Marketers have long lamented that there is a hole in their ROI calculations.
They’re able to track ROI from online activities. Web analytics tools, automation tools, and proprietary dashboards do a really, really good job of measuring ROI from online activities.
But what about phone calls?
Even if you’re a B2B company and you only get a few dozen calls a week, do you know how valuable those calls are? Do you know how many convert to sales? Do you know how which ads, campaigns, or keywords are generating calls? There IS substantial revenue in those few dozen calls each week that you’re not measuring.
B2C companies–especially SMBs–are a different matter entirely. Phone calls are not ancillary for these businesses. For these companies, phone calls are their lifeblood. They receive hundreds of calls each week. These calls need to be tracked, analyzed, and optimized. These businesses need to know, with precision, how calls are generated and what happened on the phone.
In either scenario discussed above, call tracking is, at some level, necessary. If you’re not using call tracking you simply aren’t tracking everything and you simply don’t know your marketing ROI.
The entire goal of call tracking software is to allow marketers to close the loop on their marketing ROI calculations. What follows is a discussion of how call tracking can help close the loop on various types of marketing ROI. It is a discussion about how call tracking can help you measure everything!
Landing pages are door through which most leads come for many businesses. Thus, marketers track landing pages with extreme precision and accuracy. They want to know precise conversion rates for forms. They want to know if green buttons or blue buttons convert higher. They want to know if including a specific form field increases or decreases that conversion rate. Marketers want to know everything that happens on the landing page. And they want to optimize everything that happens on the landing page.
Everything on the landing page matters. Everything apparently except…phone calls.
In the fall of 2012 we ran 3 marketing campaigns that all funneled through a single landing page. Our landing page converted at around 35% for each campaign. This represented hundreds and hundreds of leads. Of those hundreds and hundreds of leads only about 4 people ended up becoming Convirza customers. That’s not a very good ratio.
Here’s the interesting thing…we also had a call tracking number on that landing page. People who visited the page had the option to call us or fill out the form. We only had a few dozen people call the number. Less than 50 total, but we ended up with more customers from these 50 than we did from the hundreds and hundreds that filled out the form.
This data–data only gathered via call tracking, by the way–allowed us to accurately determine ROI and fully close the loop. We would have discounted these campaigns as failures without call tracking data. We would have been wrong.
There is likely not a more perfect marriage than PPC and call tracking. Call tracking allows marketers to track which specific ads, keyword groups or broad PPC efforts generate calls and which do not. This can be done with as much granularity as the marketer wants.
This is done by marrying a specific phone number to a specific URL and then displaying that phone number when the visitor clicks through to the landing page.
If you don’t use PPC and call tracking, how will you know how many valuable phone calls you’re driving?
Call tracking does allow marketers to track which organic keywords generate calls. That’s pretty cool. It is a great way to close the loop on your SEO efforts.
Caution: Keyword call tracking does have it’s drawbacks. We’ve written about these keyword call tracking drawbacks extensively.
I would never conduct a marketing campaign without using call tracking. It is that simple. If I’m doing direct mail, radio, TV, PPC, retargeting, SEO, email campaigns, or any other marketing method, I need to use call tracking.
For example, direct mail without call tracking is stunning to me. Are you seriously going to tell people to bring in the ad when they come to your business? That’s how you’re going to determine how effective the ad is?
This is 2013. Put a call tracking number on the direct mail piece and close the loop on your marketing. Measure EVERYTHING.