Phones – How to Use Them to Track Offline Marketing

How to Measure Offline Marketing

Office Phone

You already monitor your web traffic, but is that really enough to understand all of your marketing? Many businesses, particularly local businesses, rely on offline marketing that can be difficult to track with just web traffic information.  Postcards, flyers, billboards, radio spots, door hangers, and other “traditional” ads frequently result in a phone call rather than a website visit.  Most businesses have no ability to accurately track what is generating business for them.

The good news is that today the technology exists to track what is driving all of those incoming phone calls so that you can figure out which marketing is working for your business and which marketing is not.

Phone Call Tracking

One option for measuring the efficacy of offline marketing activities (the holy grail to marketers since ClaudeHopkins) is phone call tracking. The premise is simple enough. Take two offline marketing pieces, let’s call them A and B for simplicity.  A is an ad in the local paper and B is a postcard to a mailing list. Within a few days of simultaneously launching A and B, you notice an appreciable uptick in phone calls to your sales office. Great! In the old days, you could point to the increase in calls and say, “Hey! It looks like A and B are driving more business.” But is the postcard performing better or is the ad in the paper performing better? What if every single response you got came from the newspaper ad while the postcard generated none at all?

With phone call tracking, you can put unique, trackable phone numbers on A and B and count calls to them independently to see where the calls and the business are really coming from.  Both of the phone numbers are simply routed to ring on your main business line (you don’t need to set up any new phone equipment), but in the background the number of calls being generated by each marketing asset is being automatically counted.  Now you can start to understand where your phone calls are coming from, not just your web traffic. And with that, you can tell what’s really working for your business.

With phone call tracking, you are empowered to start optimizing your offline marketing the way that you can optimize your online marketing.  You can split test headlines, compare different print media channels, or just get a solid understanding of the number of leads that your postcard generated.  Ideally, every time you launch a new offline marketing campaign, you could use a unique phone number rather than your main office line so that everything is measured independently. This will enable you to know for sure what is truly driving people to call you.

Web traffic has been easy to measure for a while, but phone calls still typically don’t get measured. Now the technology exists to take control of your valuable offline marketing activities.  If you are interested in learning about how to track phone calls to your small business and optimize your offline marketing, contact us and we’ll be happy to walk you through it.

Image Credit: Tor Håkon

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