Currently, many advertising and analytical systems have methods for transmitting data about offline conversions that have occurred. Let’s find out how it works and who needs them.

Here is a list of some systems that support offline conversions:

First, let’s find out what is different from an online conversion. What is an online conversion rate? This is the conversion rate recorded in the client’s browser while the client is on the site. For example, as a result of visiting a specific URL, clicking on a button, or some js event.

Online conversion rate

Information that an event occurred is transmitted directly during the session when it occurred.

In offline conversions, however, the conversion may occur at a different time and place. For example, a few hours after an active session, when the client status is changed by the manager in CRM.

Offline conversion rate

Such conversions are absolutely necessary for some types of business. For example, if the order is processed later than in onail, in real time. Or, if the order is paid using a method that doesn’t transfer money instantly.

However, it is very important to use this tool correctly.

For example, if we try to transmit data about offline conversions that have occurred in the client’s browser as before, we will get a problem:

Offline conversion rate transmitted as online

In this case, the conversion completed in the next client session will be attributed to the session when the conversion worked, and not to the first one-when the «request» was created for it. Not to mention the fact that the client may not appear on the site for quite a long time.

So, our task is to transmit information about the conversion using the offline method, at the moment when it occurred. This will allow it to be attributed to the previous session.

Attribution of offline conversions

However, keep in mind that by default, both advertising and analytics systems attribute actions based on the last-click principle.

It turns out that if the client completes one more session before making the conversion offline, the conversion will be attributed to it.

Incorrect attribution of an offline conversion

If the second session was from a different campaign in the same source, then the source will remain the same, only the conclusions about optimization will be incorrect. If the second session is from a different source, then the subsequent budget allocation plans will also be incorrect.

There are two ways to fix this problem:

  1. Passing the session ID
  2. Transmitting the conversion time

Sometimes it is possible to use only one method, sometimes both at once.

Passing the session ID

Available in advertising systems. You’ve seen the placemarks passed by the advertising system in URLs, haven’t you? This is the ad session ID. It contains information about the ad campaign, ad group, click time, location, and so on. Usually, when an ad pixel detects a session with this label in the url, it also creates a cookie file with a copy of this identifier. You should ask the programmer to write it in an invisible form field when submitting an application on the site.

Later, when sending an offline conversion — you will need to add this ID to it.

Attribution of an offline conversion to a valid session

And the advertising system will know which session to attribute this conversion to.

Transmitting the conversion time

Available in advertising and analytical systems. Allows you to record the time when the conversion occurred in the conversion parameters. And then a clever magic works — you pass the wrong conversion time to the system, forcing it to work correctly.

Attribution of an offline conversion at the time of the request

If you pass the time of the request with a conversion that occurred two days after the request, it will look as if the conversion occurred instantly, just the data about it was transmitted two days later.

Passing the conversion time synchronously to advertising and analytics systems is the preferred method, because as a result, attribution will be built in the same way between systems, while attribution by session ID is supported only by one system that generates the native ID.