More insight into your campaign results with offline data sources [4 stappen]

Linking offline data sources gives you insight into what happens after a visitor has completed a web form, or takes out a subscription over the phone. But, how do you, as a marketer, gain insight into what happens after this initial interaction? Offline conversion tracking (OCT) answers this. It makes measuring a Return on ad Spend (ROAS) or ROI based on actual customer value possible.

Even in a digital world in which we practically live online, a large part of the interaction that companies have with customers is still not digital. Physical stores are still visited, and online requests are followed up by phone or email. Offline conversion tracking is therefore more current than ever.

OCT is also interesting for e-commerce websites, especially now that Q4 has started and the number of conversions is increasing in many industries during this period. Think of Black Friday, Sinterklaas and Christmas purchases. Think about assigning repeat purchases to your campaigns. Or just excluding keywords from which purchases come that are often returned.

Basically, offline conversion tracking provides better insight and better attribution of your actual results. This is in contrast to what is only measured digitally. Aside from that, there’s another reason to implement OCT today rather than tomorrow. the cookieless was is at the door. This means that first-party data becomes much more important and valuable to adjust campaigns. By implementing OCT you give yourself the tools to be able to run profitable campaigns in the future.

What does OCT add? An example in lead generation

Let’s say we’re running a lead generation campaign with the goal of collecting quotes for a service we offer. To bring potential customers to the website, we deploy a Google Ads campaign, which generated 12 quotes after a few weeks. In our reports, we see these 12 conversions as the result of this campaign.

Because the follow-up from quotation to assignment does not take place on our website, but via e-mail or telephone, we do not see how many assignments have come from these requests. The actual success of this campaign can therefore be between 0 and 12 actual customers. If we make a link with our CRM, it is also possible to assign this information to the campaign result. This allows us to adjust our campaigns to customers instead of requests for quotations.

Understanding conversion paths and campaigns for the most valuable customers

OCT also makes it possible in an e-commerce environment to allocate repeat purchases, whether or not made via the website, to a campaign result. Or you can map the difference between someone who has been a customer for 3 months versus a customer for 12 months. This gives you insight into which conversion paths and campaigns yield the most valuable customers. To move from allocating a single transaction or conversion to what a customer is worth to your business over time, implementing offline conversion tracking is essential.

Is OCT also interesting for me?

Probably! As soon as only one step in the customer journey takes place offline, OCT already has added value. In addition, OCT also provides tools for looking beyond a single transaction or conversion. For example, an order history is stored in a CRM, and can be used to effectively remarket, or even predict when someone is likely to make a purchase again. This requires a link between the CRM and the marketing platforms you use.

Implementing offline conversion tracking

Implementing offline conversion tracking can be done in different ways and levels. From sending your Google Click ID (GCLID) to your CRM to exporting your entire CRM data to a DMP or analytics platform. These solutions have several things in common:

  1. A unique variable that appears in the different data sources so that they can be linked together (for example, a Client ID or a GCLID).
  2. An export of your offline (CRM) data containing the missing data (such as lead status, contract value or customer lifetime value).
  3. A link of this offline data with your online campaign or analytics platform (for example to Google Ads, Google Analytics or a DMP).
  4. A periodic import/export of the data, whether or not manually or automatically via an API.

Get started with implementing OCT . in 4 steps

The OCT implementation process differs per website and type of company. However, the steps you have to go through are roughly the same, and they don’t have to be complicated at all. Often adding a single field in a conversion form is enough to send the right information to your CRM.

To give an example of how to use OCT, let’s look at an implementation for Google Ads. Not only because this is a reasonably accessible way to introduce OCT, but also because a large part of all advertisers use Google Ads. In addition, Google explains the process itself step-by-step from.

Step 1. Define your conversion actions

Suppose, as in the previous example, we prefer to focus on registered customers instead of generated leads. With this insight, we can evaluate campaigns that may bring in a lot of leads, but generate few customers. We will then have to make a link between measuring a lead form and the lead status in our CRM. This lead status must then be measured as ‘conversion’ when the status changes from ‘lead’ to ‘customer or ‘closed’.

Step 2. Make sure your website measures the right variables

We will adjust the lead form so that it also sends the Google Click ID with the request. By adding an invisible field that also sends the GCLID, you create the unique variable that we will use to link the lead status from your CRM to the request from Google Ads. This way, the GCLID will be placed in your CRM with the other lead information.

Step 3. Set up your CRM to properly capture this data

For this step we need someone who can make adjustments to the CRM. This is often someone from an IT team or a CRM administrator. An extra field must be added to a customer record that captures the GCLID that we have added to the form. In addition to regular lead data, you therefore also store a Click ID, so that you can later trace where this customer came from.

Fictional example of a signed-in customer ID
NameRobin Conversion
E-mail[email protected]

Step 4. Create a link between your CRM and your digital systems

If the lead changes into a customer, the lead status in the CRM will also change from ‘request’ to ‘customer’ or ‘received’. Finally, we make an export of all GCLIDs associated with the customer records and upload it back into Google Ads. Please note that the data you upload is anonymous and contains only the GCLID with the conversion time, name, type and optionally a conversion value.

With this conversion data in your Google Ads account, you can adjust your campaigns to this specific conversion goal, as well as apply automated bidding strategies. By doing this you make the algorithm ‘smarter’. It no longer focuses on generating leads with a low chance of eventually becoming a customer, but will offer those keywords that lead to actual customers. A next step could be to also send a value in euros with the conversion. This also allows you to differentiate on conversions with high versus low customer value.

What now?

There is a good chance that offline conversion tracking is also interesting for your company. And, apart from the examples I gave above, there are many more ways to use the data you already have in a smart way. Do you have questions? Let us know below.

Source: Frankwatching by

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