Sourced from Search Engine Watch

Many people do extensive product research online but end up buying from brick and mortar retailers. How can you track the effectiveness of search marketing campaigns that result in offline purchases? Many search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns can drive offline sales of products or services.

Types Of Offline Responses

In the online and offline world, impressions are mostly delivered by the ad agency – responses are figured from the online and offline mechanisms, which is segmented by us, the search engine marketer.

There are three different types of offline responses, which are segmented into three different areas:

  • Discreet landing page

    A discreet landing page allows you to create a page specifically for that piece, it’s pretty straightforward – site owners can count the number of visitors who land on that specific page.
  • Process landing pageA process landing page has multiple offline campaigns directed to a single page. One example is a magazine that has a subscription renewal. Visitors go to the process landing page and type a priority code, which can be used for many different magazines and campaigns. In addition, site owners can get customer information from a survey.
  • Redirection programA redirection program is similar to what you might see inside a Dell catalog. The catalog will drive site visitors to a program, which in turn redirects them to a different page.

Try to correlate offline actions to the online driver, e.g., placing a cookie with a unique I.D. (back to each marketing driver). For example, on an ecommerce site, once a product is selected a confirmation e-mail can be sent with customer ID. The offline salesperson can take the data and import it back into the online drivers.

The better you can segment the stages of online and offline conversions, the better you’ll be able to determine ROI down in your sales funnel.

Search Engine Advertising Campaigns

According to iMedia, between 70% and 90% of all consumers buying “high consideration” products begin their research online, and then purchase offline.

This shows that a client who starts online and converts offline tends to be more valuable of a client/customer. A Web site offers a choice, where you can purchase online or dial. People who pick up the phone are fairly serious about a transaction.

Others may end up being delayed conversions. In order to justify online ad spending we as marketers many times must show the positive impact it has on offline sales.

Another option is to create a unique landing page for each ad provider (one landing page for Google AdWords, one for Overture, and one for FindWhat). Conversion tracking can be done by measuring the incoming 800-number calls or the customer reference code.