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3 simple steps to building customised campaign URLs

Digital Comms Officer, Rebecca McCormick, shares her top tips about building customised campaign URLs and finding them in Google Analytics.

1a. What are customised campaign URLs?

Customised campaign URLs are destination URLs that have campaign tracking (or “parameters”) added onto the end of them. These “parameters” allow you to easily identify the campaigns that send traffic to your site, in Google Analytics.

1b. When do I need to use them?

Customised campaign URLs can be used for all types of online marketing activity that drive traffic to your site – ads, PPC, paid social, organic social, email marketing, etc.

For example, you might not want to just see your incoming traffic from Twitter, but whether that traffic is the result of a particular series of tweets. Or, you might not want to see the influx of traffic from a newsletter, but whether that traffic is the result of a particular banner or link in the email itself.

2. How do I build a customised campaign URL?

To build a customised campaign URL, you will need to use the Campaign URL Builder tool, filling out the fields below. You must fill out the first 4 fields which are shown below:


1. The “Website URL” is the full webpage URL you are directing traffic to.

2. The “Source” is the “referrer” – what specific source brought traffic to the webpage. This could be “google”, “newsletter1”, “twitter”, “exampleblog” etc.

3. The “Medium” is the “marketing medium” – the type of activity that brought traffic to the webpage. This could be “organic”, “email”, “banner”, “cpc”, “referral” etc.

4. The “Name” is how you want to name and identify your specific campaign, promotion, or product. This could be “notalone2017”, “givingtuesday”, “longestdaygolf” etc.

“Term” and “Content” are optional fields, often used when creating customised campaign URLs for paid search or ads. For when to use these fields, please see the definitions below:


For consistency, it’s best to fill in the fields using lowercase with no spaces and no special characters.

As you are filling in the fields, or making any changes to fields, the URL will be automatically updated below. Click “Copy URL” to copy the full URL. Alternatively, click “Convert URL to Short Link” to convert the full URL to a shortened Google one. Shortened URLs are useful when a full URL is difficult for users to remember, or looks confusing or unattractive for users. Another option is to convert your customised campaign URL using a URL shortening site.

3. How can I find data for my customised campaign in Google Analytics?

Log in to Google Analytics.

1. Select your chosen “view” and date range in the top right-hand corner. Navigate to: Acquisition > Campaigns > All campaigns.

2. Type the name of your campaign (that you used when creating the customised campaign URL) into the search function. If you can’t see your campaign, check that you entered it correctly or try typing in just part of the campaign name. You can also click “show rows” in the bottom right-hand corner, to show more rows.  Isolate your campaign from any others by clicking on it (the name, in blue).

3. You’ll then be able to see the data arranged by “source/medium” (based on the naming conventions that you entered when creating the customised URLs). You can isolate one “source/medium” from any others by clicking on it (the name, in blue). If a specific “source/medium” is not showing, try clicking “show rows” in the bottom right-hand corner, to show more rows.

4. If you want, you can then select the box next to your “source/medium” and click “plot rows” (just above it) to plot its performance over time. Or you can click “Export” at the top of the report, to export the data to a csv or pdf.

5. When exporting data, remember to click the “day”, “month” or “year” button, and select the metrics that you would like (using the drop-downs above the graph e.g., “Sessions” and “New Users”) to dictate format and content of your csv data.


Age UK Spreads the Warmth

Age UK have wrapped up the Telegraph Magazine with a thermal cover to highlight their ‘Spread the Warmth’ campaign. The advert, printed in grey thermal ink, will respond to the reader’s fingertips. As readers touch one of the items in the picture, it will turn orange. Through touch, the colour of the lamp, or phone in the picture changes helping to demonstrate how donations will help older people stay warm during winter. 
The inside and back page of the cover wrap will have more information, explaining the thinking behind the campaign and how Age UK will help older people in the winter. Not only does this engaging and innovative creative build awareness of Age UK but it also gets across the wider social issues in a fresh way.
You can see more about their campaign here.

Meet The Superhumans

With only three days to go until chaos descends upon the capital, the merest mention of the Olympic Games fills most Londoners – especially commuters – with dread. However, Channel Four are doing a great job to counteract the ever-growing panic by making us really excited about the Paralympics, set to start on the 29th August.

