How to Implement Campaign Tracking & What to Use it For

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Campaign Tracking – it’s so easy once you figure out how to do it. And if you can’t figure it out, don’t worry there are several tools to help do it for you.

My favorite use of campaign tracking is to attribute inbound traffic from email sources – which would otherwise show up as undefined or a bunch of random referrals from email clients. I like to split up my emails according to type – Member, Trial Member, NonMember – with separate campaigns for our different email marketing campaigns: newsletters, events, promotions, direct sales contact points.

Google Analytics Campaign TrackingYou can also use campaign tracking with vanity urls on your direct marketing mail, to help measure the success rate. For example, an event invite could contain the unique url: with a 301 redirect to a url with the campaign tracking. There will still be some anomalies with this method, but it does help with some attribution from direct mail efforts.

Campaign Tracking is also a great way to register Bing ppc traffic and properly attribute social traffic from your social media campaigns.

A few points of warning:

Don’t forget that the destination url must have Google Analytics installed on it in order to capture the visit from the campaign tracking. This means that you can’t use Campaign Tracking on links that go to a pdf on your website. Well, you can, but the visit will not be recorded. In order to record these visits, set up a 301 redirect that brings the visitor to a webpage before loading the pdf.

Also, don’t bother adding campaign tracking to links that go to a third party website. If your Google Analytics code isn’t on the third party site (why would it be), you won’t be able to track those link clicks.

Don’t confuse Campaign Tracking with Event Tracking. Campaign Tracking uses url parameters to register arrivals to a page, while Event Tracking uses javascript to record an event that happens on a page like a button click or a download.

Given the previous explanations and warnings, these are the parameters for campaign tracking:

Here is an example tagged URL (split across several lines):
For Email marketing the parameters recommended are:

* utm_medium – medium used for marketing, i.e. email
* utm_campaign – campaign name, e.g. EnewsNovember
* utm_source – This is usually the media owner, but for email marketing can be used to specify the source of email list, e.g. HouseList or the name of external list providers/Newsletter ads
* * utm_term – In AdWords used to identify the keyword used to trigger the ad, can be used in email marketing to identify individual links (optional), e.g. Offer1, can be based on click text summary
* * utm_content – Used to track an individual or segments response (optional), this could be based on any field in database, e.g. user-id, user email, etc.

If you’re having trouble, check this tool out:
Google Analytics URL Builder: