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Revenue and Conversion Tracking

Home > English > Revenue and Conversion Tracking > Conversion Tracking > How To Articles: Conversion Tracking > Offline Connect

Offline Connect

Introduction

As the digital and physical worlds become more intertwined, so too do sales funnels become more complex. It may be simple enough to attribute an online purchase to an ad click, but what happens if this conversion event actually happens in the real world? To solve this conundrum, we've developed Offline Connect -- a handy tool to help you attribute real-world conversions to the ads which generated them. 

In this article, we'll explain what Offline Connect is and how to get started with the tool today. 
 

To use Offline Connect, you'll need to be using the latest version of Marin Tracker for your revenue tracking. If you're not sure about this, please reach out to your platform representative or our Customer Support team. 

What is Offline Connect?


Let's begin with a little bit of theory. Attribution of online conversions is well-documented and, if you're a regular Marin user, is probably something you encounter every day. A user clicks an ad in a search engine, they generate a conversion event on a website, (by making a purchase, for example), and a tracking solution will use parameters within the URL to attribute that conversion event to both the ad and the keyword.

All pretty simple, right? But there's another potential path: offline conversions. Imagine this scenario:
 

  1. A user clicks on a Google ad. 
  2. On the destination website, they book an appointment to take a car for a test-drive. The site's systems log this with a unique appointment ID. 
  3. In the real-world, the user goes to the car showroom for their appointment and really likes the car, so they decide to buy it. 
     

In this scenario, we can see a clear path between the Google ad click and the purchase of the car, but because it happened in both a digital and physical space, there's no way to link these two events directly. This is where Offline Connect steps in. 

How It Works


Put simply, Offline Connect enables you to link ad clicks which happen online to conversion events which happen offline. It does this by attributing digital events (such as appointment bookings) to real-world events (such as resulting purchases). This attribution relies on files containing unique IDs for the initial digital event, and details about the sale (revenue etc.), delivered via FTP to Marin.

From here, Offline Connect will use this information to attribute this real-world sale to the ad and keyword which initially generated it. 

In our example above, here's what the workflow would look like:
 

  1. A user clicks on a Google ad. 
  2. On the destination website, they book an appointment to take a car for a test-drive. The site's systems log this with a unique appointment ID. 
  3. In the real-world, the user goes to the car showroom for their appointment and really likes the car, so they decide to buy it. 
  4. The car company generates a file, which contains both the unique appointment ID and the sales information (including revenue amount), and uploads this to an FTP account provided by Marin.
  5. The data is processed by Offline Connect which links the sale conversion data with the ad clicks which drove the connecting online event (in this case, an appointment booking).
  6. Finally, Offline Connect will produce a file outlining the results of the processing. This will indicate on a line-by-line basis whether or not each event was matched successfully. This file will include a message column with extra information stating either "SUCCESS", "WARNING", or "FAILED".

 

Once processed, all of the attributed conversions will be available in the Marin platform like any other purely online conversion, and you're free to report as normal. You can attribute offline conversions to any of your existing conversion types, or create a new one expressly for this purpose. Pretty cool, right?

How to activate Offline Connect


If you'd like to start using Offline Connect with your account, the first step will be to reach out to either your platform representative or our Customer Support team. There are a couple of under-the-hood prerequisites we'll need to take care of first, such as ensuring you're on the latest version of Marin Tracker. 

additional notes


Below are a couple of things to bear in mind when working with Offline Connect:
 

  • Offline Connect features a lookback period of 24 months, meaning you can continue to attribute revenue to an ad or keyword for up to two years. This is handy in situations where a customer's lifetime value increases over time (in a subscription business model, for example). 
     
  • We recommend that the conversion type you choose for offline conversions is set to Both for the Track Conversions On option in your conversion type settings. This will ensure the system has plenty of data to use for attribution. 

 

 

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