For businesses that prize phone calls, optimizing for rings is paramount. In this 60-minute webinar, optimization testing expert Brian Massey discusses:
– The five rules you need to know for more “rings”.
– The unexpected results from hundreds of experiments that will show you exactly how to maximize your phone calls.
– The four components of a call-to-action that gets visitors to pick up the phone.
– Specific examples of tests that you should try today for an increased ROI.
As I said, my name is Brian Massey [SP]. I’m with Conversion Sciences. Conversion Sciences is a pure play conversion optimization agency. We don’t do any traffic building or anything like that. We are completely focused on helping you make the most of the traffic that you are getting from a variety of sources. If you have seen me before, you know that I sport a lab coat in almost all dealings. And in fact, we wear our lab coats around the office, primarily when the air conditioners turn down too low.
We’re in Austin, Texas, so it doesn’t actually get very cold here. But there’s a really good reason why we wear the lab coat, because when we put it on, we’re making a statement that we’ve left the world of sales superstition, we’ve left the world of marketing myth, we’ve left the world of gut instinct, and we’ve entered the world of data-driven decision making in which we are finding evidence of the data that guides our creativity.
Here we call this rigorous creativity. And there’s also a scientific basis for wearing a lab coat. There’s a science called Enclothed Cognition. It’s the science of how what you wear effects your behavior. And based on the studies, it turns out that when I put a lab coat on, I actually think I’m a bit smarter than I actually am. I wanted to make sure that I showed you a picture of me in my lab coat here, getting ready for this presentation, because when you see me in a lab coat, you actually think I’m a little bit smarter than I actually am.
So, we would expect a number of errors to go down on this call, and for you to have just a little bit more respect and tolerance for me when I do make an error. We’ve been doing calling a long time, so I think we’ll have some great advice for you, and I promise not to steer you wrong.
My goal here today is this: we want to set your phones on fire. So, I love the turn out we’ve had today. Thank you for showing up. For those of you that can’t see the full presentation or weren’t able to make it, you’re not listening to this, but it will be available for full replay after the webinar, and you’ll get that in your email. But if you are on this phone call, you are probably here because phone calls are very valuable to make.
To light up the phones for you, literally light them up, I’m gonna go through five words, two places, and we’re looking to double the revenue, okay? Five words, two places, double the revenue, and we’ll start off a little bit of story. So, this is one of the clients we started with back in 2011. They’re still working with us, but at this time, you may remember the roll out of the Panda and Penguin Algorithm changes.
They got hit particularly hard. Here you can see the blue is 2011, the orange is 2012. They were down quite a bit from the previous year: 74%, 27%, 46%. But if we look at the relationship between traffic and revenue for that same period, we see this. So, even though their traffic was down over that period of time, we were able to begin applying these phone call rules to their traffic. And so, even though their traffic was going down, they were actually seeing an increase in phone calls by applying these five rules.
What we want to do is, we want to divorce your conversion rate from your traffic. We want to divorce the number of phone calls you’re getting from your traffic. And in terms of conversion rate optimization in general, whether we’re optimizing for phone calls, for purchases, for form fills, we want to divorce that from the traffic that you’re getting. And that’s exactly what we were able to do with this client.
I founded Conversion Sciences in 2007. As I said, we’re a pure play conversion optimization agency. We provide a turnkey solution, the team, the developer, the designer, the data scientist, and the QA and test techs that you need to have a rapid, repeatable and high momentum testing process, finding more phone calls in the traffic that you’re already getting. I wrote the book here, “Customer Creation Equation,” and as I said, I’m a lab wearer fashion model. I think they’re very, very slimming, these lab coats, don’t you? I would love it if you would come and join us on the Conversion Sciences blog, that’s where we write about all the stuff we’re learning. You’ll find these tips and many, many more on the Conversion Sciences blog.
Okay, so, I want to cover the five rules that we use when we begin optimizing for phone calls. Number one, why do the rules matter? I’ll tell you what the rules are, surprise, surprise, and then we’re gonna talk about how you can apply them, with some examples. I want to highlight this, though. So, the clients that we service, that prize phone calls over form fills, value them at 700%. They would give up seven form fills in exchange for one phone call. The reasons for this is that phone calls don’t go cold.
