What Google Analytics Can Tell You About Your Catalog Campaign

If you don’t have time to wait for your data analyst to submit a report on order trends from your last catalog before beginning your next one, consider utilizing the internet as a resource to help you quickly review campaign success before moving on to the next one.  Here are just two simple ways to use Google Analytics and examine the channels of which your customers are entering your domain.

 UTM Tracking Code 

Contrary to standard use, Google Analytics can be used to quickly and efficiently bring together internet momentum motivated by your catalog.  Consider an excerpt from Sysan J. McIntyre out of chapter nine from the book 166 Proven Marketing Strategies for Retail Success: “Today, the majority of catalog sales come via the Web, and those sales are visible in GA. Sure, GA cannot give you a total sales picture, but it’s great as an early warning system without having to wait for completed order curves, full matchbacks, or reports from your backed-up IT department”  The question is not if Google Analytics can be used to track catalog response, it’s how.

In Google Analytics, catalog campaigns (or any marketing campaign really) can be measured by setting up a UTM tracking Code.  See Google Analytics blog:  Getting Started with Analytics Measurement for Marketing Campaigns: A Brief Guide.

What exactly is a UTM tracking code? You may be familiar with the term Custom Campaign Tagging?  This is exactly the same thing as UTM tracking.   A UTM code is extra text at the end of your URL that is campaign specific thus allowing Analytics to track from which campaign your traffic is coming.  below is an example of how Google can track your campaign data.

Campaign Report

For more details about UTM Tracking checkout this great blog post by Ginny Soskey: What Are UTM Tracking Codes?

Lighthouse Post Card Campaign

Custom Landing Pages

Creating custom landing pages to track your direct mail marketing campaigns is a great way to measure your success with Google Analytics.  QR codes and Augmented Reality is great for this because mobile users are able to simply scan the QR code or AR and be directed to the custom link rather than type the entire link into their browser.  Creating a custom link that is designed to only be shared through your catalog, you are able to track how many people were directed to the web from the catalog and thus determine how many sales, and, how successful that particular catalog campaign was.  This will help you determine what you should focus on in your next catalog.  Below is an example of a recent campaign that Dingley did with customized pages for our local prospects.  We created a postcard for our two New England Sales Executives (Greg White and David Barker).  Each card had a QR code that would be directed to a customized landing page specific to each Sales Exec. Above is an image of our postcard with the QR code that leads to a custom landing page.  This page cannot be found through our website because it is specific to this campaign.

Once you have created your custom landing page, you can track your traffic in Google Analytics to see how many customers you attracted through that particular method.

One of the greatest things about Google Analytics is the reporting system.  To track your customized landing pages, you can go to the link analysis report, which should look something like this:

Google Analytics Custon Link Tracking

Measuring the success of your catalogs online is beneficial when the right strategies are put to test.  Although, your information may not be as detailed as your data analyst’s, it can definitely encourage or inspire you in either in one direction or the other.  These are useful tools in following your customers and getting a head start on your next product catalog.  Remember, marketing is best put to practice with multi channels.  So let your catalogs do their jobs and become the vehicles by which your customers travel cross web.  Good luck!

About the Author: Jim Gibbs

Vice President of Sales & Marketing at The Dingley Press. Jim has been with Dingley since 2002 and lives in Maine near our Lisbon, Maine plant location.