While many businesses offer a product or service where a click-and-convert buying cycle is the norm, it’s not so simple for others. B2B or B2G providers, for example, may require weeks or months of lead nurturing after the initial touchpoint is made. 

Typically, those products and services with longer buying cycles also carry higher values, thus increasing the advertiser’s need to accurately close the loop and attribute them to their originating source.

Let’s take a closer look at offline conversion tracking and learn how your company can close the loop.

What is Offline Conversion Tracking?

Offline conversion tracking is the measurement and attribution of post-lead events, typically occurring outside of the website environment, for optimization and informed decision-making. This is often difficult to do because it requires collaboration between media buyers, web developers, CRM administrators, and legal teams. However, offline conversion tracking is important because it offers the ad platforms a measure of lead quality and real-world results. A lead that results in a sale or new business is more valuable than a lead that does not.

Kinds of Conversions that Happen Offline

The types of conversions that happen offline look different for every business, but the idea is to share the status of the lead with the source platform. This way, it can learn how to drive even more high-quality leads. 

For one of our clients, we track leads from all our ad platforms so that we can understand where to best spend ad dollars to maintain their profit target while maximizing lead volume. For another client, our audience research uncovered that people may research a brand’s products online but buy them in-store. This kind of customer behavior helps us translate online marketing efforts into real-world results.

How to Track Offline Conversions

Here, we share some tips on tools you and your team can use to “close the loop” with your offline conversions.

Google Ads

Google Ads offline conversion tracking helps you “close the loop,” as well as understand how online ads are driving offline conversions, by allowing you to track conversions when leads make it further down the sales funnel. You’ll be able to see how specific campaigns and ad groups affect sales. To set up offline conversion tracking, businesses can upload data from their CRM or point-of-sale system into Google Ads, which will match the data with Google’s click and conversion data to attribute sales to specific campaigns and ad groups.

There is also an option to do offline conversion tracking without GCLID with Google. It leverages Enhanced Conversion tracking (providing Google with the PII of the person who is submitting your form, then later telling Google when that person has progressed in your CRM funnel to the next qualification stage or a sale). 

Pro tip: A great way to keep lead-stored info associated with a Google Ads click is by capturing the GCLID as a “hidden field” in the lead form. This stores the GCLID with the customer’s given information within the CRM. 

While this typically requires some light development work, the added leads and customer insights are typically well worth the extra effort. Google even provides a general framework for this implementation to get you started.

Meta Ads Manager

Similar to Google Ads, Meta allows advertisers to upload data through an “offline event set” via the Business Manager.

Instead of relying on a unique click ID, as Google Ads does, Meta asks advertisers to upload hashed data containing unique information about the event or action to which you are trying to attribute a campaign. This includes a timestamp for the event, an event name, and a unique ID associated with each event.

Facebook also has a rolled-up solution called Conversions API. The FB pixel can receive data from both the website and from a ‘server’ (offline events being sent to FB via API from a CRM directly or from middleware like Zapier).

Integrated CRMs

Recent platform developments have centered around API integrations with the top CRMs (such as Salesforce, Marketo, Zappier, and OneCommand) to further the ease of attribution without all the manual leg work.

Typically, an authentication via the ad platform, followed by the CRM itself, will successfully sync the two and automatically pass desired actions for attribution at the campaign, keyword, and ad levels.  

Strategies to Drive In-Store Purchases

Regarding offline conversions, here are some strategies for maximizing digital integration that leads to in-store purchases. 

Short-Term Strategies

Optimize campaigns toward store visits, such as with location targeting and location-specific messaging. You can also promote in-store incentives like giveaways. Utilize live, in-store events to drive customers to your brick-and-mortar stores.

Long-Term Strategies

Set up broader experiments (with control sets) to measure incremental lifts in KPIs (such as in-store transactions or revenue) after an adjustment to strategy or budget. Analyze your data and get to know what drives your customers to make in-store purchases after online research.

Is Your Brand Effectively Tracking Offline Conversions?

Silverback offers conversion rate optimization services that can help your business maximize offline conversions. To find out more, email us at Info@silverbackstrategies.com or fill out our online contact form.

Silverback Strategies

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