How to Use Custom URL Parameters for Increased Granularity and Tailored Reporting
The five standard UTM parameters (source, medium, campaign, term, and content) tend to be enough for a majority of users. But we get it. Marketing campaigns and analytics are complicated, and tracking needs to be flexible enough to reflect that. This was a very popular request on our Trello board for feature suggestions and roadmap. So we’ve added custom parameters as a feature when building your tracking links with utm.io.
The Steps for Adding Custom URL Parameters
Follow the steps below to make sure you’re doing it 100% right:
- Go to either the Links or the Templates Tab
- Start creating a link or template
- Click on the “Add custom URL parameter” link close to the bottom of the pop-up
- Add the label of your custom parameter to the left, such as agency, and the unique identifier you are using to track your agency
- As with all parameters, remember to be consistent with the values you put in
Who Can Use Custom URL Parameters
This feature is aimed at our power users, and is not available on the free plan.
Only admins and member user roles can save custom URL parameters in templates
Viewers cannot save custom parameters in templates, but they can manually write in a custom parameter when creating new links.
Use Cases & Benefits
Some of the most common custom URL parameters added by our users include:
You may already be getting a hint of that these give more tracking options to marketers who:
- Frequently use one particular channel
- Need to distinguish one particular characteristic of their campaigns
Please consider the fictitious examples below.
Influencers or Affiliates
We have a Black Friday promo for UTM.io that an influencer we partner with, named Kim K, will be posting on her Instagram story. We also have two other influencers we work with on a regular basis. All of them will be posting to their Instagram stories for us, and they’ll use the same link. We work with influencers often.
So when we send the link to Kim, we want to make sure to differentiate that it’s hers. Here is one way we could structure UTM parameters for Kim:
For affiliates, the example would be almost the same. We would just replace influencer= with affiliate=.
We’re growing the UTM.io brand and have agencies help us with marketing. Our two favorite ones right now are Saashi & Saashi and Sid Tea. For all their links, we’re asking Saashi & Saashi to add the parameter agency=saashi. In the same fashion, we’re asking Sid Tee to add agency=sid.
Provided that they follow the routine consistently, we’ll be able to pull data on all link content published by Saashi & Saashi, and compare them to all link content published by Sid Tea.
Sample links with the custom URL parameters could then look like this:
You could also use custom URL parameters to compare and analyze:
- Different seasons, in industries with seasonality
- Versions of A/B tests
To conclude, please note:
- Same as the five standard parameters, custom URL parameters are only going to provide analytical value if you use them consistently
- Your own imagination is the limit
- In some cases, the term and content parameters can take on the role of custom parameters. You could also get creative with hyphenating the campaign and source parameters. But such approaches will not always be clean and consistent enough.
We’re looking forward to seeing how this feature helps your work If you still need help, have feedback or ideas, please contact us - [email protected].