August 8 Salesforce Integration & Analytics Meetup: Birst & CloudConnect.com

If you missed the August 8, 2013 Salesforce Integration & Analytics Meetup, you missed two of the best demos we have had in recent memory. Cory Bray, Regional Director of Business Intelligence for CorSource, gave a great presentation Birst and why you need business intelligence, followed by Adam Gross, Co-Founder of CloudConnect.com, with a demo of his startup’s impressive new technology.

Don’t miss the next one! Register FREE now.

Thanks to Birst for sponsoring the event and providing food and drinks, and to Rackspace as usual for allowing us to use their San Francisco office meeting room.

The videos below are by Aline. For all your video blog needs contact her at 415 377 0245

Cory Bray,Regional Director of Business Intelligence, CorSource Technology Group

Cory currently serves as the Regional Director of Business Intelligence for CorSource Technology Group where he is responsible for working with companies on data analysis and process improvement projects.  He has previously held various financial, sales, and operational positions, including a two year stint as the Director of Operations of an industrial distribution company in Houston, TX.  Cory holds a BS from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Cory will show how companies use Birst’s Business Intelligence solution to increase profitability, better manage their sales pipeline, and gain a competitive advantage in their industry.

Organizations that have previously struggled with optimizing pricing and minimizing expenses have used Birst to better understand what areas of their business warrant further investment, and which areas should receive less attention.  As a result, both top line and bottom line performance has increased significantly.

With full integration into SalesForce and all other types of computer systems, the sales pipeline can be managed not only from a pure opportunity basis, but companies can also account for many critical factors that exist outside of SalesForce in order to make the best decisions possible for their business.

Finally, as more and more companies shift to making data-driven decisions, companies must embrace a culture of analytics in order to stay ahead of the competition…or at least keep up.  Failure to do so could potentially lead to disastrous results.

Adam Gross, Co-Founder, CloudConnect.com

Adam Gross is co-founder and CEO of cloudconnect.com.  Previous, he was was SVP at Dropbox, led marketing for salesforce.com’s force.complatform, founded of Personify, and was an executive at Grand Central (Google). Adam has been an investor in and advisor to Heroku (salesforce.com), Dotcloud, GetSatisfaction, Pantheon, Streak, E2 Apps and several early stage companies.

Adam will be demoing his new product CloudConnect.com. Cloudconnect.com provides a simple and seamless way to integrate and sync Salesforcewith MySql and Postgres, making it possible to manage all of your customer data in one place, and build compelling new applications using standard platforms and tools. With cloudconnect, you can access all of your customer data from Salesforcefrom a familar database connection – and all in the cloud and without software.

Using Google Analytics Profiles to Model Your Funnel in Salesforce

Google Analytics is a great tool for understanding the top of your online marketing funnel (web site visitors). But did you know you can easily highlight different segments of that funnel, by creating multiple Google Analytics Profiles?

Google Analytics Profiles (in the process of being renamed to Views in the documentation, but not in the app yet) are customizable layers between the reporting and the raw data that is collected. By creating multiple profiles for a single property (web site), you can focus on particular areas of your web site analytics, and more closely relate that to particular marketing efforts that affect your funnel, leads in Salesforce, and more.

Before we jump in, a best-practices note: Google Analytics automatically creates a default profile that is an unfiltered view of each property (web site). You should not modify this original profile, but make a copy of it or create additional profiles to add filters to — because filters exclude data, you want to always have at least one profile with all of your raw analytics data.

Some Google Analytics Profiles I created for CloudAmp.com

Some Google Analytics Profiles I created for CloudAmp.com

Use Case 1: A Section of Your Web Site

One of the most common uses of Google Analytics Profiles is to create a filtered version of your web analytics that only shows a section of your web site. You can easily create profiles that only show a particular subdomain or directory of your web site, to get more specific visibility into your marketing efforts.

Maybe you work at a large company, and are only responsible for a particular section of the web site or product line. Creating a profile for that directory of the web site will better reflect your marketing efforts, and insulate the reports you see from other product launches or events that might affect the larger site trends.

In addition, many marketers use landing pages for their Google Adwords and other online advertising destination URLs (and if you don’t, please consider doing this immediately!). By creating a Google Analytics profile filtered to /land/ (or whatever directory on your web site holds the landing pages), you can see just the visitors and analytics for these pages, and get a more accurate understanding of trends and conversion rates into Salesforce leads.

A Profile with a Filter only showing analytics for the /products/ directory on CloudAmp.com

A Profile with a Filter only showing analytics for the /products/ directory on CloudAmp.com

Use Case 2: Geographical Focus

In the age of the Internet, many businesses are selling globally, or at least in a number of countries. But if you want to see your web analytics data just for a particular country or set of countries, you can easily create a Google Analytics Profile and filter it for those countries.You can also create a profile that excludes certain countries.

Maybe you are running a new advertising campaign in a particular geography and want to better understand its impact, or you want to exclude traffic from countries where you don’t sell your products in the analysis of conversion from a blog content effort.

