Tracking Lead Sources Using UTM Parameters

Version 2

    Want to gauge how many leads clicked through a link you have in your social media or other outlets? This can be done using URL Parameters at the end of the URLs you use. Basically, you just add a little bit of code to the end of the hyperlinked URL. When leads click through and arrive at your Landing Page, that code can be captured into a hidden Form field. Here’s how to do it.

     

    Quick Overview of URL Parameters

    In the structure of a URL, there are two main parts. The first part is used for navigation, and the second part is used to pass data along. The two parts are separated by a question mark. For example, let’s look at this URL:

     

    www.myawesomewebsite.com?URLParameter=ThisIsAParameter

     

    The first part of the URL, “www.myawesomewebsite.com” is the main part of the URL used for navigation. The whole rest of the URL from the question mark on, “?URLParameter=ThisIsAParameter” is referred to as a querystring. It isn’t needed for navigation to the page specified, but can be used to pass the extra data you want to include.

     

    URL illustration.PNG

     

    The querystring contains the URL Parameters, which are used to push data into the hidden Form fields. In the querystring “?URLParameter=ThisIsAParameter” used here, “URLParameter” corresponds to the name of the parameter you use when designating the value for the hidden Form field, and “ThisIsAParameter” will be the value that is actually entered into that field. You can add additional values into additional other fields by adding those into the format of the URL separated by an ampersand like this:

     

    www.myawesomewebsite.com?URLParameter=ThisIsAParameter&URLParameter2=ThisIsValue2&URLParameter3=ThisIsValue3

     

    In this example, you’ve got the same initial value being pushed into the first hidden field, but now two more hidden fields will store the next two values as well. The name of the parameter for the second hidden field would be “URLParameter2” and the value put into it would be “ThisIsValue2”. The third hidden field parameter name would be “URLParameter3” and the value put into this field would be “ThisIsValue3”.

     

    URL illustration 2.PNG

    Applying This to Social Media Use

    So, how does this let you track leads coming from each of your social media sources? Well, in setting up your different promotional channels, when adding the hyperlink, you can customize the URL parameter for each channel so that the values passed will input the information specific to where they came from. The parameter values will change from one social media outlet to the next, but the structure and format will stay the same.

     

    Let’s use the social media sources of Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as examples. Since you’re looking to identify the source of these leads, you’d likely want to name your parameter as “Source” so that it’s easily identifiable. Using the same base URL, let’s see how you’d structure the URLs.

    For hyperlinks placed on Twitter: www.myawesomewebsite.com?Source=twitter

    For hyperlinks placed on LinkedIn: www.myawesomewebsite.com?Source=linkedin
    For hyperlinks placed on Facebook: www.myawesomewebsite.com?Source=facebook

     

    When leads fill out the form on your landing page, the Source field will then tell you exactly where they came from! The best part, this is completely customizable and scalable. You can add more parameters and hidden fields to capture additional information like what campaign it is for.

     

    Documentation
    How to make form fields hidden:

    https://docs.marketo.com/display/public/DOCS/Set+a+Form+Field+as+Hidden

    How to define hidden form field value:
    https://docs.marketo.com/display/public/DOCS/Set+a+Hidden+Form+Field+Value
    (Look for the section on URL Parameters in particular)

    Using the URL builder to generate the URLs you’ll be using:

    https://docs.marketo.com/display/public/DOCS/Using+the+URL+Builder