I'm having problems to get stats about returning visitors from campaign.

Example: I have placed the following link with http://example.com/page?utm_medium=camp1 on some website. I want to know how many users that clicked on that link came back on their own (direct source).

For example, when user clicked that link came back again after 1 hour by directly typing the domain in browser address.

What I'm doing is the following:

  1. Filter the medium by: Exactly matching camp1
  2. Selecting segment: Returning users

But I'm not sure if the segment (returning visitors) is also filtered by medium.

So my question is: Are returning visitors users who came back to my site again by clicking the link or it's the other way around?


2 Answers 2


In order to keep track of users who originally came in from a campaign, you need to create a custom segment. In the segment you can choose users as a scope (the default is sessions) and your campaign as the filter. You can see this here: howToCreateCustomSegmentBasedOnUsers

This will return all users that were cookied from that original campaign but could have come back as long as the original cookie was active. You can then query and filter for whatever sources you want.

Simply select your new custom segment in the Google Analytics Interface, either as an additional segment, or to replace the default All Sessions segment.

You can increase Analytic's ability to stitch sessions by accepting the User ID policy if you haven't already done so.


From documentation.

Returning Visitor

A visitor with existing Google Analytics cookies from a previous visit.

The first time a device (desktop,laptop, smart phone etc) or a browser (like chrome, internet explorer) loads your website content, Google Analytics tracking code creates a random, unique id called the client id and send it to GA server.

This unique id is counted as a new unique user in GA. Every time a new id is detected, GA counts a new user.

When GA detects an existing client ID in a new session, it counts it as a returning user. If the user delete the browser cookies, the ID gets deleted or reset.

If the user switch device or browser on a return visit to your website, a new unique client ID is created and the returning user is counted as a new user, as client ID exist only on the device/browser where it has been set.

That’s why the Client ID cannot be used to measure across devices.

Source: https://www.optimizesmart.com/understanding-users-in-google-analytics/

  • thanks, but this does not answer my question
    – gigot
    Mar 7, 2016 at 12:59
  • you asked: Are returning visitors users who came back to my site again by clicking the link or it's the other way around. Read my anser once more. Third sentence.
    – Josip Ivic
    Mar 7, 2016 at 13:05
  • k, maybe my question is not so clear. Here is it again in different form: Does the returning users segment is using the medium filter or not e.g those returning users are the ones who came back to my site with clicking the link again or they came back on their own by typing the domain directly in the browser. Thank you
    – gigot
    Mar 7, 2016 at 13:13

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