Create a tracking plan: 5 free templates from Segment, Mixpanel, Amplitude, and more
How to improve event tracking with a tracking plan template
Good product managers and digital marketers know the importance of thorough planning from day one. Web analytics offer great insights into customer priorities, and product analytics are critical to user experience improvement, but tracking an end-to-end customer journey can be daunting for even the most experienced professionals.
Furthermore, even when you've set up the tracking correctly, deciding which metrics are useful and worth analyzing further complicates matters. To determine which metrics to track, it's best to work backward, starting with your business goals. After defining your business objectives, the next step is to figure out which metrics correctly correlate to tracking your goals. Then, it's time to identify the key metrics that will help you in answering those questions.
Those key metrics define the parameters of your data collection goals and help you identify specific events to track to create a deeper understanding of your product performance and user experience. To make the best use of the data made available to you through various tools, it is vital to use the right tool to plan the data analysis. Hence, the tracking plan template.
What is a tracking plan?
A tracking plan, also called a measurement plan, is a document shared with all the relevant team members and stakeholders of the project. The plan defines business objectives in terms of necessary metrics and is used to set-up and guide the implementation process.
Why you need a tracking plan template
Using a tracking plan template, instead of creating spreadsheets of your own, will save a lot of your time and energy while providing added benefits. When you use a tracking plan template created by experts in the fields of product development and user experience, you're capitalizing on the knowledge of experts instead of starting from scratch. It's an excellent mental exercise to walk yourself through the elements experts deem crucial and decide for yourself what you need to keep or modify.
Identify user actions to track
Building a tracking plan is a good forcing function to think through your entire product experience. Write down the important user actions you’ll want to track. By going through this exercise, you’ll be more thoughtful about the key business objectives you want to track and measure and your analytics implementation will better reflect this. Tracking plans aren’t limited to just events (user actions), though.
In addition to events, it’s also a great opportunity to think through what properties you’ll want to track for each event. When your dataset has contextual metadata, it makes analysis and answering questions about your user behavior much more powerful. For example, you may want to track song plays in your app. So you’ll have an event like “Played Song”, and you’ll attach a property to each event that specifies which song was played.
Easier event tracking
Tracking plan templates, with their orderly and transparent layout, make event tracking very easy. With each event clearly defined in relation to business objectives, it is easier for multiple teams to assess the significance and the meaning of the data as the events occur.
Tracking plan templates are designed to be shareable documents, allowing businesses to share the tracking plan with different teams and stakeholders simultaneously, making coordination with other channels and departments easier.
Standardized event names and descriptions
With various tools used across different departments of the same organization, obtaining clean data can be a challenge. The first step towards collecting clean data is standardization. Standardization can be achieved by following a standard naming convention enforcing it throughout the organization.
Thus, it's easy to see how a tracking plan template can make the process of standardization and its enforcement simpler.
Analyze event performance
Tracking plan templates are designed to organize all essential metrics in one place while also allowing data scientists to define why those metrics are needed by adding descriptions and objectives. When annotated correctly, the tracking plan will become the comprehensive platform that acts as a guide for data analytics and its implementation.
Using one tracking plan across different departments of an organization, such as engineering, product management, marketing, and customer-facing teams, makes event implementation and analysis easy and consistent.
4 Free Tracking Plan Templates
Here are some free templates to inspire you or jump-start your next event tracking project.
Amplitude has been in the industry for quite some while now. The great thing about their tracking plan template, also referred to as the basic event taxonomy template, is that it comes with a list of best practices. If you’re new to using a tracking plan template and are not sure about the steps you need to take to obtain the best results, you can follow Amplitude's instructions to guide you.
Segment is a leading customer data platform. Keeping in mind the varied industry needs, Segment has created more than one tracking plan template. All Segment's templates in general, and the basic plan template in particular, stand out from other available templates in the market due to their simplicity and ease of use.
The basic plan template uses a Google sheet format, which makes the process of tracking super easy.
Practico Analytics has taken tracking planning a step ahead by introducing fields like implementation status to its tracking plan template. The implementation status field and other fields indicate where in the life cycle the event occurs, providing better visibility to data scientists and business owners and making different types of analysis easier to conduct.
This is also helpful for project management – keeping the team motivated and on track to improve workflow.
Instead of creating a single template to fit the needs of different types of businesses, Mixpanel offers specialized templates for SaaS businesses and e-commerce businesses. The tracking plan created for e-commerce companies guides setting up business objectives, creating an analytics strategy, and implementation the tracking plan.
Moreover, the tracking plan template also provides clear examples for each step. Even those who are new to using tracking plan templates will need little outside help to get started.
Indicative’s template offers a simple way to track use case events, key properties, source, table, mapping, unique identifier, timestamp, notes, and status. By keeping track of this information, anyone can look at this sheet and identify the information that they need.
Ultimately, use a tracking method that makes sense to you
You can draw inspiration from the above-mentioned top-notch tracking plan templates and make your own excel spreadsheet to meet your business demands, or you can choose the smarter option and go for a free tracking plan template and customize it according to your deliverables and project schedule.
The amount of time you will save from creating your own tracking plan from scratch can be invested in other things like coming up with a better analytics strategy and focusing on customer acquisition and retention.
Improve event tracking with Freshpaint
Freshpaint takes a hybrid approach to event tracking. We have a set of client-side and server-side APIs for Precision Tracking, and in addition to that you can also collect data via our Autotrack SDKs. Whether you need event data for Pageviews, Clicks, Form Submissions, Text Field Changes, or any other customer behavior, Freshpaint has you covered.
Ready to set up event tracking for your website or product? Start using Freshpaint for free to implement event tracking and build a modern data infrastructure.