Campaign Tracking

padams edited this page Jan 28, 2015 · 1 revision

Table of Contents

Tracking dimensions

OWA can track visitors back to user defined values for a variety of campaign tracking dimensions including medium, source, campaign, ad, ad type, and search term. To use these dimensions simple add them along with whatever values you want to to your incoming links. For example:



This medium dimension can be used to represent a grouping of sources or a "channel" as it is sometimes referred to by marketers. You can make up an unlimited number of values for medium but remember that OWA automatically codes visits with the following values for medium whenever you do not specify your own:

  • referral - used to represent sources that contain links pointing to your web site.
  • organic-search - used to represent sources that are search engines (e.g. Google, Yahoo, Bing ,etc.) that send users to your site from search results.
  • direct - used to represent direct navigation or "type-in" traffic
  • feeds - used to represent sources that are syndication (RSS, atom, etc.) feeds that you may be publishing.

A good example of creating a custom value for medium would be to track visits that come from an e-mail newsletters. For that example adding owa_medium=email to the links contained in your newsletter would allow you to see how many users arrived from your email marketing efforts.



The source dimension is used to represent the specific entity or origin of the traffic. In the case of referrals this value is a web site/domain (e.g., or However you can use any custom value you want including the name of a mailing list, or a ad/media network.


Continuing with our e-mail newsletter example, the source dimension might be used to represent the name of the mail list that the e-mail was sent to. For that example one might add owa_source=main+mailing+list to incoming links. Another popular use for the source dimension is for use in tracking display advertising efforts where you do not know the web site that will be sending the traffic but do know the ad network or sub-network. For that example adding owa_source=google-display-network or owa_source=valueclick-media



The campaign dimension is represent the specific marketing theme that you are using to drive the traffic. This value often ties directly to the name of the marketing campaign or thematic groupings of ads. For example "Back to School", "20% Off Sale"", or in the case of a email marketing the name of the e-mail promotion or newsletter.


Continuing with our e-mail newsletter example, the value for a campaign dimension might be owa_campaign=monthly+newsletter.



The ad dimension is used to track the specific version of an advertisement that the user clicked on before arriving at your web site. Often times this value maps directly to the name of the ad or "creative" asset in your ad server.



Ad Type


The ad type dimension is used to further describe the type of ad that the use clicked on before arriving at your web site. This dimension can be used to describe size of an ad (e.g. 300x300, or skyscraper, etc.) or the technology used in the ad (e.g. rich media, or text link, or flash banner, etc.). NOTE: an 'ad' can only have one 'ad_type' associated with it. The first ad_type set for an 'ad' will be used for all subsequent uses of the same 'ad'.



Traffic Attribution

OWA can be configured to attribute incoming traffic to user defined campaigns using multiple attribution modes. The attribution mode is controller by the trafficAttributionMode config setting.

Direct Attribution Mode

This is the default attribution mode.

The Direct attribution mode attribute new visits and any events that occur with the visit to the medium/source/campaign that initiated the visit/session. For example, if the user does a search on Google for your web site and clicks a link in Google's search results taking them to your site, OWA will attribute the new visit (and any conversion or commerce transactions that occur with in the visit) to the medium of organic-search and a source of If within the next 30 minutes, the user left your web site and went to and clicked on an ad for your site only to arrive back at the site, the visit would still be attributed to Google. However if the user went out to lunch (causing a period of 30 minutes of no activity) and then clicked on your advertising running on, OWA would record a new visit and attribute it to whatever medium/source/campaign values you added to the click-through link on your ad on

Original Attribution Mode

The Original attribution mode attributes visits to whatever medium/source/campaign first drove the user to your web site. For example, if a new user of your site arrives at your site by clicking on an ad banner you were running on, then the visit would be attributed to the ad/campaign. However, if the same returned to your site a week later from a Google Search, their second visit would again be attributed to the ad/campaign.

Under this attribution mode, the first campaign that that use interacts with will receive all credit for subsequent visits and their associated conversions/transactions for 60 days. This time period is configurable using the campaignAttributionWindow config setting.

Prior Campaign Touches

OWA stores the last five campaigns that a user interacts with in it's owa_c campaign cookie. These past campaign interactions are stored along with each new visit/session as a JSON object. You may retrieve these values as part of resultSets via the data export API using the latestAttributions dimension. Please note that new campaign interactions will not be added to OWA's campaign cookie using original attribution mode.

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