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Complete Guide to Offline Conversion Tracking (2024)

Offline conversions and attribution is an important part of a larger growth marketing and digital marketing strategy. Correctly setting up offline conversions will give you a better understanding of how your online marketing is performing and how you can maximize your ROI.

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These days, as more shopping moves online, businesses often struggle to keep up with their customers. Since most buying happens on the internet, companies also track customer activity online. Thanks to advanced technology and various online tools, this tracking is more effective than ever.

Whether you’re selling in stores or online, these tools also shows how well online ads are working, helping you fine-tune your sales strategies. Tracking offline conversions is very useful for you!

What “Offline Conversions” Mean

An offline conversion happens when a customer takes an action in the real world after being influenced by online marketing. For example, if someone sees an online ad for your product and later buys it in your physical store, that purchase is an offline conversion. Essentially, it tracks how your online advertising leads to offline sales.

What is Offline Conversion Tracking?

Offline conversion tracking tracks customer interactions and conversions offline that happen in a physical store, service-based company, or over the phone. It helps businesses understand which marketing efforts lead to actual sales, even when the purchase isn’t made online. 

This data can be imported into Google Ads or Facebook Ads, allowing you to see how your online campaigns are leading to offline conversions. You can then adjust your advertising strategies based on which campaigns are most effective at driving real-world sales.

Why is Offline Conversion Tracking Important?

Tracking offline conversions is very important because it lets you see how well your online ads are really doing. It shows you which online ads lead to sales, helping you spend more on what works.

It can also help you identify which online channels drive the most offline conversions and the highest ROI so that you can allocate your marketing budget accordingly. For example, if you notice that your Instagram ads lead to a lot of in-store purchases, you might decide to invest more in your Instagram campaigns.

Offline conversions help connect customer interactions to your online ads. In other words, it helps link important customer interactions back to your online ads.

For example, service-based industry, you may have multiple touchpoints from contactprospect, and sale.

These touchpoints can be used as conversion goals to greatly improve your ad campaigns.

Finally, in highly variable revenue models, your client value and Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) may differ from market to market or campaign to campaign.

Tracking and improving conversion value lets you concentrate on making money, not just “sales.”

What is Optimize for Conversion Value?

“Optimize for conversion value” is a setting in Google Ads that focuses on getting more value (ROI/ROAS) from ads, not just more conversions.

When you use this setting, Google Ads targets people who are more likely to make higher-value purchases.

For example, if you’re selling tickets to an event, it targets people more likely to buy VIP tickets instead of general admission.

If you are a service or SaaS-based business, this setting will help you target campaigns and markets with a higher Average Client Value (ACV).

Making your ads convert at a higher value and higher ROAS helps you get more from your budget. This can lead to a higher return on ad spend.

When to Use Offline Conversion Tracking?

1. When you want to track offline conversions, such as in a brick-and-mortar store, service-based industry, or sales process with multiple touch points.

2. When you want to attribute conversions to specific touchpoints, such as a phone call with a sales rep, proposal, quote, application, or other milestones in your customer journey.

What Is Needed to Track Offline Conversions

You’ll need to set up a conversion tracking pixel on your website to track offline conversions and then add the offline conversion events you want to follow.

The pixel will fire when someone visits your website, and the offline conversion events will be tracked in your pixel’s data.

To set up a conversion tracking pixel, you’ll need to:

1. Create a pixel on your website.

2. Install the pixel code on your website.

3. Add the offline conversion events you want to track.

4. Test the pixel to make sure it’s working correctly.

You can start tracking offline conversions once you’ve set up your pixel. To do this, you’ll need to:

1. Collect the data for your offline conversions.

2. Send the data to your pixel.

3. View the data in your pixel’s reports.

4. Take action on the data you see in your reports.

We also highly recommend capturing Google Click ID (GCLID) and Facebook Click ID (FBCLID) parameters in your funnel and pushing that back into your CRM.

Facebook Offline Conversion Tracking

If you’re running ads on Facebook and you see they’re driving people to call your store or come in and buy something, you might want to boost your spending there to get even better results.

To set up Facebook Offline Conversion tracking, you’ll need to:

1. Connect your Facebook pixel to your CRM or point-of-sale systems such as Zoho, SalesForce, or Shopify.

2. Create custom conversions in Facebook Ads Manager.

3. Set up offline event tracking in your CRM or point-of-sale system.

4. Send your offline conversion data to Facebook.

Once set up, one will see the number of offline sales your Facebook ads have generated.

This will show you how well your investment is paying off and help you improve your campaigns for better results.

What is FBCLID

FBCLID stands for Facebook Click Identifier. It’s a parameter that Facebook adds to the URLs of your website when someone clicks on your ad from Facebook. This helps track the performance of ads by showing which visits to your website came directly from Facebook ads.

To set up offline conversions, add the FBCLID parameter to the page URL where the conversion occurs.

After someone fills out a form on your thank you page, you can grab the FBCLID and send it to your CRM or sales tools.

What is Facebook Conversion API

To set up offline conversions with Facebook, you first need to get a Facebook Conversion API token. This token lets you use the Facebook Conversion API to create and track offline conversions.

Next, create a custom event on Facebook that will be associated with the offline conversion you want to track. For example, if you want to track offline purchases, you would create a “Purchase” event. Once you have completed the event, you must get the event ID.

Finally, you must pass the event ID and conversion API token to the offline conversion tracking pixel you placed on your website.

This pixel will then send the information to Facebook, allowing you to track offline conversions.

Facebook Conversions API or API documentation can be found here.

