August 04 2014


5 Reasons You Should Be Tracking Your Marketing-Generated Phone Calls

If you are investing in your company’s marketing, you deserve to know how those dollars are impacting sales. Marketing and ROI should go hand-in-hand, but many companies miss a large chunk of those returns when they do not track their phone calls. Tracking online conversions such as form submissions or e-commerce is important, but it is only one piece of the puzzle. On average, we have seen that industrial companies receive 3 phone calls for every 1 form submission their site generates. If you’re not tracking your website’s phone calls, you are not capturing a significant portion of your leads.

What Is Call Tracking?

Call tracking is an inexpensive tool for measuring the impact of marketing on lead generation and sales. It is an analytics solution that enables companies to measure their offline conversions, as well as learn valuable qualitative information about their customers and how calls are handled internally.

How Does Call Tracking Work?

Potential customers visit Google or another search engine and perform a search, eventually clicking on an organic listing or paid ad. Once they arrive on the website, a small piece of Javascript code will automatically rewrite the phone number throughout the site. The specific number that appears is unique to how the user found the company (organic search result, paid ad, online directory listing, etc.). The call tracking software can then track the source of the customer by what number he or she dialed.

The setup process is as simple as installing a small piece of Javascript code on the site. This is what causes the phone number to rewrite. There is no equipment or hardware to install.

Why Should You Use Call Tracking?

Call tracking allows you to do five things that other tracking solutions do not provide:

1. Close the loop on internet marketing and get a true picture of your leads

Online form submissions and emails are not the only sources of leads. Phone calls should not be overlooked. Especially for B2B companies, phone calls can make up the majority of a website’s conversions. At the Conversion Conference, we learned that phone calls can be 5 to 13 times more valuable than form submissions. There is more opportunity to engage with customers, understand their needs, and complete a sale when you have them on the phone. Don’t ignore the impact of these valuable inquiries.

2. Learn what marketing channels are generating offline leads

What marketing channel is making the phone ring? It would be irresponsible to invest money in marketing – whether that’s paid search ads, online directory listings, commercials or print ads – and only understand a part of what that investment is returning in sales. Capturing this data allows you to truly understand the efficacy of each type of marketing you are investing in – and potentially reallocate funds based on that data. You will learn what marketing channels are generating your largest ROI, and potentially which ones aren’t worth what you are paying. You will also learn which marketing channels are generating quality leads, and which bring in spam or solicitations. The old adage “quality over quantity” rings true; one type of ad may have generated 50% of all calls, but if most of those are solicitations, those ads are not doing what they were meant to do.

3. Gain insight on customers’ needs, purchasing patterns, and misunderstandings

Call tracking does not merely show you the number of phone calls that come from each source, it also captures the date, time and duration of a call as well as uses reverse look-up technology to provide caller identification information. Additionally, all phone calls can be recorded and played back at any time. These recordings are a goldmine of insightful information about your own business. Listening to even just a sampling of the recordings will help you understand more about your customers and what they are looking for, such as:

  • Why customers are contacting you. If they are asking questions that are answered on the website, why couldn’t they find that information? Similarly, if you experience a lot of “nuisance” calls for products or services the company does not sell, think about where that misunderstanding is occurring. There may be an opportunity to clarify, add to, or update website content.
  • How customers refer to and use products or services. If they are using different terminology or have different applications than expected, there may be an opportunity to expand on current advertising language, add new keywords to a paid search program, or include this alternative language on the website.
  • What additional information customers need to make a purchase. If many people are calling in with similar questions about the products, it might be helpful to include content that answers these questions on the website. If customers need to discuss custom applications or designs, think about questions they might have and try to provide as much information as possible on the site. They will still likely need to discuss their project with someone, but giving them as much information as possible upfront will help everyone use their time and energy more efficiently.

4. Identify and troubleshoot internal issues

What happens when a potential customer calls? You can learn a lot about how phone calls are handled by listening to recordings, or even just looking for patterns in call duration. If you notice a lot of short calls, there is a reason why callers are hanging up so soon. Several one to two minute calls could suggest that callers are leaving voice mails. Knowing which calls resulted in voice mails will also help make sure that those messages are returned.

An automated phone system can sound a lot different when you hear it through the ears of a potential customer. Does it take a long time for customers to get to a live person? Is it easy to reach the operator? Is it easy to reach a member of the sales team?

Lastly, listening to call recordings is an excellent way to spot check the quality of your customer service. There is no better way to learn about your customer service experience than to listen in to see if calls are handled professionally and courteously. You will also quickly learn if employees are unable to answer customers’ questions about products or services.

5. Discover opportunities for the future

If a lot of potential customers are calling to inquire about a product or service the company does not provide, that could suggest fertile ground for a place to expand offerings in the future. Phone call inquiries can help guide your business strategy by identifying new audiences and applications for your product or services.

Not all of our clients take advantage of call tracking. Some have included the call tracking service to track offline conversions after experiencing how our integrated internet strategies helped their business. In our recent call tracking case study, three clients saw over a 300% increase in tracked conversions once they started tracking their phone calls.

Call tracking is an inexpensive, unique tracking solution that provides information that Google Analytics, forms tracking, and other online conversion tracking solutions cannot capture. It provides quantitative data as well as qualitative information about the performance of your different marketing channels. An understanding of your inbound phone calls will help you turn more inquiries into sales and drive more phone calls from qualified customers.

Call tracking will give you the full picture of conversions your website is generating and your marketing ROI. It will also give you insightful qualitative information that can assist you in making future business decisions. Ensure that no lead goes untracked with call tracking.