The Colorwise blog has included quite a few posts on the importance of print in today’s marketing world, from the comeback of print catalogs to the growing ability to provide personalized print marketing. With the growing number of advertising avenues, it’s more important than ever to be able to track your return on investment (ROI). With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of three simple ways to track the ROI of print marketing.
1. Use vanity URLs to track the online ROI of offline advertising
A vanity URL is a domain name that you buy for a specific marketing campaign or channel that redirects to your company website. If your company domain is examplecompany.com, then you might buy examplemarketingcampaign.com to put on your print campaign collateral.
However, that vanity URL is only for tracking purposes – use a 301 redirect to take the customer to a landing page on your site with a tracking code. For example, someone who sees your flyer and visits examplemarketingcampaign.com would be redirected to examplecompany.com/marketingcampaign?utm=*.
That last part beginning the question mark may be a bit confusing, but it’s the tracking code that lets you see in Google Analytics when a customer came to your site via your print material. For more information, see Google’s page on setting up tracking code.
Though it requires a bit of setup, using a vanity URL is a fantastic way to use your website to track the ROI of print marketing.
2. Create a custom phone number
What if your customer calls you instead of coming to your website? No problem, just create a separate phone number for your print campaign. Then the tracking is easy. When you track which number was assigned to which print campaign, then you know exactly how many leads each campaign generates.
This method also requires a bit of setup – namely, getting a new phone number. Depending on the size of your business, you may be able to use a service like Google voice to add a new number. If you are a larger business or need many numbers, you may want to choose a paid system like Marchex.
3. Ask your customers
Finally we have to the simplest tracking method, which requires no setup time at all: just ask your customers how they found you. This is something that seems natural, though it is often easy to overlook this step.
Additionally, once you find out where your customers found you, you must be diligent about recording those sources. After all, asking where they found you does no good if you don’t keep a record of it.
And there you have it: 3 simple ways to track the ROI of print marketing. Though all these methods are easy to implement, they can make a huge impact on the return on investment of your marketing budget.