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12 common questions marketers ask about call tracking answered
Call tracking software is a critical component of your martech stack that many marketers don’t know enough about.
Phone calls convert at 10x the rate of clicks, so it makes sense that many marketers spend a considerable portion of their budgets driving calls from paid search and social media. What doesn’t make sense is that the data available from phone calls are allowed to slip through the attribution and analytics trap that we’ve set up for everything else. This is basically like making a cheeseburger without a bun — while it can be done, it won’t be as good as it could be and it’s basically a waste of money.
Call tracking and analytics platforms can address this attribution gap for marketers. The problem is that this critical piece of the martech stack is fairly new technology to a lot of marketers. Here are answers to the 12 most common questions marketers ask about call tracking to get you up to speed.
What problem does call tracking solve?
If your marketing strategy involves driving potential customers to the phone, you could be missing out on important attribution data as well as the best source of first-party customer data. While you have access to end-to-end customer journey data and attribution from purely digital campaigns, the data trail goes cold when your customer picks up the phone.
Call tracking and analytics platforms allow you to close that data gap and gain an untapped source of customer and marketing attribution data. Simply put, call tracking that’s designed for marketers allows you to get all of the same attribution data that you get for online interactions for actions that happen on the phone. This allows you to optimize your digital marketing to drive high-quality phone calls and increase your marketing ROI.
What kind of data does call tracking platforms capture from phone calls?
Call tracking platforms can capture data from both the callers’ digital journey and actions taken once on the phone. Note that the level of data granularity depends on the level of sophistication that your platform provides. More advanced AI-powered platforms can automatically predict call outcomes (e.g. sale made) and provide attribution at the keyword level. These data include:
- Call outcome (purchase made, application submitted, appointment made, quote given,etc.)
- Spoken keywords
Digital campaign data
- Source campaign
- Marketing channel
- Ad group
- Terms and keywords
- Partner IDs (Google Click ID, Adobe Marketing Cloud Visitor ID, etc.)
- Calling page
- Shopping cart activity
- Call start time
- Call duration
- Caller ID
- Call recordings
- Repeat caller
How can a call tracking platform tie phone calls back to marketing efforts that drove them?
When a person calls one of these dynamic phone numbers, the call is routed through the call tracking platform to your call center, local agent, or any other destination. This allows the platform to aggregate the digital data and tie the callers’ previous activity to the phone call. This happens nearly instantaneously with no interruption to the caller experience. With this data, you can understand exactly which marketing tactics are driving your high-value phone calls.
What can we do with this data?
With the granular call attribution data Invoca provides, you can optimize your marketing campaigns to drive more high-value calls, enhance the entire customer journey, and personalize the caller experience to increase conversion rates. Here’s how it works.
Optimize your marketing
Call tracking platforms that can predict call outcomes not only give you visibility into the campaigns that are driving your calls, but provide a full picture of the outcome of every call. The result? You can make smarter campaign optimization decisions — like what keywords you should be spending more money on — to drive more revenue-generating calls and more efficient campaigns.
Enhance the customer journey
The customer journey doesn’t end after a phone call. You can use outcome data gathered from phone calls to enhance your other marketing tools and expand your reach to likely buyers. By pushing call analytics into media platforms like Google Ads and Facebook, or DMPs like Adobe Audience Manager, marketers can create targetable audience segments to orchestrate the next action, or build lookalike audiences to reach new customers.
Personalize the caller experience
You can also use call tracking platforms to personalize the caller experience to increase conversion rates, enhance the customer experience, and ensure that call center agents are focusing on revenue-driving calls. Invoca customers have seen 10x increases in conversion rates by qualifying and routing calls based on factors like geolocation, time of call, product interest, shopping cart activity, and more.
Doesn’t showing a unique phone number to every website visitor require an enormous amount of phone numbers?
No. Dynamic phone numbers are “recycled” in a predetermined amount of time after someone visits your site and does not call. Rather than assigning one number to only one visitor forever, you can create an attribution window that makes sense for your business. For example, if you know that customers typically call within 30 minutes of visiting your page, you can safely reuse that uncalled number after 30 minutes, exposing it to a new site visitor. Learn more about how dynamic phone numbers work in the Invoca Call Tracking Study Guide.
