Using the Walk-Through Rate

One of the enduring problems for digital ad metrics is they aren’t great at showing offline conversions. If you’re trying to measure whether or not an ad drove someone into a physical location, you’re in a bind because the metrics are made to track online activity. 

Zenreach created a precise way to tell if digital ads actually bring people into a physical location: The Walk-Through Rate™ (WTR). 

What is a Walk-Through?

When a customer visits a location after seeing a marketing message for that business, that’s considered a Walk-Through. Zenreach can report how many people entered a location after seeing an ad online. It works like a click-through rate (CTR) does for a website, but instead of a click, it counts a visit. That gives you a real and reliable metric to assess the success of your ads. 

Why does a Walk-Through matter?

Most digital advertising targets broad audiences that are just approximations of real customers. Retailers rely on online signals, page likes and clicks, to build their target audiences. If your business can be transacted online, that’s not a problem because you can follow the customer journey from initial contact to purchase. 

For offline businesses, like retailers and restaurants, these signals can be misleading and don’t produce the most effective target audiences. You can easily end up with an audience that is interested enough in your content to click, but won’t show up in person. Unless you can measure the final step, you never really know what happened. 

The ability to measure success based on store visits also helps you optimize the performance of your campaigns against your primary goal: customer purchases. As you run ads, getting your audiences dialed in will make them perform better. For ecommerce, metrics like CTR are good guides. If more people are clicking, your ad is working. If not, you can adjust the ad and the audience. You can use the WTR exactly the same way to measure success and understand performance for offline conversions. 

How do you measure success?

One of the biggest advantages of measuring Walk-Through results is that you can calculate the performance of your campaigns in bottom-line results. By multiplying Walk-Throughs by either an average transaction value, or by connecting actual results from your point-of-sale system, you know exactly how your campaign paid out.

Many of our customers go a step further and use return on ad spend (ROAS) to measure advertising results. ROAS is simply the total revenue generated for a campaign divided by the total spend on that campaign. 

Typically, advertising campaigns that achieve a 3x ROAS are considered very successful. In other words, your campaigns are performing well if you’re generating $3 in revenue for every $1 you allocate towards advertising. 

If your campaigns are performing better than 3x, you may actually want to consider increasing your advertising investment as there are more customers to be acquired at a highly cost-effective rate. In general, you should keep investing in the campaign until it dips below the 3x ROAS threshold. If that happens, you should begin to experiment with a new campaign. 

To date, using Zenreach Attract, 72% of our customers have been able to achieve Return on Ad Spends 3x and above. The top half of our customers have been able to attain ROAS above 6x! 

How to achieve a strong Walk-Through Rate

Increasing WTR and ROAS should be the top goals of digital marketing campaigns Here are a few things you can do to improve these results.

  • Build audiences based on real customers. These are, ideally, your highest value customers. Audiences based on customers already being served by your business are going to outperform audiences based on more generic targeting information.
  • Optimize campaigns for Walk-Throughs rather than click-throughs. People who respond to your advertising by visiting are typically different from those who engage online. Optimizing for these characteristics can improve ad performance by 4x or more.
  • Experiment and refine. Measuring Walk-Throughs provides immediate results that will help you understand how well your ads are working in real-time. Experimenting with different creative and offers can help you stretch the performance of your ad budget.

By shifting your attention from CTR to WTR and ROAS, you can dramatically improve the effectiveness of your online ad spend. This ultimately results in more customer visits and more money in your register. 


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