UTM Parameters

With Tend, you really don’t have to do much work to know what websites are driving people to your website.

But if you are running several ads, on Facebook for example, you’ll probably be curious which specific ads are working. For that, you’ll need to add tags to the links you use in the ads. These are called UTM parameters. Don’t worry though, it’s pretty dang easy.

Here’s an example URL with UTM parameters:

www.your-website.com/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=Cap_2

When you create your ad, you’d just use the above link like this:

fb_ads_utm

Then in the Tend dashboard, anyone who came from that ad would have the “via Cap_2″ note next to the referring website like this:

utm_examples_contacts_page

Then you’ll see a list of all your links with UTM parameters (we call them campaigns) that resulted in a contact in the campaign report:

campaign_report_utm

UTM Parameter Use Cases

UTMs are commonly used in ads, likes shown above, but they can also be used in:

  • Email newsletters
  • Cold email campaigns
  • Social media posts
  • Social media profile links
  • Affiliate or partner links

You can also use them very narrowly to measure specific elements of an effort. For example, you could have multiple UTM parameters within one email newsletter to test calls to action. Or you could give each social media post it’s own UTM parameter. But unless you have a lot of traffic, that’s often overkill.

We recommend that you use UTM parameters when:

  1. You have sufficient traffic from a tactic. If you only get ten visits a month from Facebook and it generates one contact a year, it’s probably not worth your time to go crazy with UTM links.

  2. You’re actually going to make changes based on the data. If you aren’t going to change your efforts regardless of what happens, then you may not need to track the data. For example, if you do one email newsletter a month and you’re not doing an A/B test, then you probably don’t need to use UTMs to track every link in your email.

UTM parameter structure

The beginning of UTM parameters start with a question mark “?” at the end of the base URL.

Then, each UTM parameter begins with it’s name (e.g. utm_campaign), followed by the equal sign “=” and ends with the input (without spaces). Every UTM parameter is separated by an ampersand “&”.

There are five UTM parameters:

utm_source – identifies where your traffic came from like: search engine, newsletter, or other referring website

example: utm_source=facebook

utm_medium – identifes the medium the link was used in such as: email, CPC, newsfeed_ad, or social media post For a facebook ad, the medium could be “newsfeed_ad”

example: utm_medium=newsfeed_ad

utm_campaign – identifies a strategic campaign (partnership, specific promotion, new feature, etc.)

example: utm_campaign=new_feature_announcement

utm_term – tracks specific keywords, usually for paid search campaigns in Google or Bing

example: utm_term=analytics_software

utm_content – tracks any other detail you want. For example, a certain image you used in an ad or A/B testing you do for different calls to action in an email newsletter.

example: utm_content=smiling_girl_pic

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