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How to use UTM for marketing campaign

Donald Ng
June 23, 2023
5-star rating
Reviews on Capterra
How to use UTM for marketing campaign

Do you find it challenging to track the success of your marketing campaigns or the performance of different traffic sources? UTM tags can be a game-changer, helping you make smarter marketing decisions backed by data. This guide will help you understand what UTM tags are, when to use them, and how to create them.

What is UTM?

UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module. They are simple URL parameters added to a link to help digital marketers track campaign performance and traffic sources. When a user clicks on a link containing UTM tags, the information it carries is sent to your analytics tool, such as Google Analytics, allowing you to identify where your website traffic comes from.

UTM Tags Components

There are five UTM tags commonly used for tracking traffic sources:

a. utm_source: Identifies the traffic source, such as a search engine, social media platform, or newsletter. E.g., google, facebook, or email_newsletter.

b. utm_medium: Specifies the medium utilized, such as organic search, referral, or email. E.g., cpc, organic, or display.

c. utm_campaign: Describes the specific campaign or marketing initiative. E.g., black_friday_sale, spring_promo, or lead_generation.

d. utm_term: (Optional) Identifies the keyword or search term associated with paid search campaigns. E.g., digital_marketing, running_shoes, or financial_advice.

e. utm_content: (Optional) Used to differentiate between similar content or links within the same ad. E.g., text_link, banner_A, or button_1.

Why Do I Need UTM Tags?

UTM tags provide valuable insights into your marketing campaigns and traffic sources, allowing you to optimize your efforts and make data-driven decisions. Here are several reasons why you should consider using UTM tags:

a. Accurate Traffic Source Attribution: UTM tags precisely track where your website visitors are coming from, whether it's search engines, social media, email campaigns, or any other source. This granularity is vital in understanding the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and attributing conversions correctly.

b. Cost-Effectiveness: By knowing which marketing channels or campaigns generate the best results, you can allocate your budget accordingly and avoid wasting resources on less effective strategies.

c. Enhanced Segmentation: As UTM tags help you break down traffic data into source, medium, and campaign, you can better segment your visitors to identify specific user behaviors, conversion rates, and other key metrics.

d. Improved Targeting: With better understanding of how your audience responds to your marketing campaigns, you can fine-tune your messaging and targeting strategies to achieve better results.

e. A/B Testing & Optimization: By using UTM tags, you can gauge the effectiveness of different content, ad creative, or calls-to-action and optimize your campaigns based on data-driven conclusions.

f. Reporting: Using UTM tags makes it easier to create detailed reports on your marketing campaigns, providing you with clear visualization of their performance, which is essential for stakeholder communication and decision making.

When to Use UTM Tags

You should use UTM tags every time you want to track the performance of specific marketing initiatives or distinguish different traffic sources. Some common use cases include:

- Email marketing campaigns
- Social media marketing and advertising
- Sponsored content or guest blog posts
- Paid search campaigns (Google Ads, Bing Ads, etc.)
- Affiliate marketing
- Website content personalization

How to Create UTM Tags

Creating UTM tags can be done easily using a UTM builder tool, such as Google's Campaign URL Builder.

Follow these steps:

a. Enter your website URL where you want to direct the user.
b. Complete the fields for utm_source, utm_medium, and utm_campaign, ensuring the values are descriptive and easy to understand.
c. (Optional) Fill in utm_term and utm_content values if required for your specific campaign.
d. Copy the generated URL, which will now include your UTM tags.

You can also create UTM tags manually by appending the parameters to your URL, but using a URL builder is typically faster and helps minimize errors.

Analyzing UTM Tag Data in Howuku

With your UTM tags in place, you can now analyze the performance of your campaigns within Howuku. It will show up in your dashboard under visitor acquisition channels or you can also perform a Session Recording filtering to search for visitors that are coming from a specific campaign.


UTM tags are essential for understanding where your traffic comes from and which marketing campaigns are generating the best ROI. By consistently using UTM tags, you'll create a data-driven approach to your marketing decisions, ensuring you invest your resources in the most effective strategies. So start leveraging the power of UTM tags and watch your marketing campaigns thrive.

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