9 Replies Latest reply on Apr 26, 2018 11:43 AM by Sanford Whiteman

    Original Referrer & Anonymous Leads

    Kayla Miller (Unger)

      We are working on some reports based on Original Referrer field, but we were curious if this was the original referrer after the form fill/lead create or if this field tracks anonymous data as well.

       

      Does anyone know the answer?

        • Re: Original Referrer & Anonymous Leads
          Jamie Lewis

          Its for the first time they hit the sight, whether anon or known

              • Re: Original Referrer & Anonymous Leads
                Sanford Whiteman

                Jamie's answer is not always correct.  Depending on the way the lead navigates to/through your site, the Original Referrer may mark the page they are viewing when they become known by filling out a form. In this case, it's the junction point between Anonymous and Known.  It is not the first time they hit your site.

                 

                Another point I'm obliged to make is that if your site is not running over https://, you cannot reliably obtain referrer information. This is because any links to your site from https:// sites (such as secure search engines or any other SSL site) will only pass their referrer to you if you too are running https://.  Otherwise, your browser will see no referrer and analytics will mistake the traffic for Direct.  I can't emphasize this point enough because people think Marketo is sometimes "losing" the referrer, when it's the browser itself that doesn't have this information due to longstanding browser security rules.

                7 of 7 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Original Referrer & Anonymous Leads
                    Jamie Lewis

                    Thanks for the clarification

                    • Re: Original Referrer & Anonymous Leads

                      Sanford or anyone else, how do I reliably capture referring site...meaning the site that the visitor was on immediately before hitting our site?  Whether anonymous or known.  We are indeed running over HTTPS.  I don't want the page they are on when they become known, as has been described here.

                       

                      Thank you!

                       

                      -Chris

                        • Re: Original Referrer & Anonymous Leads
                          Vincent Ho

                          Hi Chris,

                          I just saw your post / question from a year ago about capturing referring site data (where visitor was on immediately before entering your site). We are going through the exact issue now, and have tried using Original Referrer URL, but with now success. Can you share what you have done about this since, and if you have any suggestions on this matter? It would be greatly appreciated.

                           

                          Thank you so much.

                          - Vince

                            • Re: Original Referrer & Anonymous Leads
                              Sanford Whiteman

                              Vincent see my response on your other thread.

                               

                              There's some misunderstanding of what Original Referrer is. It's not the referrer of the "conversion touch" on your site, but the referrer of the first touch. 

                               

                              However, it's not always available to Marketo -- not their fault -- because of well-known browser privacy rules. You must, as mentioned, be running HTTPS to have the best chance of exposing the referrer to Marketo, but you won't be 100% successful.

                               

                              The only 100% accurate method is to have all traffic to your site be to source-tagged URLs (i.e. with UTM tags) -- no direct entry, untagged organic, etc. Obviously this ain't practical!

                                • Re: Original Referrer & Anonymous Leads
                                  David Jackman

                                  Hi Sanford, just curious- would the most successful/practical use of tracking where a lead came from (like in the case of banner / social ads), when the ad/banner destination page is not a form but just any sub-page, be via js cookie? With GDPR, we want to avoid cookies if we can, but still want to be able to get insight into which ads are performing the best. We do business globally, but mostly in the Americas, and I've already created several programs that exclude EU leads from receiving emails. I've just been trying to brainstorm a tracking approach that's GDPR-compliant (aren't we all, right? haha). I've read some of your great posts on IP-dependent munchkin activity, and was in talks with our IT team about this. Then, I learned recently about Original Referrer and was excited to potentially use this field as a way to report, but sounds like you're saying it may not be ideal... Or do you think Original Referrer is the next best bet? Thanks so much for your wisdom!

                                    • Re: Original Referrer & Anonymous Leads
                                      Sanford Whiteman

                                      ...be via js cookie?

                                      The only way cookies can assist is if you have a JS library running on both the source and target, writing data to a central location and keyed on a preshared cookie.

                                       

                                      This won't help with the case of a site that independently links to your site, both without UTM-tagging the link and without passing its referrer URL due to browser restrictions.

                                       

                                      Shared tracking cookies can definitely be part of a belt-suspenders-elastic-waistband kind of coverage, but they're not a superseding solution (esp. because of browser privacy rules and legal concerns).