The online world offers us a lot of different ways to track our customers across the digital landscape.
We know what the cost of a lead is and when they convert, it’s either profitable or not.
Appending parameters to emails, inbound links we have control of, display ads, and PPC campaigns allow us to follow the electronic breadcrumbs and use them to calculate a tangible ROI. Knowing what’s NOT performing is every bit as important as what is. Remember, we can make money by saving money as well, so ditch the losers. Allocation of resources is a key piece of every marketing effort.
As your footprint grows
the challenge of keeping all of your ads, emails, and links becomes more difficult. Setup your rules early and make sure everyone understands them. Write them down in a spreadsheet that lays out your campaigns, where each link is placed, and how it is tracked. Having a template that anyone can follow spelling out the parameters needed for varying marketing channels is time and sanity saving.
Pro Tip: Don’t use capital letters, or spaces as a rule. Nobody likes consolidating numbers from multiple campaigns because the monthly email had
“Newsletter” in January and “newsletter” in February.
Measuring your non-digital efforts can be very difficult but there are several options for attribution that affect what it looks like in your analytics report. Yes, I know they can all be “assisted conversions” and we could talk attribution modeling till the cows come home but let’s pretend we only want to know where this purchase came from and how effective it was, last click.
Perhaps you have a strong brand cachet and I Googled your name.
Result? Search traffic. An extra caveat on this one is that visitor’s coming from a Google search on iOS6 or Android Vanilla 4+ will be seen as direct traffic.
Perhaps I Googled and I clicked on your ad.
Result? You’ve now paid twice for me and skewed your PPC stats at the same time.
Custom Landing Page Done Right.
Maybe you’ve put some thought into your offline campaigns and created a custom landing page that I managed to remember and type it into my browser. The result? Direct traffic, with the potential for making a LOT more work for you. Can anyone find this landing page from an internal sitelink? Can I get there from a search engine results page? You could carve out some numbers with advanced segments and/or filters but why make more work for yourself?
We’re gauging the effectiveness of an offline ad. Ease your ROI calculations by making sure your landing page is not indexed by search engines with a “no index, no follow” meta tag, and that navigating to that page internally is not possible. Now you’ve narrowed the possibilities.
Possibly you’ve really gone for it and you bought a catchy domain name like www.eroiisawesome.com and set up a 301 redirect to a specific page such as www.eroi.com/ask-why/ in hopes of seeing the referring site as your new, domain name. Unfortunately this isn’t going to happen. In order for this incredibly valid tactic to work and be trackable your 301 redirect needs to have campaign codes appended to it. If it’s Google Analytics we are talking about, it could be something like this, www.eroirocks.com/seriously?utm_source=offline&utm_medium=whybook&utm_campaign=star
In this case we could then segment by medium=whybook or source=offline or campaign=star.
So, then, what are our options? Aside from the above redirect with campaign tagging and a non-indexed custom landing page, we have a few other options if we are strictly trying to measure only offline effectiveness of a specific campaign:
- Buying PPC with an odd keyword. Buying a low traffic keyword and setting it to exact match allows you to corner the market (in theory) on people searching for a word you advertise offline. Make it memorable, make it brand oriented, and make the landing page cohesive. If you’ve got someone in the sales funnel don’t scare them off by a bait and switch. It costs you for each lead coming in via the ad but maybe that’s not your goal, or, if you know what your cost per conversion is then you can stay in the black.
- Custom coupon codes. Although they can be shared it’s a good way to see if your content is not only being viewed but also being shared. If you don’t care how many people get a hold of the code it can be a great way of spreading the word.
I’m sure there are more but we’re trying to directly measure the effectiveness of one ad and it’s ability to convert. Feel free to comment and add more or if you have questions I’m happy to answer them.