Tracking partner traffic through UTMs

  • Updated

Who is this article for?

This article will be useful to you if are running your partner program on PartnerStack and want to use UTMs to analyze link activity.

Why Use UTMs?

UTMs allow you to track a set of link parameters you consider important, most frequently through Google Analytics.

Analyzing the data from UTMs can teach you quite a few things about your channel program, including the following:

  • Where your partners' traffic is coming from
  • If your channel traffic is converting well
  • Which partners are driving the most traffic
  • Who has the best conversion rates
  • If your most recent affiliate campaign for a new product or marketing push has been effective

Adding UTMs into any field besides the two fields mentioned in this article may break link tracking.

Adding the {partner_key} shortcode to UTMs

Adding the {partner_key} shortcode into your UTMS is a great idea for a few reasons. Here are some examples:

  • You can more easily pass the partner_key to your internal CRM
  • It can help pull together info on missed referrals, should your integrations break 

When adding shortcodes in your UTMs ensure you include the { } brackets.

Adding UTMs to all partner links 

UTMs are added on a group-by-group basis, so make sure you are adding UTMs to each group for which you want more traffic insight.

UTMs set at the group level will automatically apply to all partner referral links in a group. This means UTMs will apply to partners' default link(s), any secondary link(s) they activate, and any custom referral links that they create if applicable.

To add UTMs to all links in a group:

  1. Log in to your PartnerStack account
  2. Navigate to Groups in the menu on the far left
  3. Click on the group you want to add UTMS to 
  4. In the menu along the top, click on Links
  5. Look for the section that says Set group UTM tracking
  6. Add your UTMs into the field that appears, and click "Update global UTMs"

Paste only your UTMs into the field, not a full URL. 


Adding UTMs to only partners' default links 

This option is typically used in combination with the above option. If you use only this option, you will not be able to gather data on any partner-driven traffic from custom referral links, and will only see data from your partners sharing their default link.

However, adding unique UTMs to your default link can help you track traffic from any marketing campaign pushes that affect the partner's default referral links.

To add UTMs only to your partners' default links:

  1. Log in to your PartnerStack account
  2. Navigate to Groups in the menu on the far left
  3. Click on the group you want to add UTMs to 
  4. In the menu along the top, click on Links
  5. Under the section titled Default group link, click on "Update default link"
  6. In the field titled Default link UTMs, add in any UTMS that you want to be applied to only your partners' default links

Paste only your UTMs into the field, not a full URL. Ensure you place your UTMs in the "Default link UTMs field" and do not place the UTMs in the "Link destination" field. 


Adding UTMs to secondary (recommended) links

You can also create a secondary link and add your UTMs to the new link. However, it is important to note that using the "Create secondary link" option creates a recommended link for partners in your group that is not automatically activated.

For more information on secondary links, see the Creating additional links for partners support guide.


Creating your own UTMs

Are you new to UTMs and have no marketing team to help you? We suggest you use a UTM campaign builder to help generate your UTMs. This is not a requirement but it can help you get the correct formatting for the UTM.

You can use any URL as your campaign URL since you won’t be using this part when you create the link in PartnerStack. Once your campaign URL has been generated, copy only the UTM parameters.

Once you have your UTMs, you can place them where desired based on the above two options.

For further assistance with creating UTMs, please speak to a marketing specialist. PartnerStack does not provide support for creating your UTMs.

Tracking UTM Activity 

Once your UTMs are placed within PartnerStack, you track them the same as other UTMs - through Google Analytics.

PartnerStack does not provide reporting or coaching for tracking your UTMs. 

Here are some commonly used resources for you to learn more about viewing UTM activity in Google Analytics:

For more information on tracking partner referral activity without UTMs, we suggest you check out the Analytics Panel.

If you need some assistance adding UTMs to PartnerStack, reach out to your PartnerStack Customer Success Manager or email our Support Team at

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