How to Use UTM Parameters in Drip Email Campaigns for Best Results

Drip email campaigns are very popular and effective in engaging people with your content. Your visitors don’t need to stay on your website for very long to read what you have to say. They can read your material at their own leisure. But you also need to make sure that your emails are effective and people are taking action.

Your email service provider probably tells you what the open and click rates of your emails are. You can use tools like Google Analytics and KISSmetrics to monitor your conversion rate. To get the whole picture, you need to tie those conversions back to your emails and know what worked and what didn’t.

Applying UTM Parameters to Your Drip Campaigns

UTM parameters are ideal for this kind of tracking. A lot of companies already use them in emails. However, many people use them carelessly and only end up polluting their traffic reports. Today I am going to show you how to name UTM parameters for drip email campaigns for best results.

Just in case you didn’t know, Google URL Builder is a popular and free option to add UTM parameters to URLs.

Even though some of these guidelines are also valid for other email campaigns, I am going to focus only on drip email campaigns. I will be very specific and recommend the exact UTM parameters that can give you the best results.

utm_medium: “email”. Nothing else. Just “email”.

utm_source: If people on this list signed up for your email course, then use “course”. If you are sending trial sequence emails to people who recently signed up for your app, use “trial“. Don’t use “trial_course” or anything similar. People did not sign up for a course, they signed up for a trial. So that’s the source.

utm_campaign: This should include the name of the email course you are offering. If the course is about “How to manage social media campaigns?”, you could use “manage_social_media”. But this is only part of the campaign name.

Let’s say you have 5 emails in your course. You can use “manage_social_media-1″, “manage_social_media-2″, and so on. This will show you which emails within your drip campaign are doing better than others. You could use “manage_social_media-day1“, “manage_social_media-part1” or something similar, but I find adding “day” or “part” unnecessary.

utm_content: Use this for any call to action (CTA) text. If you have a link with anchor text say, “Share Now”, use “share_now” in utm_content for that link. This way you can test various call to action texts and find out what makes people click those links. This will show up in “Keyword” part of your Google Analytics reports.

If you follow the above conventions, your analytics reports will be clean, and you will know exactly which emails and which CTA performed the best.

Couple of Quick Tips:

    1. Did you notice how I am only using lower case alphabets with underscore? It’s a good convention to follow because UTM parameters are case sensitive. You don’t want to end up with “Email”, “email”, “E-mail” in your reports and then spend hours consolidating those.
    2. Save all your UTM parameters so that you can refer them when you create similar URLs in the future. You can either use spreadsheets or an app like Terminus to help you build and manage your UTM tagged URLs.

Wrapping It Up

UTM Parameters will take your Drip Campaigns to the next level and with it, you’ll be an effective marketer. The organizational abilities of UTM will allow you to gain greater insight and clarity to your analytics and help choose which of your high performing campaigns to pursue.

Do you have your own conventions to share? Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think.