A Profile with a Filter only showing analytics for visitors from Canada on CloudAmp.com

A Profile with a Filter only showing analytics for visitors from Canada on CloudAmp.com

How does this all relate to the funnel in Salesforce? Well, many successful online marketers are using Salesforce as the CRM system to hold their lead data and manage their marketing funnel. As Salesforce becomes the standard for managing your marketing and sales funnels, marketers want to get more visibility into what happens just before the leads get into Salesforce — and Google Analytics, with multiple profiles to segment the funnel, is the key there.

Plus, here at CloudAmp we’ve published an app on the Salesforce AppExchange that automatically integrates and imports Google Analytics data into Salesforce called CloudAmp Analytics Dashboards. And coming soon in our next version, you are going to be able to import multiple Google Analytics profiles into Salesforce, and get a set of dashboards and reports for each individual profile. You can try it free for 7 days, it takes just a minute to install and connects to your Google Analytics data with the click of a button.

So there you have it – try creating some additional profiles with filters on your Google Analytics data today, and get a better understanding of different parts of your marketing funnel tomorrow. Already doing cool things with Google Analytics Profiles? Have questions? Let us know in the comments below.

June 5 Salesforce Integration & Analytics Meetup

At the June 5, 2013 Salesforce Integration & Analytics Meetup we had two interesting demos: Captricity, a startup integrating paper / pdf forms to the cloud, and Chartio, part of the new generation of business intelligence and analytics tools.

Meetup06-05-13

Thanks to Captricity for sponsoring the event and providing food and drinks, and to Rackspace as usual for allowing us to use their San Francisco office meeting room.

The videos below are by Aline. For all your video blog needs contact her at 415 377 0245

Kuang Chen, Founder and CEO, Captricity

The idea for Captricity came from Kuang’s dissertation research in east Africa, where he built software systems to transform paper forms to structured, machine-readable data. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from UC Berkeley.

Enterprise-class Data Capture for Salesforce

Captricity’s data extraction platform feeds paper, fax and pdf forms into Salesforce faster than manual entry and more accurately than OCR.  Captricity+ Paper-to-Cloud handles your most challenging data capture needs with 99% accuracy.  Our unique blend of machine learning and human intelligence ensures that we handle all types of text, including handwriting and human marks.

Start with paper, scans, PDFs, fax, or our mobile app to automatically create digital records from forms.  Map your Salesforce fields to Captricity fields in minutes with no programming. Then, with just a click, data from Captricity flows into your Salesforce account. We handle custom objects, multiple objects, lookups, picklists and more.

During a quick demo, we will run some quick examples of how current users are taking advantage of Captricity+ Paper-to-Cloud to save time and extend their use of the Salesforce platform.

Dave Fowler, Founder, Chartio

Dave Fowler is the founder of Chartio, an award-winning interface to data.  Dave moved to the Bay Area to join Y Combinator and pursue his startup idea of giving a face to data.  Since then, Forbes has named Dave a Forbes 30 under 30 Technology Pioneer, both in 2011 and 2012.   Prior to Chartio, Dave worked at IBM on the processor for Xbox 360 and filed 10 patents. Dave attended Gustavus Adolphus College for his undergraduate work, where he received three degrees in physics, electrical engineering and computer engineering.  He received his masters in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota.

Visualizing Salesforce Data in Chartio

Dave Fowler, founder of Chartio, will demo how to visualize your Salesforce data in Chartio, helping customers have more accessibility to company data and make better business decisions based on easy-to-read charts and dashboards.  Chartio allows customers to view Salesforce data alongside other data sources, see your Salesforce data in charts and dashboards and interact and explore with your Salesforce data.  In addition to the demo, Dave will go over case studies of companies doing this today.

6 Reasons You Need Web Tracking and Analytics Data in Salesforce

If you are doing online marketing and using Salesforce, chances are there is some important information missing from your Salesforce organization. Hopefully you are tracking your web site lead sources into Salesforce (if not, get on it here or read this now). But what about understanding your web site traffic, visitors, etc. directly inside Salesforce? Here are 6 things that you might be missing out on, or at least need to think about.

 

1. You Need to See the Big Picture

Web site traffic and visitors are the top of your inbound marketing funnel. For many marketers, and especially those of you spending a significant portion of your budget on Google Adwords and other online advertising, this is where most prospects first engage with your brand.

 conversion-funnel2

So how many people are on your web site, and where did they come from? You want to be able to see total web site traffic, and the breakdown of the different types of visitors by Campaign, Referral Source, right where all your other marketing and sales data lives — Salesforce. This is the top of your “funnel”, people on your web site, and understanding this big picture and up / down trends will keep you much more on top of how your marketing is performing. Many of us track our leads, but how many keep on top of the big picture and can see those who did not submit a form as well?

Seeing the top of the funnel in Salesforce not only makes this data more front and center, but also gives you the advantage of being able to compare it to trends in the rest of the funnel — how many leads are generated via web forms, how many of those leads convert, etc.

