How can I track offline campaigns with Analytics?
In contrast to the online campaigns mentioned so far, you cannot use detailed tagged links in offline media such as print, TV or radio. Who would remember a URL like meineite.de/?utm _source = Offline & utm _medium = TV & utm_content = Spot1 & utm_campaign = TV_ Flight_Q3_2017 during a TV commercial and then enter it in the browser? Of course nobody. Therefore, with offline campaigns, you have to dig a little deeper into your bag of tricks to be able to track the campaigns.
Specific destination urls
Let’s say you want to measure how well your print ads are performing. Understandably, however, you don’t want to add long campaign parameters to the target links, as users won’t enter them anyway. In order to be able to measure the success of the campaign as well as possible, it is advisable to create a short URL that is only used for this purpose. This way you can be sure that the users who visit this URL directly have very likely seen your ad. example.de/print would be a possible target URL. Unless the page is otherwise linked within the website, the probability that only users who have seen the ad will access this URL is very high.
The URL is also easy to remember. The user knows your domain and can probably remember the newspaper’s abbreviation well. However, make sure that the URL is communicated for this purpose only, is not spread across other channels or is linked within the website. This would significantly impair the informative value of the evaluation.
Another way to evaluate the reach of offline campaigns is with domains that forward. To do this, you communicate a domain name in your campaign that belongs to you, but which does not correspond to your regular domain. When users visit this page, they are automatically redirected to the actual landing page. If you now add campaign parameters to the target of the redirects, you can evaluate very precisely how many people have accessed your website after the advertisement. It is important that the domains used cannot be reached in any other way, for example via search engines. So here you should use the “noindex” function. With the entry “noindex” in the meta tags, a search engine robot is informed that the visited page should not be included in the index.
The URL redirect variant is a little less time-consuming, as you do not have to own or maintain any other domains. All you need is a URL that you do not otherwise use and that redirects to a URL with campaign parameters. This alternative is similar to the Specific Destination URLs, but here the URLs are forwarded to the normal product pages or special landing pages to which campaign parameters are added.
Another way to track offline campaigns is to use certain discount codes. Although you cannot use direct campaign analysis in this way, Google Analytics offers you other options for meaningful analysis of this data.
The “Order Voucher” report in the Advanced E-Commerce Tracking enables you to record sales, transactions and the average order value in relation to partner websites that direct customers to your website.
Offline campaigns can also be tracked using QR codes. For QR codes you simply enter a campaign URL. Anyone who calls the code will be automatically redirected to this landing page.
URL shortening services like bitly or goo.gl are particularly good for social media. If you don’t want to post long URLs on Facebook, shortened URLs are a very good alternative. To do this, you add the appropriate campaign parameters to your target page and then shorten the URL.