UTM parameters allow organizations to track and analyze the sources of their platform's traffic. Using UTM parameters you can test what modes of communication are most effective among your supporters, a/b test the performance of different versions of text or the placement of calls to action, or test which ad campaigns produce the lowest cost per click.
ControlShift supports our internal sources and buckets tracking, and we also support UTM parameters which are used by Google Analytics and other analytics tools.
ControlShift supports the following UTM parameters (with descriptions of their generally intended usage) 1 :
utm_source: Used to track which site the user is coming from.
utm_medium: Used to track which channels/what type of traffic the user is coming from (e.g. social media, email, ads, partners, etc.).
utm_campaign: Used to track which specific 'marketing' campaign the user is coming from (e.g. a specific blast email that was sent to your list, a specific facebook post, a specific ad campaign).
utm_term: Usually used to keep track of keywords that you're targeting in paid ad campaigns. (Some organizations also use this to track which individual link within a blast email was used.)
utm_content: Usually used to track the specific element that the user interacted with, like the specific CTA that was clicked, especially when a/b testing.
While these are the general uses of each parameter, as an organization you can decide how you want to use the different UTM terms.
When sharing links with your supporters, you can use any or all of these parameters in your sharing URLs. To include UTM parameters in your URLs add
?utm_parameter=[value] to the end of the URL you're directing supporters to. You can use multiple UTM parameters in the URL by separating them with an ampersand (&). For example: https://demo.controlshiftlabs.com/petitions/repair-the-yellow-brick-road-1?utm_medium=hc&utm_source=utmparametersdoc. You can also use UTM parameters in conjunction with ControlShift's source and bucket tracking codes.
While you can set these parameters manually for any link that you send to your supporters, some of these parameters will be automatically set by the platform. In particular:
utm_source: When a user shares a petition or event on social media or via WhatsApp, we'll automatically set the
utm_sourcevalue to "facebook." "twitter," or "whatsapp."
If your organization would like to use different default sources when someone shares petitions or events on social media, you can set different sources by going to the org admin homepage > Settings > Social Media. From here, enter the source codes you'd like to use for any of the social media channels. Any fields that you don't override will use the default value.
utm_mediumparameter is not used by default. However, organizations can specify a default
utm_mediumvalue that will be used whenever a petition/event is shared on social media. To add a
utm_mediumvalue, go to the org admin homepage > Settings > Social Media.
utm_campaignparameter will persist through the sharing step. This means that if a user clicks a link that includes the
utm_campaignparameter, then uses the social sharing buttons on the event/petition page, the URL that's shared on social media will include the original
utm_campaignvalue, even if the
utm_sourcevalues were updated.
Most organizations use UTM parameters so that they can analyze platform traffic in their chosen third-party tool. If your organization has not yet set up analytics on your platform, you can go to the org admin homepage > Settings > Integrations to begin sending data to Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Matomo, and/or Segment. More information about these integrations can be found in this help center, but please note that none of the tools available on the Integrations page are included under our GDPR DPA. We strongly encourage all organizations to independently assess the security of these third-party tools.
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