Campaign tracking can be somewhat complex. This article will detail the many aspects of campaign tracking.
The following user roles can utilize campaign tracking:
- Marketing Managers
SharpSpring refers to campaigns in a different manner than most users are used to. Many Email Service Providers and Marketing Automation platforms refer to campaigns as a way to directly reference emails. In SharpSpring, the term refers to any methodology used to drive traffic to a website or content.
While emails play a large part in this, campaigns may also include physical and digital advertisement. This means that whether someone comes to your website from a Facebook post or a Google Adwords pay-per-click, SharpSpring will help you identify how people are arriving at your website. Subsequently, you will see how successful these campaigns are in regards to conversions, throughput, and return on investment (ROI).
When a lead is attributed to a campaign, that person is identified in the system as being a direct result of one of your marketing strategies. When a prospect clicks on an email or fills out a form, SharpSpring uses information on their web and activity history to derive a campaign. SharpSpring tracks and attributes these campaigns by using any of the following methods:
- Referral URLs
- Landing Pages
- Urchin Traffic Monitor (UTM) codes
Tracking via Referring URLs
Referring URLs refer to what URL was last visited before accessing the site. To track via a referring URL, do the following:
Note: A referring URL will appear similar to the following: https://twitter.com/
As an example, consider a campaign with the goal of being to track referral traffic to a site from Twitter. The unknown prospect sees a particularly witty tweet on the SharpSpring Twitter page and decides to click on the link to learn more. In order to attribute the prospect to this tactic, the campaign in SharpSpring must states that anyone referred to the site from Twitter will be assigned the Twitter Redirect campaign and will be appropriately attributed.
Tracking via Landing Pages
Campaign attribution based on a specific Landing Page visit requires a page acting specifically as a landing page for anyone coming from another website. To track via a landing page, do the following:
Consider the following as an example when configuring tracking between SharpSpring and Twitter:
In the Site menu, the site is set to https://sharpspring.com. In the Page, Permission, or Referring URL field, /twitter is entered as the landing page. Once saved, when visitors find their way to that landing page, they will be associated with the Twitter Redirect campaign. The URL for this page would be https://sharpspring.com/twitter, and this is where all links will land if clicked on the Twitter page.
Tracking via UTM Codes
Another campaign tracking method is using UTM codes. A UTM code is appended to the URL link in order to pass campaign data back into SharpSpring. Noting the UTM code in the campaign builder and appending that code to all links will, when clicked, will attribute the prospect to the campaign.
Make sure you use that campaign's unique identifying UTM code in order to avoid conflicts. While utm is the standard value for the URL parameter, it is not a requirement. You can name this parameter whatever you would like.
To add a UTM code to a campaign, do the following:
Note: While multiple strings of UTMs can be placed in a URL, SharpSpring requires there to be only one UTM code per each added rule. You can have multiple rules for a campaign, but only one UTM per each rule.
With this parameter, tweeting the https://sharpspring.com/?utm=twitter link will have SharpSpring identify visitors clicking the UTM code as being tied to the Twitter campaign and attribute the contact. This also works with Google Analytics, as you can also use your UTM codes from your Analytics campaigns in the SharpSpring campaign builder.
Primary and Manual Campaign Attributions
SharpSpring allows you to choose how to designate a primary campaign to a lead. You can choose either the first campaign a contact participated in, or the most recent. That contact will then have its conversion (as well as any dollar values generated) attributed to that campaign. These methods are chosen on a site-by-site basis.
Using the first campaign option, Always attribute the first campaign the user visits, the original campaign will be attributed to that contact as the Primary Campaign. However, this will not be the campaign the user first visits after becoming tracked. Since SharpSpring uses device IDs to track anonymous users, SharpSpring will go back into that contact's browser history to find the original visit to the site, and use that campaign for attribution.
The last campaign option, Always attribute the last campaign the user visits, will be less static. If a contact returns to your site, their Primary Campaign will be updated to reflect the most recent campaign that brought them there.
To manually attribute contacts to campaigns, do the following:
When a contact is attributed to multiple campaign tracking rules at once, then the rules will be evaluated in the following order:
- Google referrer
- Google Click Identifier (GCLID)
- UTM parameters
- Key-value pair matches
- Landing page URL matches
- Other search engine results
As an example, if a contact were to match with two campaign rules at the same time, with one being a landing page and one being a UTM parameter, then the UTM parameter will be evaluated as the campaign tracking rule due to the order stated above.
If you use automation to apply campaigns to contacts, you can choose to override any tracked campaign with that automation-driven attribution. To override tracked campaigns, do the following:
The Primary Campaign associated with the lead will be used to drive reporting. On the Campaign Insights page, you will see a chart of your campaign performance. For leads with multiple attributions, they will only appear in the campaign report for their Primary Campaign. This is done to keep reporting succinct and to provide you with the most direct information possible.
When a lead converts into an opportunity, SharpSpring will look at the campaign attributions for all contacts associated with that opportunity. The opportunity will take a look at the primary contact on the opportunity and will default to their campaign for attribution purposes. Any Effective Value or Revenue from that opportunity will then be attributed to that campaign on the Campaign Analytics performance chart.