 

2. Your Conversion Rate Does Not Matter

This isn’t 100% true, it mainly makes a good heading. Target conversion rate matters somewhat, and we can all agree that achieving a 10% conversion rate is better than 5%. But there are some Internet businesses where 0.1% conversion is considered a job well done. Hence the dreaded question from the CEO or other executive, “What should our conversion rate be?”

As marketers, we know we should be measuring conversion rates at multiple points in our funnel. And the main way we are likely to be successful in “moving the needle” of sales and revenue is by making incremental improvements in these conversion rates at multiple places in that funnel (though we may still secretly hope for that one breakout campaign that just buries the Sales department in qualified leads). So the trend in the conversion rate is really more important to understand on a daily basis than the target (though less sexy).

ConversionRateDiagram

By having web analytics data in Salesforce to better model various conversion points (Web site vistor > Lead, Lead > Converted Lead, Converted Lead > Opportunity, Opportunity > Closed Won and all the Sales process stages in between that are specific to your company or industry), you get one more critical conversion point that is typically missing from Salesforce. And since positive or negative trends in conversion rates are generally more important to doing your daily job as a marketer, having trendlines of web site visitors alongside the leads in your dashboards can be very useful to monitor.

 

3. Your Web Site is Broken

And I don’t mean those javascript error alerts that no one understands, or Internet Explorer display issues the web developers refuse to fix out of religious protest. Even on the simplest web sites, downtime caused by hosting problems, issues created by new content, or some cutting edge new templating language that looks cool but won’t load properly for half your visitors can be hard to know about quickly enough.

You can get all of this data by logging into Google Analytics, but how many of us do that daily? If the data is in Salesforce, and nicely displayed in dashboards where trends are easier to see, you can be on top of the really big screwups that much faster and save yourself heartache and lost revenue. Even if your overall visitors don’t change too noticeably, seeing the bounce rate suddenly spike or page views per visitor fall precipitously could alert you to a potential problem.

 JSTrackingError

One side benefit, for those of us engaged in lots of online advertising, is that you can (hopefully) spot problems with tracking much quicker as well. When that new landing page goes live, and somehow the template got changed to not include your tracking code, having real-time visibility in Salesforce should let you catch it early (versus running a report at the end of the month and noticing something amiss then, when it is too late to get that tracking data back). 

 

4. Your Lead Data is Dirty

Really, whose isn’t? But this isn’t so much about duplicate leads and other garbage that has plagued almost every Salesforce instance in history ever (and CRM systems in general for decades before Salesforce.com came into existence, but those were harder to get data into generally). It is more about cleaning up your reporting to more accurately reflect the relationship between the top of your funnel (web site visitors) and leads.

 Salesforce Find Duplicates

Ideally, you want those spikes in web site traffic to parallel spikes in leads, both nicely tracking each other in Salesforce (though they don’t always, as discussed in #5 below). But when there is more divergence than normal, having the complete picture of the top of your funnel can prompt you to dig deeper.

Maybe your inbound lead reporting shouldn’t have those 1500 tradeshow leads that were just imported in the same graph. Or that new Sales Manger hire got clever and somehow imported his “rolodex” via CSV file. Time to set some filters in the reporting and keep the funnel and conversion rates accurately reflecting your online marketing efforts. 

 

5. Your Quantity is Increasing Over Quality

Sometimes you can’t blame that new Sales Manager or scanner-happy tradeshow booth staff for declines in data. As you ramp up online marketing efforts, the quality of your web site visitors (and possibly leads, though hopefully not) is bound to change.

 Salesforce Sales Funnel

Yet another reason why it is better to focus on the trend rather than an absolute number for conversion rates (see #2 above) — your conversion rates are bound to get worse when you pour on the gas with advertising, especially if your previous efforts were more organic such as blog posts and customer referrals. Conversion rates, bounce rates, pages/visitor all get worse when you start bringing in lots more people, since by definition you will need to widen the net.

So this means you need to keep careful track of both data on individual leads, as well as overall trends in traffic and conversion. Having all the top of the funnel data there in Salesforce alongside your lead tracking will help you do that. 

 

6. Your Boss Wants Pretty Reports

Finally, there is showing the boss what you are up to (also known as proving that your efforts are paying off, justifying your job, etc.). If your web site traffic and lead volume are spectacularly up and to the right, having all that data in Salesforce makes it easy to schedule a weekly or monthly email of the dashboard to people in your organization.

Or if an executive simply wants to see your web site traffic, it isn’t possible to have a nicely formatted email with graphs generated by Google Analytics, but if you have all the data in Salesforce that last step is pretty straightforward. Instead of a zipped CSV file from Google, or an Excel spreadsheet that you have to update by hand, they can receive a dashboard emailed from Salesforce, complete with all the graphs and charts, right in their inbox.

