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Why The New Offline Conversion Tool From AdWords Is The Missing Link For Advertisers Doing Lead Generation

White Shark Media

11 years ago

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One of the latest new features from Google AdWords is the ability to backtrack sales to your Google AdWords account. Through an upload function, you can upload the value of each of the conversions that has happened in your account.

The value proposition behind this move from Google is that many companies rely on lead generation, but, as we all know, lead generation can be tricky. It’s a balancing act between getting the right leads and getting enough leads.

With the new Offline Conversions Import tool, you’re able to import the value of the subsequent sale that happens for your leads even after the conversion has happened in AdWords. As an example, let’s say you receive a lead today. The lead is interested and you make a good case. He needs to talk to his boss or partner first though. Three days later, he contacts you and puts an order for $1,000.

If you follow the directions by Google, you can now attach this value to the specific conversion generated by the lead that resulted in a purchase. This means unprecedented possibilities for you to measure the ROI of your individual campaign components.

Know Your Direct Conversion Value For Your Offline Efforts

The absolute key benefit behind the new Offline Conversion Importer from Google is that you will be able to know the exact conversion value that the conversion resulted in. These are hard numbers and not just fluffy metrics, like number of leads generated.

Even though many of us do a lot to make sure we only count qualified leads (like only tracking calls with a duration higher than 60 seconds), it’s never been a completely bullet proof process, because sales values can fluctuate a lot, which isn’t taken into account.

Leads Are Easy To Generate

Leads are essentially easy to generate for any business. Set up a landing page promising a free fridge for every 20 sign ups (with insane conditions), and you have a 50% conversion rate on your website.

That won’t bring you any business though. All you’ll have is a bunch of people who aren’t interested in your service, and who will even be surprised that you call them to follow up. Not quite a qualified lead.

The example is extreme, but when you work with lead generation you have the same predicament. You have to balance the relationship between making an attractive enough offer to get a high volume of leads, and focusing enough on qualifying your leads so they are worth pursuing.

Having a sales department pursue leads that aren’t qualified is expensive. Furthermore, you want your best sales reps to focus on the best leads so you can get the most out of your ad investment.

The new Google AdWords import tool allows you to allocate more of your budget to the parts of the campaign that are producing more revenue – not just leads. Again, leads are fluffy. They might or might not convert. A sale is a sale. That’s literally money in the bank.

When working with the new Offline Conversion Tool from Google, you need to have a system in place to make sure you follow up correctly.

How To Set Up A System In Your Back End

In order to make sure that you are able to upload the conversion values to your AdWords account, you need to know what Click ID every lead has. The key factor in making sure you have this information is to have a central database, where each lead coming through from your contact form or call tracking will be written down.

For White Shark Media, we use Google Docs in order to make sure that the Click ID gets assigned to each sales lead properly. This makes it super easy for our sales assistant to update the lead with a conversion value if he signs up.

If the lead called us directly, we have set up a whisper system that plays a small message right before the call is connected. The message says “incoming call from AdWords”. Whenever that message plays, our Sales Assistant knows that she should go into our Call Tracking system provider, pull the Click ID and add it to our Google Docs Lead Sheet.

Follow Up On Sales That Happen After The Initial Phone Call

In many companies, the contract isn’t sealed right on the initial phone call. It is important to make sure you have a reliable follow-up process so that the lead sheet gets updated with every sale.

Once a sale has been finalized, it’s very important that the sale is updated with the exact conversion value. For simplicity purposes, I recommend that you only use the initial sales value. Don’t think about whether the prospect has promised you to buy again in two months, or if he has purchased a yearly agreement.

Even though this information is very useful, it will be too much to consider for most small businesses. If your business is the exception, then please feel free to include future signed contracts when you enter the value of the sale.

However, just be careful not to be too optimistic. You don’t want to put in a 2-year value for every customer coming into your business. Unless your cash flow is very healthy, you will not be able to bid accordingly in AdWords.

That’s Time Consuming

If you’re thinking that this is a time-consuming process to start, then I agree with you. It’s not easy to keep track of every single lead AdWords sends to you. If you’re like the common Client we have at White Shark Media, you will receive between 5 to 20 leads per day through phone calls or emails. Following up and writing all these down can be indeed time-consuming.

The value is immense, though. As previously mentioned in this post, it’s very easy to manipulate when you’re only counting leads. If you disregard the quality of each lead, you can truly produce a high volume of leads with some simple, manipulative techniques.

Being able to know what parts of your AdWords campaign are actually producing revenue, instead of “empty leads” for your business, is priceless in my opinion.

Note: If you’re not using Call Tracking from a decent provider, you won’t be able to assign the Gclid from AdWords to a lead. Likewise, you need to customize your contact form on your website to enable it to pull the information needed.

Use This Google Docs Sheet To Collaborate Throughout Your Company

To make it easier for you to track your leads and assign each lead with a Click ID, I created an example Google Docs Sheet that we used at White Shark Media before we moved over to our own custom lead processing system:

I hope that this sheet can help you keep track of the current leads that you have for your organization. I recommend creating a new tab for each month of the year. It will help with keeping the sheet updated and clean.

“How Can I Know What Click ID Each Lead Has?”

I recently read a blog post about the new tool on the Unbounce.com blog. I thought it was a very common question that most people will have, so I decided to include the question and answer here:

Question: How can we know the associated ID if someone comes to your site and calls your number to buy something? Is the ID code shown on the site or you have to ask them for the number?

Answer: “Hey Charith,

You can’t know the number when you’re talking to the prospect. However, there are a couple of “workarounds” or ways that it’s intended to work:

1) Use it with your contact forms. You can write it in a small piece of code in your contact form, so the GClid gets pulled into the email that is sent to you.

2) You can use it via a call tracking provider. The call tracking provider can usually pull out any data you want if it’s accessible. Your call tracking provider can put the Gclid in one of the custom fields. When you’re reviewing your call log, you can see what phone number (Client) was assigned to what Gclid.

With this information, you can now set up a Google Docs sheet where you update very lead with its conversion value when it converts. Once a week, month or before an optimization you can upload your conversions to Google and see how you’re trending.”

Excited, But Looking Forward To The Next Version

I definitely think that this tool is a great addition to the arsenal of tools that AdWords is providing us at the moment. They’re truly closing the gap between offline and online in a way that is very simplistic. This is definitely one of those things you stop to wonder why no one thought of this before?

The feature is very early in its stage and the entire thought of having to manually update an Excel sheet etc. is daunting for a lot of companies. I believe the feature has its merits and will continue to grow in the future. I’m already excited about seeing the next version of the tool, which hopefully includes some kind of integration with a user interface or database.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section, or if you have any specific questions, I’ll make sure to answer them swiftly.

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