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Ahoy Email

First-party email analytics for Rails

Ahoy Email 2.0 was recently released - see how to upgrade

🔥 For web and native app analytics, check out Ahoy

🚄 To manage unsubscribes, check out Mailkick

Build Status

Installation

Add this line to your application’s Gemfile:

gem 'ahoy_email'

Getting Started

There are three main features, which can be used independently:

Message History

To encrypt email addresses, install Lockbox and Blind Index and run:

rails generate ahoy:messages
rails db:migrate

If you prefer not to encrypt data, run:

rails generate ahoy:messages --unencrypted
rails db:migrate

Then, add to mailers:

class CouponMailer < ApplicationMailer
  has_history
end

Use the Ahoy::Message model to query messages:

Ahoy::Message.last

Use only and except to limit actions

class CouponMailer < ApplicationMailer
  has_history only: [:welcome]
end

To store history for all mailers, create config/initializers/ahoy_email.rb with:

AhoyEmail.default_options[:message] = true

Users

By default, Ahoy Email tries @user then params[:user] then User.find_by(email: message.to) to find the user. You can pass a specific user with:

class CouponMailer < ApplicationMailer
  has_history user: -> { params[:some_user] }
end

The user association is polymorphic, so use it with any model.

To get all messages sent to a user, add an association:

class User < ApplicationRecord
  has_many :messages, class_name: "Ahoy::Message", as: :user
end

And run:

user.messages

Extra Data

Add extra data to messages. Create a migration like:

class AddCouponIdToAhoyMessages < ActiveRecord::Migration[6.1]
  def change
    add_column :ahoy_messages, :coupon_id, :integer
  end
end

And use:

class CouponMailer < ApplicationMailer
  has_history extra: {coupon_id: 1}
end

You can use a proc as well.

class CouponMailer < ApplicationMailer
  has_history extra: -> { {coupon_id: params[:coupon].id} }
end

Options

Set global options

AhoyEmail.default_options[:user] = -> { params[:admin] }

Use a different model

AhoyEmail.message_model = -> { UserMessage }

Or fully customize how messages are tracked

AhoyEmail.track_method = lambda do |data|
  # your code
end

Data Retention

Delete older data with:

Ahoy::Message.where("created_at < ?", 1.year.ago).in_batches.delete_all

Delete data for a specific user with:

Ahoy::Message.where(user_id: 1).in_batches.delete_all

UTM Tagging

Use UTM tagging to attribute visits or conversions to an email campaign. Add UTM parameters to links with:

class CouponMailer < ApplicationMailer
  utm_params
end

The defaults are:

  • utm_medium - email
  • utm_source - the mailer name like coupon_mailer
  • utm_campaign - the mailer action like offer

You can customize them with:

class CouponMailer < ApplicationMailer
  utm_params utm_campaign: -> { "coupon#{params[:coupon].id}" }
end

Use only and except to limit actions

class CouponMailer < ApplicationMailer
  utm_params only: [:welcome]
end

Skip specific links with:

<%= link_to "Go", some_url, data: {skip_utm_params: true} %>

Click Analytics

You can track click-through rate to see how well campaigns are performing. Stats can be stored in your database, Redis, or any other data store.

Database

Run:

rails generate ahoy:clicks
rails db:migrate

And create config/initializers/ahoy_email.rb with:

AhoyEmail.subscribers << AhoyEmail::DatabaseSubscriber
AhoyEmail.api = true

Redis

Add this line to your application’s Gemfile:

gem 'redis'

And create config/initializers/ahoy_email.rb with:

# pass your Redis client if you already have one
AhoyEmail.subscribers << AhoyEmail::RedisSubscriber.new(redis: Redis.new)
AhoyEmail.api = true

Other

Create config/initializers/ahoy_email.rb with:

class EmailSubscriber
  def track_send(data)
    # your code
  end

  def track_click(data)
    # your code
  end

  def stats(campaign)
    # optional, for AhoyEmail.stats
  end
end

AhoyEmail.subscribers << EmailSubscriber
AhoyEmail.api = true

Usage

Add to mailers you want to track

class CouponMailer < ApplicationMailer
  track_clicks campaign: "my-campaign"
end

If storing stats in the database, the mailer should also use has_history

Use only and except to limit actions

class CouponMailer < ApplicationMailer
  track_clicks campaign: "my-campaign", only: [:welcome]
end

Or make it conditional

class CouponMailer < ApplicationMailer
  track_clicks campaign: "my-campaign", if: -> { params[:user].opted_in? }
end

You can also use a proc

class CouponMailer < ApplicationMailer
  track_clicks campaign: -> { "coupon-#{action_name}" }
end

Skip specific links with:

<%= link_to "Go", some_url, data: {skip_click: true} %>

By default, unsubscribe links are excluded. To change this, use:

AhoyEmail.default_options[:unsubscribe_links] = true

You can specify the domain to use with:

AhoyEmail.default_options[:url_options] = {host: "mydomain.com"}

Stats

Get stats for a campaign

AhoyEmail.stats("my-campaign")

Upgrading

2.0

Ahoy Email 2.0 brings a number of changes. Here are a few to be aware of:

  • The to field is encrypted by default for new installations. If you’d like to encrypt an existing installation, install Lockbox and Blind Index and follow the Lockbox instructions for migrating existing data.

    For the model, create app/models/ahoy/message.rb with:

    class Ahoy::Message < ActiveRecord::Base
      self.table_name = "ahoy_messages"
    
      belongs_to :user, polymorphic: true, optional: true
    
      encrypts :to, migrating: true
      blind_index :to, migrating: true
    end
  • The track method has been broken into:

    • has_history for message history
    • utm_params for UTM tagging
    • track_clicks for click analytics
  • Message history is no longer enabled by default. Add has_history to individual mailers, or create an initializer with:

    AhoyEmail.default_options[:message] = true
  • For privacy, open tracking has been removed.

  • For clicks, we encourage you to try aggregate analytics to measure the performance of campaigns. You can use a library like Rollup to aggregate existing data, then drop the token and clicked_at columns.

    To keep individual analytics, use has_history and track_clicks campaign: false and create an initializer with:

    AhoyEmail.save_token = true
    AhoyEmail.subscribers << AhoyEmail::MessageSubscriber

    If you use a custom subscriber, :message is no longer included in click events. You can use :token to query the message if needed.

  • Users are shown a link expired page when signature verification fails instead of being redirected to the homepage when AhoyEmail.invalid_redirect_url is not set

History

View the changelog

Contributing

Everyone is encouraged to help improve this project. Here are a few ways you can help:

To get started with development:

git clone https://github.com/ankane/ahoy_email.git
cd ahoy_email
bundle install
bundle exec rake test