Facebook Offline Conversions – Everything You Need To Know

One of the aspects we love about online marketing and Facebook Ads in particular is the ability to track results precisely.

It makes our job so much easier when we can show customers that we spent $1,000 on ads and we drove $5,000 in revenue.

When websites are set up correctly with the Facebook Pixel, we know exactly what ads drive sales.

User clicks ad, user buys product, we know what ad drove it and we can scale up.

But what if your funnel isn’t so straight forward?

What if it’s something like:

  • User clicks ad > user fills out lead form > salesperson calls user > salesperson signs up user over the phone

Or…

  • User clicks ad > user visits your local retail location > user buys product in person

In those cases, the user does not take action online where we can track them using traditional methods (the Facebook Pixel).

This is where Facebook Offline Conversions (formerly Offline Events) comes in.

Offline Conversions allows you to upload your sales data to Facebook and match transactions that occur in ‘real life’ (offline) with people who previously saw or clicked on your ads.

This means you can serve ads for a hair salon and track your ROI by uploading your POS (point of sale) data to Facebook.

You can serve ads for a car dealership and see how many people who clicked on your ads purchased a car.

You can serve ads for an insurance agency and see how many people bought policies over the phone.

How do they do it?

They have a secret weapon.

Nearly EVERYBODY is on Facebook.

They have so much data that all you need to give them is a name, email address, and phone number of your customer and they can match that with a Facebook user.

If that Facebook user also saw or clicked on one of your ads in the last 28 days, they’ll attribute the conversion to your ads and it will show up in ads manager as an offline conversion.

Pretty cool huh 🙂

So how do you do it?

 

Step 1: Prepare Your Data

This may sound complicated, but trust us – it’s not!

Facebook just needs to know what transactions took place offline and who completed each transaction.

To get this data, all you have to do is export the transaction history from your CRM. This could be a POS system like Square in your retail location or a CRM system like Salesforce.

Here’s what fields you should include (fields in bold are most important):

  • Email Address
  • Phone Number
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • City
  • State
  • Country
  • Date of Birth
  • Year of Birth
  • Age
  • Zip Code
  • Gender
  • Facebook User ID
  • Event Time
  • Event Name
  • Value
  • Currency
  • Order ID
  • Item Number

Here are a few helpful resources for preparing your data file:

 

Step 2: Upload Your Data

Once your data file is finished, you’re ready to upload the data to Facebook. Navigate to the Offline Events page in Business Manager and select the appropriate Offline Event Set. If you don’t have an existing Offline Event Set, click the green Get Started button in the middle of the page.

Get Started with Facebook Offline Events

Accept the Offline Conversion Terms after carefully reading them and then follow the instructions on the screen to create the Offline Event Set. We recommend having one Event Set per ad account, so you’ll want to change the default option on the options page before creating the Event Set.

Facebook Offline Conversions Setup

From there, you’re ready to upload your file. Click Select File, upload the file you created, then click Next: Map Data

Upload Facebook Offline Events

On the next page you’ll review the data mapping. If you use the default field names from the Sample Data File, Facebook should get your mapping correct. If they don’t, it’s pretty simple to update the fields by clicking the field name and navigating to the appropriate setting.

Facebook Offline Event Data Mapping

Once you have everything correct, click Next to Review the data and Facebook will give you an estimated match rate along with warnings for any errors they find in your data.

Facebook Offline Events Match Rate

Correct any warnings that may pop up and then click Start Upload in the top right to send your data to Facebook. It will take a few minutes for the data to be visible in Events Manager, but once it finishes processing it will look something like this:

Facebook Offline Events Attributed Conversions

Here’s what those three metrics mean:

  1. Events Received – the total number of records that you uploaded to Facebook
  2. Matched Events – the number of records that Facebook was able to match to a Facebook user
  3. Attributed Events – the number of records that Facebook was able to match to a Facebook user who saw or clicked on your ad within 28 days of the event occurring.

 

Step 3: View Your Results

Now that your events are uploaded, you probably want to see which ads are driving those offline conversions. To do that, navigate to Ads Manager and select the appropriate ad account. Click the Columns dropdown near the top right of the data table and select Customize Columns.

Custom Columns Facebook Ads Manager

Search for Offline in the search bar and select the events based on what you used in your data file. Click apply and you’ll see the data in Ads Manager.

Offline Events in Ads Manager

From there, the offline conversion events will appear in ads manager just like any other metric. You can view the stats at the campaign, ad set, or ad level and see how many conversions your ads drove, what the cost per conversion was, and see placement/demographic breakdowns to determine what segments are performing best.

That’s all there is to it.

Now you have an incredibly powerful tool at your fingertips to understand what online messaging, imagery and calls-to-action are driving real world purchases, store visits, phone conversations and anything else that is important to your business. You can now use this offline data to optimize your campaigns in all the same ways you would with online data.

Most advertisers still aren’t leveraging offline conversions so there is a golden opportunity right now to take advantage of. Get ahead of the competition and get your offline conversion data into your optimization flow before they get the memo!

Interested in working with a professional to incorporate offline conversion data into your Facebook Ads campaigns? Get Started with eBoost Consulting today.

Chris Root is a co-owner of eBoost Consulting and works out of our Boulder, CO location. He writes primarily about social advertising and gets overly excited when Facebook releases new targeting capabilities.

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