The business owners I help tell me that the majority of their customers don’t fill in forms on their website, but instead prefer to talk to them. If customers are picking up the phone and calling this can be missed by your web analytics, unless you’re using a call tracking solution.
Why the source of a phone call matters
Excluding phone conversions from analysis of your marketing-ROI, can be dangerous. It can mean the difference between making good or poor decisions on future marketing spend.
If phone calls are a primary conversion point in your sales funnel, you need to be able to trace every enquiry and every sale back to its origin.
Calculating ROI accurately
If you’re exclusively using web analytics to judge your return on investment you need to bring your phone call and website activity together, in one place, to help you see what’s working.
Effective spending is the key to successful marketing. The only way to spend your budget wisely is to know what is working, and what is not.
Call tracking options
There are several services available, which, with the addition of a small amount of code to your website can link vital source data with website visitor activity.
In our next two articles we’ll look in more detail at two options:
- Google forwarding numbers for PPC
- Comprehensive multi-channel tracking
Tracking beyond web visitors
Some providers offer the option to create static numbers; you can use these in offline media, such as newspaper or magazine adverts or even leaflets and mailshots – anywhere your phone number would appear.
Using a dedicated number in this way enables you to count exactly how many calls arrived from specific sources.
Before you leap in
It’s important to consider the downside of call tracking – and there are a couple of potential issues.
My customers don’t appreciate being tracked
Consider this on ethical grounds; it’s very much a personal decision. If you’ve made all the appropriate declarations to let your customers know that calls are recorded and traced, there is no reason to worry about falling foul of the law, but, that doesn’t mean your customers will like what you’re doing.
If you are in a business-to-business environment, the vast majority of your customers will understand why there is a need to track calls and have no objection.
My phone number isn’t consistent
This is a concern for all businesses, large and small. If you implement a call tracking solution, you will see that your telephone number dynamically changes for each visitor to your website. Or, in the instance of a static number, the digits on your advert are not your regular telephone number.
There is no difference in receiving calls. Your regular telephone will ring and the caller will be unaware they have dialled a different number. However, this is where there can be an issue.
Say you book an advert in an annual directory – that book will have a long shelf-life. If you choose to disconnect your call tracking after just six months that contact number will no longer work and you will potentially lose business leads as a result.
Simply smarter snapshot
- Call tracking provides essential missing data to calculate ROI accurately
- It is simple to implement and manage
- There are solutions for all budgets
- Use call tracking wisely to protect your marketing effectiveness.