CampaignTrackerforGoogleAnalytics-Dashboard1-small

April 10 Salesforce Integration & Analytics Meetup

We had two fantastic demos at the Salesforce Integration & Analytics Meetup in early April. It has been busy since then, just getting around to posting the videos now.

Meetup04-10-13

Thank you to AppBuddy for sponsoring and providing the food and drinks, and giving us a live demo of their well-known AppExchange application, GridBuddy. GridBuddy looks like one that any Salesforce administrator who needs to save time should check out — “editable reporting” doesn’t even begin to do it justice.

We also had a demo from Synata, which won the best Enterprise startup at the LAUNCH conference earlier this month. Very interesting new service which allows you to search across all your clouds —  Salesforce, Zendesk, Google Apps, and more.

Thanks to Rackspace as usual for allowing us to use their Racker Rally Room at the San Francisco office, much appreciated.

The videos below are by Aline. For all your video blog needs contact her at 415 377 0245

Marc Aubin, AppBuddy 

Marc Aubin is Co-Founder of AppBuddy, creators of Salesforce apps that help increase Salesforce productivity, user adoption and data quality.  He has been developing on the Force.com platform since 2007 through consulting companies such as Model Metrics, Appirio and Bluewolf, and is a former Force.com developer for Salesforce.com on their own “org 62” instance.  He is a serial entrepreneur in the data management space and lover of working at start-ups, which means he is experienced at doing everything from sales and marketing to project management to operations to making a great cup of coffee.

Marc gave us a demo of GridBuddy, a Salesforce app that introduces the concept of editable reporting.  GridBuddy provides the ability to create multi-object views with cross-object filters, and users can act on the data directly inline and within the context of a particular business process.  The app was released on the AppExchange in November 2010.

Patrick White, Synata

Patrick is a developer and product manager by training, but an entrepreneur at heart. He has worked at numerous startups, and founded several himself. Most notably, he was a Group Product Manager for Fortify Software, and was responsible for products that won such awards as the SCMag Reader’s Trust Award, the Jolt Product Excellence Award, and the Tester’s Choice Award. Patrick is currently the CEO of Synata, the world’s first enterprise cloud search engine, and holds a BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Southern California.

Synata is the world’s first Enterprise Cloud Search Engine – in under 60 seconds, you can sign up, connect your cloud services, and have an extremely powerful search engine running across Salesforce, Zendesk, Google Apps, and many other cloud services. We’re currently looking for Salesforce users to test the service and give feedback.

Lead Tracking 101: Understanding Advertising ROI in Salesforce

Most marketers know they need to track their leads, in order to understand which advertising, blogs or social media are sending them the best ones – the leads most likely to convert to customers, to show a positive return on investment (ROI) from advertising, to drive long term revenue.

Aside from all the different technological approaches available, such as building your own tracking mechanism or using a Salesforce application that tracks leads from your web site into Salesforce CRM, the large amounts of data collected can be a somewhat confusing experience.

 This post explores some of the different tracking data available, and more importantly what it all means. It is focused around Google Analytics, Google Adwords, and Salesforce terminology, though many of these definitions will apply to any online advertising.

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” — Attributed to John Wanamaker, 1838-1922

 

Google Analytics Campaign Tags

 

Google Analytics Campaign tags are parameters that you add to any URLs pointing to your web site that you have control over. You may be familiar with web addresses (URLs) that have words like utm_campaign= and utm_source= after the main part of the URL and a question mark – these are the campaign tags.

Example:

http://www.MYSITE.com/?utm_campaign=Retarget&utm_medium=Banners&utm_source=Adroll

 When a visitor clicks on one of these tagged URLs, those values are associated with the visitor in Google Analytics, as well as in many lead tracking solutions for Salesforce (such as CloudAmp’s own Campaign Tracker). By capturing the Source, Medium, and Campaigns of traffic being sent your web site like in the example URL above, you can identify the most effective ways to driving more visitors to your website.

Most importantly, by capturing that data not just in your Google Analytics reports, but into Salesforce for each individual lead, you can follow how leads progress through your marketing funnel or sales process.

  • Do leads from that Source, Medium, or Campaign convert from leads into Accounts with Opportunities?

  • What percentage of Opportunities from a particular Source are Closed Won?

  • What is the average and total dollar value of deals, compared across Source, Medium or Campaigns?

  • How many dollars are spent on advertising per dollar of revenue, broken down by Source, Keyword, etc.?

These and many other questions can be answered by tagging your URLs and tracking those visitors all the way  into Salesforce as leads. 

AdwordsGraph

There are the five parameters that make up Google Analytics Campaign tags – utm_source,utm_medium, and utm_campaign should be used in all links, and for tracking additional information utm_term and utm_content can be optionally used.

  • utm_source: Identifies the advertiser, site, publication, etc. that is sending traffic to your property, e.g. google, yelp, newsletter4, billboard. The last place visited before reaching your site.

  • utm_medium: The advertising or marketing medium, e.g.: cpc, banner, email newsletter. The method used to arrive at the source.

