Call Tracking: How To Effectively Monitor Your Marketing Efforts

The objective of any marketing campaign is to make more money, right? You want to know that your advertising is actually working – that customers are seeing it, picking up the phone, and calling you. You should get a return investment on every piece of marketing you create, which means you need to track it. If you’re not tracking, there’s no way to know what’s working (and what’s not). Google analytics is a good choice for a website tracking tool, but it only goes so far. Call tracking is the best way to makes your existing marketing work better. I’ll tell you why.

Meet Phil. Phil is a client. He runs an auto detail shop in Louisville, KY.

Phil worked hard last year to build a fantastic website. Since then, he has also increased his customer reviews on Yelp, and advertised on Facebook. Recently, he created a paid per click/Adwords advertisement on Google, sent out over 1,500 sleek and shiny postcards, and even took out an old-fashioned ad in the newspaper.

Today, business is booming, the phone is ringing off the hook, and customers are happy.

Sounds great, right?

Except now, Phil is stuck with high marketing costs because he has several marketing streams with no way to track the effectiveness of any of it. How will Phil know how many leads are coming from Facebook vs. Yelp? Who is calling based on a google search vs. his newspaper ad? Without tracking, he must continue paying for all of it or risk losing his biggest revenue generator. Without knowing where his leads are actually coming from, Phil is stuck.

Sure, Phil could take a chance, cancel his Facebook ads and see what happens to his revenue, but is that worth the risk? Marketing for your business is not something you want to leave to trial and error. That’s why you need call tracking.

When Phil started using call tracking, each type of marketing or advertisement was given a unique tracking number. With One Thing Marketing, he receives a monthly report that tells which marketing method is bringing in the most customers. Now, Phil’s marketing dollars provide accurate, real-time data that he can use to grow his business.


Call tracking has been around as long as companies have had telephones. Remember Barb answering the phone asking, “And how did you hear about our business, sweetheart?” Today, it’s essentially the same thing, except you don’t need to say a word.

At first, this may seem like no big deal. All that matters are that the phone is ringing, right? Why does it matter how they got my number?

Think again: 65% of Fortune 500 companies say phone calls are their highest quality lead source, and 61% of local mobile searches result in a phone call.

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Today, call tracking is a little more advanced than good ol’ Barb. It works a little differently based on whether you’re tracking your online or offline marketing:

Tracking Offline Marketing

Many think “old-school” marketing is still going strong, including shiny postcards, giant billboards, paper advertisements, flyers on doorknobs, direct mailings, commercials, radio ads, and on and on. These options are fine and dandy, but with no way to answer these simple questions – Who is listening? Who calls after watching your commercial? Who is even noticing your billboard? – you have no idea how your ads are performing.

Call tracking works by placing a slightly different phone number on each piece of material, giving you valuable information as the calls come pouring in after your hilarious commercial. By tracking offline marketing you can discover:

Source: The number they call from corresponds to the source and shows you which form of advertising is most effective.

Time: Knowing when most customers call gives you a clear picture of your most important business hours.

Call Duration: This shows you if most people calling to quickly book an appointment right away, or if they call with questions or issues to discuss.

Listen to Content: Get an insider look at your own customer service and what actually happens when your employees pick up the phone.

Tracking Online Marketing

Online marketing is the millennial cousin to the old-school advertising methods. It’s everything on a screen. It includes clickable links, Facebook images, YouTube videos, email campaigns, pop-ups and banners, social media accounts, blogs, and, of course, your website. But who is clicking on that Facebook ad? Who actually reads their email? Who is googling you? If you don’t know, that poses a problem.

In addition to all of the offline marketing benefits listed in the previous section, you receive additional benefits only available when tracking online sources:

Search Source: In addition to knowing whether they got the number from your website, blog, or Facebook, you can even learn what search engine they used to get there. This gives you the ability to cater your content to a particular search engine.

Page Source: If they got your number from your website, you can learn what page of the website they were on when they finally picked up the phone to call.

History: You can discover all the pages your customers visited while they were on the website, giving you a roadmap on how to give your customers what they want.

Device Information: Are most people looking you up on their phones or a desktop? Knowing this tells you what your customers need most.


Chances are, Barb is sick of asking the same boring questions while she waits out the clock like Pam Beasley. She also probably doesn’t listen to or really care about the response. Let’s be honest, she stopped asking customers years ago.

Even if Barb were more persistent in asking and tracking manual answers, customers aren’t always honest. They tend to get flustered when you ask a question they weren’t prepared for. In the jumble, they may just tell you the first thing that pops into their mind or even worse, make something up.

However, numbers don’t lie.

Call tracking gives you honest answers and a clear picture of your marketing success – or lack thereof. It provides benefits that are nearly impossible to gain through any other tracking method. Let’s look at just a few of these:

Real Marketing Feedback: Call tracking gets you real time data you can bet on. Finally, you have access to the actual correlations between your marketing efforts and your customers.

Saves You Money: Now, you can stop paying for marketing that isn’t bringing in business and focus your efforts on what is.

Understand Your Customers: Call tracking gives you valuable insight into your customers. It lets you know where they came from and what they are looking for. They can tell you what page the person was on when they called, what type of device they used, and even what they were looking at before they hit your site. For pay per click advertising, call tracking will even tell you what keyword was used to search and find your ad.

