Digital Marketing Blog

How to track offline advertising using marketing automation

  • By Brad Poirier
  • 22 Nov, 2017
How to track offline advertising using marketing automation
Photo by Mattias Diesel on Unsplash

Offline Advertising + Marketing Automation go together like PB&J (Jelly or Jam, whatever your fancy is)

If you’re like me, then you my friend, are a data junkie.

Even if you’re not a data junkie, you can still appreciate measuring your ROI (return on investment)

What I’m saying here, is that while the world is going (has gone) digital, you can still make excellent use of offline marketing campaigns and advertising. Let me explain.

Suppose you are advertising on traditional media, such as print, radio, TV – or even something as simple as handing out 500 flyers around town. Those media formats are excellent for reaching wide audiences, and yes, they CAN be tracked. There’s several ways to track offline advertising. We’re going to discuss tracking offline advertising using automation methods.

Setup Your Campaign Sources In Your Marketing Automation Tool

Marketing Automation itself is predicted to be a  5.5 billion dollar industry  by 2019. No surprise that there are over 34 companies that fall under the  marketing automation umbrella .

My point is that you have many choices in the tool you want to use to track your offline advertising by using marketing automation.

Breeze Digital Media is a  Silver SharpSpring Partner . (Say that three times fast).

We will discuss how to track offline advertising using SharpSpring, but these steps generally will be the same regardless of which platform you are using.

Set Up A Referring URL

Say a customer whose name is Jesse walks into your store, and this customer has a friend named Screech who told her to shop at your store.  During the sales process, you ask the customer, “So, by the way, how did you hear about us?”

Hopefully the customer remembers it was Screech who referred your store to her.

This is basically how a referring URL works. A referring URL tells your automation engine to say:

   “When someone (Jesse) visits my website from this referring URL (Screech), attribute the campaign to this marketing effort (advertising medium).”

In a real world sense, here’s how we do this: Purchase a unique domain for offline tracking. Do this for as many offline sources as you need.

Let’s call your business “Morris Remodeling”, and you live in Bayside, CA, and it’s 1990 all over again.

Your website is : zachmorrisremodeling.com

Now, your marketing strategies include email, social media, seo, ppc, and traditional media formats of print and radio advertising.

The first four strategies are somewhat automatically tracked, but the traditional media types are the ones we want to focus in on. Let’s set up two unique domains to track these.

Use a landing page and a unique domain

So let’s say, you’re already using landing pages from your automation tool, and you’ve set up a special lead generation page with the url of offers.zachmorrisremodeling.com/winter-remodeling-special

No one is going to type that into their browser when they see that on your printed advertisement.

Instead, we purchase the unique domain: baysideremodeling.com

Most important step with this unique domain: You must set this domain to redirect to your landing page. You will not be creating a whole new website for that domain, it is there to instantly redirect someone to a another page.

The point here is that the print ad generates enough interest to the point where someone wants to learn more. They do this by first directly going to “baysideremodeling.com”, which then just puts that on your carefully crafted landing page of offers.zachmorrisremodeling.com/winter-remodeling-special .

  1. It’s much easier for someone to type that shorter unique domain in.

  2. We can track that domain and tie it to your offline advertising.

Here’s where the tracking begins.

In your automation engine, you set up a new campaign for this domain and name it “Print Ads”
Add a new tracking campaign to your automation engine
Add a new tracking campaign to your automation engine

Next, enter some general information about it, select the campaign type as “offline”, and add any tags that you want to group this into. This is particularly helpful if you want to, let’s say, set up different campaigns for each print medium (magazine, newspaper, etc) but then have them all accessible from one general print tag.

Here you can also attribute a cost to this campaign (advertising costs) and the time range (the flight dates for the ad). You can also set what your revenue goal is for this. These are all parameters that you decide on based on your business.

Enter details of your campaign method/source

Lastly, here is where we put the tracking site in.

Select the site that you are tracking, whether it’s your main site or one of your landing page sites and then put in the final url that it will go to. Since this url ( offers.zachmorrisremodeling.com/winter-remodeling-special ) is only being used for this one unique domain of baysideremodeling.com , all traffic and any leads generated from that landing page will be attributed to your print campaign.

Enter tracking site info (referring URL)

That is literally the entire process.

In a nutshell, to track offline advertising using automation, you are basically doing these 3 steps:

  1. Setting up a unique domain for your print advertisement

  2. Pointing that domain to your landing page

  3. Attributing that landing page to your campaign called “Print Ads”


What’s the benefit of doing this?

First, you are able to track where your leads are coming from.


Secondly, and most importantly, you can measure the ROI of all of your marketing strategies.

By going to your campaign insights tab, you can see how many total new leads for a certain period of time, and a breakdown of how you acquired those leads. Further, you can see how much each lead is costing you based on the source of that lead!

Even more, you will see a projected sales forecast viewed by either all leads, or by specific lead types.

Chart showing campaign reporting and ROI

Again, whether you’re a data junkie or not, measuring both your online marketing and offline advertising strategies is important.

Also, with so many older movies and tv shows coming back or being redone, I wish someone will bring back Saved By The Bell. (If you didn’t infer that from the Morris Remodeling)


#GoBayside #BeatValley

Breeze Digital Media News & Resources

By Brad Poirier 22 Nov, 2017

Offline Advertising + Marketing Automation go together like PB&J (Jelly or Jam, whatever your fancy is)

If you’re like me, then you my friend, are a data junkie.

Even if you’re not a data junkie, you can still appreciate measuring your ROI (return on investment)

What I’m saying here, is that while the world is going (has gone) digital, you can still make excellent use of offline marketing campaigns and advertising. Let me explain.

Suppose you are advertising on traditional media, such as print, radio, TV – or even something as simple as handing out 500 flyers around town. Those media formats are excellent for reaching wide audiences, and yes, they CAN be tracked. There’s several ways to track offline advertising. We’re going to discuss tracking offline advertising using automation methods.

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