  • utm_campaign: The individual campaign name, slogan, promo code, etc. for a product.

  • utm_term: Identify paid search keywords. If you’re manually tagging paid keyword campaigns (and you should be), use utm_term to specify the keyword.

  • utm_content: Used to differentiate similar content, or links within the same ad. For example, if you have two different text ads, you can use utm_content and set different values for each so you can tell which version is more effective.

I recommend getting into the habit of tagging ANY and ALL URLs that you control, not just for destination URLs in your Google Adwords ads and other online advertising, but for every link in your email newsletters, links you give to a partner, sponsorships, blog posts, even social media such as Twitter and Linkedin.

 GoogleAnalyticsCampaigns

Not only will this give you better data in Google Analytics and your Salesforce lead tracking, but as a significant bonus you will cut down on the number of untracked leads — when someone forwards an email, copies and pastes a link from Twitter, or reposts a blog post without changing the URLs, you will be able to track visitors from those newly generated referral sources back to the original campaign links.

 

Other Traffic Types

 

Google Analytics categorizes your web site visitors into 5 main types:

    • Campaign: Visitors who arrived at your site via Campaign tagged URLs.

    • Referral: Visitors who arrived at your site from other sites but who were not campaign tagged.

    • Direct: Visitors who arrived at your site by typing in your web address.

    • Search: Visitors who arrived at your site by searching in a search engine. This category is further broken down into:

  • Paid: Google Adwords, Microsoft Adcenter, or other advertising on a search engine

  • Organic: The visitor clicked on a regular result (not an ad) to get to your site

GoogleAnalyticsTrafficBreakdown

Many lead tracking software applications (including CloudAmp’s own Campaign Tracker) have followed this categorization, due to the widespread use of Google Analytics and the general familiarity of these terms. Still, there are a variety of different ways of categorizing web site visitors and leads, so you may see variations on these occasionally.

Referral vs Referral vs Referrer

Any traffic that isn’t Direct to your site (typed in a browser bar) is known as referral traffic. So most traffic – Campaign, Referral, and Organic / Paid Search – is considered Referral traffic.

However, Google Analytics (and lead tracking software that uses similar definitions) defines Referral traffic as any Referral traffic that is not otherwise tracked as Campaign or Organic traffic. If Campaign tags are used, or data from an organic search at a search engine is received, the traffic will be categorized as Campaign or Organic, rather than referral. This is mainly just for clarity in dividing the sources of traffic, so that there is no overlap in the numbers.

Just in case this isn’t confusing enough, there is also a concept of the Referrer in all web browsers, and this is recorded in Google Analytics and various tracking software. The Referrer is the last page that the visitor was on prior to an event (like submitting the web-to-lead form into Salesforce). So in some cases the Referrer will be the same as the site that sent the visitor to you, but in other cases it will simply be the previous page on your web site (for any visitor who clicks around multiple pages before submitting the form).

 

(not provided)

Beginning in late 2011, Google made a significant change and started encrypting the organic search keywords of any users who were logged into a Google service while searching Google. What does this mean?

It means that instead of sending the keywords from the referral like it did previously, Google started sending a meaningless string of characters for all visitors who were logged into a service like Gmail, Google +, or Google itself while searching and then clicking on an organic result. So what did this result in?

 GoogleNotProvided

Approximately 70% of Organic visitors from Google now show “(not provided)” as the keywords from their search, so you no longer can see what really sent them to your site. This percentage will vary depending on your audience and how much they use other Google services, but it is about the average we have been seeing.

Luckily, Yahoo and Bing have not followed suit, and still send the keyword information from the Organic search visitors they send to your site. And of course, if any of your visitors run a Paid Search on Google (Google Adwords), the keywords from those visits still come through fine whether the visitor was logged in to Google services or not.

 

Untracked

Sometimes visitors come to your web site and submit lead forms and are not tracked properly. It shouldn’t happen often, but it will happen.

On the Internet, nothing is 100%, the numbers never match exactly, and not everything will be tracked completely. While we’d like to track 100% of visitors in an ideal world, really the point of tracking is to make generalized decisions about what online marketing works and what does not, and optimize spend on things like Google Adwords, where sometimes keyword cost per click (CPC) rates can seem nonsensically high, but make perfect sense from an ROI perspective given the revenue generated.

 So what causes a lead to not be tracked? Some users may be using strange old web browsers, or have their browser security levels set so high that they don’t allow cookies or javascript (two things necessary to most tracking technology, as well as required for most web sites to work properly).

For most other situations however, the reliability of cookie-based tracking is pretty good. If there are technical problems, they are more likely due to either the visitors settings or a failure of the tracking mechanisms that read the cookie, rather than the cookie placed at the time of the visitors click.



In conclusion, there is a lot of terminology around tracking and how to break down the types of visitors who come to your site (and hopefully become leads). As you start to build up data from tracked leads inside Salesforce, you will run across many of the values above. So hopefully this has been helpful — feel free to leave questions / comments below, and above all else, start tracking your leads today!

