I’m going to talk about lead source attribution — that is, figuring out which of your marketing campaigns is bringing you the most leads and sales so you can do more of whatever that is and less of the other stuff.
If you’re primarily advertising on the Google and Facebook platforms, you’re going to get a detailed view of results in those platforms themselves… but you’ll definitely want to watch our video on deep funnel conversion tracking, to make sure those platforms are getting all the right data. Otherwise the reports will be wrong and you won’t be able to make good decisions based on them. That video is linked in the resources section below.
That said, Facebook and Google advertising is hardly the only game in town. You may have all sorts of lead sources, including organic social media posts, blogging, offline advertising, podcasts, or who knows what else. Plus, you’ve got all your lead nurture activities: emails, retargeting and so on.
All those marketing efforts cost time and money, so it’s important to know which bear fruit so you can focus on those. Ontraport is going to be a huge help here.
The tool we’re going to use for this is the filtering tool inside of Performance Mode. But, before I get into that, there are two things you’ll want to know watching this video:
We covered the basics of Performance Mode in past videos — so watch those first if you haven’t already.
You need to know what UTM variables are, and you should be using them in your marketing. Again, we have a video on the topic of UTM variables, so make sure to check that out before continuing.
If you’re up on both of those things, and if you’re investing time and money into advertising, I’m about to blow your mind.
For the purposes of this video, I’m going to just load up an example automation that shows a typical lead nurture process. This automation adds people who opt in at the top, delivers an ebook and then sends some long term follow-up. At the bottom there's a goal that’s achieved when people buy that pulls them off this follow-up campaign and moves them into fulfillment. Basic stuff.
Now, the burning questions we want to answer here are:
“Where are my best leads and buyers coming from?” and “What marketing activities in my funnel are driving people to buy from me?”
The answers to these questions are surprisingly elusive for marketers, especially those who don’t use Ontraport. But we’re going to get to the bottom of both of them in the next few minutes.
So let’s take a look here. When I load this automation, since it’s already published, it’ll drop me into Performance Mode, which is exactly what I want.
In the Performance Mode Basics video, I covered what each of your reports are for, but to best show you lead source tracking, I’m going to use the contact flow report, which is the default. In it, you can see basic information about how many contacts entered and moved around your map during the selected date range. For now, I’ll switch this to “all time data,” so we see everyone who’s ever been on this automation map.
If you’ve turned on Tracking in your administration menu, which you can do in the advanced tab of your account administration area, along the left side, you’ll notice a “Tracking” dropdown here in automation performance mode. This lets you filter the results on this page based on each contact’s UTM variables.
Once you open up “Tracking,” you’ll see a fill-in-the-blank that says, “These are the blanks which the contacts on this map blank clicked.”
In the first blank, select “lead sources.” In the second blank, pick “first” so it reads: These are the lead sources which the contacts on this map first clicked.
What you’ll see below is the list of UTM lead sources that everyone on this map initially clicked before being added to your Ontraport account. You can see how many total clicks Ontraport has tracked coming from each lead source and how many of those people ended up on this map.
That’s pretty slick, because you can quickly see the sources that brought you these particular contacts. Since this map is a basic lead nurture map, it’s showing me the sources that brought me these new leads.
But it gets even cooler than that. When I click on my purchase goal down here, some new magic happens. Now, I’m only seeing the UTMs variables that brought me contacts who ACTUALLY ACHIEVED this goal, which in this case means they bought from me. That’s amazing, because I can easily compare which lead sources brought me the most actual buyers.
But wait, there’s more!
If I click the DETAILS link on any of these lead sources, I get to drill into that lead source and look at the results based on my other UTM variables. Ok, what does that mean?
Well, let’s say I have Facebook as a lead source and all my buyers came from Facebook. That’s great to know, but I run 100 different campaigns on Facebook and it would be nice to know which specific campaigns are bringing me these buyers.
