If you are running paid advertising on either Google Ads or Microsoft Advertising that is focused on customer lead generation, you already know how crucial it is to track conversions accurately to maximise optimisation. Without this accurate tracking, you have no idea how well your campaigns are performing and if your marketing efforts are contributing to a positive ROI.
As good as first stage lead generation (form fill out, PDF downloads, etc.) was, it just doesn’t cut the mustard in 2021.
You and all of your competitors are spending a lot of time and money targeting the exact same initial touchpoints that Google deems appropriate to your business, but these leads do not tell you anything about the quality of the lead or the potential lifetime value (LTV) of that lead. Many businesses tend to believe that the higher volume of leads that can be generated, the higher number of sales that will result from said leads; this couldn’t be further from the truth. Having full visibility of how much a lead is worth to your business before you even pick up the phone not only improves sales figures but also increases the ROI you will see from your paid efforts
So, how do you do this? The answer is straightforward, you need to start tracking more qualified or track leads when they drop further into your sales funnel, otherwise known as tracking offline conversions. The most efficient way to do this is through an automated offline conversion process, doing so will allow you to utilise machine learning from whichever platform you are using more effectively to generate a greater volume of these higher volume leads.
How To Automate Offline Conversion Tracking
Offline conversion tracking is basically taking what happens to the lead after its initial submission on your site and importing that information back into your PPC account. An initial conversion’s progress in your sales funnel does not get tracked through ordinary “out of the box” conversion tracking. Instead, it needs to be imported from an outside source, most likely your CRM. For the offline conversions to be accounted for in your account continually and consistently without the need for manual file uploads, you are going to want to set up an automated offline conversion process.
There are three steps you need to set up to automate offline conversion tracking:
- Identify the relevant lead stages within your CRM that you wish to track. If you have multiple stages a potential customer reaches before the deal is closed, you could use all of them. Alternatively, you can use the two stages most sales funnels have regardless of their set-up: qualified lead and closed sale. However, many of these stages you want to use are up to you—just be sure that each one you choose can have a proper value assigned to it.
- Set up conversions for each and every one of these lead stages within your Google Ads or Microsoft Advertising account. You will choose the import option for each of these conversions you set up and give them a unique name. You will also create the corresponding export files from your sales CRM for each of these conversions.
- Within the settings for each conversion, you will define what they are, set the methodology (FTP, HTML, or Google Sheets), and set the schedule for these imports to take place.
Assigning a Value to Your Offline Conversion Imports
Equally as important as setting up the conversions and automating this process, you will need to ensure a monetary value is ascribed to each conversion you import. You can do this in the conversion settings and choose to either include a value from your CRM included in the CRM’s export file or set a defined value within the conversion settings itself.
Along with that, You will want to select the right attribution model for each conversion. This model should match the one that is used for the other conversions that are already in your account. Please note that if you are using the data-driven model for your other conversions, you may need to wait until these offline conversions accrue enough data before you are eligible to make that switch.
Use Offline Conversion Data to Optimise Better
Once everything is set up as it should be, you have two options to start using the data effectively:
- You can set these automated offline conversions to be included in the conversions column within Google Ads and see their effect directly within the user interface
- Suppose you do not want to overhaul your Target CPA or Target ROAS targets which are based on the initial lead conversions that are already being tracked in your account. In that case, you can look to create a new report within Google Ads or even Google Data Studio, which looks at all conversions, including your offline conversions.
As more of these offline conversions get recorded into the account and applied to your paid campaigns, you may see trends such as the campaigns with the lowest average CPA for initial lead submissions are not always translating to having the best avg. CPA for closed sales.
Making optimisation decisions from these offline conversions will, over time, lead to more sales, revenue, and profit for your business.