9 ways to measure your advertising results

Coupons are a great way to measure response to advertisingAs I have posted before, Measuring the response and income from your advertising campaigns is critical, in order for you to know which ads are working and which are not.

Here are 9 ways to easily track the response to your advertisements:

  1. Coupons – Coupon offers are a great way to measure the response to your ads.  Keep the coupons when they are cashed in and count them up.  Remember to put an expiry date on the coupon.
  2. Ask for Sally – Using a pseudonym is an effective way of measuring phone responses to an ad.   At the bottom of the ad put “call now and ask for Sally or Bob or any name who doesn’t work at your business (so you know it is a response to an ad).  I once worked for a company who ran 3 or 4 different ads in the newspaper, and they always knew which ads were the most effective.
  3. Mention this ad and receive a discount – Another nice simple method that works on the phone or face to face.  Can be used to test media as well (mention this radio station, newspaper, magazine… etc).
  4. Loyalty Cards encourage repeat custom and give your customers a reason to shop with you rather than your competition.  They also provide an opportunity to measure the frequency of repeat business.
  5. Run a Competition – Create a bit of buzz about your business and run a competition.  Tie it in with a business milestone or a local event.  Ensure the entry form asks for any information that you require.
  6. Make a Special offer in your ad – For example offer a free information booklet to compliment the product or service advertised.  Have the audience phone or email to receive the special offer.

  7. Comparing the effectiveness of different ads (or headlines, offers etc).  If you run more than one campaign at once, these strategies can be used to measure the response to each.

  8. Competing offers – Measure and compare the response to different publications or advertisements by offering different packages in each publication or ad.
  9. Measure by area – If you advertise with flyers or mail drops, distribute different flyers (with a call now) into different suburbs and ask all responders where which suburb they live in.
  10. Use different phone numbers on your ads –  The best method is to have one or two numbers dedicated to advertising that can be redirected to your main sales number.  Your phone company should be able to track how many calls you get on this number(s).
  11. Note: People often mis-remember the facts of where or when they see an advertisement.  This is a fact that is best kept in mind while testing your campaigns.  The most accurate statistics will come when you can design a measurement that doesn’t rely on your customer’s memory.

    Bonus point:

  12. Internet advertising – Once you start advertising on the web it is even easier to measure your success rates using online tools.  This makes the Internet a great medium for testing your ad campaigns cheaply before rolling out to more expensive media.
About Al

Alistair has managed and built small businesses in a varied industries from agriculture to the web. Years in sales lead to his obsession with marketing.
In his spare time he enjoys time with his family, sails and reads marketing books.
Get more from Alistair on Twitter and Google+.


  1. Great post! Just wanted to let you know you have a new subscriber- me!

  2. Hi Andrew, Thanks for subscribing to our blog. Hopefully you find some value in our thoughts.


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