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Rewriting Campaign Information in Google Analytics: ClickDimensions Example

Background

When reviewing the campaign traffic being tracked in the Mason roll-up, we noticed a large segment of campaign-tagged traffic which we could not identify.

  • The traffic started around March 2017, with some very minor activity prior to that (probably testing);
  • The traffic was being tagged as: medium=email; source=ClickDimensions;
  • the campaigns had names such as: “RC: ESS Plus 18 19 Fall”, “RC: ESS 19 20 Fall”, “RC: SESS 18 Fall”;
  • The vast majority of traffic was to the core website, and a small percentage was to other sites (admissions, financial aid, honorscollege, catalog – but then also a number of different academic websites: biology, cos, chhs.gmu.edu, rht.gmu.edu)

Account: Mason Google Analytics Roll-Up
Property: Mason Google Analytics Roll-Up
View: [PROD] Mason Roll-Up 2.0 (2015-12-08)
Report: Acquisition -> Campaigns -> All Campaigns
Date Range: Feb 1, 2017 – Oct 30, 2018
Primary Dimension: Source/Medium
Report Segment: ClickDimensions / email
Primary Dimension: Campaign

Upon researching the issue, we determined that this traffic appeared to come from the Microsoft Dynamics CRM and ClickDimensions, which is the marketing automation software that integrates with Microsoft Dynamics. (More info: http://blog.clickdimensions.com/google-analytics-utm-tracking-and-clickdimensions-emails/.)

Secondary Dimension: Landing Page

Because this source was only indicated as “ClickDimensions”, and because the incoming traffic didn’t appear to be strongly associated with any particular school/college, we were not able to immediately identify who was sending it from the analytics alone.

Ultimately it was determined that this traffic was sent by a contractor for Enrollment Management on behalf of undergraduate admissions.

With our new knowledge, we can now fix the campaign-tagging for this traffic.

Solution

The medium (email) already meets our standard.
The source does not indicate the unit/department sending the communication.
The campaign names are at the discretion of the department, and they are happy with how these are named.

Since the only change we need to make is the campaign source, rather than ask the contractor to re-tag all of their email links, we can use an advanced filter in Google Analytics to fix the campaign tagging.

Now let’s see the effect.

Report: Acquisition -> Campaigns -> All Campaigns
Primary Dimension: Campaign
Report Segment: RC: ESS 19 20 Fall
Plot Rows: “admissions-undergraduate-rnl/email”, “ClickDimensions/email”
Date Range: Feb 1, 2018 – Mar 27, 2018

Note the date on which the campaign tagging filter was applied and began to rewrite the incoming campaign data.
Open the annotations window, select the March 1st annotation (“config: added filter to rewrite RNL campaign source from ‘ClickDimensions’ to ‘admissions-undergraduate-rnl'”)

Note that we are only rewriting the campaign source if the campaign name(s) meet certain criteria. This is to ensure that we don’t accidentally rewrite any campaign sources for other departments which may use ClickDimensions in the future.

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