Using UTM tags to monitor success

Marketing SEO Email

Published Nov 30, 2017, 11:32 AM
Approx. read time 4 mins

A fantastic part of digital marketing is the ability to monitor your results carefully. How many times have you sent a letter in the post and wondered "did they receive it? Did they open it?"

Compared to physical marketing, you can easily track your results, often instantly, which can help you tweak and improve your future campaigns. For example, if you find that discounts are leading to more sales than 3 for 2 offers, then you know where to focus your efforts and better your budget. This is where tools such as Google Analytics come in handy.

But let's say a user has opened your email on their phone, clicked a link and proceeded to make a purchase. It's not always clear that this user came from an email as your phone has opened their browser (such as Google Chrome or Safari), and opened your site. So how can you differentiate these visitors to ones who are going to your site directly?

This is where UTM tags come in.

What is a UTM tag?

It's a good question. In fact, if you've copied a link from Facebook or Twitter to send in an email, it's likely you would have seen these as part of a web address but perhaps not noticed. They usually come as a group, and in total there are 5:

  • Source (utm_source)
  • Term (utm_term)
  • Medium (utm_medium)
  • Content (utm_content)
  • Campaign (utm_campaign)

These are added to the end of a web address. If you found this blog post on one of our social profiles, you should be able to see them in your address bar for yourself:

But what do these do? Essentially, they help identify where your website traffic is coming from and ties in with Google Analytics. Using the two together, you can pin point your traffic by source, search term, the medium, specific campaigns etc.

How you can utilise them

The first thing to note, is that UTM tags are free to use. You don't need any special tools to create them, and you certainly don't need to pay out for tools to see the results. In fact, you will find these two links helpful:

  • UTM Generator - This neat little tool will help you create the full URL with the UTM tags in place in a few simple steps. Complete with examples, this page will become your next best friend.

  • Google Analytics - If you've not come across Google Analytics before, it may seem a bit confusing at first. What this does, is with the help of a little bit of code, is track your visitors on your website. If that sounds a bit scary and big-brother like, you'll be glad to know it's anonymous. But it will allow you to see where people come from and how they use your site. Part of this tool will allow you to view the data from the UTM tags.

Overwhelmed by data?

The data collected by these tools can be very valuable, but it can be a bit daunting and take some time to wrap your head around everything.

While tools like this are designed to be as simple as possible, if things such as time aren't on your side, you could be losing out on valuable information which could help to shape future campaigns.

The key thing is - don't miss out. There's no harm in asking for a bit of help or look for a summary of the data. This is where we can come in. From ensuring the right code is in place and tracking is set up correctly, to making content suggestions and highlighting your best performing pages, Roseblade Media can help with your website analytics and data.


If you have a question, about any of the above - don't hesitate to contact us. We are here to help! And of course, we'll stick to our no jargon promise.