I've always thought that using UTM parameters for internal links would significantly skew data (incorrect attribution and actual number of sessions), at least when Google Analytics is the engine capturing and making sense of the data generated through the use of UTM tags.

However, I am not sure how this works with Mixpanel, considering that they use something called "first touch attribution", which "allows you to see how a user originally found your site, even for events that occur after the first visit", according to their Help section. They also use a "last touch attribution", which allegedly helps "to determine what acquisition channel brought them to the site most recently".

Does this means that there's no risk in using UTM tags for internal links with Mixpanel?

1 Answer 1


Interesting question to ask in a Webmaster forum. First touch and Last touch attribution are attribution methods, which you can use to attribute certain events on your website/app to certain communication messages/marketing channels.

MixPanel and Google Analytics, both store user events and allow you pull that event data and attribute to specific messaging that you did to drive the user to do those events. Keep this in mind while I move on to answer the rest of the question.

UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) Tags are used internally by Google Analytics (because it was earlier known as Urchin!). Mixpanel does treat them specifically, however, it does so only on a first click attribution model.

What this means is if you have the same user coming to the site via two differently tagged URLs, and if on both occasions the event is fired, then both the events would be by default attributed to the first tagged URL. If you want to change this, you could always write code when triggering Mixpanel to store these UTM tags.

So, to answer your specific question - No, there is no risk. As long as you don't compare the two tools against each other. Google Analytics by default measures on last click, Mixpanel does so on first click.

Hope this helps!

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