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Passing Referrer from Blog to Main Website

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Passing Referrer from Blog to Main Website

Our blog (https://blog.exxactcorp.com/​) is independent from our main website (https://www.exxactcorp.com) and so I don't think it is passing referrer data. For example, someone clicks one of our blog post links on Facebook (complete with UTM parameters), goes to the blog page, then clicks on a link that takes them to a main page on our website; they then click an inquiry CTA and submit a Marketo form. I see several inquiries get submitted with the referrer URL showing as our blog page, but nothing that shows a URL from Facebook or other social media site, and no UTM parameters. Is there a way to set this up to capture referrer data on our blog site and pass to our main site?

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Level 2

Re: Passing Referrer from Blog to Main Website

You can achieve the above using two techniques:

1) Already shared by Sanford, where you can cookie all the utm parameters when user visits the blog from any medium and then using the same cookies to add in the form utm parameters when someone is submitting the form after reaching your website. Now if you are using any attribution model like first touch, multi touch or last touch, then as per that maintain the cookies for some time, so that if user don't submit the form on his first visit to website, then any subsequent visit from any other channel to blog not overwriting the earlier cookied parameters.

2) Second technique is to, catch all utm parameters when user lands on the blog page, find all of your website links on the page, append the caught parameters to the website links. By this technique the utm parameters which were on the blog page will be available directly on the website pages when user clicks on any of the website link to be used during the form submission.

For above solutions you should be contacting your website developer.

Arun Sharma

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9 REPLIES 9
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Re: Passing Referrer from Blog to Main Website

Do you have the Munchkin code on both your blog and your website? I think that could probably solve the issue though I am unsure whether you would have a separate cookie value for the blog and for the main site.

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Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Passing Referrer from Blog to Main Website

This isn't directly related to Marketo (and Bryan, the cookie is shared across the domains because they share a private domain suffix, but that doesn't help).

The reason is quite simple: you aren't persisting the UTM data (query string of the first page they hit on https:​//blog.exxactcorp.com) nor the original referrer (URL of the page they were on just before the first hit to https:​//blog.exxactcorp.com) anywhere. That is, you're not saving it to a cookie -- that's the only persistence mechanism that works for subdomains -- so by the time they get to the website, there's no way to know where the person has been.

Though you can't actually use my Simple UTM Forwarder in 15 Lines JS for this case, you can read that blog post for more insight. You will need a more advanced and flexible library, and you'll then get hidden fields on your form that correspond to the original UTMs.

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Re: Passing Referrer from Blog to Main Website

Sanford, if the person came through the referrer link (social) to the Blog, wouldn't that pass through until the point at which that lead becomes known through the form fill? Am I am missing something there?

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Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Passing Referrer from Blog to Main Website

The (non-Exxact) referrer won't be known any further than the first Exxact page unless it's deliberately persisted for this purpose.

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Level 5

Re: Passing Referrer from Blog to Main Website

In this case the visitor path is: Facebook -> Blog -> Main Domain.. so when they become known on the Main Domain, they have the Blog as the referring site. In addition, it sounds like they want to store utm parameters for the first touch which are being lost.

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Level 2

Re: Passing Referrer from Blog to Main Website

You can achieve the above using two techniques:

1) Already shared by Sanford, where you can cookie all the utm parameters when user visits the blog from any medium and then using the same cookies to add in the form utm parameters when someone is submitting the form after reaching your website. Now if you are using any attribution model like first touch, multi touch or last touch, then as per that maintain the cookies for some time, so that if user don't submit the form on his first visit to website, then any subsequent visit from any other channel to blog not overwriting the earlier cookied parameters.

2) Second technique is to, catch all utm parameters when user lands on the blog page, find all of your website links on the page, append the caught parameters to the website links. By this technique the utm parameters which were on the blog page will be available directly on the website pages when user clicks on any of the website link to be used during the form submission.

For above solutions you should be contacting your website developer.

Arun Sharma

View solution in original post

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Re: Passing Referrer from Blog to Main Website

Thanks Sanford and Arun. We are going with appending. I appreciate everyone's input!

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Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Passing Referrer from Blog to Main Website

The problem with appending is it's not as easy as you think to find all behaviors that result in track-worthy navigation. Inexperienced developers always mess this up, breaking some on-page links and missing other links (such as JS-powered buttons).

I strongly advise using cookies instead.

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Re: Passing Referrer from Blog to Main Website

Thanks again, Sanford - and Arun. After your strongly worded caution, we stuck with a cookie approach (when UTM parameters are present, and if there aren't any then we just pass the full referrer URL). Our tests show it works pretty well, but time will tell if we need to adjust it a bit based on newly discovered scenarios.