Measuring Product Marketing Success with UTMs (Examples Included)
Using UTMs in your product marketing campaigns allows you to standardize campaign reporting across different platforms. Tagging your campaign URLs with UTMs gives you a complete picture of customer behaviors as they move through the marketing funnel.
With UTMs, you can not only track prospects from paid ads, but also those who interacted with content on third-party sites. And to further track buyers as they move through the consideration stage of the customer journey, you can also use UTM tags on onboarding emails..
This allows marketing analysts to see nuanced data — such as which link in an email gets the highest click-through rate or leads to quicker product adoption. Using UTMs in marketing means they have analysis-ready data for important product marketing metrics to assess campaign performance.
As a disclaimer, let us mention that the examples throughout this article come from campaigns that we’ve been targeted by in real-life. The UTM tags in the links we’re describing were publicly shown, and they do not come from confidential communication.
In this article, we’ve explained how to use marketing UTMs to monitor your product growth and showed how Zapier, Pipedrive, Twilio, and others use UTMs in product marketing campaigns.
What Are Product Marketing Metrics? And Which Ones Can You Measure Thanks to UTMs?
Product marketing metrics are values that measure the performance of marketing campaigns. They are usually expressed in percentages, ratios, or absolute values.
Some of the most important product marketing metrics include sales win rate, monthly recurring revenue (MRR), repeat purchase rate, churn rate, adoption rate, customer lifetime value (CLV), customer retention rate, time to purchase, and trial conversion rate.
A great way to accurately measure these product marketing metrics is with UTM tags. These code snippets are added to the end of campaign URLs to ensure cross-channel visibility and precise marketing attribution.
With UTMs, you'll be able to measure the product marketing metrics you need to answer specific questions like:
- What's the churn rate of purchases from social media ads compared to organic social media?
- Which landing page leads to a shorter trial conversion?
- Do customers coming from affiliates and partners have a higher customer lifetime value (LTV) than customers who sign up through the newsletter?
How to Use Product Marketing UTMs to Track Your Product Growth Efforts
To use UTMs, simply add UTM parameters to your campaign URLs with free tools such as Google's campaign URL builder or the free UTM builder by UTM.io.
Here's what a URL with UTMs looks like:
Everything after the "?" is a UTM parameter. Using them on your campaign URLs (and provided that you adhere to a reliable naming convention) gives you reliable data across platforms that you can slice and dice to get important metrics about the performance of your product marketing campaigns.
Key points to remember when building a UTM tag:
- A good example of a complete UTM tag from a placement such as an ad on Product Hunt can be:
- The tracking tags start with the question mark. The very first parameter is not a UTM, and it likely states that Product Hunt is a referral partner.
- The campaign tag indicates a Product Hunt Launch.
- The content tag likely indicates the number of the ad in a series.
- The medium tag indicates the ad type. In our case, it’s display ads.
- The source indicates the ad was placed on Product Hunt.
- UTMs provide nuanced data in campaign reports allowing you to monitor user behavior across multiple platforms and channels. Whether you're mobilizing your go-to-market strategy or testing product messaging, UTMs provide you with the data to figure out which activities, channels, or mediums to double down on and which ones do a bad job at improving ROI.
- Drill down into reports of your product campaigns in Google Analytics. Navigate to Acquisition. Click Campaigns. Click All Campaigns. Then click the Secondary Dimension drop down tab.
- Use advanced naming conventions if you run high-volume campaigns. You can add description, country, month of launch, or customer segment in the campaign parameter so that it would look like this:
Examples of UTMs in Product Marketing Campaigns
Zapier's Full Funnel UTM Tracking
From ads to email campaigns to social media profile pages, you’ll find that Zapier uses UTMs to track their entire funnel.
Let's start with some of their LinkedIn ads, and look at two of their currents ads for different campaigns that go to the homepage:
This is the product link with UTM tags to the May 2022 campaign:
And here's the link to their June 2022 campaign:
On the most basic level, by adding UTMs to the URLs, the marketing team at Zapier knows whether a sign-up for a free trial that came from LinkedIn is from the May or the June campaign.
Since they have many ad variations that lead to different pages on their site, they can also track down nuanced data like which messaging resonates with specific customer segments or which ad format results in more conversions.
But that's only the tip of the iceberg. Let's say they have a dozen ads for one campaign that lead to three different pages on their site. They advertise on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Because they use UTM tags, figuring out, for example, which ad messaging across different platforms resulted in a higher free trial to paid conversion rates is effortless.
Without UTMs, comparing data between ad platforms would take much longer and require a lot of calculations and spreadsheet-wrangling to get to the metrics you need. Or worse, you might never even be able to get these metrics, at all.
Zapier also uses UTMs on links in their onboarding emails. When a lead signs up for the free trial, the first free trial onboarding email contains seven different CTAs, all with UTM-tagged links.
The sign-in button leads to this page with UTM parameters:
The button next to it that says "Create your first Zap" takes you to the Zapier dashboard.
We can see from these URLs that this onboarding email was sent using the marketing platform Iterable (?utm_source=Iterable). And the campaign parameter includes coded data as well as information that this is the first onboarding email (utm_campaign=itbl-gbl-act-evr-onboarding_rebrand_touch_1). Incidentally, the second email has the campaign parameter: utm_campaign=itbl-gbl-act-evr-onboarding_rebrand_touch_2.
By changing the UTMs for each email sent, they have a full picture of their sales pipeline and can make strategic decisions that move leads quicker along the conversion path.
Pipedrives Social Media UTM Tracking
Pipedrive advertises on both Reddit and Facebook.