And that’s exactly what this shows me. I can choose “campaign” here, or any of the other UTMs — like medium, term, content — and see these results broken down in detail.
This is insanely powerful. As we discussed in other videos, Ontraport is going to have your most accurate tracking data, much more so than Facebook or Google, so this is really useful information for making good marketing decisions.
But, of course, there is more.
If I go back to the top, you’ll remember that there’s this dropdown that lets you choose between first and last. What is that all about?
Well, as you hopefully learned in our video on UTM tracking — the link for this is below this video — Ontraport stores both the FIRST UTM that we track for each contact and we also store the MOST RECENT UTM, which we call the LAST UTM. We do that because very often a single contact will click on several marketing pieces throughout their relationship with a business.
They may click an ad, get added to your list, then click some emails, and maybe click another ad later on, then another email and FINALLY they buy from you. If you’ve got things set up right — and you should! — every one of those links they click have UTM variables on them, and Ontraport will track them all.
The first time Ontraport sees a UTM variable in a link that a contact visits, it”ll put those values in both the FIRST and LAST fields in the contact’s record. After that first time, if it sees the same contact clicking a link with a different UTM value, it’ll l leave the FIRST UTM fields alone — that one will never change — but it will update the LAST UTM fields with the most recent value.
Ok, but why? Well, so the system can create this report.
It’s important to know where your new leads are coming from, and we just covered that, but it’s ALSO important to know what marketing pieces are actually driving leads to achieve your real goals: signups, purchases, upgrades, referrals and so on.
For example, maybe you got 100 leads to opt in for an ebook and they all came from Facebook and Google. We can see that using the report we already looked at.
But maybe they didn’t buy just yet, so after they opt in, over the next four months they’re going to go through your 25-email follow-up campaign. And they’re also getting a bunch of retargeting ads on Facebook and YouTube.
Would it be nice to know which of those emails or retargeting ads actually push people over the edge and gets them to buy?
Well, that’s exactly what this report tells you. It answers the question “What are the LAST UTMss that we tracked for each contact before they achieved a particular goal?” So, if the goal is a purchase, as it is here, you’ll see the LAST marketing piece they clicked before buying your stuff.
Just select “lead source” at the top of the tracking sidebar and LAST in this second dropdown. The system will ask you to click on the goal that you want to report on, so I’ll click on our purchase goal.
And now, like magic, you can see exactly what marketing pieces drove people to finally make this purchase. And like before, you can drill in even further to see which campaign or medium they came from, and so on.
It may be that one of your emails just kills it, or that a particular video in your retargeting campaign is spot on. That sort of information is how you find breakthroughs that can really take your business to the next level.
Ok, I think you get the idea now, but just a few notes before we wrap this up.
First, you can probably see that getting strategic with how you set up your automation maps is going to be important, so you can get the data you want to see. This data gets collected as it happens, and you can’t create new automations to capture conversions that happened in the past. You want to set these maps up IN ADVANCE so that later on you can come back and check out these reports. I made another video about creating automations specifically for reporting, so check that out to get some ideas.
Second, I mentioned being able to see which emails are driving performance. In order to get that data, all the links in your emails need to have UTM variables in them. We make that super easy by doing it for you automatically, but you have to check a box in your emails to tell us to do it.
Just open your email, make sure this tracking box is checked, and we’ll automatically add the correct UTMs to each email.
And of course, as I mentioned, all this depends on you using UTMs in every link you post. Your social media posts, your ads, everything. That’s standard best practice for all online marketers, so if you’re not doing it, it’s time to start getting into the habit. You don’t have to use them all, all the time. But lead source, campaign and content really should always be used. Again, we have other videos that show how to set this up
Ok, we’ve just covered some of the most powerful and unique reporting features that Ontraport has to offer advanced marketers.
Your gears are probably already turning about different ways you can combine triggers, goals, reports, and UTMs to get insanely detailed reporting and start getting better info. And with it, you’ll be making smarter decisions that will really move the needle for your business.