What is Call Tracking? Everything You Need to Know About Tracking Calls

What Is Call Tracking 4 Benefits and 3 Uses You Can Implement Today
What Is Call Tracking 4 Benefits and 3 Uses You Can Implement Today

Every business owner wants to know whether their marketing efforts are panning out. It’s pretty obvious– if you launch a direct mail campaign or spend hundreds of dollars on PPC ads, you want to know whether your spend is converting into leads and customers.

Call tracking can give you the information you need. By allowing you to dynamically create different numbers for each marketing campaign, you can then track which marketing and advertising campaigns are producing the most ROI. Enter call tracking.

Call tracking is a valuable tool that empowers small teams to understand their marketing efforts better, optimize their strategies, and enhance customer experiences. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain how call tracking can help and share some tips and best practices for implementation and analysis. Feel free to jump to a specific section:

  • What is call tracking?
  • Benefits of call tracking for small businesses
  • Implementing call tracking
  • How to choose and evaluate call tracking software
  • Call tracking best practices
  • FAQs about call tracking

What is call tracking?

Call tracking is used to trace and analyze phone calls, attributing them to specific marketing campaigns or channels. Through the use of call tracking software, businesses can attach different phone numbers to various marketing initiatives and track where incoming calls come from, which helps create a better understanding of campaign performance and customer behavior.

What does this look like in practice? Here are a couple examples: 

Call tracking example #1: A real estate agent can learn whether direct mail results in more leads than an event: A real estate agent sends out a direct mail campaign and sponsors a local event during the same week. By using different phone numbers, the agent can then understand which initiative had a better ROI, which can then help them understand if they should do more direct mail campaigns or sponsor more events.

Call tracking example #2: A plumber can learn whether they’re getting more traction via Google or Yelp. A local plumbing company markets the business using PPC ads on Google, as well as ads on Yelp. By assigning different numbers to each marketing channel, the company can gain insight into where their dollars are going farther. Not only that, but they can use Dynamic Number Insertion (DNI) to ensure that their website swaps out numbers based on where the traffic is coming from.

How does call tracking work?

Call tracking software allows businesses to purchase numbers in bulk and assign them to different marketing channels, tagging them appropriately so that you can see where the calls are coming from in a dashboard. But how does this work?

The simplest approach to this is to use static call tracking, which is simply assigning unique numbers to different campaigns. But call tracking is particularly powerful when using Dynamic Number Insertion (DNI) that swaps numbers on your website based on the type of traffic. If someone clicks on an ad to get to your website, the DNI script will swap the number automatically so that the proper tracking number is shown for the traffic type.

This approach– dynamically swapping website numbers based on traffic source– ensures that the appropriate tracking number is displayed, facilitating seamless data collection and analysis.

Types of call tracking

There are a few types of call tracking that businesses use. They include:

  • Static Call Tracking assigns unique phone numbers to specific marketing campaigns.
  • Dynamic Call Tracking automatically swaps phone numbers on websites based on traffic sources.
  • Keyword-Level Call Tracking tracks which keywords lead to phone calls.
  • Session-Based Call Tracking links phone calls to individual website sessions for deeper insights.

Benefits of call tracking for small businesses

Despite the fact that prospects can send emails and fill out contact forms, phone calls remain one of the most valuable ways to capture leads and gain sales. Because phone calls allow you to have a conversation with the prospect, you have the opportunity to explain what you do and why you’re a good fit.

In fact, 84% of marketers say that phone calls have higher conversion rates and higher average order values (AOV) than other forms of engagement. Plus, calls can convert 10-15x more revenue than web leads, according to BIA/Kelsey.

Here are some of the biggest benefits of call tracking for small businesses:

  • Understand exactly where leads come from – Accurately attribute leads to their respective marketing efforts.
  • Optimize paid search campaigns – Fine-tune pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns based on call data.
  • Better allocate marketing spend – Allocate marketing budgets more effectively by focusing on high-converting channels.
  • Personalize the call experience – Tailor interactions based on caller data, improving customer satisfaction.
  • Improve customer support – Gain insights into customer inquiries and streamline support processes.
  • Better team management – Monitor call performance and optimize team workflows for maximum efficiency.

Implementing call tracking in your small business

Implementing call tracking for your business may seem intimidating, but it is easily possible thanks to straightforward call tracking tools and solutions. 

Step 1. Define your goals for call tracking

Determine what you aim to achieve through call tracking, whether it’s increasing conversions, optimizing campaigns, or improving customer service.

Step 2. Choose a call tracking provider

Select a reputable call tracking provider that aligns with your business needs and budget constraints.