Here's the Reddit ad and the UTM-tagged link it goes to:
Here's the Facebook ad and the link used:
Notice how the UTMs are structured depending on the traffic source (utm_source=reddit vs. utm_source=facebook). Also observe that even though these ads go to the same page on their website, the campaign names are different (utm_campaign=rd_all_con_nu_generic_en_dt_sub-broadmix-new vs utm_campaign=fb_en_nu_con_software_en_nf_dt_cpc_hvc_all_25-60_ll-01-ll-03-npc-5%20 seats) — showing that there are more than one ongoing campaign to this landing page.
We can also see that these ads use tags other than UTMs. The &cid= and &aid=. Those are used for data points such as the user's unique device-browser combination. In a similar way, you can use UTMs in combination with the Google Ads gclid tags, or the Facebook Ads fbclid tags. User ID tags and tags specific to an ad network can thus provide more context, to complement the UTMs.
Flatfile's Funnel Tracking
Flatfile makes good use of UTMs in their Product Hunt ads. Let’s look at two ad variations.
One ad takes you to a page with this UTM-tagged link that attributes leads to the May campaign.
The other ad takes you to their homepage with the utm_campaign parameter showing us that it attributes leads to the June promotion.
As the UTM parameters show, these ads are targeting middle of the funnel (MOFU) and top of the funnel (TOFU) leads, respectively.
By using UTM tags, Flatfile can track leads as they move through their digital marketing funnel. This gives them a way to measure product marketing metrics such as the number of touch points before purchase.
Drift's Affiliate Partner UTM Tracking
Here's one example from Drift. They utilize a UTM-tagged link at the bottom of a popup window that their affiliate partners use.
The Drift text link takes you to this URL:
When a visitor from Springboard (utm_source=springboardpr.com) clicks this link and signs up for a demo, Drift’s analytics tools will know which affiliate partner to give credit to. Then with the aggregate data from all the demo sign-ups through affiliate partner sites, they’ll be able to compare the performance of all their affiliate partners and identify who brings in the most qualified leads.
They’ll also even know that the click came from version 2 (utm_version=v2) of the chatbot widget (utm_medium=web-widget). Specific details like this will help them in optimizing their affiliate partner campaigns to increase conversions.
Switchboard's Product Campaign Tracking Using UTMs
The earlier you use UTMs in the customer’s journey, the more data you'll have to define your buyer persona. That's exactly what the Switchboard marketing team is doing.
Here's the URL of their promoted Product Hunt listing with added UTM parameters. It also has the code for their referral id, ?ref=ph_home, which is a common way to mark the affiliate ID.
Since Switchboard is using UTM parameters on their product launch campaign URLs, they’ll have insights about their buyer persona from the get-go — like what type of messaging they respond to. This also helps them pinpoint which marketing activities to prioritize at a critical part of their product life cycle.
Twilio's Retargeting Campaign with UTM Tracking
Twilio's retargeting ad on the BBC website leads to a link with UTMs as well:
The campaign parameter shows us this is a retargeting ad. Using UTMs like this helps monitor the behavior of warm visitors who have already engaged with the brand (utm_campaign=G_D_Retargeting_Brand_EMEA_ROE_M).
This also allows them to measure customer acquisition costs (CAC), and with the right product marketing tools in place, they can get the data on various metrics like the visitor to sign-up rate or Product Qualified Lead (PQL) to customer rate. Further down the pipeline, this data can be connected with their CRM to help them measure customer lifetime value, churn rate, or retention rate.
However, we'd argue that there's room for improvement in their tagging practices. For example, instead of GDN (utm_source=GDN) for utm_source, they could write the full name so that if an intern comes in and builds UTMs for them, the intern will know what it means without having to look for explanations. Another UTM best practice is to put everything lowercase, because it helps avoid splintered data.
Measuring Product Marketing Success for High-volume Campaigns
UTM tags — especially when running large high-volume campaigns — should be built properly from the ground up. This means using advanced naming conventions that allow you to evaluate campaign performance with granularity.
This also ensures that different departments within your company can build UTMs independent of each other but following the same naming structure all the time. This leads to more aligned data and a more complete picture of the customer journey.
A tool like UTM.io makes this easy to implement using templates which allow you to be very intentional when building UTM tags ensuring that no parameters are mislabeled and that they are consistent no matter who builds them. One of the many examples of how you are able to streamline your team workflow and consistency is to use templates for the UTM parameters.
Furthermore, you might need a marketing data platform to aggregate marketing metrics across all channels and campaigns. Improvado can streamline your UTM data and merge it with insights from 300+ sources to provide you with a 360-degree view of your marketing efforts. The platform fully automates marketing reporting, saving marketers from time-consuming data collection in spreadsheets.
With Improvado marketers load all metrics to dashboarding tools in real time instead of digging around in dull numbers. Here’s a performance marketing dashboard built with data gathered by Improvado.
Schedule a call to learn how Improvado can help you make sense out of UTM tags and disparate marketing metrics.
Reporting Success: Where to Collect UTM Tracking Data in Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4
To find UTM tracking data in Universal Analytics, navigate to:
Acquisition, click on Campaigns, and All campaigns
In GA4, go to:
Reports, click on Life Cycle, then Acquisition, and select User acquisition: First user medium
At first glance, the reports look basic. But when you take a closer look into the reports using Secondary Dimension, you'll find all the nuanced details from your marketing campaigns. This is where you can connect the dots to see the campaign performance. You'll have data for important product marketing metrics including:
- which of the onboarding emails lead to more engagement
- which ad variation, among all the social media channels, generates more free trial users
- how many touch points there are before a lead purchases
Using UTMs is a great way to measure the success of product marketing campaigns. It allows you to access data across platforms so that you'll get a complete view of your existing and potential customers.
You can also monitor customer behavior as they move through the funnel. All these insights will then help you identify actions, activities, messaging, and channels that will improve ROI.
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