We have it set up so that if someone clicks a PDF link on our website, Google Analytics is able to pick that up.
However, most of our PDF's are sent via email. How can we capture that in Google Analytics?
Do you mean you are send the PDF URL's through email (and not the PDF as attachment to emails)? Marketo will detect these clicks, so why would you need them in GA? I do not think Marketo plays a role there and you might rather look for redirect techniques: the click goes to a dummy page, tracked with GA, then an automated redirect happens towards the PDF.
It'd be nice to have all our analytics in one place. But yea, it looks like setting up a redirect might make the most sense. And yes, we include direct links to PDF's in our emails. Basically, the user fills out a form and then is sent a PDF via email. However, I'm wondering if there are better ways to handle this process.
Note to all: when building such a redirect page, you must ensure that the page is not an open redirector: it must only redirect to approved domains, or only to assets (paths + filenames) underneath the current domain. You can't just pick up a query parameter and redirect to it without ensuring its validity first (using JS).
If you don't do this, scammers/phishers may use your redirector to perform all manner of Very Bad Things, with your unwitting help. The worst outcome (for you and for others) being that the site is flagged as "dangerous" by Google!
Generally, the recommended way of recording assets that don't inherently have the ability to be tracked is to have a go-between page firing JS that quickly records a faux visit via Measurement Protocol and then redirect to the PDF; I do something along this lines (combined with Marketo Munchkin tracking for assets) for most of my clients.
Thanks! Makes sense, I will explore this further.
I also stumbled upon a service called DocuSend, seems to be pretty cool, looking into that as a potential solution too.