Raise your hand if you like to save money. Yeah, we do too. This is why many businesses rely on a series of digital analytics such as page views, organic visits and conversions to learn about what’s working for their audience. This isn’t a bad move by any means, but relying solely on digital analytics can underestimate your leads and inquiries.

Customers are Still Picking Up the Phone

Though we spend much of our time online, this isn’t the only channel where business takes place. Many people still pick up the phone to inquire about a company, ask a few questions and connect with a live person. This is especially true for local companies that provide home services. The phone is a major source for new leads, and you don’t want to ignore this avenue.

Up until recently, there was no way to track the calls that came into your company. This would drive any good marketer a bit crazy – not knowing where their leads were coming from or how successful their ad campaigns were. Luckily, this frustration doesn’t have to continue. With call tracking, marketers have a new way to learn about their audience and how effective their marketing efforts are.

Let’s look at an example:

Say you need your home painted while you are gone on spring break. (Yes, companies actually do this for you!) You do a search on Google looking at local painters that offer this service by using keywords like “home paint services.” You find Mr. Paintbrush and he seems to know his colors, so you call him using the number listed in the ad.

Mr. Paintbrush is a gentleman, so you make an appointment with him to have your home painted. That’s good for you, but he doesn’t know how you discovered his business. Mr. Paintbrush may think his AdWords campaign isn’t working, and he may even cancel the service to save money. This wouldn’t be a good idea, however, because obviously his paid ads are working, and that’s how you found him.

What is Call Tracking?

Call tracking software sheds light on which of your marketing efforts are generating calls. The calls can be traced back to specific ads, keywords, social media, web pages and mobile campaigns. There are some differences between software, but you can expect a series of information captured from the phone call such as the caller’s activity on your website, their geographic location and more.

How Does it Work?

Going back to Mr. Paintbrush, let’s imagine that he’s running a few campaigns to increase leads and conversions. The first campaign is pay per click, the second is on social media and the third is running an ad in the local newspaper. Each campaign is assigned its own phone number so that when a customer calls his business, he knows where it’s coming from. When combined with digital analytics, Mr. Paintbrush has a much more accurate idea of what marketing efforts are effective.

It may turn out that his PPC ads are more successful than he thought and his callers are actually coming from these ads rather than the one placed in the newspaper. Mr. Paintbrush can then think about removing the ad from the newspaper, saving money and focusing on the marketing channels that bring him more revenue.

What are the Benefits?

Now imagine what call tracking can do for your business.

  • Landing Pages: Track the performance of your landing pages and determine which ones generate the most leads, the most calls and the best conversion rates.

  • PPC Ads: Find out which keywords perform the best using call tracking software. This will help you budget your pay per click campaigns accordingly.

  • Number of Calls: Receive detailed reports regarding the number of calls you’ve received and what patterns/trends they share.

  • Call Length: Using call tracking software, you can find out which marketing channels produce the longest phone calls that tend to result in higher conversion rates.

  • Time of Day and Location: What time of day are customers most likely to pick up the phone? If it’s in the late morning, for instance, you can hire more staff to take on these callers. Also, is there a particular location or region where the calls are more likely to be coming from?

  • Conversions: Track the number of conversions you see from each marketing campaign. Use this information to help you budget so that you’re investing in the right campaigns.

  • Marketing Team: That’s right. Call tracking software can be used to determine how well your marketing department is performing. Do you see a particular team member that is generating more conversions?

Hopefully now you have a better understanding of how call tracking works and how it can help save money and increase ROI. But there’s one more piece to the puzzle. How do you choose software that will serve your business well and provide you with the accurate information you’re seeking?

Choosing the Best Call Tracking Provider

Since there are a number of software programs out there, you will need to do your  research and make an informed decision. Don’t jump for the lowest priced software package or the first company to present you an attractive offer. When choosing a call tracking provider for your business, ask yourself these six questions.

  1. How responsive is the provider? Do they offer 24/7 customer service in case any issues arise?

  2. How reliable is the software? Problems happen, so it’s important to know what the provider does in the event that something goes wrong. Will your data be stored to a backup system? Will the calls still be tracked while the software is being worked on?

  3. Are you getting a good value for the money? Get quotes from several companies. Is the provider’s pricing in line with the other companies? Are you getting a lot of features for the price?

  4. How extensive is the inventory? You need unique phone numbers for all of your campaigns, so make sure the provider has a large selection of toll free and local numbers.

  5. How easy is it to sync the data? Ideally, you want to sync your call tracking data with the other metrics you use such as Google Analytics and AdWords.

  6. Is the information reported in real time? All customer calls will go through the tracking software, so you want the software to be responsive and high quality. This way, you’ll get your call information in real time.

Call tracking software is intuitive and informative, but the results will only be beneficial if you put them into action. Use this software to fill in the gaps of your existing marketing efforts. Which campaigns yield the most conversions? Which efforts give you the most calls? Which times/locations are most lucrative? By putting the results into action, you will reap the benefits of call tracking software and enjoy increased ROI across all campaigns.