What are UTM Parameters?

Learn the basics of UTM parameters and best practices when using them.

Tony Sasso avatar
Written by Tony Sasso
Updated over a week ago

This article describes the basics of UTM parameters and how to build a UTM link. learn more about how to track UTM data in Funraise.

UTM parameters enable you to answer important fundraising questions:

  • Where are donations coming from? Facebook, Twitter, Email?

  • What campaign has raised the most online?

  • We spent $1000 on Facebook Ads, how much did we raise from those ads?

  • Did email version A or version B raise more?

What are UTMs?

Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) parameters are five variants of URL parameters used by marketers to track the effectiveness of online marketing campaigns across traffic sources and publishing media.

The UTM parameters in a URL identify the campaign that refers traffic to a specific website, and attributes it to the browser's website session and the sessions after that until the campaign attribution window expires. The parameters can be parsed by analytics tools and used to populate reports.

There are 5 different UTM parameters, which may be used in any order:


  • Identifies which site or platform that sent the traffic

  • Example: google, facebook, email


  • Identifies what type of link was used

  • Examples: cpc, banner, email_newsletter


  • Identifies a specific promotion or strategic campaign

  • Examples: giving_tuesday, monthly_donors, december_2020


  • Identifies what specifically was clicked to bring the user to the site. It is often used for A/B testing and content-targeted ads.

  • Examples: green_banner_ad, blue_banner_ad, email_version_a


  • Identifies search terms and can be populated by the search engine.

  • You should not include utm_term in your links unless you are running paid ads on keywords.

How to create a link with UTM paramters?

UTM parameters are added to the end of your link. For example, a link with UTMs looks like this:

UTM link generator

Creating a properly formatted UTM link is easy, but it’s a good idea to use a link generator. There are many free tools available - we suggest using this free UTM link generator from Google.

Use a UTM library for consistency

Tracking UTMs is an exact science. It’s important that you use consistent values for your UTM parameters. We suggest using a single shared document that contains all your approved UTMs for use when promoting links publicly.

Each time you create a new link, you'll want to ensure you're using the correct values. Take a look at the example UTM library tracking sheet and feel free to copy and customize for your team.

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