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Measuring Conversion on Print Advertisement

How do you do it?

7:07 pm on Nov 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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joined:May 29, 2003
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I've been advertising in a specialty magazine for almost a year and each month become increasingly more uncomfortable with the money I'm spending, since I have no effective way to measure conversions.

Without delving into the relative merits of print advertising in general, I'd like to hear how those who advertise in print medium track their ROI?

I've considered several possible ways but none is particularly appealing:

* "Special offer code" in the ad -- "enter code XXYY to save $5 on your first order" -- difficult to implement in conjuction with other discount or short-term sales. And some folks won't remember to enter the code, so don't get tracked.

* Ask customers during check out "where did you hear about our web site?" -- can't make it a required field and many customers skip right past it. This is my current approach though I'm not really happy with it.

* A "special" URL in the advertisement with a landing page that tracks visits -- www.somedomain.com/MagAd -- I worry that my customers (mostly older women) can't handle anything more complex than getting the www.anystore.com part entered in their browser.

* A "special" domain name alias -- like [MagAd.somedomain.com...] -- again, I worry that folks will get confused when they don't see the "www" in the URL.

So far in a year, not a single customer has mentioned that they found us in the magazine ad, though I'm almost certain that at least a few have whether they told us or not.

8:13 pm on Nov 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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joined:Feb 13, 2005
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*If* the branding of your web address isn't that important, you could create another domain for that advertisement. i.e. www.mystore22.com instead of www.mystore.com. Then just redirect the traffic to the main site with the appropriate tag.

If you include a phone number in the ad, it's easy to add another 800 number just for that ad and then track inbound calls.