How to Use UTM Tags and Segmentation to Achieve Real-time Content Cohesion for Campaigns

Every shopper’s experience is unique, and the content you show each of them should reflect that. To fuel these experiences, it’s important to gain a deep understanding of your customers’ traits and behaviors such as which brands and products are most interesting/relevant to them, where they are located (both physically and in the conversion cycle) and which channels they use to interact with your brand.

With this information, you can then create unique segments that target customers with content that is specific to the segment’s parameters. Some examples of segments retailers create include:

  • A segment for new site visitors with an interest in seasonal clothing, who live in a specific city
  • A segment for customers who’ve already made a purchase that may require a supporting accessory
  • A segment for prospective shoppers who have been led to your online store via a Google or Facebook Ad, but have yet to make a purchase.

Once you’ve determined the segments you want to create, there are a number of ways you factor in additional shopping context to strengthen the value of those segments. Here are some examples of how you can use UTM tags and segmentation to create cohesive site content in real-time.

Using UTM tagging to create unique + engaging landing page content

With ecommerce conversion rates averaging at or below 3% and paid media CPCs on the rise globally, squeezing the maximum amount out of each visit is paramount for online retailers.

Many retailers are diligent about utilizing UTM tags (e.g. the parameters like “utm_source” found after the question mark in a URL) for tracking both paid and organic campaigns for analysis later in web analytics programs like Google Analytics.

But what most retailers don’t realize is that that UTM tags are also a powerful tool for creating better and more sophisticated personalization.

Incorporate UTM tags to segment by source channel

Let’s start with the basics. Let’s say you’re a sportswear retailer running two different online advertising campaigns to promote their new line of Adidas jackets—one on Facebook and another through Google Ads. A month after running ads on both platforms, you’ve noticed a massive spike in traffic and sales of Adidas jackets. To take full advantage of this success, you must understand which of the two campaigns drove the higher amount of traffic in order to focus more resources on that channel.

Here’s an example of how you Adidas Jacket campaign could be tagged with UTMs:

UTM Source (referrer eg. Google, Facebook etc.) = google
UTM Medium (medium eg. email, cpc, social) = cpc
UTM Campaign (name of the specific campaign) = discount_adidas_jackets

The result:

How to Use Segmentation, Onsite Content Personalization and UTM tags in Nosto Campaigns

Once you understand where your traffic is coming from, you can personalize your store’s homepage to reflect content that your shoppers are most interested in seeing based on where they came from. This can be done by creating a segment of users that visit your site via a specific UTM campaign.

Let’s say you’ve UTM’d the Facebook and Google campaigns previously mentioned and you noticed that the majority of traffic is coming from Google. Great! Using this information, you can personalize the landing page experience to offer them special discounts regular visitors might not see.

Setting this up in Nosto is simple. Using Segmentations & Insights, you can create a segment of users that land on the page from our newly created Google Ads campaign. By using the UTM parameters attribute selector you can define a source, medium, campaign or a combination of different parameters to match the real-time content that will be displayed.

After creating the segment you can anchor either Onsite Product Recommendations, or Onsite Content Personalization elements that are triggered only for that particular segment. This will effectively modifying the page to provide the relevant content that matches is personalized to what the traffic is most interested in purchasing. The content campaign would be matched to an appropriate Placement and the segment we just created.

By using Nosto’s Asset Manager, you can tie an image to the campaign and further refine the styling if needed.

After hooking up both the Segment, the Placement, and the Onsite Content Campaign, the banner would only be shown to shoppers that are part of our targeting rules. More rigorous rules to narrow down the campaign to only trigger on certain product ranges (for example: the category for Adidas Jackets) can also be achieved using Template Variables.

A real-life example of this can be seen with fashion retailer Woodhouse. They showcase custom homepage banners for a segment of shoppers who land on their site via an email newsletter promoting discounted products:

Homepage without email UTM tag

Customized homepage based on email UTM tag

Small, personalized touches like these can mean the difference between a customer feeling like your emails are a promotional annoyance and like your email is doing them a favor.


Interested in seeing more examples of brands who use this strategy – or would like to try this out in your own store – simply push the pink chat button at the bottom of this screen and we’ll answer any questions you have ASAP.

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