Measure Return On Investment Using Custom URLs, Coupon Codes, and Chatting With Customers
Print advertisements and coupons have distinct advantages over online and digital options, with one major caveat: anyone capable of operating computer mouse can track digital ads by open rates, demographic breakdowns, click-throughs, and more. Launching a paper campaign can require a bit more work.
Despite these built-in disadvantages, those using print ads had several informative tools at their disposal to measure ROI and track coupon use. Here are some of the top ways to measure success.
1. Before Your Launch Your Campaign, Set Up Custom URLs and Phone Numbers
One key way to measure ad effectiveness is to divert readers to a special website or dedicated phone line–perhaps by adding “webspecial” to the internet address or by establishing a new phone line.
“By creating a unique URL and phone number for an advertisement, it’s easy to track calls and page visits to determine which customers got in touch with your business after seeing the ad,” notes Hey Now Media.
When it comes to a special URL, there are several options, explains Digital Operative. Among the best ideas are those which shorten your web address so it is easier to read on an ad and type in on a keyboard. Free shorteners like bit.ly generate random letter-number combos which are just a handful of characters long and also offer branding, tracking, and web optimization. So-called vanity URL shorteners, meanwhile, are custom and based off your home page address. Examples include huff.to (The Huffington Post), on.mash.to (Mashable), and elq.to (Eloqua).
What if you are running radio, TV, and print ads at once? AvidTrak is one service which offers thousands of toll-free and local numbers with track ability to pinpoint which ad media buy gets you the best phone leads. Real-time info includes campaign name, caller ID, date and time of call, and more. Calls can also be tagged with notes and then be shared.
In all of the cases, the shortened URLs or custom URLs can land on your same home page, but you get a new set of metrics to track. Custom phone numbers work much the same way—the ad-specific phone number goes to your same office, but with unique routing you can measure how the campaign is working.
2. Include Coupons and Discount Codes
If a customer walks into your store with one of your coupons in hand you know that your campaign is working. Tally those coupons, each of which can have scannable codes, and you can track what paper delivered to what neighborhood brought the most customers in. Further your investigation by digging into Census data about specific hoods and you have a treasure trove of fascinating beta. Another option for free local phone numbers with call forwarding, voicemail, messaging, and more is Google Voice.
“Plus it’s great for business,” added Hey Now. “Who doesn’t love a good discount?”
Key to this is ensuring you have created completely separate coupons for each campaign so ROI can be tracked effectively; this can include A/B ad testing.
“Over time, A/B testing can be used to massively increase the return on investment your direct mail postcards produce,” explains Quantum Postcards, whose web site also demonstrates how to conduct a test. “By testing headlines, subheadings, images and copy, you can double, triple or quadruple your response rate and profit margin.”
Chilli Printing suggest keeping to call-to-action direct and straightforward. The key to successful tracking starts with defining an ideal result and keep in mind that the discount has to be substantial.
“Do a quick competitor analysis and be aware that most people don’t act on a 10% coupon unless they were going to get an item anyway,” Chilli noted. “When relying on a deal to increase business, make it at least 15%.”
Coupon advertising for business promote can also include promotional codes, Chilli added. Promo codes are ideal for flyers and printed coupons but can be used on posters and billboards if they are short, simple, and memorable.
“When a customer uses a code on your website or for placing a phone order, you’ll know they are responding to your printed advertising,” Chilli explained. “Again, make sure to gain detailed insight by using different codes for different media: one for posters, one for flyers, one for display ads–or segment your distribution area.”
3. Learn About Your Customers the Old-Fashioned Way—By Talking To Them
Your advantage as a brick-and-mortar store is that you can interact with customers in a personal, one-on-one way which is simply not possible online. Martin Thomas, president and owner of Always On Communications, suggests using this to your advantage.
“Have your store employees ask each customer who comes into the store, ‘How did you hear about us?’” he said. “Then calculate how many of them say ‘from your magazine/newspaper ad.’”
But, Thomas cautioned, understand that this is not an experiment you can run in a day. Magazines may be on newsstands for a month or more, and coupons delivered in the mail may take days to get opened and even longer to be put in wallets or purses.
“A print ad that you run in October could have effects on your store traffic and sales for two or three months down the line as it gets passed around and new people are exposed to the ad,” he said.
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