Skip to main content
Off the Cuff

The results of my license plate marketing experiment

By June 11, 2013 August 20th, 2016 6 Comments

A little while back, I told you about a little experiment I was doing with my license plate. Does having a personalized license plate help with exposure? Do people see the plate and use their smartphones to see what it’s all about? That’s what I wanted to find out. Here are the results.

After over a month of driving around with my FORGE3 plate, is mobile traffic to our website up? Are people seeing the plate on the road and typing it into their smartphones to see what Forge3 is all about? Let’s dive into the numbers.

The numbers don’t lie

The following charts are from our Google Analytics account.

Let’s first compare mobile traffic in April (orange line, when I installed the plate) to mobile traffic in May (blue line, after a month of driving around). As you can see, there’s not much of a difference, is there?

The-results-of-my-license-plate-marketing-experiment-1

Google Analytics

So, let’s take a deeper dive into the numbers. The following chart shows mobile traffic in blue compared to non-mobile (traditional desktops, laptops, etc.) in green. Again there’s not a huge difference. However, if you look closely, you’ll see that new visits (people coming for the first time) are up from 73.27% in April to 78.97% in May. That’s a 5% increase! Could it really be? Is the license plate the reason for the increase? Hmm…

The-results-of-my-license-plate-marketing-experiment-2

Google Analytics

Let’s take a look at the demographics. Where is the traffic coming from? Most people seeing the plate are likely in the Lehigh Valley, PA, where I live and Forge3 is based. So, let’s look at another chart.

As you can see, traffic from people in Pennsylvania is actually down April vs. May by almost 7%! Interesting. Traffic from California is up 38%. Wow. We don’t know why that is yet, but maybe we should open a satellite office out there!

The-results-of-my-license-plate-marketing-experiment-3

Google Analytics

So, what’s it all mean?

Going into this little experiment, my guess was that having a personalized license plate would have little to no impact on the numbers. And, it appears that the numbers above confirm that.

But, as with most marketing, it’s hard to say. Even since these numbers were compiled, our traffic has already more than doubled. So, how much of that is because of the license plate? Likely very little, if anything. But, we will never truly know.

Well worth the investment

What I do know is that people notice the license plate and ask about it. That’s a great conversation starter and a chance to tell people about the good stuff we’re doing at Forge3. So, for the $30 it cost to get it, I’d say it was well worth the investment!

What do you think? Are you surprised by the results?

Want us to try another experiment? Sound off in the comments below. We’re listening.

Author Jeff Teschke

More posts by Jeff Teschke

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • It would be interesting to see what happened if you put a QR code next to it that had a counter along with redirection to your website.

  • That would be interesting, wouldn't it. :)

  • Interesting stuff! I'm just now beginning to dig deeper into google analytics and love seeing how others use the data to draw conclusions. Thanks, Jeff!

  • Glad you enjoyed it, Heather! We found it fascinating. There's a ton of interesting data buried in Google Analytics. Sometimes, the toughest part is digging through it all!

  • I don't know about anyone else, but when I see a personalized license plate, I assume it's just the driver expressing something personal like a nickname, cute saying, affinity for a college, sports team, cats, their grandkids, etc. I would never think to go online to look up the meaning of someone's personalized plate because I wouldn't think it had anything to do with anything more than that.

  • As it turns out, most people are like you!