Understanding HubSpot Original Source: The Key to Effective Marketing

July 16, 2024

This article explores how to interpret and use Original Source data to enhance your campaigns and optimize your resources.

Boost Your Sales with HubSpot Original Source Property

Understanding the origin of your leads is crucial for refining your marketing strategies, and HubSpot Original Source is the tool for that.

By analyzing contact record properties, HubSpot Original Source provides valuable insights into where your leads and website traffic originate.

HubSpot Original Source - origin of your leads and traffic website

What is HubSpot Original Source ?

HubSpot Original Source is a property within HubSpot’s CRM that tracks the initial point of contact for a lead. It differentiates between paid and organic search traffic from known search engines. By providing significant attribution data, it helps marketers refine their strategies and identify effective lead generation methods.

B2B Lead Generation: 17 Strategies to Maximize Results and Drive Sales | stages of lead generation

How Does the HubSpot Original Source Property Work?

For a visual explanation on how to use the original source property in Hubspot watch this video:

HubSpot also tracks direct traffic entrance URLs to identify and attribute specific URLs that visitors directly enter to access the website.

The Journey from Visitor to Contact

HubSpot works like an air traffic controller, monitoring the anonymous visitors on your website, tracking their activities, and updating their Original Source property when they become a contact.

This process ensures that the Original Source property reflects the contact’s initial interaction with your site, akin to capturing the "first impression" your business made on them.

How First Impressions Determine Customer Loyalty

Traffic Sources Types in HubSpot

HubSpot’s Original Source property categorizes traffic sources into:

  • Organic Search: Non-paid search results.
  • Paid Search: Paid advertisements on search engines.
  • Organic Social Media: Social media posts.
  • Paid Social Media: Paid social media ads.
  • Direct Traffic: Direct URL entries or missing header info.
  • Email Marketing: Visitors who come to your site through links in marketing emails.
  • Referrals: Traffic from links on other websites pointing to your content.
  • Offline Sources: Contacts created manually, imported, or generated through third-party systems.
  • Other Campaigns: UTM-tagged URLs for custom campaigns.
HubSpot Traffic Source Dashboard's Diagram
Good to know : A study by Groupon revealed that up to 60% of direct traffic was actually organic search traffic, with a significant portion coming from mobile devices.

This categorization allows marketers to analyze traffic based on specific parameters like ‘utm_medium’ or ‘utm_source’.

Key Features of HubSpot's Original Source

The Original Source Property becomes even more insightful with the addition of Original Source Drill-Downs.

These drill-downs offer a deeper understanding of how contacts initially engaged with your business.

Original source drill-down 1 - how contact initially engaged with your business

Leveraging Original Source Drill-Down Data

Marketers can harness the power of Original Source Drill-Down data to evaluate the effectiveness of various channels and campaigns.

This data provides a comprehensive overview of your marketing landscape, highlighting the most productive areas.

Drill-Down Properties

The Original Source property includes drill-down features that provide deeper insights into how contacts first interacted with your business:

  • Original Source Drill-Down 1: Offers details such as search terms used in organic searches or specific campaign names for email marketing and paid campaigns.
  • Original Source Drill-Down 2: Provides additional details like the search engine site for organic searches, domain referring website URL for referrals, or the specific HubSpot email name for email marketing efforts.
Difference between Original Source Drill-Down 1 and Original Source Drill-down 2 in HubSpot

Latest Source vs. Original Source

The Latest Source property complements the Original Source property by tracking the most recent engagement of a contact.

Latest source/drill downs | HubSpot | gauge your customer interest

While Original Source captures the earliest interaction, Latest Source updates multiple times, providing a dynamic view of a contact’s ongoing engagement with your business.

This comparison is crucial for understanding the complete journey of a contact, from their initial interaction to their most recent engagement with the business.

Record Source vs. Original Source

HubSpot recently introduced the Record Source property to give more clarification around where a record comes from.


Previously, the Original Source property was uneditable and calculated by HubSpot. It meant that if you import records from outside of HubSpot, the Original Source would show as an Offline Sources value.

With the introduction of the Record Source property, HubSpot also made the Original Source property editable. Meaning that a user could correct that property for more accurate reporting and workflows. This update allows you to see how the record was created in your CRM from a technical perspective, enhancing the accuracy and usability of your data.

Benefits and Impact of Using HubSpot Original Source

Strategic Insights

Interpreting Original Source data helps identify the most effective initial touchpoints, enabling you to align your marketing efforts with these high-performing sources.

By examining patterns in how contacts’ Original and Latest sources evolve over time, marketers can gain valuable insights into customer interactions.

Enhanced Attribution

Drill-down properties provide a more granular view of contact sources, offering specific details that enhance attribution accuracy.

This detailed information allows marketers to evaluate the effectiveness of different channels and campaigns, ensuring that marketing efforts are precisely targeted and impactful.


Applications of Original Source Data

Custom Reporting

Custom reports using Original Source data enable marketers to identify patterns in contact interactions with various marketing channels. These insights facilitate tailored campaigns and decisions, resulting in better alignment between sales and marketing efforts.

Marketers can create reports that track the performance of different traffic sources over time, allowing them to analyze the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

Dashboard & Reporting Software | HubSpot | track perofrmance of different traffic sources for lead generation analysis

Lead Scoring and Segmentation

Incorporating Original Source data into lead scoring models helps prioritize high-value prospects.

What is Sales Lead Scoring and Why Does It Matter?

