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Digital Marketing June 24, 2021

Understanding offline conversion uploads - The complete picture


Performance marketing is all about maximising value. For this, it is essential to be able to measure the actual value of your campaigns. Online conversion tracking has already proven to be highly effective when it comes to assessing and optimising your performance, so why is it time to pay attention to offline conversion uploads? Let’s take a look…


When a potential customer arrives on your site, it is possible to attach a unique user ID which can then be connected to the marketing campaign that led the customer to the site. Subsequently, this ID can be connected to both online conversions and offline conversions, in cases where you are able to stitch the user ID to the customer’s email address or other unique identifier. The following offline conversions of that user can then be uploaded to marketing platforms, such as Google and Facebook, and linked to their previous interactions with your marketing campaigns. In other words, whereas online conversion tracking enables you to track when potential customers, for example, fill out a form or sign up for a newsletter, offline conversions add extra data to the online interaction. An example of this is when a B2B customer fills out a contact form and is then contacted by telephone. Or when a potential customer sees an ad for a given product online and then goes to the physical store to buy it. In both cases, the online interaction takes its natural course towards the offline; adding value to the digital campaign and turning leads into paying customers. 


In order to use offline conversion uploads, it’s necessary to have a unique identifier which can be connected to the customer, for example the email address provided with permission when signing up for a loyalty program or newsletter. This allows you to track the customer journey (their starting point, where they visit, what content they interact with etc.), and hence obtain valuable insights on them. Your understanding of the customer can be enhanced with information about their offline behaviour, which provides a better understanding of their values and needs.

To gain further knowledge about your customers, you can upload accurate in-store sales data to your digital platform. By building on target groups based on what has been viewed or added to the basket, you can then add to that information when the customer has gone to the store to make a purchase. Moreover, you can choose to look at the return data in order to understand the value of the entire process more thoroughly. Order data can, for most part, be enriched by return or even margin data, as all you usually need is a transaction ID. This offers a unique opportunity to understand which campaigns, ads and products result in high return rates and hence lower profit. With such a complete view of the customer journey, you are not only able to better validate the effectiveness of a given digital campaign, but also to further target it going forward. 


Once the in-store transactions are accurately added to the customer profile, as well as measured correctly in the digital marketing platforms (Google Ads and Facebook), the platform algorithms optimise for the right conversions, and the profitability is expected to increase. You can then take advantage of knowing when someone has bought a product offline and exclude them from lower funnel campaigns, as well as potentially include them in upsell or retention campaigns. This will ensure: 

  • Insights on the digital campaigns’ impact on in-store sales.
  • Improved measurement of local campaigns. 
  • More accurate comprehension of user ROAS.
  • Save budget by excluding recent in-store buyers from digital campaigns.
  • More accurate insights into Customer lifetime value (CLV).
  • Reduction of budget waste.
  • Faster funnel velocity. 
  • More relevant advertising.

In conclusion, offline conversion uploads provide a more complete picture of your sales and consequently of the success of your campaign, enabling you to continuously tweak and optimise your digital marketing performance.

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