Tracking Google Adwords Results in Salesforce

This post explores a simple way to see Google Adwords results inside of Salesforce, using Google Analytics Campaign tags. To set up custom campaigns, just add parameters (for example, utm_campaign and utm_source) to the end of your advertising URLs. Custom campaign values display in your Google Analytics reports, and you can capture them into leads in Salesforce using a tool like the Campaign Tracker for Google Adwords and Analytics.

You will be able to see which URLs visitors click to arrive at your web site and then become a lead, and which Adwords Keywords they searched for. As a bonus, if you get into the habit of tagging all incoming URLs to your web site, you will have better visibility not just into your advertising, but into any content or links you put out there — blogs, social media, sponsorships and more. Everything except Organic search engine traffic and some referral traffic can (and should) be tagged.

 

Adding Campaign Tags to Your Adwords Ads

  1. If you have Adwords autotagging enabled, please disable it (it can cause conflicts)

    AutoTagging

  2. Update the Destination URLs in all your Adwords ads with the campaign URL parameters.

    1. If you have a lot of ads, you can use the Adwords Editor client program to easily update / duplicate many ads at once. Adwords Editor makes it easy to copy / move items between Adgroups and Campaigns, and make bulk changes very quickly.

    2. Note that whenever you make changes to your ad text or URL, they are sent back to Google for review. Rather than modify an existing ad, you may wish to create a new one so that the existing ad keeps running while your new ad is under review. Once the new ad is approved, you can delete the old ad if you want.

    3. Redirects can also cause issues with Campaign tracking and Google Adwords attribution, so Google recommends updating the actual Destination URLs in your ads, instead of using a redirect.

GoogleAdwordsEditor

Example URL:

http://www.YOURSITE.com?utm_source=GoogleAdwords&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=CampaignTracker&utm_term={Keyword}

  • utm_campaign = Adwords Campaign Name

  • utm_source = GoogleAdwords

  • utm_medium = PPC or SEM (keep consistent with whatever categories you have defined)

  • utm_term = {keyword}

  • utm_content = optional parameter, commonly used for adgroup tracking

 

For tracking specific keywords, use Google’s keyword insertion format in the Destination URLs of your Google Adwords ads. utm_term is the Google Analytics campaign parameter for the keyword, so use utm_term={keyword} and Google will automatically insert the keyword that triggers your ad into the URL, so it will be tracked when a visitor clicks through to your site and submits a form.

Note: This same URL format and {keyword} insertion works in Microsoft AdCenter as well.

Google provides a URL builder tool which you can use if you would like, but you can also simply copy and modify the URL above. There is no need to create the campaigns in Google Analytics ahead of time — when a visitor arrives on your site from a Campaign tagged URL, the campaign data is automatically recorded.

URL_builder

Once you have tagged all your Google Adwords URLs, then you simply need a way of integrating the tracking data into Salesforce. I am partial to the Salesforce app we built here at CloudAmp, of course,  Campaign Tracker for Google Adwords and Analytics. But there are plenty of other solutions to get Adwords data into Salesforce, including marketing automation software like Marketo  or Hubspot.

If you are not using web-to-lead forms, but have an account signup process or eCommerce system, then you may want to have your developers capture the campaign tags from referral URLs directly into Salesforce via custom code. One thing you cannot use, sadly, is the popular Salesforce for Google Adwords, which is being end-of-lifed (shut down, in software-speak) on May 1, 2013.

However you decide to go, tagging all your incoming URLs with Google Analytics Campaign parameters will allow you to track Google Adwords results, as well as the success of other advertising and marketing efforts, directly inside of Salesforce.

New Version of Campaign Tracker Released

CloudAmp released a new version of its Campaign Tracker for Google Adwords and Analytics last week. Version 1.6 was launched on April 4, 2013 to address several major feature requests from customers, as well as inquiries from the increasing number of companies who are looking for a replacement for the Salesforce for Google Adwords application. Salesforce for Google Adwords (SFGA) is being shut down on May 1, 2013, so customers currently using it to track Google Adwords results into Salesforce need to find an alternative tracking application.

 Google-Analytics-Campaign-Tracker-Header-b

New Organic, Referral & Direct Tracking

Now you can know the source of every lead directly in Salesforce. The new version of Campaign Tracker  tracks Google Adwords and Google Analytics Campaigns via campaign tagging, plus adds in Organic, Referrer or Direct visitors to your web site. A second dashboard and more than 10 additional reports are included in the new version, to help you make sense of trends in the new data provided. The addition of organic tracking was particularly important to many customers who were replacing Salesforce for Google Adwords with the Campaign Tracker, to provide an equivalent level of Adwords tracking in the transition.

 

TrackerDashboardDetail

Simpler Implementation

Implementation of the Campaign Tracker outside of Salesforce has also been simplified, and requires only a single line tracking code be added to the pages of your web site. There is no file to host on your site as the tracking technology is now called remotely from a high performance content delivery network (CDN). Best of all, changes to your web-to-lead forms are no longer needed.

