The call tracking market is confusing – simply because, not all call tracking is equal.
The aim of this blog is to guide you through the different types of call tracking and highlight the key differences and their implications.
Campaign-level call tracking
You buy a volume of telephone numbers and assign each number to a campaign. The numbers are ‘static’. This is the most basic form of call tracking.
You can use these numbers for online and offline campaigns. However, to get a detailed view of call source across multiple campaigns and channels you will need a lot of phone numbers. Plus, if you are spending a high percentage of your marketing budget on Adwords – it’s worth pointing out that you will only ever know that a call has come from PPC – you won’t get keyword details.
Also, beware of the cookie monster! Most static number services drop cookies only for 30 days. So, if your sales cycle is longer and your campaigns are in play beyond 30 days this might not be the best solution for you.
Perhaps the biggest issue for campaign level call tracking is attribution. When someone calls, the campaign is simply attributed to the number they’ve called. Let’s say someone clicks through from a PPC ad, looks at the website and then goes away. They come back to your website a day later having typed in your company name. Whilst visiting your site, they call and make a purchase from your company using the number on your website.
Your data will attribute the conversion to ‘Direct’. It’s called ‘last click attribution’. The reality is, it was the PPC ad that converted and that’s why tracking the customer journey gives accurate campaign performance.
Google Call Conversion Tracking
Free with Adwords, you can use Google forwarding numbers on both PPC ads and your website. This enables you to track calls back to campaigns, ads and keywords. Which is great if all your marketing effort is focused on Google PPC. Google won’t track calls generated from any other marketing channels – and that includes BING PPC, Yahoo! PPC, display ads and SEO. Google may dominate the search market, but Bing is gaining ground and today exceeds 21% market share in the US1.
Now, it’s easy to get sucked into the idea that most of your inbound is being driven by PPC. ResponseTap Intel data2 shows that just 20% of calls are generated by PPC. So, if you are only tracking PPC calls, you are at risk of mis-attributing revenue and most definitely won’t maximise the real value of all your marketing channels.
Again, beware of the cookie monster! Google cookies last for 30 days. So, if you sales cycle runs beyond 30 days, there’s a danger you are going to miss out on attribution data.
Visitor-level call tracking
At the heart of this solution is ‘dynamic number insertion’. Every web visitor is allocated their own phone number which appears on your website each time they visit. It’s unique to the individual. Not a campaign, ad or keyword. The benefits are considerable. As soon as someone lands on your website, you can trace all subsequent visits and calls back to that initial visit. You can see the whole customer journey. First click, right through to last click and every click in between. So, if someone clicks through to your website from a PPC ad, leaves, comes back two days later via a social campaign and then and calls from the number uniquely displayed to them on your website, the call will be attributed to both the PPC ad as the first click and the social campaign as the last click; If they visited numerous times in between, those visits would also be tracked.
In fact, with ResponseTap, because we pass our call data into Google Analytics and other 3rd party platforms such as bid management tools, it is still possible to attribute calls to specific keywords and manage those bids accordingly.
At ResponseTap, we maintain our cookies for 12 months. So, you don’t have to worry about longer sales cycles and customer journeys. We capture it all.
Visitor-level call tracking combined with static campaign numbers ensures you get the full breadth of tracking for both online and offline campaigns. You don’t have to buy static numbers; you simply set them up within your dashboard and assign them to your offline campaigns. We can even supply easy to remember vanity numbers for the use on TV, radio and outdoor campaigns. Social campaigns and emails can be tracked with UTM codes, as soon as someone clicks through they are served a dynamic phone number and any call is associated to the social asset.
Want to know the outcome of calls? The post-call IVR functionality available within Visitor-level call tracking closes the loop. The sales agent selects the outcome of the call once they finish speaking to the caller. For example, press 1 to assign as a lead, press 2 to assign as a sale, etc. The IVR is fully customisable and can be tailored to meet the needs of your attribution model. ResponseTap closes the loop on marketing by delivering first click through to sale data.
So, to conclude, you may think you have ticked the call tracking box and it’s a done deal, but the reality is you might only be tracking 20% of activity, you might only be attributing to last click and you might never know the actual outcome of the call.
We would love to show you around our Visitor-level call tracking solution; you can book a demo.
2Based on all client data from Jan 2015 to May 2016.
Oyin Bamgbose Friday, 20 May 2016. Posted in General
Publish Date: May 20, 2016 5:00 AM
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