According to a comScore Study commissioned by Google, 63% of website visitors complete their purchases offline.

Online, we have plenty of ways to track visitor behavior. Tracking cookies, heat maps, click tracking, ad retargeting etc, but as soon as that person picks up the phone, we’re lost. But we don’t have to be.

Without call tracking, you have no idea what web pages that caller has visited. Therefore all of the effort you’ve put into designing user flows, and nurturing that lead when they’re online become all but nullified if they decide they want to connect with a real human being.

Combine that with the fact that not all customers enjoy filling out lead forms and inbound phone calls are 10-15 times more likely to convert than an inbound web lead, it becomes clear: if you’re not tracking your phone calls, you’re leaving money on the table.

What is Call Tracking

Call tracking is a method of generating unique phone numbers to track the overall effectiveness of a campaign where the primary call to action involves your customer calling the business.

For example, if your marketing campaign consists of PPC, Tradeshows, and Radio Ads, each marketing channel is assigned a different phone number so you could measure both volume and quality of phone conversation.

Online, top call tracking services will assign each visitor a unique phone number (known as a legacy number) that will sync with the  Google Analytics if dialed. When the visitor calls, you’re able to track what keywords they used to find you, measure the length of the call (to determine quality) and what pages they’ve viewed before & after the phone call takes place.

UK service Infinity Tracker has the perfect graphic to demonstrate:
Closed Loop Marketing
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Compare this to the traditional method of well…wondering, it’s easy to understand how using call tracking enables you to have a more complete view of your marketing efforts, focus your budgeting, and tighten the screws on your overall marketing efforts.

Services like RingRevenue, Ifbyphone, Callfire, and Logmycalls, provide their own “legacy phone number” service along with their own unique features (like phone qualification surveys) to best suit your businesses needs.

How To Measure & Improve Your Phone Calls

Generally speaking, installing call tracking on your website is as easy as specifying call parameters within the app (e.g showing local numbers to local visitors) and inserting a snippet of Javascript.

Once the Java’s inserted on your site, you can configure most services to integrate with Google Analytics to track which pages a caller has visited and get a broad view of which pages generate the most calls. Setting the phone call as a conversion goal just like any other conversion goal.

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Most services have their own detailed call dashboard, and some will also integrate CRMs like Salesforce or Hubspot to apply the call information to the rest of your prospect’s lead information, such as discovery keywords, customer journey, and call time.

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Using this data, your sales person is better equipped to answer questions and anticipate objections, because they know exactly what the lead has been exposed to.

Take it a step further and  your marketing team could use the call data to better address throughout the marketing funnel so inbound leads come in even more qualified.

But what if you wanted to go even further?
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On a bit of a tangent,research by Top 100 Social Media influencer Steve Olenski indicates that 73% of leads never get contacted, and on average a sales person makes only 1.3 call attempts before moving on.

A joint study between M.I.T and InsideSales.com states that your chances of even making contact with a phone lead drop 100% within the first five minutes of expressing interest & the odds of qualifying that lead decrease 6x after the first 60 minutes.

What this really means is that contacting your new lead should be measured in seconds and minutes, not hours or days.

By combining call tracking to see browsing behavior with a responsive power dialer like Inside Sales, you can contact your new lead almost immediately after they enter their information & know almost exactly what they’re interested in.

Statistically speaking, by using both technologies, you’ll be reaching 92% of your phone leads which are  10-15 times more likely to convert than your web leads. I highly recommend you read the study.

Call Tracking & Google Adwords

Now what if I told you that 52% of all mobile ads result in a phone call AND there was a way to easily get your phone number in front of people searching from their mobile phone?

For experienced Adwords advertisers, this won’t be a major revelation, but back in 2011 Google introduced an Ad Extension called “Click To Call.”

What Click to Call does is displays your phone number as the primary call to action on a top sponsored result for whatever keyphrases you’re targeting.

For example an insurance agency could target the phrase “car insurance quotes” prompting the searcher to speak with an agent.
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According to Google “click to call” Adword campaigns see an average of 5-30% higher conversions than their typical “click here” Mobile counterparts.

Using a legacy phone number system like we were talking about before,  you could generate multiple phone numbers to efficiently test things like which regions produce the best leads, 800 numbers vs local numbers, and of course, which copy produces the higher click through rates.

The best part about click to call (which you’ll see in the case studies below) is that it can be used at no additional cost. Considering that phone leads are typically more qualified than web leads, this makes for a much more effective use of ad dollars.

Case Studies

# 1 – Esurance Improves Mobile Traffic By 200%

Insurance company Esurance wanted to make good on their “Technology when you want it, people when you don’t” slogan.

