by Laura Berwick, Content Creator & Support
October 07, 2019 16:18
How to Evaluate Offline Conversions

What are conversions?


The marketing space, just like any industry, often sees reoccuring words appear again and again. Simply defined, a conversion is known in marketing as the point at which a recipient of a marketing message performs a desired action.

Now let’s delve a bit deeper. A conversion criteria is used to define a sale condition that is used to measure marketing performance. A "successful" conversion implies that a positive engagement or sale has occurred, such as when a caller speaks with an agent for a specified period of time, or if a customer purchases a product or service.

By tracking the volume of successful conversions they generate, marketers can continuously tweak the quality of their leads and monitor the performance of their advertising efforts. In addition to marketers, campaign owners also track the amount of new clients they receive from their advertising efforts.


How do online conversions work?


Online conversions can be directly attributed back to their original referrer at the point of sale. 

Online conversions can be attributed in a variety of ways:

  • Using a tracking URL that directly leads to a sale at a webstore.
  • Converting calls by timing the length of an inbound sales call.
  • Verifying a promotional code or offer that is unique to a particular advertising campaign.
  • Firing an event-based trigger when conversion criteria is met. For example, when a phone call leads to a sale, a new account is then created or a membership subscription becomes activated on the clients platform

Since these digital events can be confirmed and evaluated in real time, the engagements are easily attributable back to their originating marketer.

Non-digital customer interactions are more difficult to identify in a sales cycle. For example, a customer could view an advertisement or visit a landing page but then decide to order the product at a later date or visit a physical location and make the purchase in person. This disconnect presents a challenge because a sale might not happen over a digital platform or phone call, making it difficult to know exactly who to attribute a sale to.


How do offline conversions work?


Evaluating offline conversions is a three step process:

  1. The initial impression of an advertisement needs to be documented.

    When working with Google Ads or Facebooks Lead Ads, impressions that your advertisements gather can be recorded into an "impression list" which stores customer engagements with an advertisement. An impression list record is comprised of a prospective customers contact information and the advertisement instance that was viewed or engaged with. Impression records have a "best before date" which is the amount of time that the impression is valid for ( - typically 30-90 days).

  2. A successful sales engagement will attempt to ping the impressions list. 

    When a customer later decides to purchase a product, the impression list is pinged using the customer contact details in order to check if this sale can be attributed to a previous advertisement impression. For example, when purchasing at a physical store, you might recall a cashier once asking for your name, email address and postal code in order to receive a discount or qualify for a promotional offer. These are common attributes used to ping impression lists that are stored on Google Ads or Facebook Lead Ads.

  3. Record matching sales to impressions.

    If a customer has previously engaged with a particular advertisement within a given window of time, a conversion event is triggered to document that a successful offline conversion has occurred. The attributed publisher or marketer that created the advertisement can then be accredited for that sale. 

This is an example of how you can "bridge the gap" and attribute offline activities back to online interactions when using Facebook Lead Ads or Google Ads.


This offline conversion process applies to other advertising mediums as well. For example, attributing offline engagements to email newsletters are frequently done though the addition of specific promo codes. In order to claim said promotional offer, a valid email address must be provided for it to be delivered to an inbox. An “impression list” is comprised of emails that have received a promo code. Anytime the promotional code is used, the point of sale can then ping the impression list and attribute the source of that engagement accurately.


Offline conversions help marketers accurately attribute generated revenue based on individual advertisements when a conversion occurs outside of a digital platform.


Setting up offline conversions on Facebook | Google Ads


Facebook Lead Ad and Google Ad platforms have native access to vast amounts of social media accounts, consumer contact information and engagement data. Both platforms process data from billions of users every day and actively record every engagement on their platforms. This makes these platforms extremely effective at creating impression lists for ads that were delivered using those platforms.

Offline conversion implementation is unique for each campaign. For example, some organizations find it easier to collect sales data and then process all sales generated at the end of the month. Some more established retail chains have systems in place that can ping back to an existing impression list immediately to evaluate if any successful offline conversions occurred. 

 

For Facebook Lead Ad users: Start by viewing the introductory Facebook video covering offline conversions, then follow along with their step by step guide to prepare your campaigns for offline conversions.

For Google Ad users: Start by reading the introductory Google Ads guide to offline conversions, then follow along with their step by step guide to prepare your campaigns for offline conversions.

 

How does it all come together using Retreaver?


Facebook and Google already provide several resources for tracking digital impressions and engagements on their platform; - however you will still require a reliable call tracking platform to provide you with additional engagement/conversion data if your campaigns need to process inbound phone calls.

Retreaver helps advertisers build impression lists using its caller tagging abilities.

  1. Retreaver provides a unique tracking number that you place on your advertisements.

  2. Inbound calls are then processed through your customized Retreaver call campaign and tagged with any kind of attributes necessary to make effective reporting, routing and conversion decisions.

  3. Retreaver automatically creates and updates customer profiles at the end of a call using a customer relationship manager of your choice. Callers and their attributes will be stored in your impression list.

  4. When that same customer later converts, the pinged impression list can trigger a conversion event and send that call data back into your ad platform account.

The following guides cover basic integration methods with Retreaver:

Retreaver Guide: Integrating with Facebook Lead Ads

Retreaver Guide: Integrating with Google Ads

  


Offline conversions will help you close the gap between digital and non-digital conversions.

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