call tracking metrics and tactics

“What? Calling a business? Does anybody still do that in the age of social media and live chat?”

Have you heard a phrase like this recently? Apparently, with social media business profiles and live chats available, some people think that communicating with a business over the phone is a kind of an outdated technique.

But is it?

Well, every business has a phone number, and it’s pretty easy to contact them by phone. And, apparently, that’s what a lot of people do. For example, a recent customer survey done by BrightLocal found an impressive result: 60 percent of consumers they interviewed said they were using a cell phone to contact a local business after discovering it online.

Clearly, this “outdated technique” has outperformed such common contact channels as emails, contact forms, and (drum roll, please) social media! Moreover, the researchers claimed that the number of people using phone calls to contact businesses has increased compared to 2016, where only 41 percent of the surveyed preferred phone calls.

With phone calls being such an important communication channel for businesses, tracking it makes perfect sense to improve the overall marketing strategy. But are startups and small businesses taking advantage of call tracking solutions? According to these fresh data, less than 30 percent of small businesses use them. In other words, they’re missing big.

What does this mean for tech startups? 60 percent of customers contacting businesses via phone is a huge number, and disregarding this communication channel is clearly a bad idea for any business. By disregarding this communication channel and not tracking its performance, you might be missing important analytics and data that could help you to understand your target customers better and build a more effective marketing strategy.

In this article, we’re going to share five call tracking metrics as well as the techniques that your tech startup can benefit from in terms of improving the overall marketing strategy and defining whether you’re achieving your goals.

Call Tracking: Tactics

Even though call tracking sounds pretty complicated, it’s very easy once you have a good understanding of what you need to do as well as the right tools in place. Let’s begin with a quick explanation of call tracking tools and how they can benefit your business.

Simply explained, a call tracking tool is a system whose purpose is to track phone inquiries and match them to a specific marketing source, e.g. online ad. A business using a call tracking tool can identify how many calls a specific ad generated and therefore understand the best - and the worst - performing marketing techniques and ads.

Here’s how it works in more detail:

  1. A customer lands on a website of your business
  2. A call tracking tool assigns a unique phone number to them (so-called “dynamic phone numbers,” we’ll talk about them in a moment)
  3. If that customer decides to contact you over the phone, the tracking tool will be able to match their call with their customer profile using the assigned number.

As a result, you’ll know which touchpoints generate most of the phone calls from customers as well as the most conversions. Ultimately, a call tracking tool allows to precisely attribute phone calls, leads, and conversions to particular marketing campaigns. Here’s the full list of the types of phone call conversions that you can track, according to Google:

  1. Calls from ads. These include calls that customers made directly from call-only ads or call location extensions
  2. Clicks on a number on your mobile website. These are made by people who clicked on your ad on the mobile version of your website and then clicking on a phone number.
  3. Calls to a phone number on your website. These include calls made by people who click on your ad and call your number displayed on a website. In this case, the conversion is counted only when a call lasts a certain time set by the website owner.

Your business thus will have an opportunity to simplify the process of deciding where to focus marketing efforts.

Call Tracking: Essential Metrics

Making the choice of the metrics to track depends on your marketing goals as well as the capabilities of your business. For example, setting up between three and five dynamic phone numbers for at least several marketing communication channels - including organic traffic, paid ads, and social media - is a good idea for a tech startup. As your company grows, you’ll want to take advantage of more call tracking benefits by connecting it to your CRM, but let’s concentrate on the metrics that you should track right now.

1. Source of the Call

This is an essential metric to track since you have to know which marketing campaigns and ads are delivering the best results. Tracking a call even if you have one phone number listed in all your online resources is not a problem thanks to dynamic numbers.

For example, Zadarma’s dynamic call tracking uses at least two numbers and assigns them to each visitors. If the customer clicked on a tracked ad and called the business, the tool will determine where the call came from. As a result, you can identify the source of the call and track the performance of your campaigns and improve based on the results produced by a call tracking platform.

2. Call Length

Call tracking and analytics can be a huge help in defining the value of each call for your business. For example, a tech startup can have 50 phone calls from leads or customers per day, which may sound great, but if you analyze their duration, things may get surprising. It’s very common to discover that most of them lasted less than one minute, suggesting that they didn’t result in a conversion.

On the other hand, those lasting more could very well end in conversion, so analyzing the length of each call can actually help you to determine which marketing efforts drove the longest - therefore the most promising - calls from potential customers.

3. Call Time

Just like every experienced content marketer knows that posting at certain times during the day may increase engagement, businesses should also know that tracking the times of calls can help them to increase conversions.

“Posts published on Tuesday and Wednesday typically performs better,” says Ian Stockton, a content writer from Trust My Paper. “The same applies to call tracking: the time when most calls are made may be the best time to drive more business.”

This means that you should definitely track the time of phone calls in your tracking system to define the best time to target your potential customers. For example, by leveraging your paid ads during specific days or times you may improve the performance of your marketing campaigns.

4. First-Time Calls

Lead generation is critical for any business, so your call tracking metrics should include the data on people who called you for the first time. For example, you can put this data in a separate section for further analysis of their behavior and what they did before they called your business. Also, by calculating the number of first-time callers each month, you can assess your lead generation effort with ads and stop spending your marketing budget on those performing poorly.

An even more important thing is to learn more about those first-time callers and develop more personalized approaches to encourage them to convert with future campaigns.

5. Keywords

Knowing which keywords are leading to phone calls and conversions is great for optimizing marketing campaigns for ROI. Many call tracking tools allow to track customer calls down to keywords, and this information would be very useful for your marketing team needing data for improving marketing campaigns and optimizing spending.

For example, to track the calls from a Google Ads campaign, you can create specific phone numbers in your call tracking tool of choice and begin monitoring their performance by an ad group or a campaign.

Call Tracking = More Data, Happier Customers, More Business

Since 60 percent of consumers prefer to contact businesses via phone calls, it’s reasonable to suggest that your tech startup can also benefit from this useful communication channel. Calling a business - or getting a callback - is easy, simple, and quick, which is exactly what many customers need. This means that this communication channel has a higher chance of providing more sales, as you will be able to explain all the features of a tech product to your potential customers by speaking with them.

Besides, by tracking call sources as well as the other metrics that we’ve discussed above, you can get tons of useful data on your customers (this often comes for free; for example, Zadarma’ call tracking tool comes for free). This data can also be helpful to construct more targeted ad campaigns and therefore improve lead generation effort. No more spending on marketing campaigns that don’t generate the kind of engagement you’re looking for to grow your startup.