How to Use UTM Parameters in Marketo

This video explains how to capture, create and use UTM parameters in Marketo. If you aren’t familiar with how to use UTM parameters in general, start by reading the UTM Quick Guide.

How to Capture the UTM on Marketo Forms

Prerequisite – Make sure you have the Marketo fields to hold the UTM parameters.

If you don’t have the fields yet, you’ll need to create them. Always start with the field in your CRM first. Once you create them in Salesforce (or your CRM), they will automatically be created in Marketo and ensures they will be mapped to the CRM correctly.

Step 1 – Add the hidden fields to your form.

Add the field that will hold the UTM parameter. The name of your field may be different than the actual UTM parameter, but that’s okay.

  • Change the field type to “Hidden”. Form pre-fill should be enabled. Click the “Edit” link next to Autofill this hidden field.
  • Under “Get Value from,” select “URL Parameter” from the drop-down list.
  • The parameter name is whatever UTM parameter you are using in the URL, such as “utm_medium”.

If a person comes to this landing page directly (meaning there are no UTM parameters in the URL bar) and then fills out the form, nothing will populate in that hidden field. However, if you would like to add a value for leads that come to the page directly, you can add a default value such as “Direct” or “Not Gathered”. This is a useful feature if you are considering how this value might be overwritten or preserved by future form fills.

UTM Autofill screen shot

How to Create the URL for Sharing

Adding UTM parameters allows you to create multiple unique URLs that all direct to a single landing page.  You can add those UTM parameters manually or by using an online URL builder, such as Google’s URL builder. Marketo also gives you the option to create them right on the landing page.

Step 2 – Create the URL with the parameters

Go to the landing page and right-click to select “URL Tools > URL Builder”. Marketo will allow you to create UTM parameters for any of the hidden fields on the form from that landing page. Simply type in the values you would like to appear for each UTM parameter and then click URL. Copy and paste the URL to share it.

I have had problems with this from time to time in Marketo, especially if your field name is different from the URL parameter itself. Just test this out with your own UTM parameters. If you experience any issues, you may choose to create the URL with parameters manually or by using the Google builder. It doesn’t really matter how you create the URL, just that the correct parameters are there.

What if the person doesn’t fill out a form?

UTM parameters are great when a person fills out a form on the specific page you have linked to, however, if they navigate to other pages the UTM values disappear from the URL and will not be captured by form fills on any other page.

Marketo records the very first page that a person visits, including the UTM parameters in the system level field “Original Referrer”. You can use this field and its values in smart lists and smart campaigns.

Marketo only records this information for the ORIGINAL website visit. So if a person visits your website directly, with no UTM parameters in the URL, but later on visits a page with UTM parameters, it doesn’t record that. Regardless, it’s a great tool to search for leads that are influenced by your shared links.

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