What is Call Tracking and Should I Use It?

Updated: Jun 11, 2020


Do a good portion of your leads reach out to you via phone? Did you know that there is a way to track where those customers found you? Was it from the newspaper ad you spent a lot of money to place? Or was it the flyers you painstakingly handed out at the festival or trade show? Or, maybe it was the Search Engine Optimization you invest so much in each month?


We know that it's common practice to track lead sources from digital ads. Digital leads are tracked by attaching UTM codes to your URL. That way whether a customer clicks through to your website from Facebook, or a pay per click (PPC) ad, or an email, you know which medium they came from. This tells you which ads get you the best results, and therefore where best to focus your digital marketing efforts. But what about phone calls?


Why Is It So Important to Track Where Leads Come From?

Marketing Analytics is the process of measuring, analyzing and managing your marketing strategy’s performance. The purpose is to maximize its effectiveness and optimize your return on investment (ROI). This information allows business owners and marketers to be most efficient with their time and budget. Identifying where your leads are coming from helps you adjust your marketing strategy effectively and ensure you are spending money in the most effective places.


What Is Call Tracking?

Call tracking is a way of tracking where your phone leads come from. It attaches different phone numbers to different mediums. Therefore, when customers call you, the system can track where the customer found you, whether it be from your newspaper ad, Facebook, and even other lead sources like Yelp. This allows you to determine the success of various marketing efforts.


Say for example that you run a Google Adwords Display campaign. Along with your marketing message, the ad could include your phone number and of course be clickable through to your website. You can attach a UTM code to your website link to track the customer if they clicks. But what if they decide to call? Then your call tracking system will tag that call to that ad because of the phone number the customer used. Therefore, letting you know that you got a lead from your Google Adwords display campaign.


How Do I Get Started Using Call Tracking?

To get started with call tracking, you’ll need a call tracking software, like CallRail, to create several phone numbers for you, and to record details about the calls made. By monitoring the calls made to specific numbers, you will know which campaigns are generating the most leads and which ones are draining your marketing dollars and efforts without a great ROI.


Through call tracking, you can uncover the following:

  • The time when a call was made

  • The marketing channels that are generating the most calls

  • The customer service team’s response to the calls, etc.

  • Some call tracking providers also provide valuable data such as if the call was answered or not, how long it was, what the caller's name was, etc.

This information helps you to identify the best performing campaigns. For instance, let’s imagine you place two newspaper ads, one runs in the Sunday edition, one runs during the weekday. If you find that most calls are coming from ads placed on the Sunday newspaper than those placed on weekday papers, then you can scale back on weekday advertising and increase the ad spend for the Sunday paper.


Should I Use Call Tracking?

If a portion of your leads come through phone calls, then you should definitely consider call tracking as a way to measure your marketing strategy. Call tracking provides accurate data about your marketing efforts. In the above example, without call tracking you would not be able to tell if your leads were coming in from the Sunday ad, or the weekday ad. You just know that leads are coming in. Call tracking would allow you to pinpoint which ad was more successful, which would allow you to discontinue the less successful ad and save money.


Thompson Marketing Partners can help you to put together a comprehensive marketing analytics program to track where your leads are coming from. Whether digital, or phone-based, we can help you to setup programs to track results and help determine where best to focus your businesses’ marketing efforts.

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