5 Replies Latest reply on Oct 7, 2015 12:36 PM by Stijn Heijthuijsen

    URL Paramters Best Practices?

    Tyler Harris

      Hi All,


      Currently I've got a Lead Source and Lead Source Detail field as URL parameters. These fields are being managed and synced from Salesforce.


      Right now we're using Lead Source as "Social Media, PPC, Tradeshow etc" and Lead Source Detail as the Campaign/Program name.


      Not best practice I know, but I would like to start tracking what mediums(i.e. if a Lead Source is webinar, how did a lead get here? Email, Twitter, etc) are driving people to our Marketo Programs.


      I was going to create a Medium and Campaign Name field/parameters and enable Salesforce track history changes so we can report on historical data.


      Is this best practice? What are you guys doing to track Medium on a Program2Program basis? Or do you track each medium as its own separate program?


      What other parameters are you all capturing? How do you handle A/B tests?


      Appreciate your response.

        • Re: URL Paramters Best Practices?
          Stijn Heijthuijsen

          Hi Tyler,


          At my previous company we didn't use salesforce. We tried to figure out our own way of identifying traffic. Here's what we did:


          We identified 2 main dimensions: Medium and Source.

          Examples of combinations would be

          Social Media, Facebook

          Social Media, Google

          Paid Search, Google


          We created temporary fields for Medium and Source where we stored the values and wiped it clean after 7 days. We wanted to be able to identify what brought a lead (back) to our website before they did anything significant.


          Next we started identifying traffic through the referrer and url parameters. It takes some time to get set up, but is well worth the effort. You'll see that Google Adwords traffic has AdvertID in the url parameter and that all outbound email traffic has the MKTO tracking cookie "mkt_tok=". Direct traffic has no referrer or url parameters, etc.


          When the person became known, we'd stamp the medium and source. If they became an SQL, we'd stamp the medium and source. Similarly you could stamp the source if a registration form is filled.


          This allowed us to go back and figure out what medium or which source brought in the leads, opportunities and ultimately contract value.



          Does this help?

            • Re: URL Paramters Best Practices?
              Tyler Harris

              Hi Stijn,

              Yes this does help. A few questions:

              Was the temporary field in Marketo? Did a program wipe the value? Or a cookie value? How did you house the Medium and Source data?


              We're currently stamping Lead Source when a lead hits  a success status in Marketo program.

                • Re: URL Paramters Best Practices?
                  Stijn Heijthuijsen

                  Hi Tyler,


                  We stored the temporary values in Marketo fields and copied the temporary to permanent values when a major milestone was hit.

                  The values were set, wiped and copied by Smart Campaigns.

                  • Setting based on visits to a webpage with certain URL / Referrer parameters
                  • Wiping based on no change in the past 7 days (could be batch or trigger, depending on how accurate you want to be)
                  • Copying only when the permanent field is empty (add choice), set value by using a token like {{lead.temporary source}}


                  Cookies are a better option for registering 'true first source', the source that a lead hits your website through for the very first time. It seemed like some dev work was needed so we opted for the easer way of leveraging smart campaigns.

                  Take a look at this post by Evan Vega (Solution to using UTM parameters & cookies to capture lead source information )


                  We figured it didn't have to be 100% accurate, as long as we were consistent in the way we reported on the medium and source.


                  Questions for you; are you stamping the source into a custom object? How do you handle multiple campaign successes (do you stamp in multiple fields)?


                  Let me know if this works for you.

              • Re: URL Paramters Best Practices?
                Tyler Harris

                We're currently stamping Lead Source on the Lead Object in SFDC. Only once. We do have a "Lead Source Most Recent" field that we capture, but history is not being tracked for this. Do people commonly create a SFDC custom object for lead source?

                  • Re: URL Paramters Best Practices?
                    Stijn Heijthuijsen

                    Not commonly, no.


                    But then again, there's no real reason to know what the source of leads for a specific campaign is. It's much more interesting to know which source generates new names, is responsible for bumping someone up to MQL, SQL or converting them through Opportunity to Customer.


                    Your Sales Funnel will probably have a limited number of steps, the amount of campaigns someone can touch is virtually limitless.


                    Custom Data Objects are powerfull for: 1-to-many (unknown amount) relationships.

                    This could be voucher codes, registered products, contracts, surveys taken, complaints, etc. Anything that a specific lead can have multiple of, but can't be accurately estimated in advance. Like, in this case, campaigns.