How Call Tracking Can Inform Your Marketing Decisions In 2021

Attribution is everything when it comes to digital marketing. Executives and business owners only care about hard numbers – how many calls or sales came from how much ad spend? – and if you can’t present reports with a clear ROI, your marketing budget will be slashed.

This problem is only compounded in service industries. Ecommerce stores can accurately track actual revenue in Google Analytics, Shopify, WooCommerce, and other platforms, but lawyers, landscapers, marketing agencies and other businesses don’t have it so easy. So what if you received five phone calls yesterday – were they any good? Did they lead to a sale?

The Problem With Website Level Tracking

It’s simple enough to set up web tracking on your website:

  1. Install Google Tag Manager
  2. Create a conversion action that fires when someone clicks a phone link
  3. Create a conversion action to fire on form submissions

Once you’ve followed those steps, you can track those conversion actions back to the marketing channel. The problem is, those numbers don’t tell the whole story.

People accidentally click phone numbers all the time. You’ll track that as a lead in Google Analytics, but in real life, it’s worthless. Furthemore, people will often visit your site, see the phone number, and type it directly into their phone. It’s a real lead, but you can’t track it.

Forms are no better – form fields attract incredible amounts of spam, and if you are viewing the form submissions in the backend of your WordPress site, for instance, you won’t know where the form came from.

How can you allocate your agency, car dealership, or law firm marketing budget with such poor attribution?

Phone Tracking – The Solution To Your Phone Tracking Problem

See Your Actual Call Volume

The first thing you get from call tracking software like CallRail, CallROI, or something similar is an accurate number of your calls. You aren’t relying on click activity anymore – any call to your tracking number will be counted. That means no more “phantom clicks” in Google Analytics, and no more under-reporting because a site visitor did not click.

Call tracking works one of two ways: you either add code to your website that dynamically swaps a different number out for each visitor, or you buy one tracking number and place it in your Google My Business listing and on your website wherever your original phone number lived.

Measure Your Call Quality

Not only can you track the literal number of calls you receive, but you can see the call quality as well. Call tracking software will show you a list of your calls, how long they lasted, the caller’s number, and even let you record the calls if you are willing to play a recorded disclaimer message.

“Call quality might be our biggest marketing concern,” said Lance O’connor, marketing manager at the Reiff Law Firm in Philadelphia. “We have spent marketing budget on every channel imaginable, and once we implemented call tracking, we were able to slash ad spend in channels that led to a high number of spammy or low quality calls. We would have never known where those calls came from otherwise.”

See Your Call Attribution

If you add your call tracking software’s code to your website (as mentioned above), you will be able to track the source of each phone call. So within your CallRail dashboard, for instance, you’ll see the following information:

  1. List of calls
  2. How long they were
  3. What channel they came from (Google Ads, email, organic, etc.)
  4. Recordings

Stop Wasting Money On Ineffective Channels

“When you’re spending a lot of time sourcing leads in the criminal defense space, you get a lot of completely irrelevant calls to the practice area,” said a representative from the Law Office of Lloyd Long, an east coast criminal defense firm. “These clicks can cost up to $100 apiece, which is crazy. we have to be able to see exactly what these calls are and where they are coming from.”

Call tracking takes the guesswork out of call attribution, and some programs extend the same services to texting and form tracking. Armed with that data, you can stop wasting money on marketing channels that look like they work on the surface, but are ultimately empty.

Adam Hansen