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Contact's 'Original source' value changed

Last updated: October 13, 2020

Applies to:

All products and plans

A contact’s original source gives you insight into how a contact first interacted with your website. There are two possible ways how a contact's Original source value may change:

  • A user with permissions to edit contacts manually changed the contact's Original source; or
  • HubSpot updated the value based on previous site activity that is newly associated with the contact.

You can check the Original source history to see the source of the change.

Manually update a contact's Original source value

The Original source property options are not editable. However, a contact's Original source value can be manually changed to any of the traffic sources used to bucket traffic.

A user with permissions to edit contacts can edit this value on an individual contact record or in bulk. If a user has access to workflows, they can use the Set a property value action to update the Original source value.

At this time, only a contact's Original source value can be manually changed. When you change a contact's Original Source value, the contact's Original source drill-down 1 and Original source drill-down 2 property values will be cleared. These property values cannot be edited, so no new value can be added once the values are cleared. 

HubSpot automatically updates a contact's Original source value

When a visitor lands on your site, HubSpot tracks their activity and identifies them as a unique visitor by setting tracking cookies in their browser. HubSpot tracks visitor activity on your site even before they convert on a form. Once the visitor submits a form or gets added as a contact to your HubSpot database through other means, HubSpot will try to associate the new contact record with any previously tracked activity.

If HubSpot is able to match a new contact with a previously anonymous visitor whose activity was tracked, the Original source property will be updated to reflect the source of the contact's earliest visit to your site.

An example of when a contact's Original source value might change:

  1. In March, a visitor lands on your site for the first time by clicking a Google search result. HubSpot sets tracking cookies in their browser.
  2. They browse a few pages on your site, but do not submit a form. Although they are not a contact in your HubSpot database yet, HubSpot is able to track their site activity and identify them as the same visitor if they revisit your site based on their tracking cookies.
  3. In July, they are imported as a contact from a CSV file. This sets their Original source as Offline sources.
  4. In September, the contact either:
    • submits a form on your site, or
    • is sent an email from your HubSpot account and clicks a link in the email that goes to your site.
  5. HubSpot associates the contact with their previous site activity:
    • the contact's tracking cookies are passed through the form submission, or
    • identity tracking from the links in your HubSpot emails, along with the tracking cookies already set in their browser.
  6. The contact's Original source will change from Offline sources to Organic search, as their first interaction with your site was via the Google search in March, which was earlier than their import via CSV file in July.