When creating a campaign or flow, you can have Klaviyo automatically add UTM tracking parameters to links so that you can see the results in Google Analytics. It is possible to customize these at the account-level. This will allow you to alter the default UTM parameters we attach to links or add any additional custom UTM parameters. UTM tracking allows you to view the source, medium, and specific Klaviyo content your customer engaged with.
In this article, you will learn how UTM tracking works for email and SMS, what you can track with UTM parameters, and how this helps you gain insights on customer engagement and the performance of your content.
What is UTM tracking?
UTM is an acronym that stands for Urchin Tracking Method. Essentially, UTM tracking uses snippets of code, called UTM parameters, that are applied to your brand’s URLs to track how customers reach your site. The data and insights that result from this tracking will help you to better understand how customers interact with your brand across many different marketing channels.
You have the ability to toggle UTM tracking on for email campaigns and flows within Klaviyo. For SMS, you can manually create UTM parameters and track messages using Google Analytics.
Configure Your Account's Default UTM Tracking
To customize your account's default UTM tracking settings, navigate to Account > Settings > UTM Tracking. Here, you will see the three default UTM parameters that Klaviyo automatically tracks:
- utm_source For a campaign, utm_source is the specific list or segment you are sending to; for a flow, it is the name of the flow.
- utm_medium Utm_medium is the channel through which you send content (email or SMS).
- utm_campaign Utm_campaign is the exact message you are tracking (a campaign or specific email/SMS within a flow).
Utm_source and utm_campaign have dynamic campaign and flow values, meaning the actual value that you see in Google Analytics will vary based on the individual email.
Additionally, you can click + Add a custom UTM parameter to add any custom UTMs that you would like to track on your campaign and flow emails, like utm_content, for example. You can add up to five custom UTM parameters.
If you would like to append UTM tracking to all of your flow and campaign emails, you can toggle on Automatically add UTM parameters to links. If you want to disable this for a particular campaign or flow email, you can do so at the email-level by checking Do not use UTM tracking for this campaign (campaigns) or toggling off UTM Tracking (flows).
You can choose from a number of dynamic values when configuring default and custom UTM parameters. These vary for flows and campaigns:
|List or segment ID||Flow email name|
|List or segment name||Flow email name (Flow email ID)|
|Campaign name||Email subject|
|Campaign name (Campaign ID)|
|Campaign name (Send date)|
|External ID ($id)|
|Klaviyo profile ID|
|Link text or alt text|
Add UTM Tracking to a Flow Email
You can turn on Google Analytics tracking for an individual flow email by clicking into the UTM tracking settings, and toggling on UTM Tracking.
Links will be tagged in accordance with your account's default UTM tracking settings. However, if you want to use different tracking parameters for a particular email, you can update these by clicking Configure and selecting No. This will override your account's default settings.
Add UTM Tracking to a Campaign Email
When creating a campaign in Klaviyo, you can select if you want to use UTM tracking, and if you would like to use your account defaults or set custom value. If you choose to use custom values, this will override your account's default settings, so any changes you make to your default settings before the campaign is sent will not have any impact.
Add UTM Tracking to a Flow SMS
There is not currently a default SMS configuration in Klaviyo for UTM tracking. However, you can create a custom URL with UTM parameters in Google Analytics to track SMS conversions. To do so, head to Google Analytics and open the Campaign URL Builder.
Fill in the resulting form to build a custom URL. You will be asked for the URL of your ecommerce site, campaign source, campaign name, and campaign medium. An example of each is listed below:
- utm_medium is the channel through which you send content (in this case SMS)
- utm_source is the specific SMS flow you want to track (for example, abandoned_cart)
- utm_campaign refers to the name of the individual message within your flow (for example, sms_1)
Google Analytics will then start tracking your SMS traffic automatically. An example of how this custom URL will look is shown below, with the custom UTM parameter in bold.
UTM Variation Letters
UTM variation letters allow you to compare the performance and link activity when A/B testing your campaign and flow emails. For example, if you have three variations of a campaign and want to find out which directs the most traffic to your site, label them with letters — such as a, b, and c. Then, Klaviyo will generate data from the link within each varied email so that you can test, analyze, and adjust your content accordingly.
Add UTM Variation Letters to a Campaign
After you set up UTM tracking for your campaign (as shown in the section above) and select Save & Continue to Content, you will arrive at a page to edit your message’s content. Edit the content of your message with your desired message, tone, and style. At the bottom of this page, select Add variation.
You will be brought to a page where you can configure the variations for your A/B test. To add a variation letter to your links as a UTM parameter, check the box next to Add variation letter as a UTM parameter to all links.
Add UTM Variations to a Flow
To add UTM variations to a flow, click into the individual flow message that you want to apply the variation. In the box that appears on the left-hand side of the screen, click + Add Variation.
You will be taken to a page where you can edit or add more variations. Click Add variation letter as a UTM parameter to all links to apply UTM tracking to these links.
Comparing Klaviyo Conversion Tracking and Google Analytics
Because Google Analytics uses pixel tracking and Klaviyo uses data directly from your database, it's likely the analytics between both services won't exactly align. In general, Klaviyo is much more accurate than Google Analytics.
Here are a few common scenarios where Google Analytics and other pixel-based tracking systems will not record a conversion:
- A subscriber receives an email, reads it, does not click on a link, but goes to your store and makes a purchase. Google Analytics doesn't know they read your email, but Klaviyo does.
- A subscriber receives an email, reads it, clicks on a link from their phone. They wait until later to complete their purchase and they complete the purchase from their laptop instead of their phone. In this case, Google Analytics does not record a conversion because they read and click the email on their phone, but not on their laptop. Klaviyo does see the conversion by stitching together the customer's activity and noticing which email they read before making their purchase.
Because of this fundamental difference, we recommend deferring to Klaviyo's conversion analytics.