Step 3. Set up call tracking

Implement the chosen call tracking solution, configuring it to track relevant metrics and integrate with existing systems seamlessly.

Step 4: Analyze calls and improve

Learn where your calls are coming from and use these insights to better allocate marketing spend.

How to choose and evaluate call tracking software

Assess Your Business Goals: Start by clarifying what you hope to achieve with call tracking. Are you primarily interested in tracking the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, improving customer service, or optimizing your sales process? Understanding your objectives will help you identify the features and capabilities you need in a call tracking solution.

Consider Your Budget: As a small business owner, it’s important to consider your budget. Evaluate the pricing structure of different call tracking software options and determine what you can afford. Keep in mind that while some providers offer basic packages at lower prices, others may provide more comprehensive features at a higher cost. Choose a solution that offers the best value for your money, but remember that implementing call tracking can boost your marketing ROI overall, so the investment is likely worthwhile.

Assess Features and Functionality: Look for call tracking software that offers the features you need to achieve your goals. Some essential features to consider include:

  • Dynamic Number Insertion (DNI): Does the software support DNI, allowing you to automatically swap phone numbers on your website based on traffic sources?
  • Call Recording and Transcription: Does the software provide the ability to record and transcribe calls for quality assurance and training purposes?
  • Analytics and Reporting: Can you access detailed analytics and reports to track call volume, source attribution, and other key metrics?
  • Integration Capabilities: Does the software integrate seamlessly with your existing CRM, marketing automation platform, or other systems?

Ease of Use and Implementation: Choose a call tracking solution that is intuitive and easy to implement for everyone on your team. Consider factors such as setup complexity, user interface design, and available support resources. Look for providers that offer solid documentation, training materials, and responsive customer support to help you get up and running quickly.

Scalability and Flexibility: As your business grows, your call tracking needs may evolve. Select a software solution that is scalable and flexible enough to accommodate future expansion and changes in your marketing strategies. Ensure that the call tracking provider offers customizable options and can support your evolving requirements over time.

Privacy and Compliance: With increasing regulations around data privacy, it’s essential to choose a call tracking solution that prioritizes compliance. Verify that the call tracking provider adheres to relevant regulations, such as GDPR or CCPA, and implements security measures to protect sensitive customer data.

Call tracking best practices

Prioritize consistent number formatting

Maintain consistency in your phone number formatting across all marketing channels. Whether it’s your website, print ads, or social media profiles, using the same format ensures accurate tracking of call data. Consistency helps build trust with your audience and reinforces your brand identity.

Regularly analyze call data

Make analyzing call data a regular part of your marketing routine. Set aside time to review call metrics, such as call volume, call duration, and conversion rates. Identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement to optimize your marketing efforts continually. Regular analysis allows you to make data-driven decisions and adapt your strategies for maximum effectiveness.

Use A/B tests to refine your approach

Experiment with different call tracking methods and configurations to determine what works best for your business. Test different tracking numbers, placements, and messaging to see which combinations generate the highest response rates and conversions. A/B testing enables you to refine your approach over time and maximize the ROI of your marketing campaigns.

Integrate with analytics platforms

Leverage the power of data by integrating your call tracking software with analytics platforms such as Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics. By combining call data with other online metrics, you gain a comprehensive view of your marketing performance and customer journey. Integration allows you to track the full impact of your campaigns and make informed optimization decisions.

Make sure your team is trained

Ensure that your sales and support teams are well-trained on how to handle incoming calls effectively. Provide training on using call tracking software, interpreting call data, and delivering exceptional customer service over the phone. Empower your team with the knowledge and tools they need to capitalize on every call opportunity and provide a positive caller experience.

Stay compliant with regulations 

Maintain compliance with relevant regulations, such as GDPR or CCPA, when collecting and storing call data. Implement measures to protect customer privacy and secure sensitive information, such as call recordings. Stay informed about evolving privacy laws and update your practices accordingly to avoid potential legal issues.

Strive to improve and adapt

Embrace a mindset of continuous improvement when it comes to call tracking. Stay updated on industry trends, emerging technologies, and best practices. Experiment with new features and strategies to stay ahead of the curve and maintain a competitive edge in your market.

FAQs about call tracking

How does call tracking work?

Call tracking utilizes unique phone numbers and sophisticated tracking technology to attribute incoming calls to specific marketing initiatives.

How can I set up call tracking as quickly as possible?

Choose a reputable call tracking provider, define your goals, and follow the provider’s setup instructions to configure tracking parameters effectively.

What’s the easiest and most obvious way to use call tracking?

Assign unique phone numbers to different marketing channels or campaigns, enabling straightforward attribution and performance analysis.