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Martin Cogburn


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    Marketing Tracking Overview

    How Does ONTRAPORT UTM Tracking Work?

    For robust tracking of opt-ins, purchases and overall lead response, ONTRAPORT adopts the terminology and UTM parameters used by Google Analytics for its trackable marketing channels: Campaign, Lead Source, Medium, Content and Term. Add these parameters to your URLs and you'll know the origin of new contacts entering your marketing funnel.


    ONTRAPORT automatically keeps track of the traffic and leads generating new opt ins from each UTM-powered URL, and displays the results in the sub-collections nested in your Tracking menu.


    You’re also able to check the Lead Information section of individual contact records to determine what marketing channel prompted them to opt-in or purchase initially. ONTRAPORT tracks the "first attribution" in the Contact Record, so the values there are set when the contact first opts in. This image shows a Contact Record who opted in after clicking a link with the UTM parameters shown:


    contact record UTM values


    Once populated, the Campaign, Lead Source, Medium, Content, and Term values are set and not updated.


    Most of the statistics in the Tracking section are from these "first attribution" contacts, and do not reflect the activity of contacts who opted in previously without using UTM, or were imported, added by the API, etc. For overall sales reports, use the Sales > Reports section of ONTRAPORT, or create Dashboard metrics


    Best Practices

    • Always use utm_campaign, utm_source and utm_medium with every link you are tracking to remain consistent with Google Analytics requirements
    • Because UTM parameters set cookie values for your entire account, no matter what link the prospect or contact actually clicks, always using utm_campaign, utm_source and utm_medium ensures the tracking data stays consistent
    • Using utm_content and utm_term is optional. However, if you begin to use them we recommend you always use them due to the way cookie tracking is done. 
    • Remember that only new opt ins are counted in most of the tracking statistics, along with those Contacts who previously opted in and had a UTM tracking cookie. These contacts will have values in the Campaign, Lead Source, Medium, Content, or Term fields in the Contact Record.

    How Clicks are Tracked

    The Tracking feature counts both unique visits and total visits, but counts them separately. This means that one person may click on your link and visit your page five times, however, only one of those clicks is counted in the unique visits column of your tracking display while the total clicks are recorded in your total visits column. The reason for this being that it is much more critical to see how many individuals ended up clicking your link rather than the amount of clicks one individual has performed. This is not only essential for establishing a more accurate ROI but also determines the original tracked link that a prospect may click because the original action is always the most crucial.

    Clicks from Contacts who have not opted in using UTM, who have the Campaign, Lead Source, Medium, Content, and Term fields empty in their Contact Records, are not counted in every statistic.

    Tracking Channels and Metrics

    Tracking Channels

    ONTRAPORT tracking offers an array of different channels to track from:

    • By Campaign - use this to identify a specific marketing campaigns or promotion. Use on every UTM-powered link.

    • By Lead Source - use this to identify a lead source. Example: conference or search engine. Use on every UTM-powered link.

    • By Medium - use this to differentiate marketing mediums. Example: email, postcard, pay-per-click, radio. Use on every UTM-powered link.

    • By Content (optional) - use this to distinguish between ads or links that point to the same URL. This is ideal for split testing website, email, or Landing Page content. 

    • By Term (optional) - use this to indicate the keywords for an ad. Example: business building or entrepreneur.


    When you click on a Tracking Channel nested under the Tracking menu, you’ll see all your tracking metrics/results. If you haven’t added any tracking channels, this area will be empty. Here are the headings and what they represent:

    by campaign stats display


    • Name - Name of the Campaign

    • # Visits (Unique) - How many unique visits to the URL from a UTM-powered link

    • # Visits (Total) - How many total visits to this URL from a UTM-powered link

    • # Sales (% of Leads) - The number of sales by the percentage of leads (unique visits)

    • $ Sales - Total dollar amount for sales

    • # New Clients - Number of contacts that purchase a product after using this Marketing Tracker, even if the purchase comes at a later time.

    • Days to First Purchase - The number of days a lead is on a campaign before their first purchase.

    • Life Time Value - Life time value of this Marketing Tracker. This metric compares sales to leads in the amount of time the campaign ran.

    See our blog article How to Hyper-Target Your Marketing Campaigns with ONTRAPORT for more hand's on use of these metrics!

    How to Add a Marketing Tracker

    1. Click on Tracking in the main navigation menu


      Tracking Collection menu

    2. Click the New Tracking URL button


      new tracking URL button

    3. Enter a Destination URL

      1. This specifies the page people are sent to when they click your tracked ad/link.

      2. You must have the ONTRAPORT tracking script installed on any pages you wish to send people to via your Marketing Tracker. It is added automatically to any posts or pages on a WordPress site you have integrated using our PilotPress plugin, and is on all published ONTRApages. For other pages, copy the tracking script from Administration > Developer Preferences and Resources > Get Tracking Code and paste it into header of your page.

    4. Select the marketing channels


      create the tracking URL

    5. Click Create URL

    6. To obtain the tracking URL click on the name of the Campaign in By Campaign

    7. Hover over the Destination URL and select it

    8. From the Actions menu select Generate Code

      generate the tracking code

    9. Initialize tracking on your ads/links/banners

      1. Copy the URL given to your clipboard

      2. Use that URL with the UTM parameters embedded in your ads, links, or banners.


    Q. I have some odd lead Source parameters reported in some of my campaigns. Why is this? I don't even use lead Source UTM all that often.

    A. You should always use all three of the main UTM parameters, utm_campaign, utm_source and utm_medium with every link you are tracking. Because the UTM parameters are stored in a cookie, and the cookie values are only overwritten when a new link is clicked, you want to ensure all three of these values are consistent. If your contact clicks a link with all three, then a link with only utm_campaign and utm_medium the utm_source will report the prior value. 

