“Calls are the new clicks.”
That’s the statement used to summarise the findings from a recent study conducted by BIA Kelsey on the actions consumers are most likely to take on smartphones.
The study found that increased adoption of smartphones is leading to “an explosion of phone calls.”
By 2019, calls to businesses from mobile devices are expected to reach 162 billion globally—a 73% increase since 2015.
As the importance of digital marketing grows, it’s easy to overlook more traditional inbound channels. But doing so is a mistake. Mobile users are looking for instant answers, and in many cases, the quickest and simplest way to get those answers is to make a phone call.
If you’re not tracking inbound phone calls, you have a serious gap in your marketing metrics.
Clicks, form completions, online conversions—these are all crucial metrics to track, but they’re not comprehensive.
To paint a complete picture of marketing-driven revenue, you must track inbound phone calls as well as online actions.
To do this, you’ll need to invest in the best call tracking software.
What Is Call Tracking Software?
Call tracking software allows businesses to track phone call metrics.
Marketers use these metrics to attribute offline phone calls back to the digital channels or campaigns that drove them.
Call tracking software works by generating dynamic phone numbers that appear on your website, digital ads, social media channels, or local business profiles.
All of the calls are routed to your main business number, but having users dial different phone numbers allows the system to identify and record the source of the call.
Though features vary between call tracking software providers, most include integrations with web analytics and CRM systems.
These integrations allow marketers to track the full customer lifecycle, attributing conversions made by sales team members all the way back to the very first marketing touchpoint.
Call tracking software provides many benefits:
- Close the loop between marketing and sales and online and offline interactions. Call tracking allows marketers to identify the exact amount of revenue their campaigns are generating, regardless of whether conversions happen via a website cart or through a phone call with a sales rep.
- Track all leads in a central tool. Are your customers self-servicing, or are they reaching out most often by email, phone call, click-to-chat, or social media messaging? A call tracking tool that integrates with your web analytics platform provides a centralised view of all of this data.
- Know what leads are interested in before asking the first question. When sales reps can see what website pages and campaigns prospects viewed before calling, they can form a clearer picture of which products/features that prospect is interested in, allowing for more personalised conversations.
- See which profiles, campaigns, and content generate the most leads and revenue. Adding call tracking to your web analytics paints a complete picture of which marketing initiatives are driving the greatest number of leads and the most revenue for your business or clients.
What to Look for in Call Tracking Software
Before shopping for inbound call tracking software, it’s important to understand some of the features that are available.
Determine which are most important for your needs, budget, and business model, and make sure the solution you select has all of the features you identify as critical.
Some common call tracking software features include:
- Multi-Channel Call Attribution – This feature allows you to attribute each phone call back to the marketing campaign or search keyword that generated it.
- Unique Phone Numbers – This feature generates different phone numbers that can be used to track inbound calls from both online and offline campaigns. Place a phone number on a billboard, in a print/digital add, in a television commercial, or on your social media profile, and track how many calls it generates.
- Dynamic Number Insertion – Each visitor to your website is presented with a different phone number to call, allowing you to track not only website-generated leads and revenue overall but also the pre-call actions and views of individual visitors.
- Call Recording – Record inbound phone calls and play them back later. Use the recordings to determine which calls led to conversions, evaluate the quality of leads generated from different campaigns, or find opportunities where your customer service or sales conversations could be improved.
- Local or Toll-Free Number Generation – Provide callers with toll-free numbers for global campaigns, or highlight your business’ nearby location with local phone numbers.
- Web Analytics Integration – Integrate your call tracking software with your web analytics program to get a centralised view of campaign performance across all channels.
- CRM Integration – Integrate your call tracking software with your CRM to connect revenue back to the marketing campaigns that generated it.
Getting Started with Call Tracking Software
Once you’ve subscribed to your selected call tracking platform, it’s time to set everything up so you can enjoy the benefits of measuring marketing-generated phone calls.
Make sure to enable integrations with your web analytics and CRM systems, if available, so that you can track leads, goals, and conversions across all three platforms. Next, set at least one specific goal or KPI to track. Here are some ideas:
- Increase incoming calls from Google AdWords call-only ads or call extensions.
- Use recorded phone calls to improve customer service.
- Generate more phone calls from Google My Business listings.
- Calculate marketing-driven revenue from inbound phone calls.
- Increase your total number of local customers.
Once you’ve set your goals and KPIs, make sure your system is set up to track your progress.
Create local or toll-free numbers as needed, turn on dynamic number insertion, and update your phone numbers across digital profiles.
It shouldn’t take too long to get up and running.
Catering to Analog Behaviours in a Digital World
Sure, the telephone was invented nearly 150 years ago.
Compared to texting, messaging, and click-to-chat, phone calls are an archaic way of communicating. But the real benefit of technology for consumers is its convenience, not its newness or novelty.
Modern consumers have access to all of the information they need, the moment they need it, wherever they are in the world.
The availability of access to information has created the expectation that answers should come instantly, and email, text messaging, and click-to-chat are slower forms of communication than a phone call.
For this reason, the prevalence of mobile adoption makes call tracking more important for marketers than ever.
If you’re not tracking phone call metrics, you’re missing out on a wealth of information about your customers, the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, and the ROI of your company’s or clients’ investments in marketing.