One of the biggest challenges for marketers is how to effectively track their marketing activity to allow for better reporting and optimisation.
At FutureLearn we have created a tracking link convention to allow us to better understand the performance of different channels and content.
We built a URL tracking link automation tool on Course Creator.
What are tracking links?
When you create a marketing campaign for your course, you probably use different digital marketing channels to promote your offer to your audience. This may include posting on social media, writing blog posts, investing in paid acquisition like Google Adwords, or building links on external websites.
As you are investing time and money on creating your marketing campaigns, you want to know which of the promotional activities are most effective in bringing traffic to your site.
Using tracking links in your marketing campaigns allows you to see which of your marketing efforts are performing better and where your traffic is coming from, so you can prioritise these in terms of time and resources.
Using tracking links can also provide you with a better understanding of who your audience is and how they are reaching your website.
How to use the tool
Those with the Organisation Admin permission can find the tracking link tool on the admin page of each individual course run, under ‘Marketing’:
The tracking link builder generates tracking links that you can use for different social, blog, email and PR campaigns. For example:
To use the tool, you can simply copy the link that is appropriate for your activity.
This data will then appear in the Campaigns dataset, which is updated every 24 hours. You can find this by clicking on the Stats dashboard.
On top of saving time creating these tracking links, the tool also allows us to avoid human error, as tracking links are case sensitive, and ensure the data is cleaner and easier to understand when reporting.
When you check your ‘Campaigns’ dataset, you should see that using the tool helps to avoid repetitions and lots of split data.
For ease of use, the tool generates pre-populated fields for utm_campaign, utm_source and utm_medium. If you need to further customise your links – for example, by adding a country – you can add utm_content or utm_term parameters to the links generated by the tool.
The key thing to check is that you are using the same format as the automatically generated parameters – all letters should be lowercase and all words should be separated by an underscore.