UTM Defined

A UTM, or Urchin Tracking Module, is a simple code appended to a URL to track the effectiveness of online marketing campaigns. UTM parameters are added to the end of a URL, allowing businesses and marketers to monitor the performance of their links and understand which marketing efforts are driving traffic, conversions, and other key metrics.

By adding UTM parameters to the URLs, marketers can gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of their marketing efforts, identify which channels are performing well, and make data-driven decisions to optimize their campaigns for better results.

The data collected through UTM tracking can be analyzed in web analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, to measure the success of marketing campaigns and allocate resources more efficiently.

How to Use it in a Sentence

We implemented UTM tracking for our latest email marketing campaign to better understand which newsletters are driving the most website traffic and conversions.

Common UTM FAQs

The term "Urchin Tracking Module" has historical origins that can be traced back to a web analytics software called Urchin, which was developed by a company named Urchin Software Corporation. Google acquired Urchin in 2005 and rebranded the software as Google Analytics.

The "Tracking Module" in UTM refers to the functionality within Urchin (and later in Google Analytics) that allowed users to track and analyze website traffic, particularly the effectiveness of various marketing campaigns.

First, identify the key marketing channels you want to track, such as social media, email campaigns, paid advertising, push notifications, or affiliate links. Then create unique UTM parameters for each channel, specifying the source (e.g., Facebook, Twitter), medium (e.g., social, email), and campaign name (e.g., summer_sale_2023). These parameters are appended to the respective URLs in the marketing materials, such as social media posts, email newsletters, or ad banners.

Once the UTM parameters are in place, you can closely monitor the traffic generated by each link using web analytics tools like Google Analytics or OneSignal. Now you can analyze data such as the number of visitors, conversion rates, bounce rates, and revenue generated from each campaign! Use this data to assess the effectiveness of different marketing channels and campaigns, identify strengths and weaknesses, optimize strategies, and allocate resources more efficiently.

Let's say you are running a social media marketing campaign on Facebook to promote a new product.

The link you want to share with your audience is:


To track the performance of this specific campaign, you would add UTM parameters to the URL. After appending the UTM parameters, the link would look like this:


In this example:

"utm_source=facebook" indicates that the source of the traffic is Facebook.

"utm_medium=social" specifies that the medium of the campaign is social media.

"utm_campaign=summer_sale_2023" labels the campaign as "summer_sale_2023" to differentiate it from other campaigns.

When users click on this link, the UTM parameters are sent to your web analytics tool, such as Google Analytics, where you can analyze the data to understand the effectiveness of your Facebook social media campaign in driving traffic to your product page.

No, UTM parameters do not directly impact SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Search engines like Google typically ignore UTM parameters when crawling and indexing web pages.

Yes, some best practices for UTM tracking include being consistent with naming conventions, avoiding spaces and special characters in UTM values, using lowercase letters, and keeping a record of your UTM parameters for future reference.

It is a good practice to use UTM parameters throughout the duration of a campaign. This allows you to consistently track the campaign's performance and accurately analyze data. Once the campaign is complete, you can still access historical data in your analytics tool.

Yes! OneSignal has simplified tracking subscription and notification events. OneSignal allows you to use UTM tags with application-level settings to help you define and automatically apply these tags to all your push notifications with a single click. Now you can unlock insights like how many notifications were received, the actions taken on the native prompt, or how many people are clicking your push notifications.

For a more detailed breakdown of using UTMs to analyze your campaigns, check out our guide!

The repetitive task of copying and pasting your tracking URLs when attaching them to your push notifications can become exceptionally monotonous.

With OneSignal’s UTM tagging, you no longer have to worry about...

  • Manually entering UTM tags every time, for every URL

  • Syntax errors

  • Maintaining consistency across different teams and different campaigns

Use OneSignal to create meaningful push notifications, add UTM tags to your URLs, and track campaign effectiveness… all from one platform.