Facebook released a feature for advertisers: Offline Conversions.
It’s a powerful feature that lets marketers measure the full impact of their Facebook ad campaigns.
Let’s take a look at how Facebook Offline Conversions work and why they’re important.
Then, we’ll show you an easier way to measure offline conversions, and marketing-generated revenue, for all of your campaigns, both online and offline, and across every channel you use.
What is an Offline Conversion?
For the sake of clarity, let’s start by explaining what types of offline conversions you might like to measure.
There are some businesses that only make sales online. Take Amazon, for example. Aside from some of its acquired properties (like Zappos and Whole Foods), 100% of Amazon’s consumer sales happen on its website.
But this business model is fairly rare. More often, businesses convert prospects in many ways:
- A B2C company like a retail store or theme park might sell its products or admission tickets both online and in-person.
- A B2B company may convert SMBs online but finalise all enterprise sales over the phone or in an in-person meeting with the sales team.
- A law firm may collect prospect information through an online form, but the sale may not happen until much later after one or more offline appointments.
For each of these scenarios, the conversion happens offline either in-person or over the phone. But historically, there haven’t been many good ways to attribute those sales back to the digital marketing campaigns that generated them.
Facebook Offline Conversions provide a solution to this problem.
How Does Facebook Offline Conversions Work?
Sometimes, a user clicks on a Facebook ad and goes directly on to make a purchase on your website. But other times, viewing an ad is just the starting point of a lengthy buying journey.
Both scenarios are important to measure in order to prove the effectiveness of your campaigns.
Facebook Offline Conversions measure offline sales by matching data from your CRM, marketing automation tool, call centre software, or point of sale system to your Facebook advertising campaigns.
It looks at identifying information from your sales systems—things like email addresses—then compare the people who purchased to those who viewed Facebook ads you’ve run in recent campaigns. If there’s a match, it attributes the sale to the specific ad and campaign viewed.
This lets you create more robust marketing reports. Now, you can go to your clients or leaders and show not only how many leads, subscribers, and followers marketing is generating, but also how many sales—both online and offline—happened as a result of marketing’s efforts.
Getting Started with Facebook Offline Conversions Reporting
Before you can use Facebook’s Offline Campaigns feature, you must have a Facebook ad account, and the user who sets it up must be designated as a Facebook Business Manager.
Once your ad account is set up appropriately, follow these steps:
1. Visit the Offline Events page in Facebook Business Manager.
2. Follow these instructions to create an offline event set.
3. Turn-on auto-tracking for each account you want to track offline conversions for.
Now, any ads for those accounts are set up to track offline conversions. Next, you just need to add your offline sales data into the system in order to match sales with Facebook ad campaigns. There are a few different ways to do this:
- 1. Add offline sales data manually by uploading a CSV file to Facebook Business Manager.
2. Use a pre-built integration to have data from your POS, CRM, or loyalty program automatically uploaded to Facebook. Find integrations and setup instructions here.
3. Have your development team hook your sales system to Facebook using the Facebook Offline Conversions API to automatically upload sales data to Facebook.
If you choose option one, just keep in mind that you’ll need to manually upload data to Facebook regularly in order to connect offline conversions back to Facebook ads.
Creating Custom Audiences to Target Past Purchasers
Another big advantage of Facebook Offline Conversions is that it lets you use offline conversion data to create custom audiences of people who’ve purchased from you before.
Having a big sale?
Use offline conversion data to create an adjust for past purchasers and get it in front of the people who are most likely to buy.
To take advantage of this feature, follow these instructions to create a custom audience of offline purchases. The audience will be empty at first, but it will populate itself with users over time as you connect offline sales data to your Facebook campaigns.
Why Tracking Offline Conversions Is Important
Conversion and revenue metrics used to belong to the sales team.
Marketing’s role was simply to get people on the phone or at the door. But with the rise of digital marketing and online conversions, that all changed.
Marketers today are expected to drive revenue and grow the business. And as expectations changed, so did the need for more detailed reports – those that show exactly how marketing is generating new customers and revenue.
Lead and form completion metrics just aren’t enough.
For this reason, marketers at companies that convert prospects offline—whether you’re selling enterprise software, attracting law firm clients, selling t-shirts, or driving traffic to a theme park—must track offline conversions to prove the effectiveness of your program and efforts.
If you run a lot of Facebook ads, Facebook Offline Conversions helps.
But there’s another solution as well—one that helps you track not only Facebook campaigns, but single every campaign you run.
Offline Conversion Tracking with Ruler Analytics
Ruler Analytics provides marketers with the tools they need to track offline conversions generated by Facebook ads—as well as every other online or offline campaign you run.
First, Ruler creates a user for each person that visits your website, capturing the referral source (Facebook ad, Google search, social media post, etc.) alongside any details you know about the visitor. That visitor is now a unique prospect in the system, even if he/she is still anonymous.
Next, Ruler integrates with your CRM. The integration is a loop, passing data from Ruler to your CRM, then from your CRM back to Ruler. Once the anonymous visitor becomes known—requests a demo, schedules a sales call or fills out a form—Ruler captures all of that data and passes it along to your sales team’s preferred CRM.
Finally, when a sale is registered in the CRM, that data is passed back to Ruler—including the amount of revenue generated from the sale.
Inside of Ruler, marketing teams can build detailed reports showing exactly what campaigns prospects interacted with prior to the conversion and—even more exciting—exactly how much revenue each individual marketing campaign generated for the business.
Ruler even provides you with unique phone numbers for call-only ads or offline marketing campaigns, allowing you to track which campaigns generated inbound phone calls.
I won’t go into that here, although if you do then I’d recommend speaking with one of the team!
Tracking Offline Conversions is Crucial for Effective Marketing
To hit your team’s biggest goals and prove marketing’s effectiveness, tracking conversions is crucial. And that includes conversions that happen on your website as well as over the phone with a sales rep or in person at your office, store, or attraction.
With Facebook Offline Conversions or a more advanced system like Ruler Analytics, it’s easier than ever to track marketing’s impact on the business, prove the ROI of your efforts, and show that the work your team does is both indispensable and the key to growing your business.