Implementing UTM Naming Convention to Your Company + Free UTM Builder Tool Included

The UTM builder we offer is based on our convention. In our article on UTM tags we explained how to use them, gave an overview of the main problems, and suggested a naming convention.

Here is a short summary of the article:

  1. UTM tags help to see where exactly the traffic to your website comes from.
  2. The main problem is the lack of consistency in UTM naming — what to indicate for content, campaign, medium and source.
  3. You need to settle on a UTM naming convention to have a correct map in Google Analytics from UTM parameters data.
  4. We suggested our vision of UTM naming convention tailored to the event industry with a detailed description how to specify UTM parameters.
  5. The article provides common examples of several campaigns.

This article is a must-read for everybody in the Event industry.

Why do you need a UTM builder?

As we explained in the previous article, UTM parameters can contain anything. In case you put the source as Facebook in one case, facebook in another, and yet facebook.com in the third, these will count as different sources. It means that lower and upper case letters can hinder the system and complicate data processing. To avoid this, agree upon a unified link format across all people who place links online.

You’ve got to keep in mind a lot of nuances: the case, venue naming, date format, city names, state names, “unsafe” characters, even to agree upon the usage of hyphens and underscores. The best way to keep record of all parameters is Google Spreadsheets. We prepared a free URL builder based on the convention we described in the previous article.

How does UTM builder work (event industry only)?

See a short demo how the builder works.

URL builder overview

The main tab of the spreadsheet has a 7-cell form. Fill in all cells marked green. All cells but for the first one can be only filled with the values from drop-down suggestions.

All suggestions are prepared on the basis of UTM convention from the previous article. The article is a must-read for the industry.

The values selected define the following UTM parameters: utm_campaign, utm_source, utm_medium, utm_content. You will get the final link in Copy final link 👉 cell.

UTM tag generation:

  1. Link for Promotion — insert the link to the promoted page.
    For example, https://www.eventbrite.com/e/kongos-1929-tour-gamh-w-fitness-tickets-50712303866
  2. Event Date — select the event date from the calendar. The date will be automatically formatted in accordance with the convention.
    For example: Jan 30, 2019 will turn to 2019-01-30
  3. Event City — select the city of the event.
    For example, San Francisco. The following will be filled in: san-francisco-california
  4. Event Name — select the name of the event.
    For example, select Kongos. The following suggestion will be used: kongos
  5. Platform — a big platform like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon etc. where the link will appear. For example, Facebook. The auto-suggest will offer facebook.com
  6. Placement — how you place the link within the platform: e.g. in a post, event description or search ads.
    For example, we place ads to the right of Facebook Newsfeed. Select the following suggestion — right-column-banner.
  7. Marketing message — what your marketing message is about. The appeal, ad topic, campaign name, button name. For example, you launch a recurrent marketing campaign with ticket presale announcement. The dropdown has it as tickets-pre-sales-announcement

Adapting UTM builder to your marketing tasks

The UTM builder Spreadsheet is fully adjustable to your event marketing needs. It is prefilled with sample data – cities, event names, placements and platforms.

1. Get access

Fill in the form and get access to the Google Spreadsheet.

2. Copy the Spreadsheet

Copy the UTM builder spreadsheet

3. Study the Spreadsheet

Check out all tabs: click each tab and see the content.
Builder — the main tab for UTM tag generation. Do not fill the form yet.
The remaining tabs form the content of UTM builder dropdown suggestions. Each of them is pre-filled with sample data.

UTM builder tabs

Cities — a list of biggest American cities with states.
Event Names — a list of artists.
Platforms — a list of popular platforms, that can be the source of your website traffic. We took relevant data from Google Analytics.
Placements — a list of placements on different platforms. For example: right column banner, email heading, search ads, etc.
Message — examples of different marketing messages and appeals on different placements.

4. Formulas for data harmonization

Each of the tabs has two parts.
Green — cells that are to be filled in manually, whenever you need to add / edit / delete a value.
White — cells containing formulas. If you are not familiar with Google Spreadsheet formulas, do not edit them.
The formulas help to harmonize the values in accordance with the convention. For example, turn all characters to lowercase, replace spaces with hyphens, remove “unsafe characters”.

UTM builder formulas

5. Add new values

Try adding new values on one of the tabs.For example, try adding the name of one or two events you promote on Event Names Tab. Scroll to the bottom of the list (Mac hotkeys:  Command + ↓ or Windows hotkeys: Control + ↓). Add an event name to the green cell. Once finished, it will take the harmonized format.
For example, add Carl Cox & Joseph Capriati at The Midway. It contains many spaces, uppercase letters, and unsafe character ‘&’, that can corrupt the URL with UTM parameters (why ‘&’ corrupts web addresses and UTM parameters). The result will appear in Prepared performer name column, the value will be cleaned and harmonized according to our UTM convention: carl-cox-joseph-capriati-at-the-midway

UTM builder: filling in data

6. Avoid duplicate data

It is strongly advised to sort the first column alphabetically after you add new data. This helps to find duplicate data easily. For example, you want to add Right column banners on Placements tab. Sorting will show you that there are two very similar entries, and it is better to remove one of them right away. Right-click the row and choose Delete Row.

Sorting data in UTM builder

7. Check data added

It’s time to check how the data you added works and generate your first UTM tag.

Team work

Keep it in mind, that the convention will work only if all members of your team involved in event promotion understand this principle. Share this instruction with your colleagues. Ensure you use a shareable Google Spreadsheet rather than a local copy.

Request your copy of the builder and share any thoughts and ideas with us here: