Phone Call Tracking for Building Product Marketers

14 Jun

Do you know how many phone calls your marketing is really driving?

In previous posts, I’ve talked about basic email analytics, as well as more advanced ones and, surely, your team is measuring the performance of your website and digital marketing efforts through Google Analytics, Omniture or another analytics solution. But there’s another area of measurement that is still ignored by a lot of marketers – the phone.

If you’re a larger company, you may have an inbound call center, either your own or through a 3rd party. They can take care of your customers and also provide you some great data. However, they can’t always tell you what campaigns drove those calls to help you better measure the return on your marketing efforts. Depending on what kind of product/service you sell, and the demographics of your customers, you might get a ton of phone calls, but it’s impossible for you to tell if it was the print ad you ran or the direct mail campaign you executed that actually drove the call.

Enter phone call tracking. There are a ton of options to choose from – just look at the long list of options for Google Analytics users. I don’t care which one you use, but it’s time you started. I’ve used Marchex Call Analytics and am happy with that solution, but they’re not the only game in town.

Through a web-based interface, you can purchase the numbers you need and forward them to your existing number(s) so there doesn’t need to be any extra work for whomever answers the phone. If you want to get more complex, some systems will let you identify what number is being called by “whispering” to your customer service person prior to them being connected to the caller.

For example, if you had a print ad offer of 20% off installation of your product, and someone called that number, your customer service person could know that offer triggered the call, and utilize a custom script for that offer.

Some systems will even let you record calls, which can help in analyzing customer service performance. Implementation is fast and easy, and most systems will provide data via their own web interface and also push data into your analytics solution, making it easier to incorporate into your existing reporting.

In terms of cost, each number you have generally costs around $10/month, and then you pay a per-minute rate for calls to those numbers. While that does add additional cost, you’ll now be able to measure the response your marketing drove, whether through the web or by phone. The power in that data can be tremendous, and is more than worth the incremental tracking cost. If you’re not tracking phone calls like this, it’s time to start.

3 Responses to “Phone Call Tracking for Building Product Marketers”

  1. Richard Teahon June 16, 2012 at 5:01 am #

    Hi

    I just wanted to say the feedback from our customers is positive, and the outlay on calltracking software more than pays for itself as performing ads and campaigns can be identified, as well as ads and campaigns which sadly generate no interest.

  2. Mike Haeg August 3, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    Great article Elton. You hit the nail on the head in regard to understanding what marketing source drove phone calls. The next step is taking this piece to online efforts and optimizing. While you may know that a phone call came from your website, getting down to the keyword, referring source, and click trail gives marketers (and businesses) even more insight into their spend and customer base.

  3. Mediahawk Call Tracking November 15, 2012 at 4:04 am #

    Great read, Elton. Like I say to many business owners, it’s so easy to track which of your advertising and marketing efforts make the phones ring these days, thanks to the technology we have available, there’s absolutely no reason not to. And as Mike said, we can now track which keyword led the user to make a call in the first place. This is powerful stuff, as you can put more money into your more profitable AdWords campaigns and cut out the waste from the underperforming ones.

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