How to Track the ROI of Offline Advertising

Internet marketing is one of the best ways to increase the leads your practice gets. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t focus on other ways to attract new patients like traditional, offline advertising.

Much of the value from offline advertising is difficult to track. A beginner will usually use track the increase in the amount of “direct visitors” to their website and assume that the increase is visitors is due to their offline advertising efforts. This happens when an advertisement contains the URL of website.

If an ad doesn’t give a website URL for people to remember or if people forget the website URL, they will typically show up as “organic search” in Google Analytics reports. The Eterna ad below is a great example of a print ad that will attract new patients, but the leads will be attributed to either the search channel or direct channel.
Eterna Print Ad

To successfully market your practice you need to spend money where it is most effective. You can advertise through the two biggest players in the market – Google and Facebook, where it is easy to track the leads you receive. But it gets harder to track leads when you invest in offline advertising efforts like magazines, billboards, radio, and television.

With so many options and a limited marketing budget it is critical to understand what is getting you more leads, and what isn’t. By implementing the simple strategy below you can track how many additional website visitors and leads each one of your advertising campaigns bring in.

Create a Custom URL for each Advertising Campaign

The first step is to buy a vanity URL for each one of your advertising campaigns. For example, if you are looking to run an advertising campaign for CoolSculpting in print, radio, and TV you would buy the 3 URLs, one for each advertising campaign.

Example Campaigns

Radio Ad –
TV Ad –
Print Ad –
vanity url graphic

Set Up Redirects to Your Main Website

Once you’ve purchased your vanity URLs and picked a URL for each campaign, you will need to set up a 301 redirect to the page you want visitors to land on AND include Google Analytics campaign parameters (shown below by ?utm=*). I recommend using the GA Config tool to create your new website URLs. I’ve created a screenshot to show you how you can fill out the form.
URL Builder Example
There are 3 parameters that are required for the tool to work.

  • Source – This should be the specific source of the ad such as “New Beauty Magazine” “Billboard on Washington Street” or “Valpak”.
  • Medium – The medium is the highest level channel that you can think of. Examples of this are print, radio, billboard, or TV. When you consistently use these mediums you may find useful information like print always performing radio, or vice versa.
  • Campaign Name – Each advertising campaign should have a unique name with a useful description. Examples are “New Beauty December 2013 Issue”, “30 Second Radio Spot 1057 The Buzzard” or “30 Second TV Spot Cool New You Ad”

Track the ROI of Offline Advertising

Once the 301 redirects are in place Google Analytics will automatically track visitors coming from each individual campaign. This data is all properly categorized so you can segment your data to answer questions like

  • how many visitors come from each campaign?
  • how many leads come from each campaign?
  • how long do people stay on the website from each campaign?
  • how many people leave the website immediately from each campaign?