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Unprepared Ep 27 - Tracking Your Digital Campaigns Using UTMs with AJ Yager and Spencer Connell


    • [00:00] - Intro
    • [00:30] - What is Praxismetrics
    • [01:35] - Crash course of UTMs for Ecommerce
    • [03:48] - Using UTMs on emails
    • [05:55] - The basic strategy for using UTM
    • [09:20] - Where to find AJ and Spencer
    • [09:53] - Sponsor: Rewind


    • AJ’s Yager’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ajyager
    • Spencer Connell’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/spencerconnell
    • Website: https://www.praxismetrics.com/

    Key Points:

    • Praxismetrics is a data company specializing in Ecommerce companies. They help companies grow and scale their business faster by using data tracking and analytics.
    • Praxismetrics perform data collection, reporting and building dashboards, and ultimately data consulting that helps people take action from that data.
    • UTMs (Urchin Tracking Module) are parameters used to build into your links to tell the analytics software exactly where someone came from. 
    • Google bought Urchin 15 years ago which is now UTM.
    • UTM is a free tracking link but it takes discipline and strategy to use. 
    • Anything that is done online like social, ads, blogs, and marketing needs to be tracked to learn where customers came from and what channel they used. From there, extract LTV and pull in lots of business questions.
    • The beauty of UTMs is that it can track what was previously untrackable and get granular with your data in a way you could never do before. 
    • UTMs can be attached to the UTM parameter to the ends of your URLs. This lets users know where or how many people came from one place to your website.
    • If you're split testing ads, copy, or images, you can write all of that into your UTM parameters and pass that data through Google Analytics. Then, extract it out into whatever platform you're using for reporting. 
    • UTM works great on giving clarity on what’s working and what’s not for organic social postings like podcasts and blog posts.
    • UTM allows businesses to track customers who come in from one place then buy from the email list.
    • Specific emails, buy buttons, and call-to-actions can each have different UTMs to see the most effective CTA or how far people are scrolling to the email.
    • UTM links include the URL, the UTM or the campaign source, the campaign medium, the campaign name, the campaign content, and the campaign term which are little parameters that give more information about a specific email.
    • Praxismetrics has a free tracking tool called Track Funnels that allows users to build UTM parameters themselves.
    • Track Funnels was created to help people build their UTMs where they can select a channel, campaign source, campaign medium, and more.
    • Consistency is crucial on how UTM is going to be used. Otherwise, your data is going to be messed up.
    • Campaign names need to be consistent and specific. The basic rule of thumb is to keep everything lowercase and agree on the names beforehand.
    • If there is a process or SOP, everybody knows what they’re going to do every time there’s a new campaign. 



    Chase Clymer  

    Alright everybody, welcome back to another episode of Unprepared. Today is a monumental moment. We're gonna have 3 guests and see how terribly we screw this up.

    AJ Yager  

    So monumental. Wow.

    Chase Clymer  

    Yeah. Welcome to the show AJ and Spencer, how are you guys doing? 

    AJ Yager  

    We're doing awesome. Thanks for having us. I'm AJ. 

    Chase Clymer  

    Absolutely. That is AJ. 

    Spencer Connell  

    Spencer. (laughs)

    Chase Clymer  

    Yeah, so this is really hard to do with zoom. And we're gonna wonder how the power post production will fix this. So I'm really excited for it. 

    But obviously, we like to keep these short and sweet. So let everyone know what you know, what practices is all about and what we're going to talk about today.

    AJ Yager  

    Awesome. Well, practice metrics is a data company. But we are specializing with e-commerce companies, we help companies grow and scale their business faster by using data tracking analytics the right way, and focusing on the needle moving metrics that really, really matter. 

