Where Do My Leads Come From?

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Act Today is Australia's leading supplier of Act! software. Helping thousands of businesses implement efficient and effective Act! CRM software and solutions since 1992. You can find more about Act Today at www.ActToday.com.au

Tracking leads can become very complicated. In order capture information that is going to be valuable to your business, it is important to clearly define the lead source. With so many marketing channels, lumping all leads into 'Google' is not going to provide you with a great deal of intelligence on where they are actually coming from. Likewise, entering specific detail such as the referrers name is going to give you a report with hundreds of categories.

How to track the lead source

A simple but effective way of tracking your leads is to use two fields in Act! (i.e. ‘Referred By’ and ‘Referred By Specific’).  The Referred By field will track the first tier of the lead such as an 'Event' while the 'Referred By Specific' will record the second tier (e.g. the event name and/or date).

Before diving in and creating your categories, take some time to explore the lead source categories that apply to your business. Summarize this list into a handful of broad categories. These will be your 'Referred By' drop down options. When configuring this drop down list, we recommend that you set the field so that users cannot add new items to the list. If you have planned your list thoroughly, then each lead should fall into one of the 'tier one' categories.

The 'Referred By Specific' field list covers the 'second tier' categories. Unlike the Referred By, don’t limit the 'specific' field to items from the drop down list. That way users can enter particular details such as an event, referrer's name or particular advertising campaign.

See the below list of examples of how the two fields work in conjunction with each other.

Referred By

Referred By Specific


Customer, Alliance, Employee (e.g. Customer – Joe Bloggs)


Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook

Search Engine

Google. Bing, Yahoo


Seminar, Webinar (e.g. Seminar 6/6/16)


Print, Web, Remarketing (Print Ad – My Business Magazine June)


Email Campaign #1, Email Campaign #2,


Called In, Contact Us Form, Estore

Once you have your lead source fields set up in Act!, ensure that your users are educated on how to correctly enter the data (dirty data in = dirty data out).

How to quickly analyze my lead sources

To analyze where your leads are coming from, use Act!'s one-click export to Excel. Follow the steps below to create a graphical chart of the channels that are most effective.

1. Create a lookup
Create a list of contacts that you want to analyze such as 'ID/Status=Customer' and 'Referred By Contains Data' or 'ID/Status=New Lead' and 'Create Date is within the past 60 days'.

2. Export data to Excel
From the Act! Contact List view, make sure that the Referred By field is displayed as a column.

a.) Right click in the list and select Customize Columns to configure the fields that are displayed in the list view. To make working with the excel data easier, only display the fields that you need, or at least position the columns together.
b.) Click on the Excel icon on the toolbar and the list will open in an Excel worksheet.

3. Create a Pivot Chart in Excel
Within your new Excel spreadsheet, select the Insert Menu. If you are not familiar with pivot charts, select 'Recommend Charts'. If the recommended chart displays what you are after, simply click OK. Otherwise, select 'PivotChart' and create your own – see below for an example.

The chart below shows the number of contacts from each Referred By category.

For more detail, use the following PivotChart field criteria to show a breakdown of each 'Referred By Specific' category within each 'Referred By' category.

So there you have it - a very fast and easy way to better understand your lead source and where best to spend your marketing dollars.

The ‘Referred By’ field is a standard field in Act!. The 'Referred By Specific‘ field will need to be added to your database. You could also name your fields to Lead Source and Lead Source Specific if that make more sense for your business.

See Act! Knowledge-base articles: How to Add a Field to Your Database and Layout and How to Create and Manage a Drop-Down List in Act! or talk to your local Act! Certified Consultant. See Microsoft for help on creating Pivot Charts.