Additionally, marketers can leverage Original and Latest source property values to segment contacts within HubSpot’s ecosystem. For example, leads that originated from organic search might be scored differently from those that came through paid campaigns or social media.

By using this data, marketers can tailor their outreach strategies to match the interests and behaviors of different segments, leading to more personalized and effective marketing efforts.

Sales and Marketing Alignment

Sales teams can use Original Source data to trace the origin of deals and understand which marketing channels are most effective.

Aligning sales and marketing goals through regular sync meetings and improved communication ensures both teams work towards common objectives, enhancing overall effectiveness.

Benefits of aligning sales and marketing teams

Leveraging HubSpot for Multi-Channel Campaign Analysis

HubSpot excels in multi-channel campaign analysis, providing a cohesive environment for analyzing campaigns across social media, email, and search engines.

Paid Search and Social Media Insights

HubSpot’s Ads tool and analytics features allow marketers to manage and analyze paid search and social media campaigns.

HubSpot ads software showing ad campaigns interface - tool to analyze performance of paid ads

Custom reports leveraging Original Source fields can assess the effectiveness of LinkedIn ad campaigns and other targeting criteria.

For example, by examining the drill-down data, marketers can identify which specific ads, keywords, or audiences are driving the most engagement and conversions.

Watch this online tutorial to discover how to analyze your campaign performance in HubSpot :

This level of detail enables more precise optimization of ad spend, ensuring that marketing budgets are allocated to the most effective campaigns.

Email Marketing Performance Tracking

HubSpot’s email feature reveals which contacts are most engaged with your email content, enabling focused follow-up campaigns and precise segmentation.

By tracking metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, marketers can gain insights into the types of content and messaging that resonate most with their audience.

Build Campaigns with Email Marketing Tools | HubSpot - Email Performance Metrics Dashboard - open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates

This information can be used to refine email marketing strategies, improving engagement and driving higher conversion rates.

Organic Reach and Direct Engagement

Understanding direct traffic and organic reach is crucial for refining a comprehensive marketing strategy.

HubSpot offers metrics such as time on page, pages per session, and URL tracking, providing insights into audience behavior and helping optimize your marketing efforts.

Direct engagement can be measured by analyzing the paths that visitors take through your website, identifying key touchpoints that lead to conversions.

Bridging Online and Offline Data

In this digital era, the significance of offline interactions, especially through specific offline medium, can easily be overlooked. However, HubSpot ensures that these interactions are not forgotten.

Capturing Offline Engagements

Offline interactions are captured in HubSpot through manual input or importing data from external sources, such as spreadsheets or business card scanning apps.

HubSpot’s mobile app even provides a business card scanner feature for immediate contact creation and enrichment.

HubSpot In-App Business Card Scanner Feature - YouTube

Learn more about HubSpot's mobile app by watching this comprehensive video, introducing you the various features of the app:

By integrating offline data, marketers can gain a complete view of their lead generation efforts, understanding how in-person interactions contribute to overall marketing success.

Leveraging HubSpot for Comprehensive Campaign Analysis

HubSpot’s robust analytics tools enable comprehensive analysis of multi-channel campaigns, ensuring consistency and effectiveness across all marketing efforts.

Multi-Channel Attribution

HubSpot’s multi-channel attribution capabilities allow marketers to understand how different channels contribute to lead generation and conversion. By analyzing the combined impact of various touchpoints, marketers can optimize their strategies for maximum effectiveness.

For example, a lead might interact with your brand through multiple channels before converting. By understanding the role of each touchpoint in the conversion process, marketers can allocate resources more effectively and design more cohesive campaigns.

Custom Reporting for Informed Decisions

Custom reports using Original Source data enable marketers to identify patterns in how contacts interact with various marketing channels. These insights facilitate tailored campaigns and decisions, resulting in better alignment between sales and marketing efforts.

Optimize Reporting with Free Marketing Analytics | HubSpot | custom reports for various marketing channels

By analyzing key metrics such as conversion rates, revenue attribution, and lead quality, marketers can make data-driven decisions to refine their strategies, optimized for better results and higher ROI.

Future Trends and Innovations

AI and Machine Learning

The future of Original Source data in HubSpot includes the integration of AI and machine learning to provide even more sophisticated insights. These technologies can analyze vast amounts of data to identify patterns and trends that might not be apparent through manual analysis.

Key Takeaways

  • HubSpot’s Original Source Property is essential for marketing analytics, offering detailed insights into the effectiveness of various channels and campaigns, which helps shape marketing strategies and optimize budget allocation.
  • Original Source data in HubSpot is enhanced by Drill-Downs, providing additional context such as specific search terms or campaign names, allowing for precise tracking and evaluation of marketing efforts.
  • HubSpot’s tracking capabilities encompass both digital and offline interactions, ensuring a holistic view of marketing effectiveness across all channels.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is HubSpot original source?

The HubSpot Original Source property identifies the first known source through which a contact interacted with your business. It tracks where leads come from, such as organic search, paid search, social media, or email marketing. This property is automatically set by HubSpot but can be manually updated on a contact record if needed.

Can you update the original source in HubSpot?

You cannot edit the Original Source property option directly in HubSpot. However, you can manually change a contact's source value to one of the existing traffic sources. Keep in mind that if you edit a contact's Original Source, the associated source drill-down properties will be cleared.

How does HubSpot track a visitor's activity?

HubSpot tracks visitors using browser cookies. When a visitor lands on your website, HubSpot checks for an existing tracking cookie. If there isn't one, HubSpot assigns a new cookie to that visitor, logging every page they visit from that point onward.