GA4 Alerts: All-in-one Guide 2024

If you want to receive notifications about unusual changes in your business metrics, you can set up GA4 alerts to send you emails when unexpected events occur. For instance, you can create alerts in GA4 to inform you if your website traffic drops to a specific level. This feature makes GA4 a powerful tool for enhancing your analytics. Hence, we highly recommend that you configure them. Here is how you can set up custom alerts in Google Analytics 4.

What are custom alerts in Google Analytics?

Custom alerts in Google Analytics are notifications you can set up to keep track of specific metrics or conditions related to your website or app’s performance. These alerts help you stay informed about important changes and act accordingly.

For example, let’s say you have an online store and want to be alerted if your daily revenue drops below a certain amount. You can create an alert in Google Analytics 4 to notify you when the revenue falls below the specified threshold.

Another example could be monitoring website traffic. If you have a blog and want to track the number of daily visitors, you can create a custom alert to notify you if the traffic exceeds a specific threshold, such as 1,000 visitors per day. This alert can help you identify when your content performs exceptionally well and may require further promotion or optimization.

You can tailor GA4 alerts to various metrics and conditions based on your business goals. Whether it’s monitoring bounce rates, conversions, or any other KPIs, you can set up alerts to receive notifications when certain thresholds or conditions are met.

You can stay proactive in managing your website’s performance by utilizing custom alerts. Instead of manually checking metrics regularly, notifications will alert you when significant changes occur, enabling you to take immediate action and make data-driven decisions to optimize your website’s success.

What are the differences between custom alerts in Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4?

There are several differences between custom alerts in Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4, and we will discuss the key ones in this section. 

In the previous version of Google Analytics (Universal Analytics), it used to be called Custom Alerts, but in the recent version, GA4, it is called Custom Insights.

In Universal Analytics, you can set up your notifications to notify you via email or text. However, in GA4, you can only be notified via email.

Unlike Universal Analytics alerts, Google Analytics 4 alerts also involve predictive analytics. This means that GA4 has two types of alerts: suggested insights, which are generated by GA4 using machine learning, and custom insights you can create on your own, similar to UA’s custom alerts.

Additionally, in GA4, the alerts are more advanced and can provide more detailed and accurate insights into your website or app performance, allowing you to make more informed decisions based on the data provided. 

Overall, the shift from Custom Alerts in Universal Analytics to Custom Insights in GA4 represents a move towards more sophisticated and data-driven alerting capabilities in Google Analytics.

How to set up GA4 alerts

There are two types of alerts in GA4: Suggested Insights and Custom Insights. Let’s look at how to set them up in GA4.

Suggested insights

Suggested insights are automated insights that GA4 creates automatically using machine learning based on unusual changes or emerging trends in your data, which you can view on the Insights dashboard in GA4.

To set up a suggested insight, go to your GA4 home page, scroll down to the “Insights & Recommendations” section, and click “View all insights.” Then, click the create button, and a new window will show the suggested custom insights lists. Click the Review and Create button beside each insight to review the setup if it suits your needs. Make sure to tick the one you desire and click the “Create selected” button to create it.

Suggested insights
GA4 Suggested insights

Custom alerts

Custom alerts in GA4, now referred to as custom insights, are notifications that you have the ability to create and configure from scratch to suit your unique needs and goals. By customizing these alerts, you can proactively monitor key metrics and take timely actions to enhance your online presence and achieve your desired outcomes.

So, to set up custom alerts in Google Analytics 4, you should have at least ‘Edit” or “Analyst” access in GA4 and take the following steps:

  1. Open the Google Analytics 4 Home page, scroll to the “Insights & Recommendations” section and click “View all insights”.

    Step 1 Open GA4 Home and select Insights Recommendations section

  2. Click on the “Create” button to create a new custom alert.

    Step 2 Click on Create button

  3. Scroll to the start from scratch section and click the create button to configure the custom insight rules:

    1. Set conditions such as evaluation frequency, segment, metric, and condition when you want to receive a notification.
    2. Write the insight name.Step 3 Configure the custom alert rules

  4. Click on the “Create” button to save the alert.

    Step 4 Save the newly configured alert

How to configure sending a GA4 alert to your inbox

1. Go to the Insight dashboard in your GA4 property and click on the “Manage” button.

Step 5 Go to Manage Page to Activate New Alert
Manage Custom Insight

2. After clicking the manage button, you will see the list of insights in your GA4 property. To activate the email notification, simply turn on the email notification toggle button beside the insight whose email notification you want to activate.

Step 6 Activate the custom alert
Configure Sending GA4 Alert to inbox

3. If you would like to add other emails, simply click the three dots beside the insight, select the “Edit” option and scroll to the manage notification section, write the email addresses of the users who should receive an email with the insight, and then click the “Save” button.

Edit Custom Insights
Click on three dots to edit custom insights in GA4

After you have completed all the setup mentioned above, Google Analytics 4 will send you emails when a change in the metric occurs.

