How To Track Your Traditional Marketing Efforts?
All things digital may be getting most of the attention today. However, offline marketing can pack just as much of a punch, especially when those efforts are linked to what you’re doing online (e.g., references to your website or social sites on direct mailers). Traditional marketing and digital marketing can live harmoniously when it comes down to getting a return on your investment (ROI).
As with online marketing, the key to boosting your ROI with your offline engagement is to have a traditional marketing tracking plan that makes sense for your needs. Here are some effective ways you can keep track of what’s going on with your business offline.
Phone call tracking is a fairly new tracking method that can provide useful metrics for both offline ad campaigns and SEO and PPC campaigns. It works by having a unique phone number for each of your campaigns.
A good example of how this would work with an offline campaign is the phone numbers you often see on catalogs sent in the mail that have a toll-free number as one of the ordering options. Call tracking can be used in several ways, including:
- For testing various forms of offline engagement (direct mailers, catalogs, flyers, postcards) to see which approach gets the best results
- As an opportunity to encourage further engagement with your brand (sending emails with special offers to people who placed an order from a catalog phone number with a link to your website)
- An addition to your Google Analytics stats to track your overall brand interactions (both offline and online)
Unique Domain Names
With domain unique names, you would use specific domains or landing pages for your offline promotions. The idea is to track how much traffic each promotional effort is generating.
Let’s say a landscaping business has multiple locations in different geographic areas. The vehicles employees from each location use may have magnet ads on the side. Each of these ads would have a different domain listed (e.g., “MiamiLandscaping.com,” “OrlandoLandscaping.com”, and “TampaLandscaping.com”). Each one of these domains would direct to a custom landing page for each of the locations.
If you’re going to use unique domain names for your traditional marketing efforts, keep a few things in mind:
- Use memorable promotional tactics that include your various domain names (vehicle wraps, billboards, etc.)
- Don’t duplicate the content for each landing page (Google may view this as duplicate content and penalize you, which would affect your SEO performance online)
- Keep the domains simple so people can quickly enter it on their smartphones if they spot your ad while on the go or easily remember it
A vanity URL is a short, customized URL created specifically for marketing purposes. Each custom URL can be linked to a different offline campaign. For instance, you can have a vanity URL for your radio ads and another one for your magazine ads. Vanity URLs are more effective for traditional marketing tracking if you use a 301 redirect with a shortened form of the actual URL.
Oftentimes, URLs you’ll get aren’t “attractive” enough to work in offline ads, especially if they’re too long or full of numbers and letters and underscores. The stats you’ll get from vanity URLs can be tracked in your Google Analytics reports when someone is redirected to your custom URL.
A simpler way to track offline campaigns with discount codes. These are promo codes you often see on mailers (e.g, “Use Promo Code SummerFlowers15 to get 15 percent off your order). Discount codes can be prominently placed on direct mailers or mentioned as part of the tag line on your radio ads.
The results you get when these codes are use can be tracked in Google Analytics. Make your discount codes more effective by:
- Making your codes easy to remember (also avoids mistakes when they’re typed in)
- Creating a spreadsheet to track which codes you use for each of your offline promotions and to separate conversions from codes you may be using for online campaigns
- Allowing for some discrepancies with your stats from people who place codes they find for your brand offline on online discount code sites
The data you get from traditional marketing tracking can give you a clearer picture of how people are interacting with your brand and help you plan your online and offline engagements. While digital is getting all the attention these days, a well-planned offline campaign based on solid tracking stats can be equally beneficial for your brand.
Direct mail, for instance, has a response rate of 25 percent — that’s slightly higher than what’s normally seen with email campaigns. And more than 100 million Americans made a purchase from a catalog in 2016.
Are you paying as much attention to what’s going on with your brand offline as you should be? Are you missing possible opportunities to connect with customers? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.