Campaign Tagging Best Practices | Part 3: Document EVERYTHING

Home stretch, here we go. By now, you’ve defined the elements you need to track as part of your marketing campaigns and you’re now an expert at how to combine those elements into parameters and attach them to your inbound URLs. Now it’s time to talk about documentation. We talked about the need to be religious with this – and you know what’s really good at documenting things for others to read from, understand, and follow? Every religion. Bet you were wondering where that was going…all makes sense now.

It’s boring but what will be more painful is trying to decipher and guess about your inbound traffic without a key to reference. And the way we’ll work through it, your method to document will also serve as the method to build your URL parameters – so stick with me.

Whether you’re Microsoft shop, or Google Apps are your jam – use a spreadsheet to setup your elements, create dropdowns to keep everything standardized and input formulas to concatenate (build) the elements into your campaign tags. Creating this as a shared resource but standardizing the dropdowns will ensure teams leverage the same structure, while empowering different groups to utilize this campaign tagging on their own. Here are the steps you need to follow…

    1. Create an “Elements Definitions” tab where you define your elements for anyone looking at your sheet
    1. Create a second tab called “Element Dictionary” to document all of those elements in both the friendly names and abbreviated versions
    1. Create a third tab called “Tag Elements” – you’ll setup the same structure across the top as your “Element Dictionary” tab, but each row will be a unique tracking code that you’d use in your marketing campaigns
  1. Your last tab, “Tag Builder,”  will build the campaign tags by inserting the row from your “Tag Elements” tab and combining them into a single string for your value, and appending the relevant key to create your URL parameter

Now the hard part – driving internal adoption. I’d recommend first consulting with the administrator of your web analytics platform. Share the campaign structure you plan on using to make sure there aren’t any negative impacts to the existing implementation of your web analytics platform. From there, choose a couple team members who you know will be on board – present the new structure, method for building URLs, and pitch the simplicity of your documentation. Once you gain buy-in from that group, move on to the more difficult ones. You know exactly who they are. You can already hear them whining about change. If you’ve built enough consensus around them, they’ll have no choice but to convert to the new religion you’re preaching. See what I did there?

Do you have any tips for documenting processes or driving organizational adoption? Let us know how you got it done.

And now you’re definitely ready for the campaign tagging template. It combines everything into a ready to use excel file for all your tagging needs.


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