GA4 Custom Alert Email
GA4 Custom Alert Email

How to edit a custom insight alert in GA4

To edit a custom insight in GA4:

  • Go to the Insight dashboard on your GA4 property home page and click the “Manage” button to see the list of all the insights on your property.
  • Click the three dots beside the insight you would like to edit; you will have two options: the option to “Edit” or “Delete” the insight.
  • Click the edit option; this will open the custom insight’s setup, and you can make the modifications you desire.
  • When you finish the changes, click the “Save” button.
Editing Custom Insights
Editing Custom Insights

5 Best Practices to improve your GA4 alerts

There are various opinions on how to structure analytics alerts, but the following four rules are essential:

  1. Send alerts to individuals who are familiar with them and know how to take action upon receiving them. It is pointless to notify someone who cannot address the metric change.
  1. Name alerts in a way that is easily understandable to everyone without further discussion. For instance, if a daily metric change triggers the alert, clearly label it as such. If the alert pertains to a decrease in revenue, specify it as “Revenue decreased by 30% yesterday.” Clarity accelerates the response time and ensures that alerts are addressed.
  1. Determine actions to take when you or your team members receive an alert. Should they investigate further within GA4 to understand the issue and then formulate a plan for the team? Addressing these questions beforehand will help streamline the response process when alerts are triggered.
  1. Avoid creating custom alerts just for the sake of it. Set up alerts in GA4 for Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and regularly review them to eliminate outdated alerts that are no longer relevant.
  1. Establish appropriate thresholds for your alerts. If you frequently receive alerts you eventually ignore, it indicates that the threshold set for custom alerts is too low. Adjust the threshold in GA4 to receive notifications only when significant events occur.

Real use-cases for custom alerts  

Now, let’s delve into some real-world use cases of GA4 alerts to understand how businesses can leverage this feature to monitor and optimize their online performance effectively.

E-commerce Website

Scenario: An e-commerce website wants to track the conversion rate of its checkout process and sets up custom alerts to receive notifications if the conversion rate drops below a certain threshold.

Condition: Send an alert if the daily revenue decreases by more than 20% compared to the previous day. 

Value: Daily revenue on Monday is $10,000; on Tuesday, it drops to $7,000. An alert is triggered because the revenue decreased by 30%.

Lead generation website

Scenario: A lead generation website wants to track the number of form submissions and sets up custom alerts to receive notifications if there is a sudden increase in form submissions.

Condition: Send an alert if the number of form submissions increases by more than 50% compared to the previous day. 

Value: On Monday, there were 100 form submissions, and on Tuesday, there were 175 form submissions. An alert is triggered because the number of form submissions increased by 75%.

GA4 alerts limitations

While you can create custom alerts in Google Analytics 4 for various scenarios, there are some limitations to be aware of. Here are a few key points to consider:

  • Google Analytics 4 allows you to create segments for custom alerts, but there is a limit on the number of dimensions you can use. For example, you may not be able to select users who performed a specific event directly, but you can create an audience first and then use that audience as a segment in your alerts.
  • There is a limit of 50 custom insights (alerts) per property in GA4.

Despite these limitations, workarounds are available to create important alerts and insights for your business. You can use audiences to specify custom parameters or events to achieve the desired results. Additionally, following best practices for organizing custom alerts in Google Analytics 4 can help you maximize this feature.

Do you need help with Google Analytics 4?

GA4 provides valuable features, including custom insights discussed in this article, that assist businesses in gaining insights into website or app performance and user behavior. By utilizing GA4, you can effectively track and analyze data, make data-driven decisions, and optimize your online presence. Vakulski-Group specializes in offering comprehensive assistance with GA4, including implementation, customization, and data analysis. Contact us today to leverage the power of GA4 and make informed decisions for your business.

Key takeaways: GA4 alerts

GA4 Alert is a feature in Google Analytics 4 that allows users to set up custom alerts, known as custom insights, for specific events or metrics within their data. Unlike Universal Analytics, GA4 custom alerts also utilize predictive analytics to create automated insights. GA4 users can configure these alerts to notify users via email or in the GA4 interface when certain conditions are met, such as changes in website traffic or conversion rates. This feature helps users stay informed about important data changes and take prompt action to address issues or seize opportunities. Please comment below if you have any questions about custom alerts in GA4.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does GA4 have custom alerts?

Yes, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has custom alerts called custom insights. Custom Insights allows users to set up notifications for specific events or changes in their data that they want to be alerted about. This can help users stay informed about important website or app performance changes.

What are custom insights in GA4?

In GA4, Custom Insights is a feature that allows users to set up notifications for specific events or changes in their data that they want to be alerted about. These insights are tailored to the specific needs and goals of the user, providing valuable information and suggestions to help improve website or app performance.

How to create custom alerts in GA4?

1. To create a custom insight in GA4, follow these steps:
2. Open the Google Analytics 4 Home page, scroll down to the “Insights & Recommendations” section, and click “View all insights”.
3. Click on the “Create” button to create a new custom alert.
4. Configure the custom alert rules by setting conditions such as evaluation frequency, segment, metric, and conditions when you want to receive a notification and then write the insight name.
5. Click on the “Create” button to save the alert.

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