Tracking Offline Marketing

We recently had a client go from “roughly 1/2” to 83% application ratio on a website.

Naturally, any business owner would be thrilled to get a 60.2% lift in just a few weeks, and of course we’re proud.

Even better though is we’re honing in on the single most important metric for most offline-sale businesses: Cost-Per-Closed-Deal.

If you could spend $500 to earn $2,000, how much would you want to spend? As much as possible – and this is the crux of marketing and what we do here.

For business owners who aren’t yet neck-deep in the trenches of marketing (like us), this means 33% more sales and leads from the same marketing spend (60% net improvement), by optimizing the site, the headlines, and in this case, especially offline measurement.

One of the challenges faced by many business owners is tracking marketing results from offline sales.

For mortgage, real estate marketing, financial, solar, plastic surgery… and hundreds of other verticals, the actual sale is generated offline. To accurately know what, precisely, is working means you need a few things:

  1. Offline Marketing Tracking. We’ve built this as a WordPress Plugin, though you could just clone your website a few times. What’s important is the action-step gets tied to the traffic-method. For example, if you are running direct mail, viral / referral marketing, online PPC, organic SEO, and social media, then ideally you’d have one unique phone number and call-to-action URL for each method. Note the phone numbers can all dump to the same number, i.e. as just forwarding numbers, and these are cheap – maybe $6/mo for non toll free.
  2. Attribution of Lead through to Paid Sale in the CRM. SwiftCRM can do this, as can any other decent top-tier CRM provided you do the work to configure it, and integrate the marketing. Frankly, most small businesses don’t, which is why big business stays on top – they know their cost-per-closed-sale down the the cent for every traffic method, and thus can afford to outspend you. The good news? It’s not that tough. What used to be available only in $100k+ systems with a lot of custom code can be set up for a tiny fraction of that (a few thousand in most cases). Note this is key because the lead-to-sale time may be weeks or even months, so the “cohort analysis” (tracking a single human or session through to the end) has to be tracked in the CRM, not just the marketing.

The good news is this can be set up in even just an hour. Here’s how:

  1. Map out your incoming traffic methods, just on paper or notepad. For each traffic method you really do spend money on or time (i.e. inbound marketing might be “free” but the time has a value).
  2. Buy a forwarding phone number for each from either your call provider, or Twilio. I think Twilio is $6 to set up, then $2/mo/number.
  3. Tie that number first to google analytics (delegate-able to our team of nerds if needed) – see https://chrisedwards.me/development/track-twilio-calls-google-analytics/
  4. If you have WordPress, buy our plugin (available via custom order only includes installation from $500 one-time investment) and setup one affiliate per traffic-method. This plugin will swap out, on-the-fly, every phone number, the capture forms, the about page, the contact page based on the incoming traffic method. This was originally written for sales reps to track their own sales, but it works just as well for tracking marketing – or both. OR if you don’t have wordpress, hire a coder to write this, OR clone the entire website to a different URL, one URL per traffic-method.
  5. Tie the lead-capture-forms to the method and incoming URL string, so that web-forms feeding into the CRM include, as a hidden variable, the traffic method.
  6. Done – when you move deals through your pipeline, you should then have a good sense, and can graph out and/or calculate the cost-per-closed-deal.

Once you know this, growing your business becomes more of a game, in which each time you optimize your landing pages / websites / forms / capture methods (to increase the conversion %), you can afford to increase the spend, thus outspending competitors, leading to brand recognition in the space, which then creates more sales, and eventually leads to market domination.

You can do it. Just don’t gamble with marketing dollars, when insight and truth is not that difficult.