If you don’t feel proud about London 2012 I would recommend watching C4’s newest 90-second ad, Meet the Superhumans. Both Meet the Superhumans and Gallop (read about Gallop here) show just how advanced recent video ad campaigns have become, with every shot, setting and sound timed to perfection. They’ve responded to the rapid increase of digital and social media, where the buzz around a brand can snowball in seconds – but disappear just as rapidly. As Tom Tagholm, director of Meet the Superhumans, explains: “We knew we had to make some noise. We knew we had to add some edge and grit and attitude.”

It’s clear that the other aspects of C4’s online Paralympic presence have also been years in the making. Its specialised Twitter page has attracted over 45,000 followers. Its Facebook page posts regular video interviews and profiles. There is even a dedicated, up-to-date and compelling blog written by James Ballardie, That Paralympic Blog. It complements That Paralympics Show, which has been gracing our TV screens and gearing us up for the Games since 2010.

Channel Four’s flawless marketing and raw, honest portrayal of our Paralympic athletes makes me feel that there’s no better channel – or group of sporting heroes – to represent Great Britain. 

Unicef’s colourful fundraising campaign

Click here to see the new website created by Dulux aiming to ‘sell-off’ 16.7 million individual colours, raising money for Unicef. For a donation of £1 or more you can own one of the colours that can be viewed on a smartphone. Sorry if your name’s Rich Brown as that one’s already gone, but there’s still lots more to buy… Tempted?

Coal cares!

A small group of American medical experts and other activists took on the coal industry with the launch, yesterday, of the fake charitable initiative and website coal cares. With the offer of special branded inhalers to take the stigma out of childhood asthma and helpful debunking of the myths of alternative energy supply, it’s a potentially controversial way to generate media interest by lampooning the culture that it challenges.

This has been followed up with press releases quoting statistics from the American Lung Association showing that polution kills 13,000 people each year in the US and making explicit links to cancer prevelance.

Developed through the YesLab, the forum for developing media grabbing activist projects, and in tandem with the Yes Men, who have had high profile successes with similar stunts challenging big corporations such as Dow Chemical, Exxon and Halliburton, it would be interesting to know what the pick-up rate across US media has been. But meanwhile, I’ll leave you with an interesting fact from their Asthma Trivia section…

Piggy, from Lord of the Flies, didn’t die from an asthma attack
Piggy (the “fat kid”) did have terrible asthma, but he sure didn’t die from it! Rather, he perished from a boulder dropped on his head by a group of his frustrated peers.

I told the infi-knit machine …

that my Cat and Dog cuddling up to me made me feel warm – They’re like mini radiators! And look what I got in my inbox… my own bit of virtual scarf! Really cute campaign, has anyone else done it?

See yourself as a friend of Gromit?

To promote their new range of stamps the Royal Mail have a cheeky little device that allows you to design an Aardman, ‘Wallace and Gromit’ style character in your own likeness – that’s meant to be me on the right!

And then, my chums, you can enter to win a likeness of you and three others, handmade in the Aardman studios. Cracking competition Gromit.

Check it out here

Trouble coming up with an idea for your latest ad?

Then why not just copy a bit of what one of your nearest competitors is doing. It’s bound to make you stand out, especially if the execution is a bit rubbish too. Check out this video from Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Remind you of something?
And while I’m on the subject, what
are those posters and press ads about?

I guess it’s to do with beating against a tough barrier. Seems like a triumph of concept over execution to me; apart from the hand/fist I just don’t see what the other different things embossed against the metal actually are. And for me it feels like they’re beating against something permanent and impossible to break through. Perhaps there will be a second round where the breakthrough actually happens as seen on the intro on their website? I can see how in the pitch the creatives could sell the idea as connecting with aspects of what the charity is about, their brand values and so on. But for me the final products singularly fail to actually communicate them effectively. Or perhaps I’m just a bit dim?

Don’t go zombie

If you’ve spent more than 5 minutes talking to me you’ll likely have found out that I have only two real passions in life; graphic design and zombies.

I’m not really sure where it comes from, I think it’s buried deep down inside each and every one of us. I often find myself daydreaming about escape routes and best weapons to use in a hand-to-hand combat situation.
Anyway, imagine my delight when Virgin trains released their latest advertising campaign and based it all around zombies! Don’t go zombie is a great little game that uses google maps to find and hunt down the hordes of the undead and send them on their merry way up north somewhere. Yippeee.
Be warned it’s addictive.

Free Rice!

Really cute game/test/thing that donates 10 grains of rice for each correct answer you give.
It’s been going for over a year and it all adds up. They’re onto version 2.0.

My top score 480 grains. Can you beat me?

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