Isn’t call tracking for the call center? Why should marketers care?
The kind of call tracking that marketers need is different than what you will find in the call center. Call centers typically focus on call quality metrics like call duration, hold times, call counts, etc. The data they collect is typically used to reduce call center costs, not to drive additional revenue. They may track conversion data, but marketing usually has little, if any, access to this data and no way to attribute it to campaigns that may have driven the calls in the first place.
Call tracking that’s designed for marketers allows you to connect phone calls to advertising so you know what ad drove what call and what the results of that call were — AKA call attribution. For example, if you call a business that’s using Invoca’s call tracking platform, they can tell what ads, webpages, or keywords helped drive you to call. And once you are on the phone, Invoca analyzes the language used in the call to tell if you bought anything, got a quote, made an appointment — or whatever your business considers a conversion. With this data, marketers can make their ads, web pages, social ads, and other advertising media more effective to acquire more high-value customers at a lower cost.
Okay, but the call center won’t want to rip and replace what they’re using for tracking calls.
If your call center has its own solution in place for counting calls, monitoring call quality, and measuring all the KPIs that are important to the department, then they don’t usually have to make any changes when the marketing team adopts a new call tracking solution. It has no impact on the existing telephony system, and any tracking platforms that they are using can remain in place. If zero disruption to your call center operations is what’s desired, zero disruption is what you get.
Where do calls placed to dynamic phone numbers go?
When a customer calls a dynamic phone number generated by a call tracking platform, it is routed to the existing destination phone number or call center of your choice. You’ll still use your existing phone system, and inbound calls will still be routed to them in the same way as they are without it. The dynamic phone numbers are simply a proxy that appears on your website to enable the capture of the rich, session-level data, just like you get for clicks.
How can I access call tracking data?
When you add a call tracking platform to your martech stack, you shouldn’t be adding yet another dashboard. Look for a call tracking solution that can pass data in real time to whatever platforms you already live in like Google Ads, Google Analytics, Salesforce or Adobe Experience Cloud. You can also access and view call data directly in the platform’s dashboards and reports.
How does call tracking work with paid search?
Paid search optimization is one of the primary use cases for call tracking in marketing. For marketers who manage paid search strategy in Google Ads, you can get closed-loop attribution for phone calls and conversions driven by your paid search and display spend through integrations with Google and other ad platforms.
This is accomplished by capturing data about the digital journey, like marketing campaign and ad creative, and tying that data to phone calls. When a call is placed, Invoca captures identifiers like the Google Click ID, enabling you to report individual call events and conversions to Google Ads. Platforms with native integrations offer the most reliable and precise method to get keyword visibility for mobile call extensions and calls from your landing pages.
When you can get keyword-level attribution and conversion reporting in real time, you can attribute calls to paid search and display budgets, and use call conversions to optimize your spend to drive more revenue.
How does call tracking work with web analytics?
By integrating Invoca call data with web analytics tools like Google Analytics, marketers can get a holistic view of keyword or campaign performance, identify top conversion paths, understand reverse goal paths, and create call-based segments.
Call tracking platforms capture data about the customer journey, like marketing campaign and ad creative, and ties that data to phone calls. By capturing key identifiers like Google Client ID, you can report individual call events and conversions to Google Analytics. By tying phone calls to website activity, marketers can understand how customers are engaging with their website and use that call activity to help create a seamless customer journey. Some platforms also offer integrations with social media advertising like Facebook click-to-call ads and Instagram.
Does call tracking work with our CRM?
Call tracking platforms can send call data to CRMs like Salesforce Sales Cloud in real time for automated closed-loop reporting. You can also push opportunity stage information from Salesforce to the call tracking platform for reporting and analysis, or to build out marketing audiences in other martech tools.
But do you really need a call tracking platform? If you spend any significant portion of your marketing budget driving phone calls to your call center, then yes. Unless, of course, you like wasting money!