The easiest way to capture UTM parameters in Unbounce
Learn how to capture UTM parameters in your Unbounce landing page and send them to your CRM, billing, analytics and other tools.
Knowing the channels and campaigns that produce the most leads & customers is essential for growing any business.
But if you don't have a mechanism to trace the source of every lead and customer in your CRM, you won't have the data and insights you need to optimise your campaigns.
In this article, we'll show you how to use Attributer to capture UTM parameters in your Unbounce landing pages and then transmit the data to your CRM for reporting.
4 steps for capturing UTM parameters in Unbounce
Using Attributer to capture UTM parameters in your Unbounce landing pages is easy. Here's how to do it in 4 easy steps:
1. Add UTM variables to your ads
Before you make any changes to your Unbounce landing pages, you need to first make sure that all of your ads and marketing campaigns use UTM parameters.
You'll want to add UTM parameters to practically everything to receive the most up-to-date info. Paid advertisements, guest blogs, social media bios, adverts in trade journals, email marketing, and even your email signatures are all examples of this.
The concept is that you want UTM parameters on every link heading to your website so you can receive data from all sources.
2. Add hidden fields to your forms
In this second step, you'll need to include hidden fields in the forms you use of your Unbounce landing pages.
If you've never used them before, hidden fields are essentially form fields that exist on your form but aren't visible to visitors. They allow tools like Attributer to write information into them without visitors seeing.
Unbounce makes it simple to create these hidden fields in your forms. If you'r using the classic form builder, you simply drag a new "Hidden Field" into your form from the "Add Fields" section. This article on our help site walks you through the exact steps.
Here are the hidden fields you'll need to add:
- Channel Drilldown 1
- Channel Drilldown 2
- Channel Drilldown 3
- Landing Page
- Landing Page Group
3. Attributer automatically completes the hidden fields with UTM parameters
Now for the fun part! Attributer will monitor your visitors for any UTM parameters that may arrive with and then write them into the hidden fields on the form.
To illustrate, let's imagine you're a marketer at Dropbox and you're using Unbounce to create landing pages for your Google Ads campaigns.
A person searches Google for "ways to share large files' and finds a Dropbox ad in the paid results. The user then clicks the ads and fills out a form on your Unbounce landing page.
In this case, Attributer would write the following tracking information into the hidden fields on the form (depending on what UTM parameters Dropbox uses):
- Channel = Paid Search
- Channel Drilldown 1 = Google
- Channel Drilldown 2 = Share Files Campaign
- Channel Drilldown 3 = Free Account Ad
On top of this, Attributer would also include the landing page information, which would likely look something like this:
- Landing Page = landing.dropbox.com/share-campaign
4. UTM parameters are passed into your CRM
When the user submits the form, Unbounce captures all the UTM parameters written into the hidden fields by Attributer along with the information the user entered into the form (email, name, mobile number, etc.)
Once the data is in Unbounce, you can use their native integrations to send the lead's personal information plus the UTM parameters into your CRM (including Salesforce, Pipedrive, Microsoft Dynamics & more)
And once the data is in your CRM, you can use it to run reports that answer questions like
- How many leads did our Google Ads generate?
- How many customers did our Google Ads generate?
- How much revenue have we generated from our Google Ads?
- What's the ROI of our Google Ads?
What is Attributer?
In this post, we've used the term Attributer a few times, and you're probably wondering what it means and why it's significant to you.
Here's the lowdown:
Attributer is a piece of code that you add to your Unbounce landing pages that looks at a bunch of technical information about how a visitor arrived at your landing page (like their device, referrer, UTM parameters, etc).
It then categorises each visitor into channels similar to those found in Google Analytics (such as Paid social, Paid search, Organic search, etc). It then stores that information in a cookie in the user's browser.
Then, when a visitor fills out a form on your Unbounce landing page, Attributer will complete the hidden fields with the UTM parameters that were saved in the cookie, and those details are passed into your CRM.
Attributer was founded by Aaron Beashel, a B2B marketing consultant. He realised that in order to know what campaigns and channels were generating leads & customers, he needed a way to pass UTM parameters and other lead source information into the CRM.
In his words, “I originally built Attributer for use on one of my client’s websites, but after a while I realised lots of other businesses might be able to use it too."
Today, Attributer is used on hundreds of websites and provides Attribution information for over 1.8 million visitors to those sites every month.
Why using Attributer is better than capturing raw UTM parameters
Unbounce has a built-in way to pull UTM parameters from the URL and write them into hidden form fields, so why use Attributer?
Here's why it's so much better:
1. Captures all traffic
Not only does this Attributer capture UTM parameters and pass them through to your CRM, but it also captures information on people who arrive at your website from channels where UTM parameters aren't present (Like Organic Social, Organic Search, Direct, Referral, etc.)
This means that when you run reports in your CRM to see where your leads & customers are coming from, you'll be able to see the source of all your leads and not just the ones that have come from your paid campaigns.
2. Works on your entire website
Unbounce is a great tool for quickly creating landing pages, usually for specific campaigns you're running. In most cases though, it isn't where your main website is hosted.
If you're just using Unbounce built-in UTM capturing functionality, then it's only going to if someone completes the form on your Unbounce landing page.
But what if they land on your landing page and then navigate over to your main website and complete a form there?
In that case, the UTM parameters would be lost and you wouldn't know where the lead came from.
With Attributer though, you can put it on both your Unbounce landing pages and your main website, so regardless of where a user completes a form the UTM parameters and other attribution information will be captured.
3. Provides cleaner data
When you capture UTM parameters in their raw form, you frequently end up with a lot of disorganized data.
For instance, imagine some of your Facebook Ad campaigns are tagged with UTM_Source=Facebook (capitalized), others with UTM_Source=facebook (uncapitalized), and others with UTM_Source=fb.
If you were just capturing the raw UTM parameters and sending them through to your CRM, this would look like 3 different sources in your reports and it would be hard to understand how successful your Facebook Ads are.
However, Attributer helps with this. Regardless of capitalization or other irregularities, Attributer would still be able to assign these leads to the Paid Social channel.
4. Captures landing page data as well
Have you ever wanted to know which of your landing pages are actually working the best to convert visitors into leads & customers? Perhaps you're even doing A/B tests on your landing pages and want to know which one converts best all the way through to customer & revenue (as opposed to which one converts visitors to leads the best)?
On top of capturing UTM parameters and other channel data, Attributer also capture landing page information and passes it through to your CRM and other tools.
This allows you to see which of your Unbounce landing pages are actually performing the best in terms of customers & revenue.
Although Unbounce has a built-in way to capture UTM parameters in forms, Attributer provides a lot of functionality that helps ensure you get more accurate data.
It records all sources of traffic to your landing pages (not just traffic from campaigns tagged with UTM parameters) and ensures that it doesn't get lost as people move between your landing pages and main website.
Interested in seeing how Attributer can work for you? Get a 14-day free trial to find out if it is right for your needs.
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About the Author
Aaron Beashel is the founder of Attributer and has over 15 years of experience in marketing & analytics. He is a recognized expert in the subject and has written articles for leading websites such as Hubspot, Zapier, Search Engine Journal, Buffer, Unbounce & more. Learn more about Aaron here.