This post is one part of a series on set­ting up the Mar­ket­ing Chan­nels reports in Site­Cat­a­lyst. The Mar­ket­ing Chan­nels report is a fan­tas­tic report because it will show you how 100% of your traf­fic (owned, earned and paid) is com­ing to your site and con­vert­ing. The pre­vi­ous posts addressed nam­ing your chan­nels and set­ting up your search chan­nels. This post will focus on set­ting up your cam­paign channels.

The Mar­ket­ing Chan­nel rules can auto-bucket cam­paign track­ing codes by look­ing for unique cri­te­ria in the query string para­me­ter or track­ing code. An Adobe best prac­tice rec­om­men­da­tion is to use chan­nel pre­fixes in your cam­paign track­ing codes.

Campaign Tracking Code Best Practices

Using eas­ily iden­ti­fi­able track­ing codes will make life eas­ier on your ana­lysts using the reports, but also allow for the cam­paigns to be auto-sorted into dif­fer­ent cam­paign chan­nels. For exam­ple, logic in the Mar­ket­ing Chan­nels pro­cess­ing rules can look for all track­ing codes that start with ‘EMC’ and push them to the ‘Email’ chan­nel. This hap­pens auto­mat­i­cally on all incom­ing track­ing codes on live data, so we can check on chan­nel level data through­out the day with­out hav­ing to upload new lookup tables or try­ing to deci­pher cryp­tic track­ing codes.

Ide­ally each major cam­paign chan­nel should have its own unique chan­nel pre­fix pre-appended to track­ing codes. Think ‘BN’ for Ban­ner, ‘PS’ for Paid Search, ‘AF’ for Affil­i­ate, etc. Once this in place we can start to cre­ate rules for each mar­ket­ing channel.

Email Channel Rule

Cre­ate a sep­a­rate rule for each cam­paign chan­nel, the cam­paign chan­nel rules should go just below the search rules in the Mar­ket­ing Chan­nel Man­ager. Remem­ber the order of the rules is vital, since each click-through into the site will flow through the rules until it find a match and is sorted out.

After you have cre­ated rules for each chan­nel, cre­ate a catch-all rule for ‘Other Cam­paigns.’ This Chan­nel will essen­tially catch all incom­ing traf­fic that has a track­ing code but does not match any of the chan­nel rules above it. Even if you think you have all your track­ing codes using a pre­fix I rec­om­mend set­ting this rule just in case. 90% of sites I’ve set Mar­ket­ing Chan­nel rules up on for­got about cer­tain codes, had legacy track­ing codes still being used by vis­i­tors, acci­den­tally used incor­rect codes or needed to trouble-shoot track­ing codes show­ing up in ‘Other Campaigns.’

To cre­ate the ‘Other Cam­paigns’ rule, just set the rule to ‘Query String Para­me­ter x Exists’, and set the rule below all the other cam­paign chan­nel rules.

Other Campaigns Rule

If you don’t have all of your mar­ket­ing teams using chan­nel pre­fixes on track­ing codes yet, using ‘Other Cam­paigns’ is a good way to start using Mar­ket­ing Chan­nel reports imme­di­ately; have all cam­paign traf­fic going to the ‘Other Cam­paigns’ chan­nel, with the goal of even­tu­ally putting pre­fix stan­dards in place at your com­pany to auto-bucket chan­nels. In the mean­time you can upload clas­si­fi­ca­tions to sep­a­rate out cam­paign chan­nels under ‘Other Cam­paigns,’ but start using Mar­ket­ing Chan­nel reports now to get the full view of 100% of incom­ing traf­fic to the site.

The next post will explain the rest of the Mar­ket­ing Chan­nel rules.