    Q. How can I drill down to see the Contacts that clicked my UTM-powered link in one of my campaigns?

    A. The metrics in the Tracking section are designed like Google Analytics - they give you an overview of customer behavior. You can use Contact Groups or Tags to segment your list by purchases or page visits.

    Q. I created an email campaign with UTM parameters in the links, and I see many more clicks recorded in the Messages library than I do in the Tracking section for each parameter. Why is that?

    A. The metrics in the Tracking section record clicks only from contacts who originally opted in using a UTM powered link and have at least one value in the Campaign, Lead Source, Medium, Content,  or Term fields.

    Q. I want to see statistics for all my contacts, and not just those who opted in after I started using UTM tracking. How can I do that?

    A. Use a Dashboard metric or the reports in Sales > Reports for the overall behavior of your entire Contacts database. 


    Have more questions? Submit a request


    • Avatar
      Ed Ferrigan

      Examples of lead sources, mediums, content and terms would be good and elaborate more on what to do with the link. Examples of various ways would be hugely helpful to us newbies.

    • Avatar
      Pavel Štěpka

      Can you please explain more in detail. I used Leadsource in OAP and now in Ontraport I am liitle bit lost.

    • Avatar
      Frank Hagan

      UTM parameters are used by Google Analytics, and we have adopted their nomenclature. You can do a search for using them and there are dozens of examples out there. We gave one in the article where a lead was brought in from a Campaign named "TrackingDemo" via an "AdWords" ad that charged by the click ("PPC") that had the offer "50% off candy sale" and the term (keywords) "candy sale". 

      Here's the example we gave, and an entry if you also created a URL with UTM variables for a Facebook ad with an offer that was "Buy One Get One" and the term "Free candy":

      Campaign: TrackingDemo

      Lead Source: AdWords

      Medium: PPC

      Content: 50% Off Candy

      Term: candy sale

      Example URL:



      Campaign: TrackingDemo

      Lead Source: Facebook

      Medium: PPC

      Content: Buy One Get One

      Term: Free candy

      Example URL:



      You define what the parameters are. When you view the Campaign "TrackingDemo" you would see how many leads are from the "Facebook" ads lead source versus the "AdWords" lead source. You don't have to include all the variables; just use the ones you need. ONTRAPORT makes it easy to build these URLS:



      You do not have to create the parameters in ONTRAPORT first. You can use Googles UTM builder if you like, or create the URLs on the fly. ONTRAPORT will record them and create the campaign, lead source, medium content and term categories when the form is submitted. 


      Note: edited Jan-30, 2015 to correct non-standard lead source and medium terms.

    • Avatar
      Christiaan Stoudt

      Is there a reason that you cannot just put these entries into the form using hidden fields...  like:   input name="utm_source" type="hidden" value="myvalue"

      I am trying to do this and I am not having much success.  Also I cannot add other custom entries.  Is there any really good documentation or troubleshooting docs?

    • Avatar
      Frank Hagan

      Christiaan - if you are using an ONTRAPORT Smart Form (or Order Form) the hidden fields are already there. In addition to the ONTRAPORT Smart Form or Order Form, you need the ONTRAPORT Tracking Script on the page where the form is placed. (The Tracking Script is available in the Administration section; our Landing Pages and any WordPress site with our PilotPress plugin will include it automatically). 

      The Tracking Script is needed to count the number of visits to the page using the parameters, and our form is needed for the opt in. There is code in both the form and the tracking script that is needed to communicate back to ONTRAPORT. You need both to make the system work correctly. 

      If you were successful in pre-filling the hidden fields on the form without the Contact coming to the page with the marketing tracker parameters in place in the URL as intended, then all of your conversion stats would be compromised. 

    • Avatar
      Geoff Currie

      Is the tracking code/wordpress plugin required to make this work or can we just use a page with a smart form in it?

    • Avatar
      Geoff Currie

      Also how do we fill in the referring page field?

    • Avatar
      Frank Hagan

      Hi Geoff - 

      All of our Smart Forms contain the hidden fields and Javascript code to make Marketing Tracking work, so it should work on any HTML page, including on a WordPress page that is not integrated using our PilotPress plugin. 

      The one caveat I have is that certain platforms may block our Javascript code. They will block any remote code from executing on the page for security reasons. ClickFunnels is one such platform. There may be work-arounds for this behavior, so check with Support for your specific example.

      The referring page is only available if the browser sends the information in the header. We use our Tracking Script to read this information, so you should include it on any page you would like to track the referrer (the Tracking Script is included automatically on any of the Landing Pages you create in ONTRAPORT and on every page of a WordPress site you have integrated with PilotPress).  The Tracking Script is found in Administration > Tracking Script. Filling the field in ONTRAPORT is hit and miss because of the way the browsers pass the information through. The browser doesn't provide the referring page in several different circumstances including:

      • Links from HTTPS (secure) sites to HTTP landing pages will never have a referrer listed. This is part of the spec.
      • Internet Explorer users may not pass the referrer if the landing page has certain Javascript or Flash code.
      • iOS Mobile users will not have a referrer if they choose to open the link in Safari.
      • iOS 6 users who use the search method to find your link will not have a referrer listed
      • Browser add-ins such as "no-referrer" in Firefox will strip out the referrer

      All of this is beyond our control, of course, so it's not something we can change. 

    • Avatar
      Frank Hagan

      Hi Christiaan - thanks for the update! We do create the parameters on the fly, so if it isn't happening with our raw HTML Version code then something is wrong. Support should be able to sort it out!

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