The Definitive Guide to Lead Source Tracking With Infusionsoft

Imagine this scenario: You get in your car.  You start up the engine.  You put the car in reverse.  You look straight forward.  And you slam on the gas.

It wouldn’t take very long for you to be in a state of total destruction.

You’d never do this in a car (hopefully).  Yet, this is how most small businesses operate when it comes to how they track their advertising spend.

I would argue that behind automated follow up, lead source tracking is the most beneficial feature of Infusionsoft.  Since Infusionsoft can track all customer purchases historically, and attach that revenue to the lead source, you have a full view of the ROI of your advertising dollars instead of just the myopic view you get through advertising platforms such as Google or Facebook.

Having managed millions of dollars of ad spend, I can honestly say that tracking lead sources correctly in Infusionsoft is the single most important thing you can be doing when spending money to grow your business.

What’s Lead SourceTracking All About?

So, first let’s back up and get on the same page.

When we talk about “lead source”, what we’re referring to is “where the lead came from”.  Specifically you’d like to know exactly where they came from (i.e. which ad, from which campaign, from which platform).

If you know how much you spend on an ad, and you know exactly how many leads you got from that ad and how much revenue was generated by those people, then you can start to measure ROI of your ad spend.

It’s also important to understand that lead source, as it is defined in Infusionsoft, is the first source.  So, if a contact first found you from a Google search,  then, later, came to your site from a Facebook retargeting ad, the lead source would be Google.

And, it’s important to understand that the lead source is not “what” the contact did.  Often people code lead sources as “Free Report” or “Consult Request”.  Those things tell us what they did, not where they came from.

Why Is Tracking Lead Sources Important?

When you’re trying to grow your business, there is one fundamentally important question you should be asking yourself:

Where can I find more profitable customers?

Profitable is the key word there.  We can find customers all over the place.  But, when you look into your costs, you’ll realize that the cost of one customer is not the equal to the cost of another.  Some sources provide customers at a much more cost effective rate than others.

So, when you’re spending time, money, or effort to find more customers, it would be wise to focus your resources where your return on investment and your profits are highest.  And it would be wise to stop doing things that have a negative return on investment and redirect those funds towards things that have a positive return on investment.

While at Infusionsoft, I helped lead the marketing team from generated 300 leads each month to over 25,000 leads each month.

When people ask how we did it, my answer sounds silly, but is extremely powerful: We stopped doing things that didn’t work and we kept doing things that did work.

The only way we knew what was working and what wasn’t working was because we tracked lead sources correctly.

If you only track your cost per click, or cost per lead, or even cost per customer (as you can do in advertising platforms such as Facebook and Google), then you’ll often miss the boat and potentially make the wrong call.

Imagine this scenario:

Lead Source Clicks Cost Per Click Leads Cost Per Lead
Google PPC 1000 $0.50 100 $5.00
Facebook Ad 200 $2.50 20 $25.00

Given this data.  We would all tend to make some assumptions and therefore some decisions:

Google gets me a LOT more leads, at a far cheaper cost, therefore I’ll spend more on Google.  Maybe even cancel my Facebook advertising and allocate those funds towards Google because the Facebook leads cost me 5 times as much.

But this doesn’t tell the whole story.

Because with this limited data you don’t know anything about conversion.

So, let’s take a look now:

Lead Source Clicks Cost Per Click Leads Cost Per Lead Customers Cost Per Customer
Google PPC 1000 $0.50 100 $5.00 2 $250
Facebook Ad 200 $2.50 20 $25.00 10 $50

Now all of a sudden, we realize that the assumptions we made would have caused us to make a poor decision.

Although the traffic/leads from Facebook were more expensive, those leads seemed to be more qualified and converted to customers at a higher rate.  Which, in the end, produced customers at less cost.

See how knowing and understanding all the data can really help with decision making?

The problem is, we’re still not done.  We’re still making decisions based on incomplete data.

Let’s take it one step further.

Spend Lead Source Clicks Cost Per Click Leads Cost Per Lead Customers Cost Per Customer Revenue ROI
$500 Google PPC 1000 $0.50 100 $5.00 2 $250 $5,000 1000%
$500 Facebook Ad 200 $2.50 20 $25.00 10 $50 $400 -10%

Ok, so now it’s getting interesting, right?

What we thought we knew initially was wrong.

But then what we though we knew with further data was wrong also.

And now we’re back to our initial decision.  But for completely different reasons.

Although Facebook produced more customers at a cheaper cost, those customers didn’t buy as much as the Google customers.  The Google customers spent a lot more and we ended up with a positive ROI on our ad spend.

Now we’re finally making wise decisions based on complete data.

This is the beauty of lead source tracking in a system like Infusionsoft where all the data you need can come together to give you the whole picture.

How Do You Track Lead Sources In Infusionsoft?

