Track Attentive SMS campaigns in Google Analytics

Updated on 2023-05-31

Littledata offers a seamless integration with Attentive SMS for Shopify merchants. Benefits include:

  • Single source of truth in Google Analytics. See which SMS campaigns are driving sales and exactly when and where customers are converting.
  • Better marketing attribution. Littledata’s app magically stitches sessions together so you can understand performance across paid and organic channels. and build better audiences in Facebook Ads, Google Ads and more.
  • Audience building. Littledata captures complete data about browsing behavior, checkout steps and purchasing behavior (orders, refunds, repeat purchases) for more accurate retargeting campaigns and audience building.
  • Complete subscription tracking. Many subscription merchants use Attentive to power their SMS/text marketing, and Littledata integrates with apps like Recharge, Ordergoove and Stay Ai to track recurring orders directly in Google Analytics and tie them back to customer touch points like email, SMS and Facebook Ads.

How it works

Littledata's Attentive integration works alongside our Shopify to Google Analytics connection to provide granular marketing attribution for conversions that come from Attentive SMS campaigns. The integration sends complete data to Google Analytics without the need for Google Tag Manager (GTM).

Littledata’s integration relies on the UTM parameters you set up in Attentive, so it's important to follow this guide closely!


Read more about how it works

How to set up UTM parameters

UTM parameters are extra data in the link the user clicks to tell Google Analytics (and Shopify) where the click came from. These parameters are automatically added by Google Ads, but for other platforms (e.g. Facebook or Attentive) you will need to add them manually or via the software.

Setting up UTMs with Attentive SMS Campaigns

We recommend including UTMs in all of your Attentive message links if you're interested in seeing Attentive metrics within Google Analytics. This simple step is important to get right.

When you create a message, Attentive’s link shortener pulls in a pre-arranged utm_source and utm_medium by default. To update these values, go to Settings > Google Analytics.

Whichever naming convention you choose, consistency is essential. Many Littledata customers create internal spreadsheets to manage UTM naming conventions and channel groupings in GA, and run regular QA checks to ensure consistency. Note that we have analytics audit checks within the Littledata app, and we now offer analytics training on Plus plans.

Here you can see Attentive's recommended naming scheme:

When you create a campaign in Attentive, in the Design your campaign page, you will want to make sure the links you add have UTMs on them so Littledata can track the campaign properly. Undoubtedly you are hustling with many marketing channels contributing to your bottom line.  Appending UTM links on your SMS marketing will allow that channel to be evaluated properly.

To do so, in the Design your campaign screen, when you are ready to insert your link, click on the "+"

In the new popup window, choose Short link:

In the next popup window, add the URL with your UTMs. You can type it in or use Google's Campaign URL builder.

You can set UTM_Source and UTM_Medium in your Settings under GA Link Tracking. Set UTM_Source=attentive and UTM_Medium=text. This will auto populate the URL with these settings.

Once finished, click the Shorten & insert URL, review your campaign and send it. You should be all set up now!

Reporting on Attentive flows in Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a powerful reporting tool once you get to know how channel groupings and custom dimensions work. You can analyze your Attentive data in Google Analytics by looking at campaign conversions in Google Analytics.

After you have enabled our recommended settings for UTM tags, you will have access to Attentive flow and campaign data in Google Analytics. You can look at this on its own, but also compare it against other channels for engagement and acquisition.

To see revenue and orders attributed to these campaigns, drill into the Attentive source and add campaign as a secondary dimension.

Will Google Analytics match Attentive?

Google Analytics (GA) operates under the framework of a single session, which causes the numbers to differ due to the counting mechanisms. Some notable differences include the following:

  • Quick browse sessions are counted by Attentive but not always by GA. If Attentive logs a browse session and GA doesn't, this will likely alter the associated statistics.
  • GA doesn't always capture cross-browser behavior. This includes a user initiating a checkout session from their iPhone on Safari and completing it on their laptop with Google Chrome.
  • GA doesn't count desktop browsing. This refers to a subscriber initiating a session from their phone and completing it on their desktop.
  • GA may use last-click attribution. This differs because Attentive doesn't use last-click attribution.

Attentive doesn't recommend changing their attribution window because that would provide the most holistic data. However, if you want Attentive’s revenue figures to match most closely with GA, you can always request a change for the attribution window to a zero-day click window and to exclude view-through purchases.