Tracking inbound links from an email newsletter?

Hi Uku and Marko,

I started a newsletter on Substack that complements my blog on which I am using Plausible Analytics.

Do you have any recommendations or best practices on how I can best track referrals coming from the newsletter via users clicking on links to my site? Right now the newsletter can be consumed in one of two ways: as an email sent directly to the subscriber or on a substack hosted page (also, substack’s current dashboard stats are pretty weak). I can see the latter category of referrals from the substack domain, but I want to see if I can track clicks from the email.

Would adding a url parameter work (e.g. foo.com?source=substack)? Will plausible track http://foo.com and http://foo.com?source=substack as separate pages or will it aggregate both as foo.com? Or is there some other approach you would recommend?

Thanks for any suggestions.

Thanks for reaching out!

Some newsletter services tag links automatically due to the issues with dark traffic on email (we wrote a bit about the dark traffic topic here). Perhaps check first if they do any of that?

Plausible currently supports ref , source and utm_source parameters. Next week we will introduce full UTM support which includes utm_medium and utm_campaign too. You can already start tagging your links with all these. We are tracking them already, it’s just that we will introduce them on the dashboard starting next week.

Here’s an example of how you could tag a link to your website in order to track it in your Plausible dashboard:

https://yourdomain.com/?utm_source=**yournewsletter**&utm_medium=**email**&utm_campaign=**september26newsletter**

When any query parameter is present, Plausible Analytics will show it as the referral source and nothing else. So in your example (foo.com?source=substack), any clicks on that link will be shown as substack in Top Sources chart.

You can read more about tagging links here: https://docs.plausible.io/manual-link-tagging/

Let me know if this helps.

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Thank you for the response Marko. The blog link is helpful and the url params sound like they will do the trick.

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