How to Track Marketing Efforts

Group of women thoughtfully looking at a binder together, tracking their marketing results.

Reza Estakhrian / Getty Images

Tracking is crucial to any marketing campaign. Marketing tracking helps a business to measure the satisfaction of customers, the brand's identity, and the opinion of new products or services. If you aren't tracking, you are not marketing.

When you market on a website or other page you have access to analytics on your customer visits. However, getting this data becomes more problematic when you use offline campaigns such as magazine advertisements, newspaper ads, as well as radio, and television commercials.

Why Tracking Your Marketing Is Essential

It doesn't matter whether you are launching a new product or service or you are an established business, tracking will show you which marketing vehicles are working and which ones are not. It will help you in evaluating your marketing efforts and where you are spending your marketing budget.

In the long run by tracking offline marketing efforts, you can begin to create a more cost-effective marketing campaign that will get you the results you desire without wasting money.

How to Track Print and Direct Mail Marketing Online

When creating print or direct mail marketing pieces you want to track when the prospective customer visits your website store to gain more information. Each marketing method will have a unique URL leading to a designated domain.

You can use the designated domains to track visitors using the log files. Having separate landing pages on each domain is crucial. However, they can look exactly alike; they must just reside on the domain to get accurate tracking results. In other words, it would look like this:

Radio Ad 1 - Tracking Domain -

Magazine Ad 2 - Tracking Domain -

Direct Mail Piece 1 - Tracking Domain -

Some of you will ask about branding, so let we'll go ahead and get that out of the way. Your advertisement should be creating a visual of your brand. You still use "your company name" as a portion of the URL, but our goal here is more about tracking than branding.

You do not have to have separate sites for each domain, just separate landing pages. You can use subpages to direct the visitor to your "main" site.

How accurate is this type of tracking? It's not 100% but is the easiest way to track your offline advertisements to see what is working. For example, someone could just see your brand and type in and end up on your main site. It would create an error in tracking the effectiveness of that advertisement. Realize there is some room for error.

How to Track Marketing Efforts Using Call Tracking

Some of your marketing will generate phone calls that also need to be tracked. The best way to track the effectiveness of your advertisements and measure "call-in" volume is to have use call tracking. With call tracking, you make a different telephone number for each of your marketing formats and track incoming calls using software.

You can use call tracking to determine your cost-per-sale and cost-per-call rate. It can help in determining which marketing campaigns are most effective. Each advertisement must have a designated telephone number. You can use this information to see what advertisements are working and which are not. Call tracking can be used in radio commercials, television commercials, direct mail, and print advertisements.

There are many companies that provide call tracking solutions, and you can also check with your current telephone company to see if that is something they offer. It's important that you receive a report showing incoming calls in an itemized report that shows what number was called and what time that number was called, as well as what region that call came from if you are doing national marketing.

Allocating Marketing Budgets

Tracking and monitoring your marketing efforts and advertisements will help you in allocating your marketing budget in marketing campaigns that you know will work. There is nothing more devastating to a company than to spend money on an advertisement that produces no or little results. Tracking your offline marketing efforts can give you the knowledge that you need to have when it comes to knowing what worked and what didn't.

The result is an accurate measurement of what marketing efforts were effective and no longer having to depend on inaccurate guesswork to determine where you spend your marketing budget.