How to Track Offline Marketing
Marketing offline has so many advantages and opportunities. Many people question offline marketing due to the inability to track or know how effective it may be. And though probably a good question 5-10 years ago, that is not the case now. There are many ways to understand the effectiveness of your offline marketing campaigns.
Utilizing your website to the fullest is an odd start to tracking offline media but works very well. If you have a seasonal sale you could create a particular webpage with a unique name like example.com/fall-sale. Then as people interact with your offline marketing, the call to action navigates them to visit this page and engage. From there you can monitor the number in comparison to the initial outreach. This also serves as a great way to practice your online capture from your offline start.
Or perhaps you already have a great webpage to direct traffic for the promotion. You may also use a url shortener such as bit.ly. This will take your website address and create a short and unique address. As people type this in at home or on their phones, the url is recorded and tracked and will reroute them to your website. The links can even be unique for you such as bit.ly/virginia-fall-promo. The URL shortener company has its own dashboard to measure and analyze the data.
Search console is the part in Google Analytics that allows you to see the search terms people typed into Google to find your website. You can see a great overview of how to set it up here.
Once Search Console is set up, you have the ability to see the terms people use to find your company and see the rankings among those terms. Now if you create your offline campaign to have a particular name such as “Pumpkin Party on the Patio”, those terms will show up as traffic to your site. You many also look and see if a phrase, campaign words, or company branded names are mentioned as well.
Outside of Search Console you may also look at direct traffic inside your analytics. Direct traffic is the visitors who came by directly typing in your website address. You can look at the historical history and then understand the spike in difference over the campaign period versus the previous average. This difference will give you a feel for the boost in engagement of your offline events and promotions.
Bonus tip: Don’t forget to add a note to Google Analytics about your offline campaigns. That way, in the future, as you wonder why you had a huge increase you can reference your note explaining it in further detail.
Discount codes and special deals are another proven way to track offline marketing. And though it is easy enough to follow how many people return the postcard to claim the coupon, it often fails because of operational issues over counting cards. Be sure to have a process in place so that as they take the coupon, employees know where to put it, how to apply it on the register, and can communicate the level of service and quality back to the manager.
Many people like to quickly pick up a phone to get more information, perhaps better directions, or inquire further on the details. Using a call tracking phone number tied to your current one will help you better understand which campaign is driving the calls. For example, you may get a free Google Voice number in your region to use, or perhaps RingCentral or other competitor, to specifically measure and route calls accordingly. This gives you a level of assurance of volume. But just as the promos are relying on operations, this too should be a note put into your CRM to measure and gauge the long term value going forward.
Many of these phone numbers can also be used for text message campaigns as well. These are great for the same reasons above and they allow for quick discussions with better scale.
Sometimes you may want to direct communication and leave an email address instead of a website. This too may be tracked and monitored. Using an email alias such as email@example.com may help you understand how many of those emails you received along with the date stamp. (An alias is just another way of saying an automatic forward within your email framework.) These can be directed to one person or many.
Tracking offline marketing campaigns does not need to be overly complicated. It does however, need to be setup in advance. Before you print or build anything, think about how you may monitor and track your endeavors from start to finish. A good plan in the beginning allows you to understand your campaign more clearly.