Fall doesn’t just mean Pumpkin Spice Lattes and corn mazes. It’s also a huge season for trade shows, conferences, and big marketing events (yes, even virtual events!) like Content Marketing World, Connections, and Dreamforce. Every year, as marketers prepare to make appearances at trade shows in their industry, we start seeing the same question popping up on social media sites, industry blogs, and message boards: how can we track the success of our offline efforts?
This is a great question, and one that many marketers grapple with at some time or another. If you’re sending out a direct mail piece, or planning to have a booth at a trade show, how can you determine your impact on ROI? With modern marketing technologies at your fingertips, it’s really not as difficult as you would think. Let’s take a look at a few ways that you can track your offline campaigns:
Vanity URLs are a great option if you’re thinking about incorporating direct mail, billboards, handouts, or other physical items into your offline marketing campaign. You’ll simply create a unique URL for your campaign, place this URL on the item that you’re giving away, and then track the number of people that use that specific URL to access your site or landing page.
Unique Landing Pages
Set up a landing page that’s unique to your offline campaign. This is where your vanity URL should take your prospects, and where prospects will submit their information to you during a trade show. Since the landing page is specific to your campaign, you can easily track traffic and form submissions to see how you’re doing. You can also tag leads with a campaign (for example, “Content Marketing World”) so that you’ll know where they originated, and can accurately attribute ROI if they turn into a closed deal down the line.
Email Click-Throughs and Content Downloads
After a trade show, you may want to place leads on a post-event drip (you can see more about this kind of lead nurturing email here). This will “drip” marketing content to them over time based on information you gathered at the trade show, like topics of interest or stage of the buying cycle. Track the impact these emails have on your prospects by monitoring email opens, click-throughs, and content downloads.
If you’ve attached your prospects to campaigns after they convert at a trade show or after a direct mail piece, you should be able to track these prospects all the way through the sales cycle, from lead to opportunity to close. Once they’ve turned into a closed won deal, you can attribute the revenue generated to its source: the trade show or specific offline campaign where the lead originated. This allows you to attach revenue to marketing spend, helping to justify offline campaigns and improve marketing accountability.
What other ways can you track your offline marketing campaigns? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
If you’re interested in learning more about how marketing technologies can enhance your trade show experience and increase your ROI, check out our free Trade Show white paper.