Marketing Leads: 6 Ways to Track Where Leads are Coming from

Where do Marketing Leads come from? 6 Ways to Track Them

Want to know which marketing channels and campaigns are driving the most marketing leads? Or, even better, what is driving more revenue through sales?

Tracking your marketing can be complicated. Just think about how many channels you use, and how many pieces of content you share on a daily basis.


Tracking the Customer Journey

Even if you work in eCommerce where tracking your marketing is much simpler as it’s pulled directly into Google Analytics, you still haven’t got full visibility of your marketing leads.

Remember, most buyers go through a buyer’s journey made up of the awareness stage, the consideration stage and the decision stage. And each of those stages could be made up of multiple touchpoints, leaving you with reams of data that you can’t get visibility on.


Let’s use an example.

Ella visits your website for the first time from an organic keyword search. She views your ranking content and then leaves. She returns a day later via a direct search.

3 months pass, and Ella hasn’t returned to your site. But, thanks to some smart retargeting, you reach her via a PPC campaign. She again visits your website, but takes no further action.

Ella's customer journey - where do marketing leads come from


A week later, she visits your social media profile and clicks onto your website from a shared link. A day later, she converts into a lead by filling out a form. She visited your site this time via a direct search.

Ella's customer journey continued - where do marketing leads come from


So, according to Google, that lead came from direct.

But if you work in marketing, you know a direct search result has had prior engagement with you. Without proper lead tracking, you can’t understand how your marketing channels worked together to drive Ella from a website visitor into a lead.

With all of this data floating around for each of your marketing leads, how can you even begin to compile this data to understand where your marketing leads are coming from?

Well, we compiled 6 easy methods you can use to start tracking your leads. Let’s get stuck in.


How to know where your leads are coming from: 6 ways to Track Your Marketing Leads

The issue with tracking leads is that the data all exists, but it isn’t easily viewed in one place. Without this key data, you’re marketing blind.


1. UTM Tracking and Google Analytics

You can set up goals in Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager for key actions on your website, such as a form fill or a phone call. However, this won’t break it down much by channel or campaign.

One workaround is using UTM tags.

google url builder - new url


These are bits of code you add to the end or your URL which lets you track channel and campaign success directly in Google Analytics.

Here’s a complete guide to tracking links in Google Analytics.

However, this doesn’t tell you much about lead quality. While you can count the volume of form submissions, and click to calls with goals and tracked links, you can’t see which go on to convert into a sale.


2. Call tracking and Marketing Attribution

Call tracking is the use of dynamic numbers on your website. That means, for each website visitor, they’ll be served their own unique number. If they call, it allows you to easily track where they came from.

This is great for understanding not only call volume, but also call quality. Ruler’s call tracking software allows you to playback calls too so you can identify training opportunities to help your sales team upsell.

But Ruler goes one better than just call tracking.

Marketing attribution closes the data gap between your marketing outputs and your sales.


Ruler will monitor every single visitor to your website and store data on their browsing history, referrals and more.

When that user converts into a lead, whether that’s by phone, form or live chat, Ruler will send all of the data held on that individual over to your CRM or wherever you’re storing your leads.

In the meantime, Ruler will continue to monitor and refresh the data on that lead.

Then, at the point of sale, Ruler can scrape revenue data assigned to that user and attribute it back to the marketing channel and campaign that influenced it.

So, no matter if your leads take six months to convert, or if they convert offline, you’ll be able to view accurate revenue directly in marketing apps like Google Analytics.

Note: Want to get started with marketing attribution? Book a demo now to find out how to start tracking your marketing leads in a few simple steps.

Book a demo Ruler Analytics


3. Asking leads directly

The obvious way to track your marketing leads, is to ask your leads directly. You’ll often see forms online with a ‘how did you hear about us’ box. But how accurate are these?

Often, they’re inaccurate, or even ignored. And while it can provide valuable insight, it’s completely dependent on the person you’re asking.

For example, it’s not unheard of to be told a user found you on Google, but they actually clicked a PPC ad. That lack of attribution doesn’t help your ROAS!

form field how did you hear about us


And what did we say earlier, about long sales cycles? Leads aren’t usually generated in one touchpoint, so you’re missing data on all the other marketing channels. We’d advise including a ‘how did you hear about us’ form field for major conversions, but primarily rely on marketing attribution to give you conclusive insight.


4. Hidden Form Fields

If you have access to a web developer, then one way to understand where your leads came from is to use hidden form fields on your form submission boxes.

Remember, this can obviously only be used for forms, meaning any other entry point goes unattributed.

You can add hidden form fields to a channel specific landing page, or in combination with UTM parameters. When a new user visits that page and fills in the form, the hidden field will fill in dynamically to add in their lead source.

This can be really useful for PPC campaigns for example, but their scope is pretty limited beyond that. And, while you might get insight on what channel promoted them to fill in the form, what about the rest of their customer journey? You’re missing key data on how consumers are engaging with your content.


5. Using CRM systems

There are hundreds of CRMs out there and each offers a slightly different array of features. Some however, offer the capability to track lead source directly by using their own built-in forms.

Take Salesforce for example. Their web-to-lead forms allow you to scrape the data of the referring source for each lead.

web to lead form salesforce


This can be really insightful, but it’s still limited data.

Other, more costly CRMs offer more lead tracking capabilities but the price quickly starts to skyrocket. And while they do offer better features and allow you to get your data all in one place, their capabilities don’t quite match that of a marketing attribution tool.

And remember, marketing attribution tools like ours can pass data over to your CRM, so you can get all the data where you need it most.


6. Using promo codes

If you’re running a specific campaign, then of course you want to know how many new leads, or sales, you’re creating. Promo codes are a great way to entice new customers, but they’re also great for tracking purposes.

By using a promo code, you can essentially add a quick filter to all of your purchases to see which were influenced by your campaign.

But remember, a promo code still won’t give you a clear indication of where a lead came from. If you’re using a promo code across channels, then what more is it really telling you?

And there you have it, six ways you can track your leads to understand where they’re coming from. If you’re keen to get started understanding where your leads are coming from, then you’ll want to try Ruler. Book a demo with us today to learn how you can collate your lead data and use it to optimise your marketing.


Book a demo Ruler Analytics

Written by

Digital Marketing Manager at Ruler Analytics with experience in SEO, content marketing and social. After working both in-house for a travel firm and at an agency, I help people (who used to be me) attribute their revenue to their marketing efforts.