Print Advertising Drives Online Leads

Traditional print media drives online leads, according to data released today from Telmetrics, a Toronto-based company focused on advertising call tracking and measurement solutions.

Telmetrics found that URL visits represented 44% of leads on average, while call traffic generated 56% of leads. Tracking unique URL activity in addition to call measurement demonstrated a 78% increase in overall leads driven by print Yellow Pages.

Specific categories such as Automobile Dealers and Florists demonstrated higher volumes of Web activity. Ads for Automobile Dealers resulted in 184% more clicks than calls, while Florists generated 126% more clicks.

The company measured consumer Web activity generated by more than 1,200 print Yellow Pages ads from November 2008 through April 2009. Each ad included both a unique URL and phone number.

Telmetrics President Bill Dinan was surprised at the results. "We wanted to determine whether the print book was driving online traffic," he says. "I was a bit of a skeptic at first. I believe traditional behavior would see someone going to search to look for a URL versus going to a traditional offline media property."

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While the first step was to understand how offline ads drive online traffic, the next phase will focus on conversion rates. The study will analyze the number of clicks generated by each participating Web site.

Dinan thought the numbers would have been around 10%, rather than closer to 50%. During the timing evaluated, the ads that used unique URLs -- for example, florists2.com -- were more often visited than client-specific domains with URL extensions such as publisher.com/ florists.

Telmetrics, founded in 1990, supports customers such as national advertisers, Yellow Pages publishers, agencies and online search companies. It created the URL tracking app, which provides integrated lead reporting, to aid efforts by Yellow Pages publishers in proving the value of the print medium.

Print Yellow Pages publishers across North America commissioned the study. The company can record call and URL activity because each ad includes a unique phone number and URL tracked back to a specific advertisement.

pie chart/Lead Activity for Print Ads

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