Facebook Ads and IOS 14

iOS 14 has a feature that lets users stop sharing their IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) with developers. When you turn this on, developers can’t see your IDFA or track you for ads. This really shook up Facebook’s ad business because they use IDFA a lot to target ads and see how they’re doing.

Because of the new setting, Facebook is coming up with a new way to track ad results without needing online data. Now, you can upload a list of your customers who bought something, and Facebook will figure out if these are the same people who saw your ads.

This lets you see how well your ads are leading to sales in the real world. You can still target and check how your Facebook ads are doing, even with the new IDFA settings.

Zapier Facebook Conversions

With this integration, you can send data from your CRM or ecommerce platform to Facebook. Then, Facebook matches this data with users who have installed your app.

Setting Up Offline Conversions in Zapier

To get started, set up a Zapier account and link it to your Facebook Ads account. Then, choose the apps you want to send data from and to Facebook. After connecting the apps, you can line up the data fields and settings between the two.

Google Offline Conversion Tracking

Google’s offline conversion tracking lets you measure the sales you’ve generated from your AdWords campaigns, even when customers don’t purchase items online. You can track phone calls, store visits, and other types of conversions that happen offline.

Google has a great article on creating and setting up offline conversions.

Pro tip: Make sure you turn on auto-tagging and grab the GCLID in your sales process.

What is GCLID

The Google Click ID (GCLID) is a unique code that Google attaches to your website links in ads. When someone clicks on your ad, this ID tags along in the URL they land on. You can use the GCLID to track offline conversions like phone calls or in-store sales that happen after someone clicks your ad.

To track offline conversions with GCLID, just add a bit of code to your website’s landing page. This code grabs the GCLID from the URL and sends it to your tracking system. Then, match that GCLID with the ad click in your Google Ads account to see which ad led to the offline sale.

If you’re not into web development, you might want to hire someone to add the code snippet to your website. Once it’s set up, you can start tracking your offline sales and use that info to make your Google Ads better.

Google Ads API

To track offline conversions in your Google Ads account, you must set up offline conversions in the Google Ads API. This process involves creating a conversion tracker and linking it to your Google Ads account. Once done, you can start tracking offline conversions by uploading conversion data to Google Ads.

Zapier Google Ads Offline Conversions

Zapier Google Offline Conversions
Setting Up Offline Conversions in Zapier for Google Ads.

To set up Offline Conversions in Zapier, start by making a new zap and choose Google Ads as your trigger. Then pick “Offline Conversion” as your action, and put in your Google Ads account info. Choose the specific offline conversion you want to keep an eye on. With Zapier, you can send conversion data from your CRM to Google Ads for each step of the customer journey.

Importing Offline Conversions to Google Ads

Set up conversion tracking to import offline conversions and then create a file with your offline conversion data. Once the master file is ready, import it to Tools – Measurement – Conversions.

Importing Offline Conversions in Google Ads
Importing Offline Conversions in Google Ads

You can link your offline data to your ads in two ways:
1. Using the Google Click Identifier (GCLID)
2. Enhanced Conversions for Leads

Google Enhanced Conversions for Leads

Google Enhanced Conversions for Leads lets businesses track offline actions like phone calls or store visits. This way, you can see how much your online ads really help and make sure the right channels get credit for leads and sales.

Google enhanced conversions for leads work by using first-party data that is then hashed and attributed back to the click.

When you log a sale offline, Google uses customer details like first name, last name, phone number, and email to link it back to the ad click.

What are Google WBRAID and GBRAID Parameters

With iOS 14, clicks might have a WBRAID or GBRAID parameter because of Apple’s new privacy rules, the Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework. WBRAID tracks clicks that lead to web conversions, and GBRAID tracks clicks related to app activities.

CustomerLabs has a great article on GCLID, GBRAID, and WBRAID parameters.

LinkedIn Offline Conversion Tracking

To track offline conversions from LinkedIn, you need to set up a lead generation form and install the LinkedIn Insight Tag on your website. Once that’s done, you can see which offline conversions come from LinkedIn. This helps you understand the ROI of your LinkedIn marketing and check if you’re reaching the right leads.

Importing Linked In Offline Conversions

You can upload offline conversions to LinkedIn Ads from a customer relationship management (CRM) system or a data file:

Setting Up LinkedIn Offline Conversions

You need to set up a server-to-server integration with LinkedIn to send offline conversions from your CRM system. For details on how to set this up, check out the guide on setting up server-to-server integrations.

To upload offline conversions from a data file, create a CSV file containing the offline conversions you want to upload. The CSV file must include the following columns:

  • timestamp
  • event type
  • amount
  • currency
  • email
  • first name
  • last name

Popular Tools to Manage Offline Conversions

  1. Zapier – Zapier is a cloud-based application that allows users to connect and automate various web applications
  2. Make – Make is a no-code automation platform and is supported by a variety of platforms.
  3. LeadsBridge – Ledsbridge offers a wide range of integrations with popular CRM, marketing, and sales platforms, making it easy for users to transfer leads between different systems.
  4. LiveRamp – LiveRamp is a data onboarding platform that helps marketers connect their customer data to over 100 marketing platforms.
  5. Adobe Marketo – Marketo allows businesses to automate and measure marketing activities and provides a single view of the customer.
  6. Ruler Analytics – Ruler Analytics provides out-of-the-box integration for offline conversions, call tracking, and lead attribution.
  7. Google Tag Manager – Google Tag Manager is a free tool allowing the management and deployment of marketing tags (such as pixel tags, analytics, and remarketing tags) on your website or mobile app. There is no need to edit your code.
Picture of SHANE MCINTYRE

SHANE MCINTYRE

Founder & Executive with a Background in Marketing and Technology | Director of Growth Marketing.