The campaign was sent but the tracking does not work normally or is classified as an unknown source: "referral / s3s-main.net".
Before starting a deep investigation, you have to check the first basic configuration related to:
- UTM tags configuration at the campaign design level
- UTM tags, especially during redirects
- Installing the Google Analytics tracking code on the landing page
When conducting the investigation, there are two possible scenarios:
- The campaign generating the tracking problem is not identified: in this case go to the chapter 1
- The campaign generating the problem is identified: the problem is isolated in the campaign settings and in this case go to the chapter 2
1. Identify the campaign source with Google Analytics
By checking the tracking data via Google Analytics, it is possible to obtain the list of links classified as referral. These are generally links made of several combinations of characters such as: /l5/78c11eZqF3/1675/543117264.html
To identify the campaign associated with the link, visit the link, making sure you add a prefix to the URL using the universe tracking domain. The tracking domain can be retrieved by consulting previously sent messages, it is generally in the form.
Navigating the reconstituted link allows you to identify the landing page and go back to the campaign that is the source of errors:
2. Checking the tracking configuration on a campaign sent
In the event of a problem with tracking campaigns via Google Analytics, the first thing to do is to check the activation of tracking and the associated configuration.
To verify this, open a sent message and click on several links to check point by point:
- activation of campaign-level tracking
- the use of authorized characters in UTM tags
- the operation of a possible redirection of links
- the operation of the collection at the landing site
Checking the activation of tracking
If UTM tags appear in the URL of the landing page, this means that tracking was activated when sending. A campaign with tracking activated and configured describes links made up of UTM tags as below:
If the URL does not contain a tag, this means that the tracking was not activated. This configuration is irreversible a posteriori but make sure that you activate and configure the tracking parameters on the next campaigns.
Checking the composition of UTM tags
If the URL contains tags, the parameters may contain an unauthorized character such as a space or an accent in which case the tracking will not function normally. Visit the Google help page for more information.
Checking that UTM tags follow redirects
In certain circumstances, the links can go through a redirect page which does not transcribe the UTM tags, so the user arrives on the landing page without the tracking tags however necessary for the functioning of the tracking.
This scenario can be identified using a browser extension to decompose the redirections of a link. For example, we can see below that UTM tags are not transmitted to the landing page and that tracking is therefore impossible.
Checking the implementation of the tracking code
The tracking is activated and configured and the UTM beacons are transmitted to the landing page. The collection of information can nevertheless be blocked due to a bad implementation of the tracking code.
Analysis of the page source code is necessary to identify a possible defect. For example, the tracking code must refer to your Google Analytics identifier and it must appear at the top of the page, otherwise campaign tracking does not work.
For more help with implementing the tracking code, visit the Google support page.