Why did my contact's Original Source Type change?

Last updated: December 13, 2016

Applies to:

When a person visits your site, HubSpot tracks their activity with the HubSpot tracking code. HubSpot identifies unique visitors by placing a tracking cookie on their browser.

HubSpot tracks visitors' activity on your site even before they convert on a form. Once the visitor does fill out a form or gets otherwise added as a Contact, HubSpot will try to associate the record with any activity that was tracked previously. If HubSpot analytics is able to match a new Contact with an anonymous visitor whose activity we were previously tracking, we will update the Original Source Type property to reflect the source of the Contact's earliest visit to your site. An example of when the Original Source Type property might change:

  • A Contact visits your website for the first time in March by clicking on a result from a Google search.
  • He clicks on a few website pages, but does not submit a form to become a Contact. Even though he is not yet a Contact, HubSpot still "sees" his activity and tracks him as the same visitor if he revisits the site again.
  • In July, you import his email address from a .csv list, which would give him the Original Source Type of 'Offline'.
  • The Contact is then sent an email from HubSpot and he clicks on a link in the email to visit your site again.
  • The identity tracking added to links in HubSpot emails and the cookie that was already in his browser from his first Google search back in March allow HubSpot to identify the imported Contact with his website visits.
  • The Contact's Original Source Type will change from 'Offline' to 'Organic Search' because his first interaction with your website was through the Google search in March - earlier than his offline import in July.

Following in a similar path, another example of when a contact's Original Source Type may change from 'Offline' to another value is via Form Submission. When a contact for which HubSpot already has a cookie placed within his/her browser, and has a value of 'Offline' for Original Source Type (because as described above the contact may have been imported), submits on a form on your website the contact's Original Source Type may change, for example:

  • From 'Offline' to 'Organic Search' because his/her first interaction with your website was through a Google, Bing, or Yahoo search.
  • From 'Offline' to 'Direct Traffic' because his/her first interaction was to visit your site directly.


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