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 one of the best ways to make your existing marketing work better. I’ll tell you why.

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

Phil worked hard last year to build a fantastic website and continues to increase his visibility with ongoing SEO. He has also increased his customer reviews on Yelp, and advertised on Facebook. Recently, he started a pay per click Google Adwords campaign, 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 overwhelmed 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? Your business’ marketing plan is not something you want to leave to trial and error. That’s why you need call tracking.

Phil realized he needed answers from an expert, so he reached out to the team here at One Thing Marketing. We set up a call tracking for Phil’s company, so each type of marketing or advertisement was given a unique tracking number.

Now, we provide Phil with a monthly report, based on the data from his call tracking platform, that he can review to discover which marketing methods are bringing in the most customers. Now, Phil has accurate, real-time data that he can use to continue to grow his business.

WHAT IS CALL TRACKING?

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 is 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. Phone calls are the most valuable source of leads, and when you implement a way to track them, you know exactly which campaigns are working – and which ones aren’t.

When adding call tracking into your marketing plan, you gain access to different tools and data that help you see – and monitor – what your marketing dollars are paying for. Call tracking allows you to break down your marketing efforts, dollar by dollar, to see where your business benefits the most.

HOW DOES CALL TRACKING WORK?

Today, call tracking is a little more advanced than good ol’ Barb. Call tracking allows you to build and maintain a running record that determines, step by step, the process of how callers found your business. This gives you an inside look at how to begin studying the behavior of your consumers.  However, it works a little differently based on whether you’re tracking your online or offline marketing:

TRACKING OFFLINE MARKETING:

Many think “old-school” marketing (anything you can get your hands on- literally) is still going strong. This can include 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 element of marketing material (business card, flyer, billboard, etc.) within your overall marketing campaign. This gives you valuable information as the calls come pouring in after your hilarious commercial or someone sees your billboard on their drive into town. By tracking offline marketing you can discover not only the source of the call, but also the following:

Time of the Call: Knowing when most customers call gives you a clear picture of your peak business hours. It can also open you up to suggestions to changes you may need to make in order to better your business. For example, if more people are calling after hours than during the normal business day, you may consider a change in hours of operation.

Call Duration: This, simply put, is the length of each phone call. Knowing how long someone stays on the phone with a representative of your business can add insight as to why they made the call in the first place. This can help determine if they’re calling for something quick, like booking an appointment, or if they had a lengthy discussion, complete with a full Q&A session.

Call Recordings: Having access to recorded phone calls consumers are making to your business is like being a fly on the wall at the office. Call recordings give you the inside scoop at your own customer service and what actually happens when your employees pick up the phone. This allows you, as the business owner or company marketing strategist, to evaluate how effective your employees are over 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 social media accounts and ads, email campaigns, Google Adwords campaigns, digital advertising, blog posts, 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 – time of the call, call duration, and call recordings – you receive additional benefits only available when tracking online sources.

Tracking your online presence is important to business success, but knowing the ins and outs of tracking your biggest online asset – your website – is critical. By using call tracking to keep tabs on who’s seeing what on your website alone, you gain access to additional valuable information.

Specifically, for your website’s sake, you gain access to additional pieces of information when you implement call tracking into your marketing strategy. These include:

Source: In addition to knowing whether consumers got your phone number from your website, blog, or Facebook, you can even learn what search engine they used to get there. Call tracking can even tell you where a person was online before they got to your website.

It doesn’t matter whether they came to your site from a direct visit, Facebook, Google, or Bing. Call tracking, more or less, traces your caller’s footprints and provides you with a clear path on how they found your phone number.

Page Source: If a potential customer got your number from your website, with call tracking, you can learn exactly what page of the website they were on when they finally decided to pick up the phone to call.

Session History: This is one tactic of tracking that is crucial to the success of your website. Tracking your online marketing efforts via your website shows you how a consumer moves through your site.

It allows you to discover every single page a person visited while they were on your website, what page they were on before they decided to call, and how much time they spent engaged in your on-page content.

Device Information: Are most people looking you up on their cell phones or a desktop computer? Is someone using a tablet to see your site? You’re not sure? Tracking your calls allows you to determine where the majority of people are calling from and what kind of device they’re using to view your site.

This can also help you determine if your site is mobile friendly to users, if you have any broken links or unclickable buttons you need to fix, or if there’s a page that loads on a computer, but is inaccessible when you try to view it on a cellphone. Knowing what’s not working on your site, and knowing you can fix it, can help you distinguish your website, and your credibility, from competitors.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CALL TRACKING?

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. Knowing where you’re getting the biggest

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 platforms 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 won’t mess up your local search directory efforts to finally get your listing information consistent, and it won’t harm all your hard work in the surge for better SEO either.

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.

HOW WE USE CALL TRACKING WITH OUR CLIENTS:

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 return on investment (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 listen to each call and score whether the call was a qualified lead or not.

Second, we deliver monthly reporting with accurate metrics to judge your marketing efforts. These reports break down the number of total calls, unique calls, missed calls, and qualified leads.

This allows us to help our clients determine if it was a successful campaign and a wise investment. By analyzing how many calls and leads you get, you can adjust your marketing plan to make sure you are spending your dollars in the right place.

HELP US HELP YOU:

In order to create this level of success for the companies we work with, we need our clients’ input, participation, and help to make call tracking effective. Good clients will:

  • Let us use call tracking on their website and their other marketing campaigns.
  • Provide an accurate average value of sale for products or services.
  • Provide their sales conversion percentage to help create accurate monthly reporting.
      • This allows us to determine, out of 10 leads, how many they convert into customers and allows us to 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.
      • If a client is running an outside marketing campaign elsewhere, even if we didn’t set it up, we are still happy to track it for you.
  • 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, their need for contacting you, and what they were searching for online when they found you.

Better yet, it helps establish trust and build a relationship with that customer, which are two components in the equation for repeat business opportunities later down the road. Plus, knowing why a customer is calling and how they found you proves that your marketing dollars are working.

WHO REALLY NEEDS CALL TRACKING?

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 service-based businesses, 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. We believe call tracking can be good for anyone who has a telephone number.  It’s both affordable and easy to implement into your marketing plan. However, 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 always 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 matchup with it.
  • Ask every caller how they found you AND keep track of their responses on a spreadsheet.
  • 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 or discount, you can track the codes to determine which is more effective and pinpoint exactly where the sale came from.
  • Create a specific landing page with a different domain name to send people to from your ad. This allows you to control and monitor visits to that page. We used this method for our One Things Gives campaign, where all of our marketing went directly to a landing page on our website.

 

GETTING STARTED:

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 as far as marketing material within your campaign where you could utilize call tracking to monitor your effectiveness.  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 with you to make sure you’re implementing everything that’s needed to make your marketing efforts as effective as they can be. We will be by your side, every step of the way, to help analyze the results and make decisions on which campaigns to repeat and which to get rid of.

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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