Tracking offline conversions, online holiday campaign tips and more


How do I create effective dashboards to communicate with my colleagues?

Elissa Fink, VP marketing at Tableau Software, recommends four tips for creating analytical dashboards.

First, know what you’re measuring and why it matters. Ask yourself how your dashboard metrics connect to the bottom line.

Also, keep it visual. “Dashboards are meant to be fast and easy to read,” Fink explains. “Pictures really are worth a thousand words.”

Next, keep it current or don’t bother. “Make sure the metrics are appropriately current. This quarter, this week, this hour – whatever the right timeline is for your business.” Finally, make analytical dashboards easily accessible and updateable. Fink says, “Web distribution is the best way.”


How do I track offline conversions?

Gerry Bavaro of Didit points out, “You can see how online activities stimulate offline behavior by studying how many times site visitors are using the store locator on your Web site, or by presenting special online offers with printable coupons containing different codes for different keywords and engines.

“Phone order tracking can zero in on how well your site is stimulating commercial demand and conversion actions,” Bavaro adds. “Consider setting up a tracking system with different phone numbers or extensions assigned to different keywords.”

When visitors arrive at your Web site and call in, this system will give you a clear idea of which terms drive the most traffic. “Remember that accuracy in phone tracking is dependent on how well your customer service rep captures and logs inquiry and conversion events,” he concludes, suggesting you also track how many times searchers visit your “contact us” page.


How do I add impact to my holiday campaigns?

“The first big mistake I see in holiday marketing is the fear of trying anything,” responds Misty Locke, co-founder and president of Range Online Media. “Testing during a high volume, peak purchase season can be extremely successful in reaching new customers.”

Layering on smart media programs such as behavioral, or testing a more interactive media banner should only increase the likelihood of a purchase through search. The second mistake, says Locke, is adding hundreds of “gifts and holiday terms.”

“Focus your energy on the keywords that you know drive revenue from your online searchers,” she says. “Mix up the holiday creative, change up landing pages, and offer incentives and engagement techniques like free shipping and holiday shipping countdown.”

She suggests using a content management solution to provide additional and coordinating gift ideas, and coordinating all programs, from search to e-mail to re-messaging. “Just because their transaction is complete does not mean they are done shopping for the holidays,” Locke says.


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