When you’re using offline communication tools such as a brochure, flyer, or a magazine, QR and NFC codes are the perfect way to get your offline audience to your online world. You can also put these tags on your products to help your buyers quickly get to the right content. But tracking the results of these offline tools can be a real pain in the ass. Until now! We’ve found a way to track the results of your QR and NFC campaigns. And it’s really easy! Read this blog to find out our step-by-step guide for monitoring your offline campaigns.
6 easy steps to tracking your offline campaigns:
- Creating your landing page
- Copy the URL in a UTM builder
- Add UTM labels
- Use a shortened URL tool
- Generate the QR or NFC tag
- Create a shortened URL
What are QR and NFC?
Almost any phone, nowadays, is occupied with a QR or NFC scanner. This makes QR and NFC the perfect tool to bring your offline audience to your digital platform. QR codes are squares with black and white boxes within them that create a code. To scan this code, you have to focus your smartphone’s camera on the code and scan it. After scanning, the QR code brings you to a video, a web page, a landing page, a form, a social media channel, or something entirely different. You decide which data you want to put underneath the QR code.
The same goes for NFC tags. Although not every phone has an NFC scanner, this does become more mainstream for the newer phones. To get to the data, you need to ‘tap’ your phone onto an NFC tag, and you’ll get to any desired page, video, or any other content in seconds.
Because you can turn any data into a QR or an NFC tag, this is the perfect way to turn your printables, products, or offline store into an actual lead generator.
Since not every phone has a QR or NFC scanner, we always advise our clients to accompany their tag with a short URL. Now you’ll be 100% sure that your offline audience will get to your online environment.
Want to know what the best of all this is? You can quickly turn these codes into trackable campaigns.
Do you want to know more about QR and NFC? Read all about it in our blog.
Turn Your Offline Campaigns Into Trackable Results
The only downside of offline campaigns is that you don’t know precisely how they perform, something that is possible for online campaigns. For QR and NFC, this is also the pain point for most organizations and holds them back from using it. Because when someone visits their website through these codes, analytics programs like Google Analytics see these visitors as a ‘direct visitor’. In other words, someone that entered the URL in their browser and visited it. However, we found a way to turn your QR and NFC campaigns into trackable results in just a few simple steps.
Create in, for example, the MODX CMS or any other CMS that you use to manage your content, and create a page you want people to land on. This can be any page: one with specific information, call to action buttons to get in contact with you, a video that shows your company, more information about your products or services, and anything else. When you’ve created the page, you get a URL that people can use to visit this page. Copy this URL.
Of course, you can also link to a YouTube video or any other social media channel or content. When this is the case, you don’t have to create a landing page. Simply copy the URL of the video or the link to your social content.
A quick search in Google lets you find multiple UTM builders. At Sterc, we love this tool of Google Analytics: https://ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/campaign-url-builder/. You can also find a UTM builder integrated into software like HubSpot.
Place the copied URL in the right form field.
Underneath the field you just used to place your URL, you can add other data to your URL, so you know from which channels the traffic came. Use these fields to add short but descriptive labels.
When you have placed a QR code in a magazine, for example, you’ll fill in the following information:
When you’re using multiple channels, you need to create a UTM URL for every unique channel. So when you’re using QR, NFC, and a short URL, you have three separate campaign URLs. Each one with another medium.
Some UTM builders offer the possibility to create a short URL. One of these UTM builders is the handy-dandy UTM builder we recommended earlier. The tracking URL builder in Hubspot also allows you to create a short URL. This is great because shorter URLs make your QR codes less complicated and, therefore, easier to scan. Doesn’t your UTM builder come with this feature? Use tools like Bitly to create a shorter URL.
You can find thousands of QR and NFC generators online. https://www.qrcode-monkey.com/, for example. Place the short URL you’ve created in the previous step in the right field, and the generator will do the rest.
Are you using MODX 3.0 to manage your content? Awesome! MODX will automatically generate a QR and NFC code for you. You only need to click on the three dots in the upper right corner of any created page and click ‘Download QR code’. MODX will generate a QR code with UTM tags, so Google Analytics will see visitors using a QR code as QR visitors instead of ‘direct visitors’.
MODX 3.0 will also create an NFC tag that you can send to your printer to process in any material.
This may sound like a repetition, but as we said before, it’s best to place a short URL besides your QR or NFC, so really everyone can visit your online world. Wouldn’t it be great when this short URL shows your website name in it instead of a Bitly URL?
If you want to track how many people use the short URL instead of the QR or NFC tag, it’s essential to create a unique campaign URL for this medium. For this campaign URL, you change the medium to ‘URL’ or ‘Direct’. That’s how you can see how every medium has contributed to the campaign’s target.
To ensure your short URL shows your website name, you need to place the campaign URL for the short URL (with the medium ‘Direct’ or ‘URL’) in your CMS and create a new page or redirecting link with it.
Within MODX, you can create a weblink instead of a page for this. Place the campaign URL here, and choose which URL you want to show. For us, this would be, for example, sterc.com/hubspot-guide.
Do you think your URL is still too long because you have a multilingual website or your landing page is a sub-page of another web page? MODX users can use the Freeze URL functionality to make the URL as short as they want to, which you can find underneath the MODX extra SEO Tab.
View the results of your offline campaigns
Finally, you can find out how your campaigns and every unique medium perform in analytics tools like Google Analytics. In the current Google Analytics (UA), you can find this within acquisition > overview. This is where you can find all of your campaigns in Google Ads and other campaigns you’ve created (like the one you’ve just created an offline campaign for!). Next, you need to click on the right source, and it shows you the results of your offline campaign.
In the new Google Analytics 4, you can also find these results in acquisition > overview. On this dashboard, you’ll find all of your sources, mediums, and campaigns in one clear overview. Do you want more specific information on one campaign? Just click on a campaign, and it will redirect you to all the necessary information.