Troubleshooting Contact Form Tracking With GTM

By October 23, 2017Analytics

This post is to help folks that are having issues setting up Contact Form 7 tracking with Google Tag Manager after following my walk-through. Before you begin, consider the following, which can all affect your ability to track form submissions:

  • Google Analytics filters for IP addresses can exclude traffic and conversions from your home/office before it even gets into Google Analytics.
  • Google Analytics opt-out plugins for Chrome, Firefox, etc. have the same effect as IP filters.
  • If a single person fills the same form three times during their session, that will be recorded as three Events. However, it will only be recorded as one Goal Conversion. This is just how Google Analytics works.
  • If you have your site setup to redirect to a thank you page after the form is submitted, this tutorial will not work for you – you need to set up Goal Conversions differently.
  • If you are not using GTM to track submissions, this tutorial will not work for you. Similarly, if you have a mix of GA and GTM, I can’t guarantee how functional this will be for you.

Troubleshooting GTM Setup

Assuming you’ve double checked your setup and followed the directions carefully, with no typos, let’s start with Google Tag Manager and find out if the tags are firing. Log into GTM, navigate to the top right corner and click Preview.

You should then see this box:

We’re going to use GTM’s Debug mode to see if the event is firing, and make sure information is being sent to the Data Layer. Go to a page on your site with the Contact Form that you’ve setup tracking for, then do a hard refresh (Shift + F5 in Chrome) to ignore cached content and get a fresh page load.

You should see the Debug window at the bottom of the screen. The left pane shows events that have transpired during your time on the page. You will see two tags fired: Universal Analytics (basic page view tracking) and also the wpcf7mailsent tag with the custom Javascript that fires when mail is actually sent.

If you don’t see either of these, there’s an issue with one of those tags, and you should go back and make sure they’re set to fire correctly.

Next, fill out and submit the form. At left you should see a new event, wpcf7successfulsubmit. Clicking on it will reveal details about what tags were fired on this event. You should see the Contact Form Submission tag listed (see below).

Now go to the rightmost option in the row at the top of the pane – click on Data Layer. You should see CF7formID listed in the Data Layer, and it should have an actual form ID in it (in this case, 1192). This information was pushed into the Data Layer using the wpcf7mailsent tag. If you don’t see it, or it says undefined, go back and look at your wpcf7mailsent tag – it’s possible your tag has an issue.

Next, clicking on the Variables tab will show you what Variables were captured, and you should see a Data Layer Variable named CF7-formID. If you see the form ID listed in the Data Layer tab, but not the Variables tab, then it’s likely your custom CF7-formID Variable has an issue and you should take a second look.

If you run through all this troubleshooting and everything checks out, then we need to move into Google Analytics to keep evaluating the different parts of the process. It doesn’t mean your GTM setup is 100% working, but does start to narrow down the number of areas in which things went wrong.

Google Analytics Troubleshooting

Log into GA and go to the Real-Time > Events report. Fill out and submit your form again, then wait a few seconds. The GA event should be logged with the Category & Action you included in the Contact Form Submission GTM tag (see below).

If it isn’t, then first look at your Contact Form 7 Trigger and make sure it’s set to fire on wpcf7successfulsubmit. 

By clicking on the Event Category, GA will also show you the Event Label, which we set up to be the form ID. If you don’t see this, make sure your Contact Form Submission GTM tag has the Event Label defined correctly as the CF7-formID GTM Variable. Missing an Event Label will affect Goal conversion tracking if you have it set up to track a specific form.

If that all checks out, go look at the Real Time > Goal Conversion report. You should see your Goal Conversion appear there also. If it doesn’t, examine your Goal Conversion setup in Google Analytics to make sure you’re tracking the correct Event Category, Action and Label.

Assuming you have your Goal Conversion setup correctly, there are still a few possibilities which I’m reiterating from the beginning of this page:

  • Google Analytics filters for IP addresses can exclude traffic and conversions from your home/office before it even gets into Google Analytics.
  • Google Analytics opt-out plugins for Chrome, Firefox, etc. have the same effect as IP filters.
  • If a single person fills the same form three times during their session, that will be recorded as three Events. However, it will only be recorded as one Goal Conversion. This is just how Google Analytics works.
  • If you have your site setup to redirect to a thank you page after the form is submitted, this tutorial will not work for you – you need to set up Goal Conversions differently.
  • If you are not using GTM to track submissions, this tutorial will not work for you. Similarly, if you have a mix of GA and GTM, I can’t guarantee how functional this will be for you.
Chris Berkley

About Chris Berkley

Chris is a digital marketing consultant specializing in SEO and Analytics across industries including healthcare, education, finance and others.