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What are UTM Parameters and How Do They Work?


What the heck are UTM parameters?

UTM parameters are tags that you add to the URLs that you put on your emails, social media posts, and digital ads. These tags can be tracked in your Google Analytics dashboard so that you can better understand how visitors get to your site. 

Where do I find UTM data in Google Analytics?

In your Google Analytics dashboard, go to the left sidebar and click "Acquisition", in that menu click "All Traffic", and from there click "Source/Medium".

utm parameters google analytics

How do I build and manage UTM URLs?

Lucky for you, Google has a UTM builder that makes it super easy to build UTM parameters. In case you'd like to build them yourself, let's go through an example. Let's say we're sending a monthly newsletter email that I want to track, the basic structure for UTM parameters in this example would be:

Source = email
Medium = newsletter
Campaign = august2019

My final URL would look like this: 

As you can see in the final URL, the "&" symbol is used to separate the UTMs from each other. We recommend keeping track of your UTMs in a plain old spreadsheet. And consider yourself warned: UTM parameters are CASE SENSITIVE. We’ve seen UTMs get unwieldy in a hurry because folks have used similar (but different) taxonomy.

How can I use UTM codes to improve website conversion?

With Privy, you can use audience targeting to show website visitors different offers based on UTM parameters. For example, if someone comes to your site from an Instagram ad, you can customize their on-site experience to acknowledge that they viewed that ad (like in this example from the Bruce Lee Store).

bruce lee instagram-1

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To make your own UTM-targeted display, simply login to Privy and open a campaign, switch over to the design tab, and select the audience targeting menu. From here, you can select "Add Condition" and change "Current URL" to "Initial URL this session". After that you simply add type in your UTM parameters like so:


Click save and you're all set up!

How would I install Google Analytics into Privy?

To enable Google Analytics tracking go to your Privy dashboard, click on your email in the top right corner, and open "Business Settings". From here, select "Customizations" in the left side bar, and then scroll down to ensure the check box next to "Enable Google Analytics" is checked. It's as easy as that!

Have more questions about UTMs or suggestions on what topics we should cover next? Don't hesitate to comment or reach out to us in our live chat. Happy tracking!

Want to learn more about UTM parameters? Check out our audience targeting guide!

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Written by Erica Ayotte

Constant Contact, Hootsuite, Clavis Insight and Curata all gave it a shot, but the only thing that could break Erica's fingers was 12 years of playing softball catcher competitively. And yes, she broke every single one. But over the years, no customer, small or large, has broken her! Erica is here to enable customer success in every sense of the word.

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