    That has to do with data collection, reporting, building dashboards, and then ultimately, data consulting, like helping people take action from that data. So that's what we do. And then since we want to talk about what we're doing today,

    Spencer Connell  

    Yep. Today, as far as I know, and you can correct me a tick, we're talking about UTM, specifically how to get your tracking aligned to make sure you're getting the cleanest data possible so that when you do move on to the reporting side of things, you're actually reporting accurate data and getting the insights you need. And in order to scale,

    AJ Yager  

    Yeah, this is a big topic, right? Chase, like a lot of people don't get it because like, I think that glaze over, they think, Oh, yeah, I will track or figure this stuff out later. 

    But it's actually like the foundation of everything that you need to do for e commerce for marketing and tracking the results for later, later success. So Brookside of jumping?

    Chase Clymer  

    Absolutely. And starting the crash course of UTM through e commerce right now.

    AJ Yager  

    So UTM. At a base level, it's a merchant tracking mechanism. So 15 years ago, 15-20 years ago, Google bought a company called Urchin, and that's only why it's called utms. 

    Now, it's just a tracking, it's a free tracking link. There's nothing you have to pay for here. It's kind of built in. But it takes discipline and a strategy to how to use it. And basically any of your marketing, all your marketing things. 

    So whether it's a social post, whether it's a an ad, you know, you're paying for ads online, whether it's a blog, anything you're doing online, needs to be tracked specifically, it's all about specifics, so that you can ultimately answer the question, Where did my customer come from? What channel did they come from? 

    And then from there, we can pull out LTV, extract, extract LTV, we can pull in lots of other answers and lots of business questions from this element. So Spencer, I'll let you jump in and see if I missed anything. 

    Spencer Connell  

    No, yeah. So I think the beauty of UTM is you can track what previously I would say was on trackable, so things like appearing on podcasts like this, we would never know how many people came to our website from this podcast without UTM. 

    But what we can do is we can attach these UTM parameters to the ends of our URLs, kind of like what I'm showing on the screen here, that will tell us Oh, that came from this podcast appearance, you know, this call to action that we tested out on this one. 

    And it's really impressive, because you can get very granular with your data in a way that you never could before. 

    So if you're split testing, ads, split testing, you know, different copy different images, you can kind of write all of that into your UTM parameters and pass that data through to Google Analytics. 

    And then from Google Analytics, we can extract it out into whatever platforms you're using for recording. So it's amazing, because you can get extremely granular data that normally you can't get. It's nice for ads and stuff like that. 

    But a lot of that is tracked natively within your ad platforms because they know the value of data. But with harder to track things like AJ talked about, you know, podcasts, blog posts, social posting, that's just organic social posting, it's really hard to figure out what is actually working and what isn't, but UTM gives you real good clarity on exactly what's working and what's not.

    AJ Yager  

    Totally. And a really big one is also like customers will come in from, let's say cold media, or advertising. But then they become on your emailing list, then people will say, Well, I'm sending them offers from here, and they're gonna be, you know, buying from there. 

    So they originally came in one place, but then they're gonna buy from the email list. Well, these UTM also work in your emails. So specifically, like when you have a, let's just use a Valentine's Day example, right, you're going to be able to send out an email for Valentine's Day. And that's going to be a special 20% discount, whatever. 

    Well, that specific email, even the specific like buy buttons or the you know, the calls to action can have each have a different UTM will see you have three buy buttons in there. You've got a long email that's talking about a story of your romance or whatever, and you're trying to tie in your product to it. 

    Well, you can see, hey, did they click the first button, the second button or the third button by using a different UTM code for one email. That way you get really granular and specific now not everybody needs to do that. 

    But someone to know specifically if that's if that's where how far people are scrolling where they're clicking. Right. So each one of those buttons will then be able to tell you and well and essentially we can bring up that next slide that shows the breakdown of the parameters. Yeah, so this is it like this, this whole long kind of ugly thing. is a UTM link. 

    And so it's one made up of the UTM. So the UTM source that can say that the actual URL is the practice metrics.com. 

    That's our website, just an example. The URL, the UTM source is the next one in blue, the medium, the campaign, the content, and then the term. These are all these little parameters where you can put information in that would give you more information on that email. 

