Lead Source Questions

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Lead Source Questions

Under the umbrella of 'web' leads, we are trying to track/store different info for different types of lead (organic, paid, social, direct, referral, etc). 

Wanted to see if anyone has experience with the following specific scenarios, and can confirm if this approach will work or suggest something better:
  1. If Referral Source contains "LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, plus.Google, Pinterest, Flipboard, SlideShare" we are categorizing it as "Social". Will "Referral Source" work accurately for this purpose?
  2. When the Original Referrer field is not empty, we are marking it as Referral traffic. 
  3. When Original Referrer is empty, we are marking it as Direct Traffic.
  4. For Direct traffic, we are trying to catch the entry url (the first url they land on on our side) - what's the best way to do that?
  5. For Organic leads, what would be the best way to determine a. they are SEO/organic b. which search engine they came from?
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Re: Lead Source Questions

Currently working through this right now! We're enhancing the current stamping that Marketo does—taking the normal stamped fields and calculating Lead Source and Lead Source Details from them.

Here are some warnings:
Social—those will work, but you also need to add the common social shorteners as referrers (t.co, l.facebook.com, etc.).
"Original Referrer"—when this field contains your domain name, it's actually Direct. This happens a lot. 
Organic—the best way is to sort out "original referrer contains" and put in the common search engine URLs. "Search Engine Phrase" and the other one are stamped based on certain queries, but it's unreliable because if sites haves internal search bars, these values are falsely populated. 

The best route we've found for this is to have one smart campaign triggered which then uses choices (cascading logic) to find the first fit. We watch for "member of smart list" and have different smart lists for each of the common inbound lead sources—direct, organic, web referral, [utm parameters], social. Then the requested smart campaign assigns actual Lead Source and Lead Source Detail. 

If you have a UTM framework, then you can program the choices into your cascading logic and assign your own popular Lead Source values. A good example is organic social—if hidden field "UTM Medium" contains "social," then request the "Social" lead source assignment campaign.

We're going to publish an article about this in the next few weeks with more details, but that's a good starting point! Mostly, be wary of Marketo's system stamping, because it's not perfectly intuitive/accurate out of the box.

Edward Unthank
Founder and Lead Marketing Technology Consultant
Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: Lead Source Questions

Agree with Ed here on this.

But I go further and suggest you just setup URL parameters for all of your links and figure out a solution for Organic using the methods above. Remember that Lead Source is the channel or promotion platform like AdWords and the Offer is your Whitepaper, so don't confuse the two.