Improving Tracking Fidelity

Out of the box, SegMetrics is configured to track visitors and leads as they travel through your marketing funnels.

However, there are a number of edge cases that can keep SegMetrics from connecting visitors and leads together, and so in this article we'll go into how to increase the number of touch points that you can track with SegMetrics.

How SegMetrics Tracks Web Visitors

First, I think it’s important to explain how SegMetrics tracks visitors, and how it connects that information back to contacts in your CRM.

SegMetrics uses the following tracking strategy:

  1. Any visitor who comes to your site is assigned a Unique ID. This is saved in a cookie for 1 year.
  2. Any page visit that has a UTM value, email address, ad_id or Contact id in the query string is sent to SegMetrics with that visitor’s Unique ID.
  3. At this point, this “visit” is not connected to a lead in your CRM -- and we’ll keep these visits for 90 days until we can identify the Contact in the next step.
  4. If at any point a visitor has an email address or Contact id in the query string, we make an “Identify” call, where we connect that visitor’s Unique ID with that contact in your CRM. Multiple Unique IDs can be connected to a single Contact in your CRM, which means that you can track a single person over all their devices.
  5. Additionally, if the visitor enters their email address into any form, we send an Identify call to SegMetrics that connects the visitor’s Unique ID with that email address.

Based on the above, there are two things that are important when tracking your leads:

  • Make sure that your email and ad links have UTM values
  • Include the Contact Id in your email links to connect users over all their devices

4 Ways to Increase Tracking Fidelity

Here are four easy things you can do to significantly increase the percentage of contacts you’re able to correctly identify.

1) Make Sure You’re Using the Latest Version of the Pixel

This is the first step -- 8 months ago we released a new version of the pixel that was a major overhaul to the tracking system. If you’re not using the new pixel (seg.js) then we recommend updating your tracking code to get all the new features.

Once you upgrade to the new pixel, you will not need to update the code again. We only require updates between major versions, to protect backwards compatibility.

2) Improve Identification Rate for New Visitors

This is probably the most common issue -- the identify pixel doesn’t fire when someone enters their email address on a page, thus preventing them from connecting their Contact entry with their browser history.

This is most common on older mobile devices with slow cell connections, where the user enters their email address and immediately taps “Submit” before the pixel has a chance to be sent.

In the Tracking Pixel, we use “Beacon” technology to make sure that even after clicking submit that the tracking pixel fires. Beacons are supported in all major browsers on all devices, but older iOS devices may not support Beacons, at which point we fall back to standard pixel tracking.

Since we identify visitors when they enter their email address AND when we see an email address or ContactId in the URL string, the most surefire way to confirm that visitors are getting identified is to click “Pass contact’s information to the Thank You Page” in your forms.

This will make sure that SegMetrics is able to identify your visitors, even if they have connectivity issues or ad blockers installed.

3) Make Sure Your UTM Values are Configured Correctly

Another common issue we see with tracked links is that the UTM values are not configured correctly. We recommend using a tool like Google’s Campaign URL Builder to make sure that your UTM values are configured correctly.

The biggest issue we see with UTM values is forgetting the & or = in each UTM value.

UTM values MUST come after a question mark, and be connect with ampersands.



4) Add the Contact Id (and UTM Values) to Your Email Links

The modern user has an average of 3 devices that they access the web with, and tracking users through those devices is a challenge, especially if some devices (like their smartphone) are rarely used for optins, but still consumes content from emails.

To make sure that you’re able to track through all devices, we recommend adding the contact Id to the query string of your email links. This allows SegMetrics to connect the visitor’s Unique Id with their contact record in your CRM.

Depending on your CRM Integration, you'll want to use either the seg_cid (contact id) or email values to track users:

Adding additional UTM Values

If you want to go a little more advanced, you can also track your email clicks by adding in UTM values to those links, together with the contact Id. This allows you to see what the emails people are clicking, and even determine what the last email people clicked before they purchased was.

We recommend a format like the following for utm tracking in your emails:

Note that we’re including our source (broadcast), the medium (email), the campaign (what we’re promoting) and the date of the email, as well as the ContactId for identification.

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