When it comes to marketing, understanding the effectiveness of your campaigns is crucial. One powerful tool in your arsenal is UTM parameters. This comprehensive UTM guide delves into what UTM parameters are, why they are essential, and how you can leverage them effectively, with a focus on direct mail campaigns.
What are UTM parameters?
UTM parameters, short for Urchin Tracking Module, are tags added to your URLs to track the performance of your online content. The five key parameters are:
- Source: Identifies where your traffic is coming from (e.g., newsletter, social media).
- Medium: Specifies the marketing medium (e.g., email, CPC, organic).
- Campaign: Names the individual campaign for better organization.
- Term: Used for paid search keywords.
- Content: Differentiates similar content, such as variations in ad copy.
Why use UTM parameters?
UTM parameters provide better attribution, improved tracking, and a deeper understanding of what channels are driving results compared to relying solely on generic or untagged URLs. Without UTM parameters, it can be challenging to pinpoint the specific source, medium, or campaign that led to a conversion, hindering accurate attribution and comprehensive tracking. By implementing them, marketers can accomplish the following:
- Accurately attribute conversions: Attribute conversions to specific campaigns, helping you understand which efforts are driving results.
- Optimize marketing channels: Identify and invest in the most effective marketing channels by analyzing UTM data.
- Enhance ROI measurement: Measure the return on investment more accurately, aiding in budget allocation.
Best practices for using UTM parameters
To make the most of UTM parameters, it is best to adhere to the following best practices. These can help to simplify and clarify your use of UTM parameters to reduce confusion and increase their effectiveness in your marketing campaigns, especially when you use an omnichannel approach.
- Consistent naming conventions: Establish a consistent naming convention for UTM parameters across all campaigns.
- Use lowercase letters: UTM parameters are case-sensitive, so ensure uniformity by using lowercase letters.
- Select relevant fields: You don't need to use every UTM field, so choose the ones that align with your campaign goals.
- Analyze results in Google Analytics: Sort results by UTM parameters in Google Analytics for a comprehensive analysis.
- Create tracking spreadsheets: Maintain a tracking spreadsheet to cross-reference campaigns and compare results to better understand what sources or mediums work best for different types of campaigns or promotions.
Using UTMs in direct mail campaigns
Direct mail remains a potent channel in an omnichannel marketing strategy. Incorporate UTM parameters into direct mail campaigns by focusing on the 'Source' and 'Medium' parameters. This allows you to track the success of your direct mail efforts and understand how they complement other channels.
Recommended resource: 3 Direct Mail Strategies: How to Measure Results
Building UTMs into QR codes or PURLs
Integrating UTM parameters seamlessly into QR codes or personalized URLs (PURLs) becomes a game-changer when it comes to direct mail marketing. By embedding UTM parameters within QR codes or PURLs, marketers gain the ability to track interactions and engagement levels with direct mail recipients in a granular fashion.
QR codes, when scanned, and PURLs, when visited, act as unique gateways to your online content. The incorporation of UTM parameters into these gateways allows you to not only identify that a recipient has engaged but also precisely attribute that engagement to a specific source, medium, campaign, term, or content.
This level of detailed tracking empowers marketers to understand not just whether a direct mail piece was received but also how recipients interact with the associated online elements. Did they visit a landing page? Which campaign prompted their action? Were certain keywords more effective in driving response?
Integrating UTM parameters into QR codes or PURLs transforms direct mail into a measurable and data-rich channel. It bridges the gap between the physical and digital realms, providing invaluable insights into recipient behavior and the effectiveness of your direct mail campaigns.
Understanding direct mail in an omnichannel campaign
You can leverage UTM parameters to gain insights into how direct mail advertising interacts with other channels in your omnichannel strategy. This approach allows you to identify the ideal timing to introduce direct mail within an automated marketing workflow for optimal results.
Recommended resource: Lobcast Marketing Metrics
Track your direct mail campaigns
UTMs are a great way to track results, but many direct mail services also offer tracking. Lob's direct mail automation platform allows you to:
- Measure and manage your direct mail campaigns with integrated, enterprise-strength analytics
- Use QR codes and PURLs to track conversions
- Integrate with Salesforce and other CRM tools to easily measure attribution
Schedule a demo to learn more about automated direct mail with Lob.