Mistake 1: Launching marketing campaigns without using UTM parameters
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
— Albert Einstein
Who am I: A B2B marketer with a passion to work with startups solving big problems and looking for hyper growth. I currently lead demand generation at VWO . Previously, I was part of Pipemonk (acquired by Freshdesk) as a full-stack marketer for 2.5 years. I spent a couple of months with Typito and helped them with initial traction using inbound marketing. My first job was as a content strategist and marketer at National Entrepreneurship Network.
Why this post: This is an effort to document and share mistakes as I experiment, fail, succeed and grow as a marketer. There is no dearth of best practices blogs and lessons online. But places where we can learn from first hand failure? Few. I hope this helps you make fewer mistakes and learn faster.
What kind of mistakes will I share: Only first-hand lessons from my own mistakes. I will also share a tactical overview of functional areas around which these mistakes were made (across SEO, content marketing, product marketing, paid marketing, team building and more).
I will start by sharing one mistake a day. All posts are added to a publication here.
Launching marketing campaigns without using UTM parameters
UTM parameters are simple tags you can add to a website URL. These tags help you track the link clicks and related analytics in Google Analytics (GA). Example: https://vwo.com/?utm_source=medium.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=blog_mistakes
When I launched some of the first marketing campaigns at Pipemonk, I forgot to use any UTM parameters. Even though I had read some blog posts about the tags, I had undermined their importance. I went about doing content promotion, guest posting and sending email campaigns — all without using proper UTM parameters in the links.
Though we noticed a bump in the total traffic coming to our site, I wasn’t able to double down on the success. When I tried digging into Google Analytics to see what type of messaging worked in which channel, it was effectively a black box. The traffic with source as “Direct” was also increasing every week (it reached upwards of 45%).
GA tracks visitors from third party referral sites by default but the insights are not actionable without proper context. UTM parameters give you that additional powerful context.
No matter how biased to action your culture is in the early stages, some basic marketing attribution is important. The simplest and free way to track your marketing efforts is using the UTM parameters.
The Definitive Guide To Campaign Tagging in Google Analytics is a must read if you are new to the concept. Here’s a handy Google Spreadsheet with scripts to generate links with UTM parameters within seconds.
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