If you’re spending any significant amount of time or money doing advertising, the most important thing you should be doing is tracking how well each of those activities is performing.  Unfortunately, it takes some setting up in Infusionsoft to get it working – but when you do have it going, it’s amazing.  It can mean the difference between making a ton of money – or losing a ton of money.  Without tracking it though, you’ll never know what’s actually going on.

What is a “Lead Source”?

Lead Sources are a way to track the entry point of a contact to your list.  It’s designed to help you identify what traffic generating sources are producing the highest number of customer creating leads.  That’s an important distinction btw – you can have lead sources that create a ton of leads that don’t convert.  Those are generally worthless – their only redeeming quality is that you can adjust your message to try and turn those unconverted leads into customers by saying something different.  Screenshot 2015-09-16 22.14.24

The Lead Source field is on the first tab of a contact record, right under Person Type.  Lead Sources can be set manually from here, but they can also be set automatically (more on that later).  This field is a look-up field from the list of Lead Sources you can create by going to Marketing -> Settings -> Lead Sources.  If there’s a list of Lead Sources in there already, don’t worry about it.  They are there from the Web Tracking code Infusionsoft puts on all of your hosted webforms, landing pages, emails, order forms and shopping carts.

So you might be saying, “Jordan, I use tags to see where people are coming from”.  Do me a favor, re-read the title of this post.  If that’s what you’re doing, you’re doing it wrong and this post is directed squarely at you.  TAGS SHOULDN’T BE — USED FOR TRACKING LEAD SOURCES.  Lead Sources should be used for tracking lead sources.  Kinda like how you wouldn’t use a hammer with a screw – sure it might work, but it’s way more effective to use the right tool for the right job.

So How Do I Set Them Up and Use Them Correctly?

Great question.  Glad you asked.  Let’s use an example to illustrate how this works (side note – rinse and repeat this process for all of your lead sources).  Let’s say that I’m writing a blog post that I want to promote on a couple of different Facebook Groups (kinda like what I’m about to do with this blog post:) ).  Let’s pick one of those FB Groups and create a lead source.  Here’s how I filled out the form to create this lead source (after I clicked the big green Add a Lead Source button from the Lead Sources list):

Screenshot 2015-09-16 22.22.44

You’ll notice that for the Vendor, Medium and Message/Content fields it’s a drop down.  If what you want to put there isn’t in the list, put it in the “Other” field and it will add it to the list.  You’ll have to add the Category field manually as well if it’s not already in the list.  Here’s how I use each of the fields:

  • Name – something I’ll remember what it is 3 years from now
  • Description – additional info to jog my memory 3 years from now
  • Category – the medium I’m using to drive the traffic (social, paid, organic etc.)
  • Vendor – the service I’m using to drive the traffic (FB in this case)
  • Medium – the next click down from the vendor – something like post, fb group, offer, etc.
  • Message / Content – one more click down from the medium – something like post, comment, photo, etc.
  • Start/End Date – you can use these if you want (I usually don’t)

Once you’ve got that all figured out, save it.  You’ll want to write down the Id of that new lead source you just created.  For this one, it’s 771.  You can get the Id from the Id column on the list of Lead Sources.

So your lead source is created, now how do you use it.  It’s going to take a little bit of setup (and some JavaScript) to make it work, but it’s pretty easy to do once you know what to do.  On each of your webforms, you’re going to want to drag out a Hidden Field snippet and select the Lead Source field.  Don’t put a value in the box.  We’re going to use some JavaScript to populate that field.  Once you’ve got that, drag an HTML snippet out and put it on your form as well. (Side note, I usually put my hidden fields and HTML areas at the top of the form, no reason exactly other than it just makes things easier to find when I’m testing it out)

Screenshot 2015-09-16 22.36.05


In your HTML Snippet, you’ll want to download the file in the link below and copy/paste the text in the file into the HTML Snippet. It should look like this:

Link To File

Screenshot 2015-09-16 22.46.14So here’s what we just did with the form.  We put a spot on the webform to set the lead source, and we put some JavaScript on the form that will automatically set the appropriate lead source.  Now what we need to do is tell the form what lead source to use.  Here’s how that works.

Remember how I had you write down the Id of the lead source after you created it? You’re going to need that now.  If you didn’t write it down, don’t worry.  I’ll wait while you go back and do what I told you to do before.

Got it now? Great, glad you’re back.  Here’s how to use the Lead Source Id.  Wherever you’re putting the link to the page with the form, you’re going to append a ?ls=[the lead source id] to the end of the url.  For example, when I post the link to this blog post in the Infusionsoft Open User Group, I’m going to use this as the url: http://www.jordanhatch.com/how-to-use-lead-sources-the-right-way?ls=771 For all of my other lead sources, I’d replace the 771 with the appropriate Id.

This is what will happen when someone clicks on the link:

  1. The blog post loads, and the web form is displayed
  2. The JavaScript code grabs the value you’re passing to the page from the url (the value after the ls=)
  3. It puts that number into the hidden LeadSourceId field on your web form
  4. The form gets submitted (hopefully) and the Lead Source for that new contact gets set

*Note: This works with Infusionsoft generated forms.  I don’t know how it works with any other form provider (gravity forms, unbounce, lead pages etc.), it may or may not work with them but I haven’t tested it.

The new contact should now have a lead source set.  If the contact already exists in the system and has a lead source set, it won’t over write the existing lead source, it will keep the old one.  This is a good thing – remember, lead sources are designed to track where the person originally came from to get on your list so you can track that source’s ability to create customers for you.

How Do I Start Tracking Lead Sources Now?

Once you’ve got contacts flowing into your system with the lead sources being set, you’re going to want to start checking out the Lead Source ROI report.  This is your go-to report when you are determining whether or not to invest more money or time into a particular lead source.  Specifically what you’ll be looking at is the Contacts, Customer, Contact to Customer and Revenue columns in the report (pro-tip, click on Edit Criteria / Columns and get rid of the other columns for now).  The most important thing to look at on this report is the Contacts to Customer percentage.  This will tell you which lead sources are providing the best converting contacts to your list.  Of course you need to make sure you have statistically significant numbers before concluding the success (or failure) of a lead source – I’d recommend having greater than 100 contacts before you make that determination (unless you’ve paid a bunch of money and it doesn’t look like you’ll get to 100).  The next most valuable thing is the number of contacts.

What Next?

Once you’ve gotten this figured out, you’ll want to start tracking your expenses against each of the lead sources.  This will help determine how much it’s costing you per lead source to create a lead and a customer.  At that point, you’ll want to add those other columns back into the report.Screenshot 2015-09-16 23.07.04

So there you have it – the right way to track lead sources.  If you’ve got any questions ask them below.