3 Ways to measure advertising responses off-line

John’s business was slower than he wanted it to be at this time of year, but he was at a loss on how to fix it.  He had already done the standard things that he normally did to stimulate new business, but the results weren’t what he’d hoped for.  His advertising was substantial and he had the big bills to prove it, but what he didn’t have was the return on investment that he needed.  Although he knew that probably half of his advertising wasn’t bringing in enough business to pay for itself, he didn’t know which half it was.  Knowing how to efficiently and cost effectively measure the responses to each advertisement, even off-line, is one of the secrets to generating the business you need in any economy.  Let’s look at three ways to determine the response to advertising off-line.


Call tracking phone number

John has advertisements in three different phone books.  Although he could play 20 questions with each caller and ask which phone book or which newspaper or which bill board or which magazine they saw his advertisement in – that would be an aggravation for prospective customers and a nuisance for John to keep track of.  The solution is call tracking phone numbers.  A call tracking phone number is a “virtual” phone number that when called rings through to the advertiser’s regular number.  Each call to the special tracking phone number is counted.  By using a different call tracking phone number in each advertisement, the phone call responses to each ad can be accurately measured and properly attributed.

Coupon Code

Coupon codes are a great way of measuring the response to an ad, particularly when the desired response is for the person to come into your store.  Coupons, coupon codes, vouchers, special gift with this ad, are all variations on the same theme and represent a way to connect the dots between each of your advertisements and the customers coming through your front door.

Department Code

Take a look through the direct response ads in the back of most any magazine and you’ll see examples of this tracking technique in action.  For mail-in responses, using a department code in the address is a way of using the same physical mailing address for multiple advertisements, while retaining the ability to track the response to each ad.  If your address is Acme Company, 123 Main St, Anytown, NC 28227, the tracking version of this address takes the form of Acme Company, Department ABC, 123 Main St, Anytown, NC 28227.

Knowing where your business is coming from is essential for growing your business.  In a tough economy, knowing where your business is coming from may spell the difference between staying in business or closing your doors.  In any economy, those who know where their business is coming from can grow their business and increase their profit by investing more heavily in the ads that bring in the customers and pruning the unproductive ads.  The key lies in knowing the difference.

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