Posted: April 17, 2017 at 5:11 pm, Last Updated: August 28, 2017 at 2:06 pm
Need to generate some campaign-tagged URLs? Please try the Mason Campaign URL Builder Web App.
All parameters should use only lower-case characters.
Google Analytics is case-sensitive, so capitalization matters. Using all lower-case will is a clear and unambiguous rule which will make it easier to keep our campaign tagging parameters consistent in the long-term.
Avoid using spaces if possible. If you must use spaces, use plus signs (+) in place of spaces in your parameters.
Plus signs will appear in GA report as spaces. Although using spaces directly will sometimes work as desired, in other cases spaces can cause display issues in your Google Analytics reports.
For links provided in emails, the medium parameter should always be “email”.
The source parameter should indicate what unit/department is sending the email.
You should indicate your unit (and department, if applicable) in the source parameter, in order to disambiguate the analytics data of sessions resulting from campaign link clicks from your emails other departments on campus. The recommended method is to use the abbreviation for your unit, delimited by a hyphen, followed by the department or group withing that unit (if applicable), delimited by a hyphen. For example: “chss”, “chss-psychology”, “admissions”, etc.
This enables you to easily filter the data in a few different ways:
- If you filter for just the unit and department (i.e. “chss-psychology”), you would see all of the aggregated data for all the Psychology Department’s email links.
- If you filter just the unit (i.e. “chss”), you would see the aggregated data for all of CHSS’s email links.
The campaign parameter is up to the department, but remember to use something relatively unambiguous, and to check the campaign reports on the websites to which you are planning on directing campaign links, to ensure that you are not using the same campaign parameter as another unit/department. Alternately, when viewing your campaign reports in Google Analytics, be sure to filter first for your desired source parameter to ensure that you are seeing just your data.
Content Parameter (optional)
The content parameter can be used to specify either the individual email or the group of related emails containing the link.
Specifying different links for each individual email is time-consuming to set-up, and does not necessarily provide a good ROI. But it does give you very granular information about which specific emails are generating clicks.
On the other hand, you may find that you only need to include basic information about the general type of email in the content parameter. For example: if your department sends out emails for inquiries, applications, etc. for each of your programs with links to the program page in question, it may be enough to set the content parameter to “inquiry”, “apply”, etc. You can then use the “Landing Page” field in Google Analytics to disambiguate the specific email in your campaign reports.
- if you want to label our analytics data distinctly for each individual email you send the content parameter could be something like “anthropology-inquiry-20170425”.
- if you don’t need to label links for each individual email, you could use something like “inquiry”.
Please note: if you use dates in your content parameter, it is recommended that you format the dates in the order shown (YYYYMMDD). In this way the dates are indicated from the largest division (year) to the smallest (day) so that you can easily search for emails sent within a specific year, a specific month, or on a specific date.