 

Best Value

Campaign Tracker for Google Adwords and Analytics costs just $49 per month per company, with no per-user or per-lead fees. In addition to being the most affordable tracking application for Salesforce, there is a 15 day free trial, during which assistance is available from CloudAmp at no cost, if you have questions or need help setting up or testing the application.

 

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Upgrades

Current customers interested in upgrading should contact us to discuss the easiest way to update  the app in Salesforce and implement the new code on your web site. Existing cookie code and earlier versions of the app will continue working without interruption however, so we are glad to discuss each individual customer situation and help you decide whether or not you would like to upgrade.

6 Challenges with Tracking Adwords Conversions in Salesforce

With the impending “end-of-life” of Salesforce for Google Adwords, I thought I’d dive a bit deeper into some of the challenges for tracking Google Adwords lead sources into Salesforce. Regardless of whether you choose a tool from the AppExchange or build your own integration, here are some of the considerations that are not always front and center.  

 

Getting Enough Data

Many companies are running thousands or tens of thousands of keywords in Google Adwords, but only receive tens or hundreds of leads a week. If you don’t have a high lead volume, and a portion of your leads are from sources other than Adwords, it can be a challenge to build up enough data for the results to be meaningful.

For example, your company may find that it has a few keywords with multiple leads, but that the “long tail” exists in your tracking as well — large numbers of keywords with one or two leads. In these environments, it is very common for it to take months to build up enough tracking data for it to be actionable. You will eventually have plenty data, but don’t expect this to come within a month or two, so best to set everyone’s expectations up front.

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The best time to start tracking your lead sources was 6 months ago. The second best time is today, so don’t put it off any longer — get lead tracking for Adwords set up today.

 

Eliminating Waste vs. Optimizing Performing Keywords

Related to the challenge of collecting enough data is what kind of actions you are able to take and when. The reality is often a bit more complicated than the idealized promise of being able to optimize all of your Google Adwords advertising, where every keyword and bid is delivering the perfect balance of revenue without overbidding or waste.

As you are collecting data, you may find that you have a number of keywords with one or two leads attached to them. Are these valuable keywords, or just clicks that became leads by chance? Only time and more data collection will tell, as leads go through the conversion to opportunity and close process so you can relate those click costs to revenue as well.

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In the early stages of your Adwords tracking in Salesforce, focus on eliminating waste. The low hanging fruit you can easily take action on without months of data should be keywords that produce tons of clicks with no leads, as well as keywords that produce lots of leads that never convert. This is the waste that is poorly aligned with your products or services, and is the first area where you can confidently make changes based on preliminary data.

Eliminating waste will improve the efficiency of your overall Adwords spend and lower your cost per lead. As you continue to collect tracking data, you can then start to optimize bids, broaden your keywords, or make other optimizations based on more complete data.

 

Focusing on Wrong Metrics

For me being able to understand revenue / keyword inside Salesforce, instead of relying on CPC or CTR metrics, to be the primary goal of tracking Google Adwords results into Salesforce. Of course, understanding the trends across all of your metrics, CTR and CPC included, is important. But all metrics are not created equal.

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How critical revenue / keyword tracking is will vary depending on your business of course. If you only sell one product at a single price, it may not be as important — the sale amount and lifetime value of most customers is the same, so you are mainly optimizing the demand volume side of the equation. But if you have multiple pricepoints that vary significantly, a more expensive click that typically drives a large purchase can be far better than a more affordable click with an average revenue that is lower.

This importance is only multiplied if you are bidding on very competitive keywords. Bidding $25 or even $50 for a single click always seems painful, unless you can track those same clicks through to significant large purchases on a consistent basis. What seems crazy without tracking can be shown to make financial sense and drive significant revenue when properly tracked.

 

Picking a Source of All Truth

Where do you store your Adwords tracking data? Do you use Salesforce, Google Analytics, or both? What about duplicate / conflicting data?

I am partial to making Salesforce the single source of truth, but of course I build Salesforce applications to centralize data there. Google provides some great tools, especially considering many of them are free / advertising supported, but those systems are not designed to be a long term database, nor are they as customizable as Salesforce is.

Silos

One advantage to centralizing Adwords tracking data in Salesforce is that the data can be (potentially) useful to others outside of the marketing department. Sales reps might be interested in what keywords a lead was searching for, to better understand their intent. Or if you don’t want to expose that data to the sales team, you could still use it to drive lead scoring formulas that determine how views are sorted or which leads are visible to the sales team.

A corollary to the “single source of truth” is that to keep yourself sane, you should accept that if you use multiple systems, the numbers in different online tracking systems will never agree exactly. Even the numbers between Google’s different systems don’t match. As with other marketing metrics, it is the trend and the consistency that is more important — as long as the numbers are close enough, focus on any divergence or suddenly larger gap between different analytics systems, as that could indicate a problem.

