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Should You Label Individual, Specific Communications in Your Campaign-Tagging Schema?

Background

Many users feel that they should individually label each campaign-tagged link in their marketing communications to specify the specific email/post in which a link was provided. While this is an understandable thought, and not inherently wrong, it increases complexity and is typically not necessary.

Example: Around Mason

Account: Mason Office of Communications and Marketing 01
Property: www2.gmu.edu
View: [PROD] www2.gmu.edu – default 2.0 (2017-06-25)
Report: Acquisition -> Campaigns -> All Campaigns
Date Range: Aug 1, 2018 – Oct 30, 2018
Report Segment: around mason

Note that the campaign-tagging for the links in this campaign are not identified by individual email. Nevertheless, it is quite clear from the data when each email was sent.

Though there are undoubtedly exceptions, one can be reasonably confident what traffic was generated by which email.

Alternatives

Better solutions for tracking activity by date might be:

  • CHSS: [content field] 30 days out, 10 days out, etc.
  • CVPA: [content field] upcoming this month, upcoming this week, etc.

The advantages to the above methods are that you still get data on link performance by date, relative to a specific date/event, without having to label specific individual dates for each communication and then calculate their closeness to the events in question when reporting.

Conclusion

Since visits to the website generally occur close in time to the sending of the email or posting of the link, it is usually not necessary to specify the date of the communication in your campaign-tagging. However, it can be done if it makes sense to your business process.

If you intend to include the specific date in your campaign-tagging schema, consider the following techniques:

  • use the “term” field to store the date;
    The term field is the least used campaign-tagging field, so putting the specific date here frees-up your other fields for relevant data.
  • Use a date format that sorts correctly numerically, in order to simplify reporting
    Example: YYYYMMDD

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