In Infusionsoft, the lead source field is different than all other fields on the contact record.  It is different because once it is set, it will not be overwritten unless a users specifies that it should be.  So, if a lead source is passed via web form into a contact record, and that contact record already has a lead source, then the incoming lead source will be ignored.

In Infusionsoft, lead sources can be created manually in the Marketing -> Settings area.  Once a lead source has been created, it can be used in web forms (For example, you can choose LeadSourceId as a hidden field in a webform and set the value to the ID of an existing lead source).

Many well-intentioned people have suggested setting up landing pages with LeadSourceId as a hidden field and passing the Id in the query string.  That way one landing page can be used for many different lead sources.

That train of logic is fine, but it creates one major problem: What about traffic that arrives at that page from some organic source?  Or what if someone else shares a link to your landing page?  In those cases, no ID would be passed in the query string, therefore no LeadSourceId would be set in the hidden field.  And contacts would be created with no lead source.

What’s The Solution To Dynamic Lead Source Tracking?

Because of the limitations discussed above, we need a way to dynamically pass lead sources into web forms and have Infusionsoft create them on the fly.

Luckily, the developers at Infusionsoft understood this and made the LeadSourceName and LeadSourceCategoryName fields available in web forms and made them so that any values can be passed into them.  Therefore, you don’t have to create lead sources ahead of time.  They can be created on the fly as new contacts come in.

But, one additional problem exists….

Infusionsoft’s built-in tracking script will not automatically populate those fields with values you pass in your URLs.

So, we created a free tool that does exactly this.

Check out ROI Tracker!

ROI Tracker is a free tool we created for all Infusionsoft users to dynamically pass lead sources from any link you put out here (for an ad, a social post, an email, etc).  ROI Tracker looks for values passed in Google Analytics’s standard UTM fields.  It then structures those values into a lead source and passes them into hidden fields (which ROI Tracker also creates on the fly).

With ROI Tracker you can set lead sources correctly and start to make decisions accurately based on expense, revenue, and ROI data in the Lead Source ROI Report in Marketing Reports.

Check Out This Free Lead Source Tracking Tool

ROI Tracker is a free tool by Box Out Marketing that will allow you to dynamically track your lead sources on any Infusionsoft web form.

What Should I Do To Start Tracking Lead Sources?

If you’re brand new to Infusionsoft, just sign up for ROI Tracker, set it up on your website, and you’re set.

If you’ve been using Infusionsoft for a while, you’ll need to take some additional steps.  Chances are you may not have been tracking lead sources at all, or at least you may not have been tracking them correctly or consistently.  Therefore you’ll have contacts in your Infusionsoft database with no lead source or incorrect lead sources.  If a contact has no lead source, and has made a purchase, and then later opts into one of your web forms, ROI Tracker will set the lead source.  The problem is, the revenue from their previous purchase will now be attributed to the new lead source.  And that would give you false data.

So, the first thing you need to do is a create a lead source called “Unknown Lead Source”.  Do this in Marketing -> Settings -> Lead Sources.

Then, find all contacts with no lead source and set their lead source to be “Unknown Lead Source”.

Once you’ve done that, then you can install ROI Tracker on your website and you’re good to go.

When you sign up for ROI Tracker, you’ll get access to a video explaining how to use it and how to set up links from your ads.  Once you’re using ROI Tracker and driving ad traffic to your landing pages, you’ll need to establish a regular rhythm for adding expenses to your lead sources.  Once a week or so, login to your advertising platforms, figure out how much you spent on each lead source during that time frame, then log into Infusionsoft and enter the expense on the lead source.  Then the Lead Source ROI Report will start to produce meaningful data for you.  All of this is explained in the ROI Tracker training video.

Add expenses to lead sources in InfusionsoftQuestions?

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below.  This is one of the most important things you should master in Infusionsoft.  As you do, the world of business growth through marketing will open up to you in an amazing way.

  • Great article! We’ve been missing the boat here. Going to grab ROI Tracker now and get things set up today. Thanks!

    • Tyler Garns

      Thanks David!!!

  • Va

    Thanks very much for the clear instructions Tyler!

    I’ve added the ROI tracker tool and it has created a custom Lead Source for [source]+[campaign_name]+[medium] when I set it up for Facebook as the source. Halelujah!
    New lead source is “Facebook-Download_Case_Study_130K”

    The problem I have is when I create the same link but use a different source (in this case, Google) and the new lead source isn’t created.
    The Lead source is still “Facebook-Download_Case_Study_130K” when I test in a private browser.

    Have I missed something?

    • Tyler Garns

      Va, try using an incognito/private window or clearing your cookies. Since lead source, as defined, is supposed to capture where the lead came from the FIRST time, ROI Tracker sets a cookie when you first arrive. 🙂

      • Va

        It was the cookies! 🙂 Thanks again Tyler.

        I thought the private browser would do it but didn’t. I was using Chrome. Clearing the cookies has worked.

        Things will never be the same again with this tool!