Google introduces new analytics platform: GA4

On July 1, 2023, Google sunsetted its legacy analytics platform (Universal Analytics or UA) and discontinued the processing of data into UA, replacing it with the new version of its analytics platform called Google Analytics 4 (GA4). This update marks a significant shift in how data is collected and analyzed, providing Google Analytics users with more powerful insights and a deeper understanding of their customer’s behavior.

We understand how critical it is for you to see Attentive message performance within Google Analytics. Attentive is here to support you and provide guidance on how GA4 affects your day-to-day campaign performance management.

Please review the following information, which outlines what Attentive did to prepare for this changeover. You can contact our White Glove team ( or your dedicated Client Strategy Manager (CSM) if you have questions.

What are the key differences between UA and GA4?

Historically, your GA data was organized into Source (usually attentive) and Medium (usually sms). With GA4, your data is now organized into rule-based groupings that enable you to quickly check the performance of each of your traffic channels.

Additionally, there are other changes, but the key differences between UA and GA4 are the reporting interface, the event-based data model, privacy changes, and the use of the machine and AI learning.

How did Attentive prepare for this change?

Our team worked hard to ensure a smooth transition to GA4, minimizing any disruption to your program. To ensure that purchases and other events attributed to Attentive are mapped correctly to the SMS channel within GA4 without any action necessary on your part, we automatically made the following updates (unless you had specifically instructed us not to via your CSM or White Glove):

  • Default setting update: Attentive updated the default value to utm_medium=sms. You can find this setting in your Settings tab under Google Analytics. This ensures that any net-new short links will have the correct UTM parameter.
  • Active shortlink update: Attentive updated any active short links within live journeys, drafted campaigns, and scheduled campaigns to include utm_medium=sms. This guarantees accurate tracking for your currently running and scheduled campaigns.

These changes were made on Wednesday, June 28, 2023. You’re welcome to make any necessary adjustments to these updated values.

What happens to the data stored in my Universal Analytics account?

All historical data from Universal Analytics will remain accessible through December 31, 2023, but this data hasn't been updated since July 1, 2023.

After December 31, 2023, all Universal Analytics data will be permanently deleted.

How do I ensure my third-party tracking is set up correctly?

Our help center article about Google Analytics 4 (GA4) provides step-by-step instructions to ensure your third-party tracking is set up to send events to GA4.

Are there changes to attribution tracking?

Google has recently made changes to attribution tracking, particularly by switching to session-based tracking. For more in-depth information on session-based tracking, refer to Google's article about Analytics sessions.

Will these attribution updates affect revenue and performance metrics?

It’s important to note that these attribution updates may affect your revenue and performance metrics. We highly recommend comparing your historical data in Universal Analytics with the data in GA4 to identify potential differences caused by these changes. Identifying any differences will provide valuable insights into the impact on your data.

What are the new default channel groups in GA4 that impact UTMs?

You can view a full list of GA4’s default channel groups here.

Can I customize or update my channel groupings in GA4?

Yes! You can find instructions here. We recommend that you update your channel groupings in G4 to reflect both text and sms for the first month of the transition to streamline reporting, as in this example:

Channel groupings in GA4 that reflect both text and sms for the first month of the transition to streamline reporting.

Did Attentive bulk update Attentive Email UTMs too?

No, we only bulk updated UTMs for SMS because our understanding is that the default grouping for email did not change with GA4.

What external resources exist to learn more about GA4?

We recommend reviewing these resources:

Do I need to update UTMs for other channels and vendors?

You should be working with your respective channel vendors to ensure all UTMs are appropriately labeled based on GA4 rule-based groupings. This is important so that last-click sessions are assigned to the proper channel from which they were driven. If a UTM is outside of the rule-based parameter, it will be labeled as Unassigned and the vendor will not receive credit. While not in our control, we encourage you to do these updates so that Attentive can continue to provide accurate, comparative reporting.

Do I need to update my Klaviyo ID UTM parameter in Klaviyo?

You don't need to update your Klaviyo ID UTM parameter in your Klaviyo account, assuming it's still properly activated. Klaviyo ID tracking won't impact GA4 rule-based groupings for source and medium UTMs, because it is a completely separate parameter.



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