How to Close the Loop Between Offline Sales from Online Leads

This article explains the problem with measuring online lead generation, why Google Goals are not enough, how to close the loop to get your lead and sales revenue and how to get the revenue back into Google AdWords & Analytics automatically.

5 Minute Read.

Do any of the following sound familiar?

  • You’re driving plenty of leads but want to turn more into business?
  • Your boss or client asks you how real sales you have generated – not how many leads?
  • The number of leads you get doesn’t match with what Google AdWords or Analytics says?
  • Your leads are high value and expensive to get, but you don’t know which campaigns or keywords are driving them?
  • You are struggling to measure the ROI of your campaigns so you have to estimate?

There is the fundamental problem with marketing for lead generation.

Leads, by their nature, are not sales. At least not yet.

Your leads could be high value, or worthless. They could close into a sale tomorrow, next year or not even close at all.

Your analytics might not even be telling you a true picture about where your leads are originating from as people will visit your site on multiple occasions from different channels.

The industry standard for tracking online marketing methods is Google Analytics which does a good job of tracking E-Commerce but can only count the number of form fills as Goals.

Whilst most people track form fills, other leads can also come through mediums such as phone calls and live chat and go unattributed.

Goal completions are not enough

Goal completions are not enough – different traffic sources, keywords and ads produce different revenue per lead and different life time values. Without this insight it’s impossible to accurately calculate ROI from different marketing sources and optimise your campaigns accordingly.

If you’re running a marketing campaign and measuring success based on leads only, you have a gap in insight that is stopping you improving results.

Whilst tyre kicker, top of the funnel and research keywords may appear to be creating cost effective leads and making your campaign look great, if there isn’t any revenue coming out at the other end you’re going to run into a problem.

Ruler Close The Loop Diagram

A common example – Sales & Marketing are disconnected

Take for example a client who we are working with who relies on lead generation from their website for their business and spends a significant on online marketing to generate them,

Looking at their AdWords and assume Analytics accounts would leave you believe that performance was great. They were acquiring leads and they were making (some) money.

But that middle bit is what makes the difference. Like many others, their sales and marketing where disconnected, they were failing to link their marketing activities directly to revenue, knowingly leaving a chasm in their insight.

As an exercise to prove the value of this process we took a sample of 20 calls from various campaigns to track what the outcome of the calls was.

12 of the calls came from Google AdWords were they make a significant investment. Of the 12 calls, 9 were poor quality, not qualified or a sales person. However 3 of the calls turned into sales. 2 of the sales were relatively low value but acceptable but the final call was worth over 10 times the amount of others.

This process allowed them to see the real value of their campaigns and keywords and to optimise and report more effectively.

The Solution – Optimise for Revenue not Leads

The solution? Evaluating your campaigns the same way you evaluate business: by the amount of revenue it generates.
To find out if leads are turning into real sales and creating revenue, you need a process to track them and then match them with the marketing campaign or keyword that created them. This added insight is what will drive your campaign to the next level.

There are few steps to get this right but once they are in place they should produce the data you need each time.

The Process – Tagging, Tracking, Matching & Integration

NOTE: Manual revenue tracking can be complicated and time consuming. You can use Ruler Analytics to speed up and automate this process and more.

Step 1 – Tagging – Identifying the Traffic Source

The first step is making sure the traffic coming to your website is tagged correctly so that you can see the exact source and any other variables associated such as campaign, keyword or advert reference. This commonly done using UTM tags which allow you to add specific labels to the landing pages (more info in our guide here.) It is also recommend that you capture fields specific to the products you are using such as GCLID for Google AdWords.

Step 2 – Tracking – Capture the Lead

The next stage is to ensure that the data captured is at visitor level so you are able to match with the marketing source and to a closed sale later. Most leads come in the form of an enquiry form, live chat or phone call so you may need some additional marketing analytics or call tracking software at this stage but you can also pass UTM tag values in your forms.

Step 3 – Matching – Match the Lead with the Source in CRM

Once you have captured the lead with the applicable marketing source there needs to be a feedback loop to see which leads closed into business and just as importantly which leads didn’t.

This can be done manually in a spreadsheet to begin with to get used to the workflow and prove the business case however this could be cumbersome at higher volumes so ideally they should be automatically matched where you handle leads, for instance in CRM.

Step 4 – Integration – Passing the data to other products

Finally, now that you have the leads and marketing source matched, once the sale is completed you are able to pass this into the products you already. Most products have an API or a manual CSV upload. For instance, Google AdWords supports uploading the GCLID along with revenue value.
Conclusion

Once you have this process in place it allows you to see where the real conversions and revenue come from, measure ROI definitively and optimise your campaign accordingly.

Next Steps

• Request a free assessment of your marketing attribution and see how you can close the loop.

• You can download a step-by-step breakdown of how to implement revenue tracking, including tracking templates, here…

Written by

Director at Ruler Analytics with a background in online marketing, lead generation and analytics. Ian’s role includes designing automated workflows and integrations to help clients attribute the marketing effectively