Tracking Channels In Sitecore

Tracking Channel Performance In Sitecore

Sitecore has a channel tracking feature that allows you track all the channels that your prospects use to interact with your brand, whether they’re online or offline.

Sitecore already comes with a number of campaign channels OOTB that you just have to associate with campaigns, but setting new channels up in the Marketing Control Panel is also super easy, and they can be all tracked and reported on in Experience Profile.

You can also use channels as part of personalization rules, to give users a unique experience depending on the channel they came from.

In this blog we’re going to look briefly at what exactly marketing channels are, and why you should track them, and of course how to go about tracking your campaigns with channels in Sitecore.

What We'll Cover

Let’s get into it.

What Are Marketing Channels?

Marketing channels are platforms that allow you to reach your target audience, so you can give them information about your products and services or your brand.

When discussing channel tracking, we are referring to tracking the platform that facilitated that exchange of information. For example, if someone sees your digital ad and clicks on it to get to your website, the ad was the channel that allowed you to reach your audience.

Although digital marketing channels usually come to mind when we think of the word channel, many businesses still use offline channels to make exchanges with their audiences, including things like events and in-store purchases. Both online and offline channel tracking is available in Sitecore.

Why Should You Track Channels?

As the age-old Peter Drucker saying goes, “you can't manage what you can't measure”, meaning that, you won’t know how successful any of your channels are unless their success (or failure) is tracked and documented.

Lucky for us, Sitecore offers channel tracking as a feature that you can report on in Experience Profile. You can also use the channels to create personalization rules that can personalize components based on a user’s channel.

Let’s look at what channels are available by default in Sitecore, and then how to create a new channel, as well as how to associate them with a campaign.

Predefined Channels

Sitecore comes with predefined channels and channel groups that you can associate campaigns with.

NOTE: You’ll need to create campaigns to associate the channels with first. Read my blog Everything You Need To Know About Sitecore Campaigns to find out how.

Here’s a list of the channels that come out of the box (OOTB) with Sitecore:


3rd party Email Inclusion
Other 3rd party
Other 3rd party pay-per-lead
Virtual events
Apps App push
App store activity
App usage
Other apps
Automation programs Email automation
Other automation
SMS automation
Digital events Other digital events
Webinar live
Webinar recorded
Direct Direct
Display Facebook display
Google display
LinkedIn display
Other display
Twitter display
Email campaigns Email marketing
Email newsletter
Email notifications
Email purchased list
Email sent
Other email
Organic search Organic branded search
Organic non-branded search
Search not provided home page
Search not provided not Home page
Paid search Bing ads
Facebook ads
Google ads
LinkedIn ads
Other ads
YouTube ads
Referral Affiliate referrals
Organic referrals
Other referrals
Owned referrals
Partner referrals
PR referrals
SMS campaigns Other SMS
SMS marketing
SMS notifications
SMS sent
Social community Facebook social community
Google Plus social community
LinkedIn social community
Other social community
Twitter social community
YouTube social community
Social mentions Blogs
Other social mentions
Social sponsored posts Facebook sponsored posts
LinkedIn sponsored posts
Other sponsored posts
Twitter sponsored posts
System System


Advertising Advertising agency fee
Broadcast advertising
Corporate sponsorship
Other advertising
Out of home advertising
Print advertising
Call center General inquiry
Other call center
Direct marketing Direct mail - print or collateral
Other direct marketing
Event Customer events hospitality
Industry event sponsorship
Other event
Trade shows
Partner marketing Other partner marketing
Partner enablement
Partner events
Partner lead generation
PR Other PR
PR agency fee
PR events
Resources Corporate and product branding
Other resources
Printed materials
Product materials
Sales Cold calling
Customer meeting
Inbound phone call
Other sales
Qualification call
Store Enter store
Other store
Telemarketing Other telemarketing

Locating Channels In Sitecore

From the Sitecore Launchpad, click Marketing Control Panel.

Click on Sitecore marketing control panel

In the content tree, expand Taxonomies, and then expand Channels.

Open up taxonomies, then channels in Sitecore's marketing control panel

Expand either online or offline depending on the type of the channel for a list of channel groups, that can be expanded to see the list of default channels.

Creating A Channel

If you want to track a channel that doesn’t come OOTB, you can create it in Sitecore to use for campaign tracking.

To create a new channel:

From the Sitecore Launchpad, click Marketing Control Panel.

Click on Sitecore marketing control panel

In the content tree, expand Taxonomies, and then expand Channels.

Open up taxonomies, then channels in Sitecore's marketing control panel

Expand either online or offline depending on the type of the channel.

From the list, click the type of channel group that the channel you’d like to create would fit into.

Right click on it, and select Insert > Channel.

Create a new channel by right clicking on a channel group and choosing Insert Channel in the Sitecore marketing control panel

Enter the name of the new channel, and select OK.

Enter a name for the channel and click OK

Click Save, and deploy the new channel by clicking Review in the top navigation, and then Deploy.

Associating A Campaign With A Channel

In order to track your channels, you’ll need to associate your campaigns with a channel.

To do so, in the campaign creator, choose the channel associated with the campaign from the ‘Channel’ dropdown list.

Associate your campaign with a channel

To learn more about Sitecore campaigns, including a deep dive into how to set them, read my blog Everything You Need To Know About Sitecore Campaigns.

Reporting On Channel Performance

From the Sitecore launchpad, click Experience Analytics.

Select Experience Analytics in the Sitecore launchpad

In the left menu, expand Acquisitions, and click Channels.

Click on Channels in Sitecore Experience analytics

You’ll now be able to see your channel performance on the right.

Wrap Up

That's it! You made it. I hope by now you realize that channels in Sitecore are so much easier to work with than you'd think. Start utilizing them to gain more of an understanding over your marketing analytics tracking, and see what new insights you're able to obtain that can change the game for your next marketing strategies.

If you'd like to connect with me, please reach out to me on Twitter or LinkedIn. 'Til next time!