Marketing Variables


You can track external marketing initiatives in Angelfish by adding query parameters to the destination URL of your ads. When a visitor clicks the ad and visits your website, AGF tracking code will detect these marketing variables in the landing page URL and will associate them with the visit/visitor.

If you've already tagged your initiatives with variables from another analytics program (like Urchin Software or Google Analytics), you can re-use these variables with Angelfish:

How to Use Existing Campaign Variables with Angelfish


Marketing Variables

There are 5 variables you can use to describe your marketing initiatives. Only 3 are required (source, medium, and campaign) but Angelfish reports are more useful when all variables are used.

Source (agfs)  -  Required

This refers to the website on which the ad is placed, or the overall referring entity.  If the source is an email, we recommend adding a YYYYMMDD date component to the source - this allows you to sort by send date in the reports. Common examples are:

  • doubleclick     (or the name of an ad network)
  • 20131001-fishreport  (Angelfish email newsletter)

Medium (agfm)  -  Required

The medium describes the type of ad, like an email, banner, cpc, or a text link. The medium reports are most useful when few options are used - we recommend using as few mediums as possible. Common examples are:

  • cpc
  • email
  • banner
  • text-link

Campaign (agfc)  -  Required

The campaign variable allows you to stitch multiple initiatives together by a common thread.  The campaign reports are most useful when few options are used. You can use the campaign variable however you choose - common uses are for a product/service or for a seasonal promotion.  For example:

  • 2013-summer
  • womens-collection
  • quickbooks-2013
  • bogo

Keyword (agfk)

This variable is used for PPC (pay per click) marketing, and it should reference the bid term for a specific ad.  The value used with this parameter will show up in the Keywords reports. If you're a Google AdWords advertiser, you can use the dynamic keyword insertion function to automatically populate agfk with the bid term that triggered the ad, like this:


Variation (agfr)

This variable allows you to differentiate between different versions of copy, images, placements, etc..  For example, the Variation can be used to differentiate between clicks on banner ads which contain different images, or to differentiate between multiple clickable links in a marketing email.  We recommend using a "location-type-description" format for Variations. For example:

  • top-banner-bogo
  • footer-300x150-flashgame


Bringing it all together

Here are a few examples of Angelfish Marketing Variables in action: 

1) A 500x150 banner ad on in the page footer, offering a 20% discount for the 2013 summer sale promotion.


2) A text link promoting a webinar in the body of an email newsletter for existing customers.


3) A Google AdWords ad copy destination URL (with auto-tagging enabled):{keyword}

Note: If a "gclid" parameter is in the page URL and the source is detected as "google", Angelfish will automatically assign a medium of cpc and a campaign of adwords.



Default Options

If no marketing variables are detected in the URL, Angelfish will apply default settings for medium and campaign.  Options are:

  • none  -- No referral information exists. This is typically caused by visitors who access the site directly by typing the URL directly into the address bar, clicking a browser bookmark, click a link in an offline application (e.g. Outlook, Word, Excel, etc.).
  • organic  -- Traffic from a known search engine where a keyword parameter exists in the referral.
  • referral -- Traffic from a website that is not a known search engine.

Enact Standards

Marketing variables are flexible and you can use them however you wish, however Angelfish captures marketing variables literally. For example, if you have one medium named "banner" and another named "banners" you will see two separate rows in the medium report. 

Here are some brief recommendations:

  • always use lowercase
  • never use spaces
  • use 1 medium for each medium type, e.g. "email", not "e-mail" and "email" and "EMAIL"
  • use 1 campaign for each campaign type, e.g. "2013-summer", not "2013summer" and "2013-summer-sale" and "summer-2013"


Use Friendly Names

You can't assume the people looking at the reports have seen the ads, so we recommend using names for Marketing Variables that are easy to understand by humans.  "body-button-buynow" is much more descriptive than "v98423".

Offline Campaigns

You can also use Marketing Variables to track marketing efforts that drive visitors to your website.  Newsprint ads or radio campaigns can use a vanity URL, which redirects visitors to a landing page with Marketing Variables in the URL.


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