A tracking link, also known as a tracking URL, monitors user activity by using customized web addresses that are unique to a marketing activity. Tracking links are created by appending customized codes or IDs to a URL which allows marketers to distinguish each traffic source or user journey. By doing so, marketers are also able to keep track of attribution points and identify sources that led to conversions.
In mobile marketing, tracking links serve the same purpose of collecting user activity data and attribution sources. However, some tracking links offer additional functions like redirection paths, deep linking, and deferred deep linking, where app owners can choose the desired destination to take users to. Deep links are for users who have already installed the app to be redirected to the specific in-app page. Deferred deep linking is a form of deep linking that applies to users who have not yet installed the app. When a deferred deep link is clicked on, it memorizes the in-app destination data and waits until the user installs and launches the specific app. Once the app is launched, the user is automatically sent to the in-app page.
The Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) is a software tool that notably uses tracking links to perform web analytics. It has its own set of parameters for tracking traffic sources and is widely used by marketers across different web-based businesses. Due to the increase in cross-app and web interactions, several mobile measurement partners (MMPs) today use UTM parameters as well.
*Note: Depending on the web analytics tool / MMP, tracking link structures, tracker types, and parameters may vary.
Each measurement tool supports different types of parameters and can be defined unique to the tool’s functions. Parameters are the different pieces of data that serve as identifiers for each marketing activity. Marketers can choose which parameters to include in a tracking link depending on the type of information or source they wish to evaluate. Below are several examples of parameters available for use on Airbridge’s tracking link.
After choosing the necessary parameters, marketers can set up a tracking link similar to the following:
Here is a breakdown of the link:
Without tracking links, it would be impossible to find out where traffic is coming from and determine which marketing activities are working or not. Marketers are able to create unique tracking links for every marketing campaign, so whenever traffic occurs, they can easily attribute it to the one source that was recorded.
For instance, if a campaign consists of in-app banner ads and email newsletters, marketers can generate tracking links for each and evaluate its performance. After the campaign is executed, a list of data collected from the tracking links can determine which ad was most effective in generating traffic, and what type of medium, source, or device led users to the traffic.
Ultimately, tracking links can help marketers identify the most optimal strategy for their business and how to navigate future marketing campaigns.
Tracking links are one of the most fundamental features used by MMPs like Airbridge when it comes to measuring mobile app growth. Airbridge provides specialized functions that allow marketers to generate custom tracking links and input them upon campaign executions. Afterward, tracking link data is stored in real time and can be viewed and compared on one centralized platform.