Poor Lead Hygiene / Salesforce Processes

Another common challenge to tracking Google Adwords (and other online advertising) conversion in Salesforce is poor data quality and a lack of consistently followed processes for handling data. Duplicate leads, no consistency across the sales organization for when leads are converted to opportunities, and custom fields that don’t map anywhere upon conversion are all common issues we see with Salesforce usage that affect campaign tracking.

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With so many systems integrated into Salesforce, and marketing automation systems increasingly inserting their own databases into the middle of things, we also see lead sources that get lost or overwritten, and a lack of proper reports / dashboards to give a holistic picture of the data.

If you are embarking on a project to track your Google Adwords or other online marketing leads in Salesforce, try to make data cleanup and process improvements part of the job. You’ll end up with better data and a higher likelihood that you are making decisions based on accurate data as a bonus.

 

Not Having Correct Tools

Finally, we come to the tools you use to get your Google Adwords data into Salesforce. Some companies have their web developers or engineers build a system to push this data into Salesforce. And if you have an eCommerce system or Account signup (instead of a lead process), custom building a solution may be your only real option unfortunately. But many of us don’t have development resources at our disposal, or the engineering team is too busy on customer-facing product development to work on internal marketing tools.

For those using standard Salesforce web-to-lead forms and processes, there is a new generation of tools available like our (CloudAmp’s) Campaign Tracker. Installable directly from Salesforce.com’s AppExchange, these tools can add in additional information like where a lead came from, what keywords they searched for, and more.

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Most importantly, this information becomes a permanent part of the lead record in Salesforce upon the form submit, so you can track those values throughout the lead lifecycle and see conversion and revenue data. Now you can get real ROI data on Google Adwords and your other marketing and advertising efforts, and know in detail which keywords or placements produce your best leads.

Despite the challenges, now is the time. So don’t wait any longer, start tracking your Google Adwords and other advertising lead sources into Salesforce today. Eliminate waste wherever possible, and reallocate funds to the top performing advertising, and your revenue and cost of sales can improve significantly.

Replacing Salesforce for Google Adwords

Salesforce for Google Adwords launched back in 2007, and for the first time made it easy to associate Adwords advertising data with individual leads inside Salesforce. I was one of the first enthusiastic users and a customer case study for Salesforce on their roadshow announcing the new application.

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Finally, we could permanently tie Adwords clicks to an individual lead, and track conversion all the way through from lead to account to closed opportunity. No more focus on Google Adwords CTR, CPC or other important but sometimes misleading metrics. We had arrived at the promised land: $ spent / $ revenue generated on a keyword basis. And we could now get this data even if the lead closed 6 months after the Adwords click and came in via Fax.

Some time ago Salesforce.com announced that the Salesforce for Google Adwords app could no longer be installed, and that support for existing users would be ending May 1, 2013. I don’t know all the details behind this decision, but this blog post is focused on what you can do to replace Salesforce for Google Adwords, and one alternative application that we have developed here at CloudAmp.

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CloudAmp’s Campaign Tracker, launched in October 2012, is a viable alternative to Salesforce for Google Analytics. Just install the app into Salesforce, add a tracking code to the pages of your web site and insert some additional code in your web-to-lead forms, and you can start capturing data every time a new lead comes into Salesforce.

Campaign Tracker is designed to be simple, to minimize the number of things that can go wrong in the tracking process. There is no external database to sync to Salesforce, so leads go directly into your Salesforce org via web-to-lead forms, and your data never leaves your Salesforce org. We give you the tracking cookie javascript to host on your own web site, so there no third-party cookies that are often blocked.

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In addition, Campaign Tracker does not actually pull any data from Google Adwords or Google Analytics, so we don’t rely on data from those services or the availability of APIs. We simply make use of the Google Analytics Campaign URL format, and save the UTM values from the URL into a cookie that your web site sets.

When a visitor to your web site submits a Salesforce web-to-lead form, we parse the cookie and populate some hidden fields in the form with the campaign values. As a bonus, you have more complete campaign data in Google Analytics, since you should be tagging all of the inbound URLs that you can control.

 

After you have the tracking enabled on your web site, simply update your Google Adwords URLs in a format like that below, filling in your own values for the campaign etc., and you are ready to go. To make things easier, if you have a lot of ads to update, the Google Adwords editor (a desktop program for your PC or Mac) makes it easy to update many ads quickly.

http://www.YOURSITE.com?utm_source=GoogleAdwords&utm_campaign=CampaignTracker&utm_medium=PPC&utm_term={KeyWord}

The {KeyWord} at the end of the URL uses Google Adword’s keyword insertion to automatically insert the keyword into your URL, just the same way it can insert a keyword into the text of your ad. You can also use the 5th campaign parameter, utm_content, to record the Adgroups if you would like.

That’s it! So if you are looking for an easy to implement alternative to Salesforce for Google Adwords, check out CloudAmp’s Campaign Tracker — it installs directly from the AppExchange for a free trial. If you have any questions, leave a comment below, or contact us and we’ll be glad to help.

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