Track your customer journey with UTM parameters and improve ROI

Track your customer journey touchpoints with UTM parameters and improve marketing ROI
    On this blog post, you'll learn:
  • What are UTM parameters and how to personalize them;
  • Why tracking the UTM parameters is so important;
  • 8 ideas of UTM parameters placements.

One of the most difficult jobs in digital marketing is tracking leads and proving ROI. After all, there are endless variables until a new client is acquired: so many pages visited, campaigns and conversions. That's why understanding what gives the best results might be a challenge - but it's not impossible. Tracking a lead throughout the customer journey became a lot easier thanks to UTM parameters (or UTM codes).

What are UTM parameters?

Well, when you click on an email marketing, a link on Facebook or a Google Ad, you'll see a giant URL full of UTM codes: utm_source, utm_medium, utm_campaign, utm_content, utm_term.

These codes are like identity tags of your links. When you personalize your links with UTM Parameters, you make them readable for tracking tools. Check out below the use for each UTM parameter:

Uses for each UTM Parameter - Pipz

Personalize your links with UTM Parameters

Once you define your campaign and strategies (we won't get too much into this part), as well as your distribution channels, you can build your UTMs using Google URL builder, or you can download a UTM builder extension available in your browser store. Here is an example of how we personalize links with UTM Parameters at Pipz:

UTM Parameters - Pipz

So does this means you have to edit each link to include different UTM parameters?

Yes, and this can be a very mechanical process, even boring at times, but it will make all the difference at the end of the day. To start, reserve some time to analyze your customer journey, what are the touchpoints across your Internet presence (website, mobile app, ads, newsletter emails, social media and so on).

Also, think about using UTM parameters for A/B testing, so you can track which type of ad works better for the same landing page, for instance. There are a lot of options to test, but the only thing you cannot do is not tracking links you're distributing out there.

Why tracking the UTM parameters is so important?

UTM parameters can help you identify sources of traffic to your website and define your online marketing strategy. So, in order to have a more informed strategy, ‘taking good care’ of links you are sharing is essential.

While you may be excited to share your content, don't spread the word before ensuring that your link will give what your analytics tool needs to identify where traffic is coming from. That is exactly what UTM parameters do for your links: identify them and make them easily consumable by tracking tools, such as Google Analytics and Pipz Automation.

Understand how tracking impacts ROI

Knowing from where your leads are coming is as important as reaching the acquisition goal at the end of the month. That's how you'll know which campaigns are giving better results and which channels are bringing in more sales opportunities.

When implementing an inbound marketing and inside sales strategy at your company, data is absolutely critical. It can help you make informed decisions, build strategies and create sales arguments that'll work. After all, tracking UTM codes gives your sales team the ability to know where a lead came from and what they're interested in, making the whole funnel much more efficient and effective.

If you want to increase revenue, you'll probably have to open or develop new channels, invest in what's generating more opportunities and optimize what's not working. In order to do those things, you must know which channels and campaigns are generating more traffic and conversions.

Understand the source of your website traffic and conversions

As the customer journey becomes more complex and services more interconnected, it’s important to understand your leads and customers interactions with your different channels, products and services. This is not an easy job, since people are not robots (yes, we do have predictable behavior, but spontaneity is still a part of our lives) and the way we consume things changes on a daily basis.

Luckily, in the digital world tools such as Google Analytics and UTM Builder makes it easier to track ROI, which, in turn, helps you design better strategies.

Google Analytics UTM Codes - Pipz

Other than focusing on the existing touchpoints - where you know leads and customers connect with your service or product - you should think of new ways to interact and even surprise them. You can do that with customer lifecycle management.

8 Ideas of UTM parameters placements

Use URLs with UTM codes on your touchpoints and start tracking the entire customer journey. Here are a few ways to do it:

Physical Marketing

Links in printed materials can be traced with a redirect to an UTM-enabled website. Create a specific URL for your printed materials: for instance, you can use the UTM Parameter Source to trace which offline marketing channels are bringing more traffic to your website: mailing, fairs, or even freebies.

