Have you noticed an excessive amount of events on a lead's Life of the Lead? It's possible the lead forwarded a SharpSpring email to a friend, who then clicked on links within the message. In all marketing automation platforms this type of behavior creates a mismatch for site tracking events, as the links that were clicked by the friend were only intended to be clicked by the initial recipient. Fortunately, SharpSpring has powerful tracking validation that other marketing automation vendors do not offer to help prevent these mismatches. This article explains how SharpSpring tracks web visitors, and the unique tracking validation that helps our platform prevent mismatches.
The Normal Way Leads Get Tracked
Tracking can be established against a lead record in one of two ways:
- Form Submission: a lead fills out a form on your website. This form must be a SharpSpring form, or a native/3rd party form that has been integrated with our tracking script.
- Email Click Through: a lead clicks on a link within an email sent from SharpSpring. When an email is sent from SharpSpring, the links within the message are unique to the recipient. When a lead clicks these unique links and visits a page with SharpSpring tracking code, the site tracking is then established.
How Tracking Mismatches Happen
The primary cause of tracking mismatches are forwarded emails. A lead reads a piece of content and wants to share with a friend, so they forward the message. When the friend receives the forwarded email, the links do not change and are still intended for the original recipient. If the friend clicks on those links, the site visit and additional site activity will appears on the original lead's Life of the Lead. This behavior is a result of the 'Normal' way tracking is established, and impacts all marketing automation vendors.
SharpSpring's Unique Advantage to Prevent Mismatches
Where other marketing automation vendors fall short, SharpSpring excels in preventing tracking mismatches. The validation process is a bit complex, and is outlined below.
- Lead A is a tracked lead and receives a SharpSpring email.
- Lead A forwards the SharpSpring email to a friend, Lead B.
- Lead B clicks a link in the forwarded email and is directed to a site with SharpSpring tracking code.
- Any site activity that Lead B takes part in will temporarily be reflected against the Life of the Lead for Lead A until Lead B submits a form on the site.
- Once Lead B submits the form, SharpSpring recognizes the following:
- The information Lead B submitted in the form is not the same as the information in SharpSpring for Lead A.
- The device Lead B submitted the form on (meaning their desktop, laptop, mobile phone, etc.) is not a currently tracked device for Lead A.
- When the above is recognized, SharpSpring then takes the following action to resolve the tracking mismatch:
- The information Lead B provided on the form is used to create a new lead record in SharpSpring.
- The device Lead B submitted the form on is removed from Lead A and placed under Lead B's device history.
- Tracking activity for Lead B is removed from Lead A's Life of the Lead and moved to Lead B's Life of the Lead.
Moving forward, when either Lead A or Lead B visit the site from their respective devices, site visits will be captured under the appropriate lead record.