In part one of this two-part post about source tracking we looked at the who, why, what, and a little bit of how to understand where your webinar registrants came from.
This post is simply a pile of ideas – in no particular order — for getting creative and maximizing how source tracking can make your smarter faster.
Oh, and there’s one smarty-pants idea at the very end. Enjoy!
Easily add source tracking to any invitation URL with “&source=Roger” (minus the quotation marks and Roger, of course).
To be sure, IF you can set up the source tracking in your webinar software when you’ve got your “event producer” hat on, that’s the best way to handle it. But if you need to quickly alter an invitation URL, simply appending &source=ThisWhateverItIs will do the trick.
Use plan-language with the source tracking IDs you choose.
Why have a cryptic code like “BR549” when you can just as easily use an identifier that you know what is without needing a translator? The identifier may be broad (e.g., &source=Email) or specific (e.g., &source=TwitterInfluencer3), but unless you’ve got a business reason for masking what you call the identifier
Know the character limit you’re working with.
Some systems are rather limited (ours is 50 characters). You don’t want to use “TwitterInfluencer3” only to end up with “TwitterInflue” and be missing something useful.
Double check that your webinar’s source tracking matches the destination database.
Some webinar promoters have their webinar data directly connected to their CRM, LMS, or other data store, but most do not. That means you’re going to have to import the webinar information you collect into wherever you’re going to use that information…and if what you use for your webinar doesn’t match what’s already in the destination database, you’ll create problems for yourself.
Combine source tracking with registration or polling questions for additional insight.
As noted in part one, the advantage of using a source tracking code is that it doesn’t lie or forget. However, imagine wanting to later “ask your data” a multivariate question like, “Of the registrants who came from <this trade publication>, how many answered ‘B’ on the first poll?”
From the perspective of guiding a participant’s experience, you could ask two polling questions back to back, but it’d be cleaner (and more accurate) to strategically combine how you use to tools at your disposal.
Give sales reps and/or partners their own code.
Some webinar systems limit the number of source tracking codes you can produce (we don’t), but assuming you have some flexibility, here are a few ways to get creative by giving every sales rep (or partner organization or employee or…) their own unique identifier.
- Test passive invitation sources. A favorite tactic of mine is to give sales and service reps an invitation link to put in their email footer…now every email they send is in front of more eyeballs.
- Run a contest. Who drives the most registrants? Prize!
- Test by drop and/or date. Maybe you drop an email to your house list more than once. Maybe you hit up your LinkedIn channel six times over the course of a few weeks. Or have multiple Twitter profiles. Or are testing different headlines or tweets.
Use the “Goldilocks Principle” to determine the right number of sources to track.
How many sources should you track? The number that is just right, and that’s hard to answer for you.
Having fewer makes it easier, but lacks explanatory power when you want to understand anything more than broad categories (e.g., email, web, social media).
Having more enables you to be granular with understanding where webinar registrants are coming from, but you could end up with so many that it’s too messy to mess with.
Neither are right or wrong and have everything to do with your organization’s philosophy and intent for how you’ll use the insight you’ll derive.
TIP: one option for managing more sources is to use naming convention that helps you both be specific and see the broader categories. For instance, if you wanted to use the ‘track every sales person’s referrals’ idea above, you could use “Sales_RogerCourville, Sales_ReneeConlee, Sales_RobinHouser, etc.” to preserve the specificity while making easy to understand “sales” as a category.
And for something a bit mischievous, replace someone else’s source tracker
I promised you one smarty-pants idea, but it’s actually when you are the registrant for someone else’s webinar. Find their source identifier in the invitation URL (again, that’s the part after the equals sign in “&source=”) and put in something unique or funny. I’ve put in my name their so somebody on their marketing team knew it was me, and I’ve also used silly stuff like “VoteFor…” or “WeAreTheKnightsWhoSayNi.” Note that I actually rarely do this…I’m not really trying to create havoc for the recipient. J
The bottom line
The above list could actually be much longer. If you have a great example, drop it into the comments – we’d love to have you contribute!
The point, though, is that with a bit of creativity knowing where a registrant came from could be a useful bit of insight for nearly anyone hosting webinars, webcasts, or virtual classes. Like any tool, it’s not helping you create value if you don’t use it.
Here’s to growing together one day at a time!