It is relatively easy to set up tracking for your website through tools such as Google Analytics or directly through Google Adwords or Facebook with conversion tracking. This data is invaluable and lets you optimise and improve campaigns, and allocate spend to the best performing marketing campaigns. One conversion type which is very common is frequently ignored with all forms of online marketing however: Phone Tracking.
Whether using a landing page or a website, if you have your phone number somewhere people will call for quotes or more information. In the past, these calls could not be tracked so all campaigns were treated equally and optimised based purely on web form conversions. Recently however, there has been a number of service offerings by companies which allow you to track phone calls. Some marketing campaigns I have worked on generate absolutely no web form completions but a high volume of phone calls. If you were looking at these campaigns without any phone tracking you would simply cut the budget and wrongly spend it elsewhere. With phone tracking however, you can see exactly which campaigns generated the highest number of phone calls and then work on improving your ROI accordingly.
A phone tracking service works by having a pool of phone numbers which all connect to your phone line in the same way. The quanity of phone numbers you require in this pool is determined by the number of visitors to your website and starts at around 3 phone numbers. Every time a visitor comes to your website, a script running in the background connects to the phone tracking provider in real time and sends the source of that visitor and other details which may be useful. The phone tracking provider in turn sends back to the website a certain phone number from the pool of numbers which is displayed on the website. Should the visitor make a phone call during that session time this call is then recorded in the phone tracking providers’ statistics
One of the best and most useful features of phone tracking is the ability of the provider to connect with Google Analytics and Google Adwords, and import all phone calls into each service as a Goal/Conversion. This takes optimisation to the next level and ensures that for every phone call made you can see exactly what traffic source, keyword and advert generated the call. Phone tracking providers can also integrate with other third party software including Acquisio, Marin and Saleforce.
There are two main Phone Tracking providers in New Zealand which both offer advanced features:
- Delacon – Call costs are 55c a minute if they connect to your landine or mobile number. A monthly fee of $30 per 0800 tracking number also applies. They offer the widest range of additional services which are included as part of the package. Also offer volume based pricing.
- Avanser – Generally operates on a flat rate model with charges of 60c per minute (billed per second). Also charge a monthly fee of $35 per tracked number used in the system. Setup fees vary based on your requirements. Additional to the flat rate model they have discounts for large volume clients.
Other than phone tracking these companies offer a number of other, very useful features, including:
- Call Recording – this feature records all of your calls and lets you play them back whilst showing you the source of that call. This is a great feature which lets you improve your sales teams’ performance and identify advertising areas that need to be improved on.
- Call Whisper – this feature provides you with details about the origin (ie. Google Adwords) of a call instantly when you pick the phone up giving you key information before you even start talking.
- Call Notification Emails/SMS Messages – After each and every call you can be notified by email or SMS message details about the call with the callers phone number, a recording and any other useful details you require.
- Call Feedback – This unique feature of phone tracking allows you to provide feedback on the quality of the call for use in later reporting. After a call has concluded, if you stay on the line you can then indicate the quality of the lead or value of the sale which will be reported and will allow you to optimise marketing campaigns to improve quality of sales, not just lead numbers.
All marketing tools have a cost so as with everything, phone tracking costs should be analysed and if it is not going to increase your ROI significantly its most likely not worth the cost. For a large number of advertisers however, the benefits in conversion data and the ability to then optimise your marketing budgets will far outweigh the cost, making it a very useful tool you need to consider.