How to use the Sources report to measure your marketing campaigns

Last updated: January 13, 2017

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Product: HubSpot Marketing
Subscription: Basic, Professional, & Enterprise

HubSpot's Sources Report helps you measure the success of your marketing campaigns over time and find areas for further optimization. It shows not only where your traffic is coming from, but also the original source of your Contacts and Customers. The Sources Report helps you find out how visitors are discovering your site, measure top-of-the-funnel channels, and make wiser decisions about where to invest your marketing dollars. Remember the analytics best practices:

  • Check often (minimum of 1/week). This allows you to focus on what is/isn't working and improve upon your existing results.
  • Calculate your marketing ROI. Which channels are you investing the most money in? Is the ROI profitable? Should you be focusing your efforts on another channel that is performing better for a lower cost?
  • Establish benchmarks, set goals and determine how you're going to follow though. This works great with the first point. Set goals and once a week check back to see if you're meeting your goals or if you need to realign your focus.

Once you start gathering data, you'll want to regularly ask a few key questions to ensure you're on track and getting the most out of HubSpot:

  • What are your goals and are you hitting them?
  • What trends can you identify?
  • Which reports should you create to track progress?
  • How should you change your inbound strategy?

Regularly asking these questions ensures you're staying in line with your marketing vision and that your website and marketing efforts are producing your desired results.

Using the Sources Report

Use the Sources Report when you want to:

  • See what channel is generating website traffic.
  • Understand which marketing campaigns have the highest ROI by analyzing the campaign that generates the most Contacts and Customers.
  • Create reports to track the progress of your website traffic and visitor conversion over time.
  • Analyze the conversion rate of Contacts that became Customers for a specific time frame.

Understanding the Sources Report

To see your Sources Report, navigate to Reports > Sources.

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At this point, you've arrived into your Sources dashboard.

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Analyzing the Sources Report

Use the Sources Report to see which traffic sources are generating the most traffic. Within the Sources Report chart, you will see the detailed breakdown into how many visits your site received from each source in the selected time period.

Click into a source to further drill-down into your traffic results

  • Organic Search: Discover the keywords and search engines that are bringing visitors to your site. Note that Google now encrypts most of their searches, if a keyword is not provided then you will see the term 'Unknown Keywords SSL'.
  • Referrals: See which external sites are sending the most traffic to your site through inbound links.
  • Social Media: Find out which social media sites are generating visits to your site.
  • Email Marketing: See which email campaigns and messages received the most clicks resulting in visits your site.
  • Paid Search: Find out how well your paid search ads are performing through the amount of traffic generated by ad clicks.
  • Direct Traffic: Determine how much traffic is generated by visiting your website directly (or with no referral source).
  • Other Campaigns: See which marketing campaigns (as defined by tracking URLs) are bringing visits to your site.

Add Marketing Actions to track significant events

  • Marketing Actions are like post-it notes for your analytics. Create a Marketing Action to record the date you launched a marketing campaign so that when you look in Sources months later, you will see the note and know why you had a spike in traffic and Contacts.
  • Click the 'Add Marketing Action' button on the top of the Sources Report graph to add an item to a specific date.
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Change time frame, domains, and custom reports

At the top of Sources, there are three dropdowns which will allow you to filter by the following:
  • Change the This month to date dropdown to see traffic results for a different date range.
  • Toggle the All domains dropdown to see traffic for one of your primary subdomains hosted on HubSpot.
  • Choose Select report... to view a custom report.
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Standard vs. Cumulative views

At the top-left of Sources, you can click the Standard or Cumulative tab to switch your graph view.

  • Standard view will display how each channel is performing on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
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  • Cumulative view will display the progression of each channel over a period of time.
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Traffic results are further broken down in the table below the graph

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Each color in the Sources Report graph indicates a different traffic source:
  • Organic Search:  Non-paid visits from recognized search engines, like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
  • Referrals: Visits from links clicked on other websites.
  • Social Media: Visits from links clicked on social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Email Marketing: Visits from tracking links in your emails. These links are automatically added to the emails you send from HubSpot. They can also be manually added using tracking URLs, if you’re using an external email system.
  • Paid Search: Visits from paid search ads that are either automatically identified by HubSpot or set by your own tracking URLs.
  • Direct Traffic: Visits to your website with no referring source or tracking URL. Usually visitors who type your website directly into their browser.
  • Other Campaigns: Visits from campaigns that are being monitored with specific tracking URLs other than those used for Social Media, Email, or Paid Search.
  • Offline Sources: This category does not apply to visits, but contacts and customers who originated outside of your website like those who are imported. In the Sources Report, Offline Sources is hidden by default.
  • Learn more about how visits are categorized into each of these sources.

For each of these traffic sources, you can see the following data for the time-frame selected:

  • Visits: Number of unique visits during the selected time period. A visitor is tracked by the cookie placed in their browser by the HubSpot tracking code installed on your site. A single visitor can have multiple visits to your site.
  • Visit-to-Contact Conversion rate: Number of new Contacts divided by the number of visits for the selected time period.
  • Contacts: Number of new Contacts added during the selected time period. Contacts are attributed to a particular source based on the source of their first visit to your site.
  • Contact-to-Customer Conversion rate: Number of Customers divided by Contacts for the selected time period.
  • Customers: Number of new Contacts added during this time period who have become customers, broken down by the source of their first visit.
  • Visit-to-Customer Conversion rate: The number of Customers divided by the number of visits for the selected time period.

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