Question

How to track attribution of sales bookings via events (UTM sucks)

  • 21 November 2023
  • 2 replies
  • 199 views

Hi All, we need to be able to attribute sources of sales call bookings made via Calendly. Calendly seems to not be built for this.

Use case:

  • In reality we have 1 type of sales call, and ideally 1 event type for it
  • But there are many routes via which prospects can land on that event
  • We need to determine which routes / sources of bookings perform best
  • Ideally we’d have 1 event type with a breakdown of all referrers or sources of bookings
  • Ideally that would be exportable to CSV. But if the data is accessible another way it’s OK

Problem with Calendly:

Calendly allows only 1 URL per event booking page. This is a major constraint because we can’t have different URLs to attribute bookings to different sources. Calendly does support UTM codes, but as we all know UTM are one of the best ways to make a good URL long and unusable. Specifically: several sources of bookings are via email or other places that huge long ugly URLs are not workable. URLs like this are not practical for popping into a sales email thread: https://calendly.com/sam-tuke/intro?utm_source=gerry+santana&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=outreach-22. Even one single UTM parameter is hard to get right when writing emails on a mobile devices, error prone, and is unwieldy for the recipient.

Using HTML to hide URLs is a good way to land in spam these days.

Calendly supports no other options for attributing bookings AFAICS.

Workaround:

Until now we have cloned events in order to get different event booking URLs to enable us to differentiate. That works. But it means that when we need to tweak event settings, we need to edit currently 6 different event types manually. E.g. every time we add or remove a booking form question we must manually edit them again, which is a major PITA, and makes errors quite likely.

I’m looking for any improvement on this workaround.

An option I’ve considered is using a third party link shortener as a workaround, effectively oursourcing URL redirection to another company like bit.ly. That should work, but may also trigger spam filters on emails, given that the end URL is not the same as the one in the email. It also means that we’d have to use the link shortening service UI to get our analytics stats instead of some other better suited system, which isn’t ideal.

How are you handling attribution better than the above? Thanks.


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2 replies

Userlevel 7

Hey @samtuke! What a great post. I love the thorough overview of your use case. I hope that other Calendly users are able to chime in with what they are doing to work around similar issues themselves!

From our end, here’s what I have to offer: 

  1. Finding a more efficient way to include links in emails, perhaps some way that does not require manually typing them. Keep in mind that email filters “prefer” hyperlinks, so using them might also clean things up and allow you to use UTMs the way they’re designed to be used and solve this ordeal!
  2. Admin Managed Events might benefit you and your use case.

After discussing with colleagues we do not suggest using a link shortener for the exact reason you noted - the possibility of them triggering spam filters. Hopefully you’ll get some more ideas as well! 

Thanks @KelsiEllie for your thoughtful suggestions.

  1. We want to use calendar invite links in as many places as possible. That means we can’t rely on (or custom-build) addons for email clients on every platform (to make the UTM URLs easier to remember and type). Also we prefer clean literal URLs (vs HTML links / anchor tags) for email deliverability, recipient readability and trust, and to avoid pop-up warnings in mail clients about the destination URL being different.
  2. I checked Managed Events, and they would indeed help, but would not be a perfect solution, and require us to upgrade our plan to Teams and pay more for every user per month (even though few users would actually use them), which on balance seems not worth it in our case.

I’ll keep exploring options meanwhile. Thanks again.