Endless Integrations: Call tracking can be integrated into CRM software, Google Analytics, Salesforce, and other software solutions. It also won’t mess up your directories or your SEO efforts.

Easy Setup: It doesn’t take long for us to set up call tracking for your marketing campaigns. The sooner you are tracking, the quicker you can get marketing insights for your business.

We could go on and on but you get the idea, right?

Call tracking is an easier, more accurate way to analyze all of your marketing and actually make sure you’re hitting the target. Every. Single. Time.


Some companies make big promises and create elaborate marketing materials, then just send you on your way. They don’t stick around long enough to make sure that you are getting a strong ROI out of their campaign.

We do things differently here. We don’t create cookie cutter campaigns and then cross our fingers and hope for the best.

First, we can help track how many inbound calls you receive as a direct result of each marketing campaign. Then, we determine if you generated enough clients from that source to consider it a wise investment.

For example, a recent client owns a plumbing company. They paid for a commercial that was $10,000. If that client receives at least 11 customers, each needing services totaling around $1,000, that would bring in $11,000 to the company. In this simple example, the commercial only brought in $1,000 of revenue. While they did make a small profit, it’s time to change the commercial or put our marketing dollars elsewhere to really boost their ROI.

Secondly, we deliver monthly reporting with accurate metrics to judge your marketing efforts. This report breaks down your quality leads and helps us discover how to close the gap on missed calls/opportunities each month.

For example, a roofing company created a blog and delivered flyers to 5,000 homes in the area. The blog cost $1,000 to start, while the flyers were $2,000 in printing and labor costs. In the next week, they received 100 phone calls. If 75 of those phone calls came from the blog, we know that paper flyers aren’t worth the time or cost. The company’s marketing dollars are best spent improving the blog, a proven tool.

By analyzing how many calls and leads you get, you can adjust your marketing plan to make sure you are spending their dollars in the right place.


To create this level of success for your company, we need your input, participation, and help to make call tracking effective. Good clients will:

  • Let us use call tracking on their website.
  • Provide an accurate average value of sale for products or services, as well as their conversion percentage to help create accurate monthly reporting.
  • Communicate with us clearly so we can set up what’s needed to make the campaign most effective, including tracking and specific landing pages.
  • Make sure that they have a happy and helpful employee answering the phones.
  • Have someone always answer the phone.
  • Also, continue to ask their clients how they heard about them.

Wait, what? I thought call tracking was supposed to eliminate this job!

It’s still helpful to just get into the habit of asking because it gives you the opportunity to learn more about your customers and what they are searching for online. Plus, it proves – straight from horse’s mouth – that your marketing dollars are working.


Simply put, if you have an internet connection and a phone in your office, you would benefit from call tracking. Certain phone-friendly industries like home services and subcontractors have a lot more to gain (or lose) with call tracking capabilities. Plumbers, painters, mechanics, daycare, house cleaners, etc., are all industries where phone calls are critical and most customers will call you before making a purchase.

Of course, nothing is a one-size-fits-all solution. While we believe call tracking can be good for anyone who has a telephone number, there are a few circumstances where it probably isn’t necessary.

For example, a small business with no website who lives off solely word-of-mouth marketing probably doesn’t need call tracking – although this model is sure to fail in today’s business climate.

Also, if you are a smaller business just starting out, call tracking might not be in your marketing budget. And if you run a completely digital business with no inbound calls other than your mother, Google Analytics might give you everything you need.

Every other business on the planet should be using call tracking.

Seriously. There’s no excuse otherwise.


Call tracking is both affordable and easy to implement, but if you aren’t going to take our advice, we recommend a few other manual techniques you can do. (Of course, none of these are as effective as call tracking, but something is usually better than nothing.)

  • The very least you can do is remember the date you started a new marketing campaign. Then, look at analytics to see if any spikes in traffic match up it.
  • Ask every caller how they found you AND keep track on an excel sheet.
  • Give an odd discount to certain marketing venues. For example, give 19% off on Facebook ads and 25% off of Yelp, etc. That way, when they mention the ad, you can track the codes to determine which is more effective.
  • Create a landing page with a different domain name to control which page your viewers visit. We used this method for our One Things Gives campaign where all of our marketing went directly to a landing page on our website.



To see what a difference call tracking can make for you, getting started is easy.

Simply make a list of everywhere your business phone number is listed – both online and offline. Include things like your business card, website, blog, email signature, print mailings, etc.

This represents all of your areas of opportunity. I’ll bet you have a lot more opportunities than you realized!

When you’re ready to set up a customized call tracking solution that gets results, give us a call! We will work together to create exceptional and unique marketing strategies for you. And we will stay by your side along the way.

It’s time to make a great decision for your business. Set up your FREE, no-obligation strategy session now!

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Brittany Murphy
Brittany Murphy

As a Marketing Director pro in Louisville, KY, Brittany spends her days visiting with clients and attending networking events, all while keeping the rest of us in line at the office. Fully-equipped with her signature water jug, she is always prepared for whatever clients may throw her way. Especially if it’s a volleyball.

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