Tracking customer origin

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Phil Steinmeyer, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. Phil Steinmeyer

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    I'm wondering if there's a reasonably simple and accurate way to track customers by origin.

    i.e. I'm using Plimus to sell my game on my site (and also selling a very small # of games from Reflexive's system).

    I've been running a cheapie Google AdWords campaign for months. It has generated a fair number of click-throughs. But my site also rates prominently in search engines for a few terms, and I've been pulling in some traffic that way, too. Since I know the exact amount of AdWords traffic, I could do the math and say (just plugging in random numbers here) that 35% of my traffic is from AdWords, therefore, it's likely that 35% of my sales are from AdWords, and from that, I could estimate cost-effectiveness of the campaign. But that seems rather arbitrary (traffic from AdWords may download and buy my game at lower/higher rates than other traffic).

    I guess the simplest thing would be to add a 'how did you hear about us' option to the purchase page at Plimus, but I see no such option at their site.

    I could try to use coupon codes (i.e. direct the Google traffic to a landing page, with a coupon code for a 10% discount on it), but that might seem a bit cheezy, and lose the customers right off the bat.

    Anybody got any insight?
     
  2. Indiepath

    Indiepath New Member

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    There is a great bit of software called "Stuffed Tracker" that enables some really in-depth campaign tracking. It works with cookies, IP address etc and it can track the first visit through to a subsequent purchase. You'll need to get Plimus redirect and fire off a script when an order is placed but that should not be too much trouble.

    http://www.stuffedguys.com/products/tracker/
     
  3. Ryan Clark

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  4. TMK

    TMK
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    After choosing your contract on Plimus, you can use the "Custom Fields" function to insert text fields such as "How did you hear about us?" or a checkbox to be added to your newsletter etc.
     
  5. Olivier

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    I didn't went very deep into Google Analytics for the moment, but is it really possible to track the sales origin with it Ryan? Is it easy to setup? I'd be happy to learn more about that.
     
  6. lakibuk

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  7. Olivier

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    Thanks for reminding me that thread, I even posted there! :eek:
     
  8. Ryan Clark

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    Yes... when someone buys one of our games, it tells us what website they came from when they first found our site. It only works if they have cookies enabled, of course. And it obviously wouldn't work for things like a review in a magazine!

    You need to add some Google Analytics code to all of your pages though, and another bit of code on the last page of your purchase process, so it can tell if the person bought the game or not.
     
  9. Chris Evans

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    I know how to track users from the standard in-game buy button --> Website Page. But I'm curious how to track customers with an in-game purchasing system. With an in-game purchasing system you can possibly take advantage of impulse buys, but unfortunately you can't retrieve browser cookies. Anybody have an effective method of tracking customer origin with an in-game purchasing system?

    I've thought of two possible ways:
    1) When someone downloads a game, you store their IP and the site they came frame. Most payment processors can track IPs even with in-game purchasing systems. So when someone buys from inside the game, you can match the IPs against your Database. The problem is this wouldn't work too well with dial-up users whose IP keeps changing.

    2) After someone completes a purchase in-game, you open a browser window with some helpful info and tips about your game (while at the same time retrieving their browser cookie. :D ). The only problem might be is if they didn't download your game from their default browser. But overall, I think I like this option.
     
  10. soniCron

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    There's an in-depth discussion about embedding unique IDs in executables upon download to track purchase habits, in this thread.
     
  11. Chris Evans

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  12. soniCron

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    I am, too. When they first arrive at your site, record the referring URL and give the visitor a unique ID. When they download the software, embed the ID. When they make a purchase just take note of the ID. You can then match up the ID with the original referring URL and see which locations/keywords/ads provide the greatest return.

    As you can see, it's not just limited to affiliate IDs. I record the referring site, affiliate ID, and whether the user signed up to my mailing list. When the user makes a purchase, I have a wide gamut of metrics to match that user to. (I can even see which screenshots that user preferred.) All it takes is an embedded unique ID and to record whatever you want on your website's backend using that unique ID and you can track whatever behavior you want to whatever users you want. You could even tie it into installation/uninstallation activities, high-score logging, and even play habits, if you're feeling particularly fascistic. ;)


    Some of the implimentations in the thread may not be cross-platform, but the paradigm is universal.
     
  13. Chris Evans

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    Maybe, but it seems like it will be complicated to get a Mac solution. I'm just wondering if anyone has any relatively simple cross-platform implementations.
     
  14. James C. Smith

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    For the stuff you sell though Reflexive you could setup a separate channel ID for each ad. Each affiliate can have multiple channels. You already use a channel ID in your Reflexive links. You just need to get additional channel IDs allocate for your affiliate account and use those IDs in your URLs. Your royalty reports and the real time sales reporting tools will break down all the data by channel. You may need to contact your account rep to have channel IDs create. I am not sure if affiliates have direct access to the channel creations tools on the web based control panel.

    Internally Reflexive makes extensive use of channel ID for every promotion directed to Reflexive.com. Every time Reflexive sends a newsletter to buys ad words or runs a banner ad we always use a unique channel ID for each promotion and track the exact number of downloads and sales per promotion. It is a great way to get very accurate data. This is a tool we use our salves and make available to all affiliates.

    FYI: Behind the scenes, the Reflexive Arcade system is using the system of embedding a unique ID in an EXE that Chris Evens refers to. Any channel ID you put in your URL gets embedded in the EXE that is downloaded and eventually reported to the order processing system.
     

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