track revenueMany marketers struggle to determine their return on investment from marketing efforts because they are often unable to properly attribute actual revenue to the appropriate channel. Specifically, which channel drives the most revenue. Tracking your online conversions is one thing: downloads via web forms, newsletter signups, email list registrations are all great data points and should be tracked. Tracking phone calls, and more importantly what drives those phone calls, is also extremely important in order to understand how well your marketing efforts are performing. However, what if someone calls your business and makes a purchase over the phone? Do you have a way to attribute the revenue from that customer’s purchase back to the marketing channel that drove them to your business? Below we discuss a few ways that your business can follow the trail from the marketing touch point, all the way to the actual dollars a customer spends with you.

Why revenue over conversions?

Well, it’s technically not revenue over conversions, but we all know that some types of conversions are less qualified than others. Why would you make adjustments to your PPC campaigns, for instance, without understanding how much revenue these campaigns have generated for your business? Also if your business offers multiple products/services, it’s important to understand what type of revenue each of your marketing efforts is driving. If all I look at to determine whether or not a specific ad style is working is how many web form requests for more information I receive, then I would not be looking at the full picture. In fact, in this example, if I’m spending money for each of these “conversions” then not looking at how much revenue I’m driving then I’m leaving out the most important piece of data. This does not mean that I don’t want to create a database of less qualified potential customers to nurture and follow up with; however, I do want to know if one of my campaigns or pieces of creative tends to generate more revenue for a specific product or service.

Universal Analytics – Client ID

One way to track revenue back to your marketing campaigns is by using Google Universal Analytics (UA). Universal Analytics is a free tool with a ton of great insight about your business’s website. With e-commerce purchases, you can capture the Universal Analytics Client ID from each web visitor and pass that ID back to UA with the revenue amount of the sale made online. For sales that happen over the phone, Ifbyphone’s Universal Analytics integration can capture the UA ID and pass it to your business’ system of record. At that point when a sale is made, your system would simply send the revenue data with the Universal Analytics ID captured by Ifbyphone back into the Universal Analytics interface. This would tie that revenue data to all other relevant data captured by Google and allow you to see revenue by marketing channel up to and including the keyword.

Google Adwords – gclid

Want to take it a step further? Every click to your site from Google Adwords is assigned a Google Click ID (gclid) and in much the same way as Universal Analytics, you can now (as of October) import conversion data with revenue from online and offline sources. Adwords is a robust interface that contains a lot of data and now you can view your revenue data when generated from a paid click right inside a single interface. What happens if an Adwords visitor calls my business, you ask? Not to worry, Ifbyphone’s SourceTrak application captures the gclid for each web visitor and can pass is through in real time to your business’s system of record. Read more about Google’s recent announcement for offline conversion import.

Conclusion

These are just a few high level ideas that can allow your business to track which marketing channels or campaigns generate the most revenue. This data, along with the other analytics and conversion data, will give your business the complete picture of ROI that you need to make actionable decisions about your entire marketing effort. What other ways does your business use to track generated revenue? Are you tracking the revenue your marketing team brings in back to the actual channel? Let us know in the comments.