Example: yourwebsite.com/?utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=website&utm_source=marketingfair

Social Media Updates

This is an actual time consuming task, especially if you have presence in lots of different social media channels. Still, is one of the most important places to have a formatted UTM parameters strategy. Think about all the things you could trace back and analyze later to optimize your social media actions. Which formats, images, CTAs, even which groups and forums are bringing more traffic to your website.

LinkedIn, for instance, has different places where you can share your blog posts. Think about creating a different UTM for each placement: your company page, your pulse publications and even in LinkedIn groups:

Example:

yourwebsite.com/?utm_medium=companypage&utm_campaign=blogpost&utm_source=linkedin

yourwebsite.com/?utm_medium=pulse&utm_campaign=blogpost&utm_source=linkedin

yourwebsite.com/?utm_medium=marketingautomationgroup&utm_campaign=blogpost&utm_source=linkedin

You can even ask for your employees to add UTM parameters to their shared links, so you know who are the most influential people in your company. This works great in more personal channels such as Medium and LinkedIn Pulse.

BONUS: Social Media Profiles

When filling the website field of your social media profiles’ descriptions, use the UTM Parameters Source, Medium and Campaign. This will enable you to weigh your social media presence from a link building perspective.

Example: yourwebsite.com/?utm_medium=profile&utm_campaign=website&utm_source=twitter

Email Marketing

When inserting links with UTM parameters in email marketing campaigns, think about tracing which type of content is bringing more traffic or converting more: for instance, if is the link in the CTA button or the link in the body of the email.

Example:

yourwebsite.com/?utm_medium=ctabutton&utm_campaign=website&utm_source=email

yourwebsite.com/?utm_medium=textlink&utm_campaign=website&utm_source=email

You can also learn which types of graphics are increasing your CTR rates, such as infographics, small images, icons, and so on.

Example:

yourwebsite.com/?utm_medium=infographic1&utm_campaign=website&utm_source=email

yourwebsite.com/?utm_medium=CTAimage1&utm_campaign=website&utm_source=email

Transactional Emails

The same logic above can be applied to your transactional emails. If you create a welcome email, for instance, and include a blog post that you think that could be helpful to your new subscribers, you can include a parameter indicating the source.

Example: yourwebsite.com/?utm_medium=transactional-email&utm_campaign=blogpost&utm_source=welcome-email

Whitepapers and Ebooks

Free whitepapers and ebooks can be a great source of traffic for your website. Understanding which channels are leading to more clicks and which materials are generating more visits is key to optimize your internet presence.

Create UTM parameters tags for the medium (f.i. Ebook title), campaign (f.i. Ebook campaign) and source (f.i. Where the content is being distributed).

Example: yourwebsite.com/?utm_medium=whitepapertitle&utm_campaign=websitek&utm_source=xyqwebsite

Link Building (Listing)

When you submit your website for listings, include an UTM parameter with the name of the listing. You can also include the type of directory you're submitting the link: deep linking, featured listings, regular listings, and so on.

Example: yourwebsite.com/?utm_medium=directory&utm_campaign=website&utm_source=directoryname

Videos

Nowadays, you can upload videos of different formats in many channels. Create parameters for each one so you can identify the available types of video: if it's a commercial, a recorded video, a webinar, an animation or some other type. Change the call-to-action for your website accordingly.

Example: yourwebsite.com/?utm_medium=institutionalvideo&utm_campaign=website&utm_source=facebook

Conversions

In a more advanced level, you can actually use UTMs for identifying sources of conversion and what are the most converting touchpoints of your customer journey. Just make sure you know your goals. Learn more about measuring conversion rates in Google Analytics.

Ready to track the entire customer journey?

As you could see, tracking UTM parameters throughout your entire customer journey touchpoints offers great benefits. Discover what strategies are working, where to invest the company's money in order to get the most ROI, and how to have the most impact on the market are some examples. Granted it's not an easy job, but results tend to show up quickly!

Now that we've reached the end of our blog post, could you find any strategies that can be used for your business? How do you currently use UTM parameters in your marketing strategy? Leave us a comment down below!

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