4 Tips for Tracking DRTV-to-Web, and Why Doing So Is Critical
It's no secret that many consumers who see a DRTV commercial go online to request more information or make a purchase. Yet, if you watch any number of DRTV spots and infomercials, the percentage of marketers who are tracking Web activity from DRTV is minuscule. As a result, marketers could be canceling profitable DRTV media placements because they appear to be unprofitable, simply because Web orders are not taken into account.
Here's what we learned by tracking almost 20 million DRTV-to-Web transactions during the past decade: The only sure way to track is by modifying the URL that appears on the TV screen. We've tried other ways, but none of them work consistently and accurately.
By creating a new URL structure, outside of your existing URL, you now have the ability to track DRTV without hurting your brand. Here's how:
1. Keep Branding in the Tracking URL. If your regular URL is www.SuperScanners.com, you can create a new URL that keeps your branding intact, such as: www.GetSuperScanners.com or www.SuperScannersTV.com. [These are examples, not working URLs.] By doing this, you segregate DRTV-to-Web traffic from other traffic, making it easier to manage and track.
2. Use Prefix Tracking Codes. You may have seen some DRTV advertisers use suffixes in an attempt to track. They look like this: www.company.com/tv/32. These suffix URLs don't work for several reasons:
- Most consumers don't type what comes after the ".com" because it's not necessary to get to the site;
- If the consumer types "33" instead of "32" they may get a "page not found" error; and
- You'd have to create a page for every single code number—a very time-consuming task if you have dozens or even hundreds of media placements.
Use prefix tracking, which looks like this: 32.companyTV.com where "32" is one specific cable network or broadcast station—"33" would be a different one, etc. We found that most consumers do type in the prefix, and this method alleviates the other two problems mentioned above.