF, its time to put that information to work. We can now segment our list and send a message to those people.

To do so, we’ll first search our list for hits to the download’s URL – this is in our AWeber account, under the Subscribers tab, Search.

Next, we save this search as a segment so that we can refer to it later:

Now we can create a broadcast and send it out to that segment, directing their attention back to our site with links to similar resources, or maybe just asking for input on the content of the PDF.

How Do I Get Started?

You can take a look at our knowledge base article for more detail on the process – for a more “plug and play” experience, you can just copy and paste this code:

Simply replace the “” URL in BOTH places with the URL of your download, place this link on a page that has your AWeber analytics installed, and you’ll be good to go!


  1. Jonathan Thompson

    6/1/2010 11:29 am

    Just curious. What if you generate a list like this one day; then a month later you generate the same list. How can you use Awebber to decipher who received the last email and who has yet to receive an email? That probably isn’t super clear. Here’s what I’m getting at; I don’t want to email the same person asking them the same questions, e.g., surveying them about the PDF download, twice.


  2. Matt Cassity

    6/1/2010 11:49 am

    Good. I was wondering if there was a way to track people like this. Whats better is that I can get it as part of my Aweber subscription for no additional cost. Now I just need to find out how to download Aweber analytics.

  3. Amy Starr Allen

    6/1/2010 11:09 pm

    Wow. So awesome! Thanks!

  4. Justin Premick

    6/2/2010 8:17 am


    You can search and segment subscribers based on whether they opened a particular email, clicked a particular link and a bunch of other criteria at the Search Subscribers page.

    For more on creating a segment, see this article in our Knowledge Base.


    There’s nothing to download. All you’ll need to do is put some Javascript that we provide on your site and then follow the instructions in this blog post for adding download tracking.

  5. Sewa

    6/3/2010 2:00 am

    Very nice…thanks.

  6. Wayne Ulery

    6/3/2010 3:28 am

    Wow, this is why I love Aweber. Thanks guys!!

  7. Chris Brisson

    6/3/2010 4:23 pm

    Wow… ok now it’s getting REALLY good. Great tip! We can definitely use this!

  8. Will

    6/5/2010 7:02 am

    I agree with Jonathan’s point.

    Only having the option to send broadcast emails to list segments defeats the purpose of an AUTO-responder. No longer is it auto if we have to log in and send broadcast messages every day to new people who have joined a particular segment – and let’s face it, that’s why most of us are here – to have our followup taken care of automatically. Why segment a list if we can’t allocate different followup messages for them – it kind of defeats the point.

    List segments are used to differentiate subscribers who have taken a particular action and follow up with them accordingly. As such, we should have the option to change the follow-up sequence someone receives based on choices or purchases they have made.

    This would also be in AWeber’s best interest as emails would be more targeted to the recipients so open rates would improve and unsubscribes would decrease.

  9. Ran Aroussi

    6/5/2010 1:51 pm

    An easier and more *universal* way would be this:

    [a href="" onclick="awt_analytics.record(this.href);"]Download My PDF[/a]

    This will grab the url from the HERF and will make a shorter code = less room for typos 😉

  10. Ran Aroussi

    6/11/2010 12:55 am

    …OR (better yet) place this code on your page:

    [script type="text/javascript"]
    function awClick(event){
    tname = event.srcElement.tagName;
    if (tname == ‘A’ || tname == ‘a’) {
    cname = event.srcElement.className;
    if (cname.indexOf("aweber") > -1) {
    try { awt_analytics.record(event.srcElement.href); } catch(err) {};

    AND add this to your "body" tag:

    [body onmousedown="awClick(event)"]

    this will automatically track every link with the class "aweber"


    [a href="" class=" aweber"]Click here[/a]

    this won’t work:

    [a href=""%5DClick here[/a]

  11. Ran Aroussi

    6/11/2010 1:16 am

    Sorry – here’s the correct function (browser compatible):

    [script type="text/javascript"]
    function awClick(e) {
    if (!e) e = window.event;
    var src = (typeof != ‘undefined’) ? : e.srcElement;
    if (src.tagName == ‘A’ || src.tagName == ‘a’) {
    cname = src.className;
    if (cname.indexOf("aweber") > -1) {
    try { awt_analytics.record(src.href); } catch(err) {};

    everything else stays the same 🙂

  12. Justin Premick

    6/14/2010 1:35 pm

    Hi Ran,

    Thanks so much for the suggestions!

    One quick note on using this.href or src.href as you describe — this will work fine if the download link you’re tracking is absolute. However, if you’re using a relative link, you’ll need to use the method we describe in the post above, because we need to capture the absolute URL.

  13. Ran Aroussi

    6/14/2010 1:49 pm

    Hi Justin,

    I don’t think that’s true. As far as I can recall using “.href” forces the conversion to an absolute URL.

    So… everything is fine 🙂

    BTW – I modified “awt_analytics.js” to include this feature by default. If you want me to send you the modified version, email me (my email is on the comment).

    I think this can be a very powerful tool if offered “out of the box”.

  14. Hugo Armas

    6/24/2010 11:11 am


    Look good, I’ll try.

    I think, is a very powerfull tool for us.

    Good for you, congratulatios…

    Aweber always… always Aweber.

  15. Charlie

    2/9/2012 10:14 am

    What method do you use to show your customers, who is opening their emails?
    I was under the perhaps mistaken impression, that there is not a truly accurate way to do this.


  16. RM

    11/21/2013 10:45 pm


  17. Numpang

    5/7/2014 11:19 pm

    Amazing. thank you.