    So for example, that email would have Valentine's Day as maybe the see we would put that one in the campaign name. And then button number one, two or three, you'd have three different UTM codes and you could put it under term or even content and say CTA button one CTA button two, CTA button three. Is that making sense Chase?

    Chase Clymer  

    Oh, it makes sense to me. I guess, if I was going to start this within my ecommerce business, you know, this seems really granular. Obviously, that is useful when you kind of need to get there. 

    But I guess where would you suggest people start? What's like a basic strategy just to cuz I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that if they're not doing this, they have no idea how to start?

    AJ Yager  

    Great question, since you want to kick it off, and I'll jump in. 

    Spencer Connell  

    For sure. So we actually built a website called trek funnels comm which will allow you to build UTM parameters for yourself, because the main thing with UTM is, is you need to be consistent in how you use them. 

    Because otherwise your data is going to get really bungled, and really messed up. So trek funnels is a free tool that we built out in order to help people build their UTM and build them consistently. So basically, you can select the channel that you want. 

    So let's say like ages, example, email, they're going to my website, prices, metrics. com, the source is going to be email, the medium, of course, email, campaign name, let's say Valentine's. 

    And so this is where it's important is like the campaign names, you all need to make sure you're using the same thing. So I'm saying Valentine's other people might say V day, some people might do capital V Valentine's.

    So our basic rule of thumb is keep everything lowercase, and then just agree beforehand on what you're going to mean things in order to keep everything cool.

    AJ Yager  

    Yeah. And before, before you finish that one I wanted to add to, to kind of help answer that question as well chases. Sit down with your team, right? Anybody who's on the marketing team, sit down, and Spencer, go ahead and click on the channel and identify Okay, what are the channels? Are we spending money on advertising? 

    What are we doing on social media? Like, what are all the different channels so that we can look at the big perspective and you got to go on a whiteboard and draw them all up? And write them all down? Like which ones are we focused on? 

    If it's just one great start there. You don't even have to do all of them at once, but like, at least kind of get a mastermind or whiteboarding session and identify what you're focusing on? 

    Then from there, say, okay, so on an annual basis, what kind of campaigns or sales are we going to do that are in our marketing plan, and then write those down and kind of connect them with which channel those are going to be? And if it's all of them all across the board, great. 

    But it's, it's really taking the time to be very specific and conscious about what we are trying to accomplish? What channels are going to use to drive that rip that that the traffic, and then from there, get very specific about, hey, we're going to create a data dictionary here. 

    Anytime we do Valentine's, it's going to be like this, when we do the Christmas or the Black Friday stuff, it's not capital B and lowercase habits, it's b f, something like we have to get very, very clear, and you write it down in a spreadsheet, or in a just a document, so that everybody knows, we're gonna do the exact same thing every single time. 

    The only things that might change are the content and the term a little bit to just be more specific on email, or the channel will obviously change too. 

    But like, you know, if you have multiple valid Valentine's Day campaigns, you're going to need to put a little different information in there to clarify it. But then you have a process and SRP to follow when, when whoever's doing this is going to do it consistently. Does that make sense? 

    Chase Clymer  

    Oh, yeah, it makes sense to me. And we'll make sure to link to track funnels.com in the show notes. Hopefully, by the time this one's up, I will actually have this added into the honest e commerce blog we had about a whole new blog for this video series that happened. But we got about 20 seconds left. If I want to learn more about practice, or about UTM, how do I get a hold of you?

    AJ Yager  

    Awesome. Practice metrics Comm. slash 10. x is like a really great, you know, lead magnet, we've got a lot of information on what we just covered here, but also just how to connect your business online as an e commerce company.

    It's a great PDF, a great ebook that dives into like the most important metrics to be following. And then from there, we can always have a call and help help you out. We've got courses, we've got tracking team members like Spencer who can help out and yeah, we're we love this stuff. So...

    Chase Clymer  

    Awesome. Thanks so much for coming on. Thanks, Jase. 

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