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Bridge Online Clicks with Offline Sales

Over the past 10 years, AdVision has worked with 100’s of businesses of all sizes and in all industries. Although the types of businesses have varied greatly, the commonality among every one of our engagements has been the client’s desire to convert their online traffic more often at a lesser cost.

My favorite aspect of digital marketing, regardless of the strategy deployed, is the ability to track tangible results. We can easily track any click from the initial website visit through to a conversion, be it an online purchase, a lead submission form, or a phone call.

This process of results tracking does get a little difficult when tasked with tracking a local, in store purchase, stemming from a digital campaign we’re managing. In these situations, we need to plan a campaign geared towards driving online website traffic, which will trigger in store visits, which will ideally result in an in store transaction. And we have to have the ability to prove it. Below are a few tactics we've employed to overcome this in past client campaigns.

I had a great meeting yesterday with Gil McCormick, the owner of one of Colorado’s largest bicycle shops, Wheat Ridge Cyclery. Gil shared with me his interest in learning more about the methods that could generate more qualified web traffic, while also driving more in store purchases. 

Below are 2 great examples of tactics we’ve used in the past to track offline transactions generated from digital marketing campaigns we’ve managed:


Strategy 1: Phone Call Tracking


By using a phone call tracking system, like Call Tracking Metrics, you can track the source of every web sourced phone call. Simply sign up for an account and place the tracking pixel on your site to get started. 

Once the pixel is installed, the phone number on your website will change on a unique session basis. When this masking number on you site is dialed, you can route the call directly into your call center or front desk. The end user actually has no idea their call was just filtered through a call tracking system.

What you get in return is analytic data on a call-by-call basis, including caller name, phone, time of call, call duration, and source. Sources can include Google AdWords, Bind AdCenter, Facebook, etc. With this data, you can tie the result back to the web source. If you divide the number of unique calls, by the amount spent on advertising, you now have a true cost per call. You can also record and listen to the calls if so inclined, to determine the outcome of the call.


Step 2: Landing page Incentives


Digital marketing tends to convert best when traffic is driven to a specific landing page. For example, let’s say you owned a Bicycle Shop and were using Google Adwords to drive traffic to your website. You may want to consider sending ACME brand bicycle traffic to a custom ACME branded page. Better yet, if you are using specific ACME model keywords, you may want to drive that traffic to specific ACME model landing pages.

If this goal of the above ACME campaign is to drive in store sales, we need a tangible way to tie this online activity to offline results.

We’ve had a lot of success in the past by developing online incentives that can only be redeemed in store. For example, let’s say we place a 5% Off coupon on an ACME landing page, and we make this coupon only redeemable in store. If we set the campaign up so that this ACME landing page is only accessible by people who found you through Google AdWords, when this coupon is redeemed in store, we know we must attribute this purchase back to the digital marketing campaign.

If we want to get really precise (and why wouldn’t we?), create separate landing pages and coupons for Google, Bing, Facebook, etc., and now you can track those in store purchases back to the source.

Traffic is good. Leads are better. Sales are best. Without large quantities of quality traffic, conversion opportunities are limited. If you are seeing a good amount of traffic, but don’t have the necessary measures in place to track and report on conversions or conversion sources, you are in essence driving blind. The more traffic you’re attracting, the faster you’re driving. You get the picture.

If you’re a local business reliant on foot traffic and in store sales to grow your bottom line, try implementing each of the tactics I’ve suggested above, and gain a clearer picture of where your highest converting web traffic is coming from.


Matt Walde
Post by Matt Walde
September 22, 2015

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