Call tracking is the action of tracking the origin of incoming calls in order to understand how clients found about a company. In its most basic form, different virtual phone numbers are used for different advertising channels or different advertising campaigns.
When the client uses any of these numbers to call the company, the channel, ad, or campaign the client interacted with when making the call (a TV, radio, or newspaper ad, a printed leaflet, billboard, an email, or social media campaign, a website add, an affiliate partner, etc.) is automatically known.
Call Tracking and How It Works
While offline advertising is served well by simple call tracking (as described above), digital advertising makes use of much more comprehensive and capable tools. By installing call tracking software on a website, it is possible to implement campaign-level, session-level, or even visitor-level call tracking.
In visitor-level call tracking specifically, call tracking software assigns a distinct phone number to each unique visitor and tracks when the latter calls and converts. As a result, the consumer’s entire interaction history with the website (also known as their ‘touchpoints’) becomes visible, offering much better information about exposure to various ads and greater insight into the client’s decision-making as well.
Benefits of Using Call Tracking as a Small Business
Unlike larger corporations, small businesses don’t have the luxury to waste resources on dubious adventures or costly mistakes. Instead, they closely monitor their expenses striving to be as efficient as possible. However, like big companies, small ones are just as dependent on advertising to drive their sales, and since advertising is typically one of the greatest expenses, ensuring it is cost-efficient is of vital importance.
In this context, call tracking offers some great benefits. Most importantly, it allows marketers to directly monitor the number and relative proportion of incoming calls associated with each advertising channel. Such insight makes it possible to discontinue inefficient campaigns and abandon inefficient channels, which helps cut costs. Alternatively, the resources saved can be redirected towards more productive marketing campaigns. In each case, this translates into a higher return on investment and lower marketing spends per customer/ lower customer acquisition cost.
Call tracking software often comes with advanced visual and statistical reporting tools that allow your business to efficiently monitor, analyze, and make sense of inbound lead data in real-time. A company that uses call tracking software is always aware of the evolution of its marketing campaigns and where the best optimizations can be made.
The opportunity to adapt-on-the-go based on data means many unproductive marketing efforts can be stopped in their infancy before they impact the budget. The advanced reporting tools mentioned above can also help assess the targeting efficiency of various audiences, the conversion rate, and the proportion of qualified leads (the quality of leads) generated by various campaigns as well as by various advertising partners or affiliate networks.
Call tracking also makes communication with your target audience more efficient. For instance, valuable time is not wasted on questions like “How did you hear about us?” and racking data can collect lots of other pieces of information such as:
- Caller data (name, phone number, geographical location)
- Call info (the time and day of the call, call duration, first-time call or not)
- The device through which the consumer accessed the marketing ad
- The status of the call (answered, directed to voicemail, abandoned, resulted in a sale, etc.).
- The buyer’s intention or products of interest
- Initial touchpoints (client’s interaction history with the website)
- Call recordings.
- Certain call tracking software can even transcribe the audio and extract keywords, which also makes it possible to judge about the efficiency of various keywords, optimizing their choice for the future.
Apart from containing highly valuable marketing-related info, such a wealth of data can make interaction with a potential customer way more efficient and natural, saving time for both parties, and increasing the chance of conversion due to efficient and productive communication.
Yet another great implication of using call tracking software, is that calls can be also routed differently depending on their origin. For instance, incoming calls associated with advertising campaigns delivered via exclusive channels or targeting enterprise clients can be routed to higher-skilled agents to ensure the highest probability of conversion. Additionally, calls could be also routed according to geographic location, the type of product the client is interested in, and more.
For a small business that relies heavily on converting inbound calls and runs multiple advertising campaigns at the same time, call tracking would likely prove of great value because, without it, the company is very much blind to which marketing effort is driving the sales. Only by knowing this data, the company could channel the resources to the most productive marketing efforts and could adapt current and future marketing strategies to improve both marketing efficiency and overall performance.
Advanced call tracking can paint a much broader picture of audience history and exposure to marketing material. Truth is, this history of exposure can be very complex, spanning several multiple devices, channels, and interactions. Without an awareness about the entire sequence of decisions that pushed the client to call, any conclusion regarding the marketing efficiency of each individual campaign is incomplete!