While working for Synecore, a Minneapolis-based inbound marketing agency, it was inevitable that I would have to become very comfortable with the ins and outs of HubSpot. You see, Synecore has been a Gold Level HubSpot Partner for some time now, and I have developed quite a relationship with HubSpot's marketing automation platform during that time. HubSpot is a great tool for numerous reasons, but one of the biggest has to be the integrated analytics found within the platform. With HubSpot, you can easily measure and interpret all of your marketing channels and their individual key performance indicators (KPIs). As an analyst of sorts, you can imagine why I find this to be such a powerful benefit.
The measurement and interpretation of key marketing metrics is crucial to improving future marketing campaigns. But how do you track all of the marketing efforts going on outside of HubSpot, such as tradeshows, printed collateral, or emails sent from other email marketing service providers? How is it possible to track data from these often disparate channels within HubSpot to close the marketing loops? HubSpot makes it easy as pie with tracking URLs.
What is a HubSpot Tracking URL?
A tracking URL is a normal URL with a token attached to the end of it. For example:
Tracking URL: http://engage.synecoretech.com/lead-generation-ebook?utm_campaign=Lead%20Generation%20eBook%20&utm_medium=googleadwords&utm_source=ppc
The tracking URL above, used in one of our PPC campaigns, allows us to easily track when a visitor arrives to the corresonding landing page via our ad.
When visitors click the tracking URL, HubSpot’s Sources tool reads the token and categorizes the traffic accurately so you can see the performance.
How to Create a HubSpot Tracking URL
Most often, tracking URLs are made for landing pages (like the example above), although you can create tracking URLs for any page. To create a tracking URL in HubSpot, follow the instructions below:
From the HubSpot Marketing Dashboard, navigate to Reports > Reports Home.
Next, find and select the Tracking URL Builder on the left sidebar.
Now, click “Create New Tracking URL” on the top right and enter the webpage you are looking to generate a tracking URL for.
At this point, you’ll be prompted to fill out other information relative to the tracking URL. Here is a short synopsis of the components:
Campaign Name - This will group the traffic to the tracking URL into a specific campaign within HubSpot.
Source - This will specify which source or channel the traffic is originating from such as email marketing, paid search, tradeshow, etc.
Medium - An optional field that identifies the type of marketing material you are tracking such as brochure, newsletter, etc.
Content - An optional field used to differentiate a URL tied to the same page, campaign, source, and medium as another URL (header, footer, sidebar).
Term - An optional field that specifies the keyword associated with the tracking URL. It is not used in HubSpot but can be used to track PPC ads on platforms like AdWords.
Marketing Action Information - Another optional field used to illustrate Marketing Events in the Sources tool. This is a great tool for events like tradeshows and conferences.
How to Implement a HubSpot Tracking URL
Now that you’ve created your tracking URL, it is time to implement it. HubSpot will generate both a shortened tracking URL along with a full tracking URL. The shortened URL is great for social media platforms such as Twitter where you need to keep your character counts low. The full tracking URL should be used for Google AdWords final destination URLs due to recent changes within AdWords. For email links, shortened or full will both work sufficiently.
Tip: For printed material, you can use a tracking URL in the hope that the recipient of the collateral will manually enter the URL they were provided with. Not full proof, but it is better than nothing!
Once you’ve done that, you have the choice to either generate another tracking URL or close the prompt. Remember, you can always come back to the Tracking URL Builder page to create additional URLs or copy already established tracking URLs.
Don’t Forget to Analyze Your Results
Always remember to analyze your results. You put in all the work to setup tracking URLs to enhance the measurability of your marketing initiatives; make sure you follow-through with those efforts by periodically analyzing the data that is generated.
If you send an email to a database outside of HubSpot, you will now be able to track and analyze the amount of clicks on the tracking URLs in the email as well as the conversions on the landing page. Those clicks and conversions will automatically be added to each lead’s contact record. Therefore, you will be able to see the entire journey each lead takes before they convert into a customer, and easily determine the ROI of all your marketing efforts both inside and outside of HubSpot.
Pretty cool, huh?