Call Tracking: Keeping Tabs on Your Marketing Efforts

Call Tracking: Keeping Tabs on Your Marketing Efforts

A common selling point of digital marketing and online advertising is the ability to gather detailed analytics so that you can monitor the performance of your campaigns in real-time. With platforms like Google Analytics, marketers can receive feedback on website performance and user interactions in a split second. While this information can be invaluable for optimizing your marketing efforts, you may be just a few simple steps away from unlocking even more visibility into the performance of your marketing efforts.  

Websites and campaign landing pages are typically configured to gather lead information via an online form or a phone call. Tracking webform submissions is a simple process in Google Analytics, but what about the portion of your audience that prefers contacting your organization via phone? How do we identify the source of those phone calls and how can we tell if our marketing efforts are generating leads via phone? The answer is call tracking. 

How does call tracking work?

A call tracking system is a lightweight piece of web-based software that is implemented onto your website. Using a call tracking program enables marketers to determine how callers discovered a business or organization. Speak primarily uses CallRail as its call tracking provider, but there are many options for automated call tracking currently available. 

Simply put, call tracking services allow businesses and organizations to create unique phone numbers for each marketing channel. These unique numbers will display on the website automatically based on how the user initially discovered your site. This can be as broad as an “organic Google Search” or as detailed as a specific advertisement or social media post. This is accomplished using a javascript code snippet called “Dynamic Number Insertion.” Once installed on your website, this tag automatically finds mentions of your current phone number and dynamically replaces them with the appropriate tracking number. On the “backend” your phone number stays the same, while the user will see a number customized for them.  

When the user calls the tracking number, they will be forwarded to your usual phone line and the call will be tracked in the reporting system. Depending on your desired reporting settings, you may also opt to receive CallerID information for the call, length of call as well as a full audio recording of the call. 

How do I set up call tracking on my website?

Call tracking platforms like CallRail can be set up as quickly and as easily as Google Analytics and are available for a monthly fee that varies depending on expected call volume and range of features.  

Once you have created an account and provided a payment method for your call tracking platform of choice, the remainder of the installation process only requires a few simple steps.  

First, you’ll need to select your initial tracking numbers. CallRail allows users to select a specific area code of your choosing or a generic 800 number. If your business operates in several locations, choosing multiple area codes is an option if necessary.

  • Note: By default, CallRail will provide you with 8 tracking numbers that will be allocated to the most common marketing channels. We recommend starting with this default setup, and adding additional numbers as your marketing presence grows. 

Next, you’ll need to specify your call forwarding settings. Make sure to provide the phone number where you currently receive inbound calls. 

  • Note: In this step, you’ll also have the option to designate a “whisper” that will tell you the source of the call when you answer your phone. This is not required, but maybe a helpful feature.

Finally, you’ll need to install the CallRail dynamic number insertion script. This small line of javascript code is placed immediately before the closing <body> tag on every page of your site. You may need help from a developer to complete this step if you are unfamiliar with the templates of your site.  

Once you have completed those steps, you’re ready to begin tracking inbound phone calls. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of features offered by CallRail. From here, you’ll be able to set up alerts and schedule reporting all from within the dashboard.  

Who should use call tracking? 

If your business or organization generates most of its new business through phone calls, tracking that activity is essential and Google Analytics alone may not be enough. Because call tracking services allow plans to scale depending on need, using providers like CallRail can be affordable for organizations ranging from small businesses all the way to full-scale enterprise marketing departments.

Are you currently asking phone leads “where did you hear about us?” If so, you are already relying on a more basic form of call tracking and would be a perfect candidate for a service like CallRail. An automated call tracking solution would save time by eliminating this extra step in your lead onboarding process while ensuring that marketing attribution for phone calls is accurate and always logged.  

Where do I go from here? 

Once your call tracking account is set up, and you’ve added call data to your monthly reporting, factor it into your marketing decision making the same way you would with traditional website performance metrics. Consider modifying marketing spend or SEO effort depending on which campaign and/or channel brings in the most conversions online or via phone call.  

As you grow your online marketing efforts, make sure to continue adding CallRail numbers as you take advantage of new campaigns or media. Best of all, call tracking doesn’t have to be limited to just your digital presence. If you’re planning a print campaign, direct mail piece, or any other traditional marketing that may lead to a phone call, you can generate a new CallRail number to track that activity as well.  

Need help with call tracking?

Think your business or organization would benefit from call tracking? Ready to get started with your own CallRail implementation but need some help? Speak would love to hear from you.

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Posted by David Caffey at 09:00