By implementing Google’s Click To Call feature in Adwords, Esurance has been able to improve their mobile call volume by 200% year over year. By targeting mobile customers searching for “insurance quotes” or the like, Esurance is able to connect mobile searchers with a licensed insurance agent almost immediately after searching.

Doing this decreased their Cost Per Acquisition by 30% and tripled their mobile acquisition within the first year. Watch the video to see the case study

# 2 – JBE Holdings Earns $500K in Commissions Promoting Call Based Campaigns

Combining Pay-Per-Call with relevant affiliate advertising offers from companies like AllState, ServiceMagic, DirecTV and more, Justin Elenburg was able to experience average conversion rates of 20% and receive payouts between $10-$30 for every call placed through the phone numbers he promoted.

His strategy was centered around using Google Adwords to target “need based” searches made on Mobile phones then having his tracking number be the primary call to action in the ad. In the example below, he provides a use case where a user might search “Phoenix Plumber” because their bedroom has been flooded by leaky pipes.

By being top bidder for the keyword “Phoenix Plumber”, he is able to display his tracking phone number as the top search result. So if the user clicks his tracking number and calls the plumber who then comes out, Justin get’s a commission, the plumber gets a customer, the customer get’s their pipes fixed, and everyone’s happy.

In this case study he says, “Once the upfront work is done, I can pretty much put the campaigns on auto-pilot and watch the calls and commissions come in.”

# 3 – Ifbyphone Improves Conversions by 600%

Ifbyphone, a call tracking service itself, needed to improve both the quality and quantity of their inbound call leads.

Initially, their primary call to action “call to speak with us” was lost in distracting information (like a persistant bright red side navigation & alternate calls to action)

After agency Closed Loop Marketing did their first round of redesigns to the primary PPC landing page, total call count increased by 62% and the average call time for each call doubled.

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Revisions in Round 1 included:

  • Visual Anchor Point at the Top of the page.
  • Inserted primary call to action (click-to-call) at top of page, and repeated 6 additional times.
  • Simplified the offer, and made it easier to understand
  • Assigned unique phone numbers to different landing pages
  • Integrated with Google Analytics to create a pageview once phone call reached a certain length

On that last bullet point, tracking the call length based on url & phone number would allow Ifbyphone to easily determine which pages/keyword targeting combinations would have the highest ROI.

If your company were running PPC campaigns that were segmented by geographic region, you could easily determine which geographic regions would have higher conversion rates using similar methodology, but more on that later.

Not being content & resting on their conversion rates, Ifbyphone came back to Closed Loop saying “we think we can do better.” and lifted all design restrictions.

This was the result:
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Key changes:

  • Stronger colors and imagery.
  • Human face as focal point.
  • Much clearer calls to action.
  • Compacted display of detailed information.
  • Inclusion of video.

As a result, lead conversion improved by nearly 6% while lead quality remained stable.

The extended project saw a 600% improvement from Ifbyphone’s initial campaign.

Target Phone Numbers By Region On Landing Pages

One final trick I want to offer is that by using behavioral targeting techniques with Visual Website Optimizer, such as acknowledging the visitor’s geographic region, or referral site, you could see a dramatic increase in your call in conversions.
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While not specifically about call tracking, Visual Website Optimizer was able to increase click throughs to their careers page by 149% by adding a small chicklet to the side of the page that acknowledged the visitor’s location.

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With those kinds of numbers, it’s not difficult to imagine that adding additional relevance to a page saying something to the effect of “Free [offer] for [city, state] visitors, call [local number] to speak with a representive” would give a significant lift in conversion rates.

I wasn’t able to find a case study to confirm this, but the statistics behind behavioral targeting and call tracking all indicate these methods to be highly profitable.

As a word of warning though, being too invasive with your language could have negative effects on your conversions.  Research from eMarketer indicates that nearly 2/3 of people aren’t very fond of behavioral targeting once they learn about it.

Call Tracking Service Providers By Country

If you want to get started with call tracking, here are a list of providers broken down by country for you to look into:

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Slide from Craig Sullivan’s Conversion Manager Course

For the USA, would also recommend looking into RingRevenueCallfire, and Logmycalls to find a provider that will match your needs.

If your company is high volume phone sales, consider Inside Sales the industry leader in lead response managment to shorten the time between when someone fills out the lead form and when you get them on the phone.

Conclusion

If done well, closing the loop on phone call data provides robust information about your prospects that can influence every aspect of your online marketing strategy from discovery to lead nurture, final conversion, up-sales and beyond.

Responding quickly to inquiries with detailed knowledge about the prospect also better equips your sales person to answer any questions that may arise from the consultative sales conversation.

So my question to you is two-fold

  1. From what you’ve read, what do you like about the call tracking process &
  2. How would you use this in your own business to improve your conversions?

Looking forward to your responses, and if you liked this article, please share it.

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