Digital is easy to report on thanks to UTMs and cookies. But how do you track the return, reach or engagement of your offline campaigns? There are a few ways –  some may seem a little old fashioned in today’s world but they help you track the bottom line which should always be the priority. 

Whilst there are numerous forms of offline advertising, for the purposes of this article, let’s pick a simple scenario that you’ve placed an advert in your local magazine.

Phrase-match Search

The PPC space is expensive, but using a specific keyword or phrase and embedding it into your ads’ CTA is a great way to track return from an offline campaign. 

For example. Your advert is promoting dog food – a monthly subscription that delivers directly to your door. How do you get someone from your advert, onto your website and track that first source? 

Rather than simply giving a website address (that would show up in your GA as either direct or organic), give people something to search for. 

“Search ‘Happy Dog Trial’ for your first 20 days free”

Then, bid on that phrase (Happy Dog Trial) so you’re at the top of Google/Bing search results. Research your phrase first to ensure your keyword doesn’t have too many, if any, people bidding on it.

You can then direct customers to a very targeted landing page, tying in the offline message, and funnel people down into a conversion. If your offline advert/campaign is the only ad with that CTA, then you can attribute sales from that page to your specific ad.

Unique URL

Similarly to the above, a specific URL will give you a single entry point to your website as the result of an offline campaign (we’d suggest hiding it from search engine indexing to remove organic listing). Keep it simple though.

“Get a free 20-day trial. Head to

We prefer the first method of specific site entry (using PPC) rather than this. It’s more expensive, yes, but often people struggle typing a URL into an address bar!

Offer Code

It’s one of the classics – “Use code TUBE for 10% off’. Use a unique discount code on your offline campaigns in order to track its effect. The only downside is that you have to give a discount when perhaps you don’t need to.

Unique telephone number

Do you convert by phone, or perhaps have an audience demographic that prefers to talk to someone? There are hundreds of companies out there offering unique local and freephone telephone numbers. Simply use a unique number on your advert, and see how many times that number rings and converts. 

This is a classic tactic many travel companies use to attribute sales to travel magazine ads. The problem with it is in the gaps – when people go from ad > to website > to call. When they hit your website there will be a different number to the advert, and you lose that channel connection. 


It’s old fashioned, but you could always ask. If they came through on a digital channel you might get an ‘oh from Google’, or ‘on social media’ answer, but it’s better than nothing.

Sentiment and mentions

Another way to measure the success of an offline campaign is through the number of times your brand or product is mentioned across the internet. Using a sentiment or mention tool such as Socialakers,or Brandwatch will help you do this. 

In our experience though, this is a best guess at true engagement, and you can never really get a  complete understanding of the impact. Good enough for awareness campaigns but not solid enough for lead gen or purchase focused advertising.

So, what’s the best way to track ROI on offline campaigns?

In a world of omnichannel marketing, where multiple channels may contribute to conversion and sale success, it may always be hard to get that first source. But, in our opinion, tracking your offline campaigns is best done with either a paid (PPC) search term match, or by using an offer code. This gives a clear instruction and CTA to your audience and drives them down a specific, trackable route.