When a form is filled, you still have to go through the effort of reaching out by email, or calling that person and hoping that they’ll pick up the phone. And, well, leads go cold. Phone calls don’t because you’re on the phone with them, as long as you have a well-staffed and a good plan for managing the phone calls that you’re getting. Phone calls are immediate and they are intentional. So, when I pick up the phone, I am raising my hand high, high in the air, that I believe I might be able to solve my problem with what your business offers, and I am going to solve it now.
So, we spend a lot of money getting clicks to our site. This can be pay per click, ads, this can be display ads, this can be real world ads, this can be search engine optimization with all the content and optimization that we do, but we are putting money into getting people here. In a lot of these businesses, these are very competitive keywords. So, the traffic that we’re getting has lots of options. If we can get them to the site, and get them to pick up the phone, we win.
If they go and fill out a form on one of your competitor sites, and come to you and pick up the phone, you are going to win. Because as wonderful as websites are, human beings are better at closing business, and they’re better at upselling. For those of you that are taking calls for [inaudible 00:07:24], people are buying. So, the phones are close to our minds. Our phones. When we pick up the phone, we know that we are in the process of purchasing something, or answering those last few questions between us and making a decision.
Let me talk about some of the myths that go along with phone calls, and I think a lot of you guys will relate to this. If someone wants to call you, they will, so why don’t we just put the phone number somewhere they can see it? Well, it turns out that this is not true, in our tests. Phone calls are only important in high value lead gen environments. So, phone calls are only important if there’s a lot at stake. These are expensive or that we’re selling something that has a high average order value. It turns out that is not true. Based on your margins, you can definitely leverage phone calls for higher and higher value.
Most people just put their number in the header, or they put it on a contact desk page, and think people will find it. As I said, people need to be encouraged to call, and they won’t just call even if they have the propensity to call. Phone calls are just an expense. So, what you need to do in your business, if this is an argument that’s being made, is actually calculate the value of a phone lead over the value of a form fill. This can be done in a number of ways, depending on how long your sale cycle is. But very simply, if you take the revenue generated from the web through phone calls, divide it by the number of phone calls, you get a value of each lead.
If you take the value of revenue generated that started with a form fill, and divide that by the number of form fills, you get the value of that. And if you begin to see, this will allow you to compare the value of a phone call against a form fill. And if that value is much higher, then it makes sense for you to maybe invest a little bit more in your phone center, or in your ability to take those calls. Ultimately, though, there is no better brand experience than finding something that you’re looking for. And for those people that are going to call, having someone on the phone is a brand experience as much as it is a revenue generator.
Phone calls don’t mean more sales. Our customers clearly have demonstrated that human beings are better at closing deals and driving up sales than almost any website can be, as wonderful as websites are. And all you have to do is put a picture of a headset hottie on the site, and the phone will start ringing. Well, as it turns out, we call this business porn. This is stock photography, not one of your employees. It is an icon, so, people see it, they understand that they can call or live chat. That seems to be being used interchangeably. This is not enough to get people to pick up the phone. So, if you’re committed to phone calls, and for a lot of reasons we think you can – we think you should rather – don’t let these myths derail you.
So, as we’re going through this, I want you to think about some things. Here’s kind of how we approach this. There are three kinds of people who will come to a website that is trying to increase the number of phone calls that you’re getting. A percentage of them are absolutely going to call in. They’re looking for a reason to call, they would like to call, they prefer to call. The segment of the modes of persuasion that we call humanists, really value relationship. And you’ll find that you’ll have a better chance closing them and engaging with them because they are interested in relationship, and the phone is a great way to build a relationship with another person.
So, the first set is people who will call. They’re gonna call no matter what. No matter what we do, they’re gonna call. The second group is those people who are never gonna call. They just don’t want that human touch. We often see this with the logical decision makers, the competitives, and the methodicals. They avoid the human touch and they do not want to talk to anybody. They might chat with you, but ultimately if they’re gonna take action, it’s going to be through an online purchase or filling out a form.
And of course the last group is those people who could be enticed to call, if given the right incentives. So, our goal through all of this is to, obviously, not scare away those people who want to call, to not significantly reduce the form fills, not reduce the form fills below the value of the phone calls for that middle group that will only fill out the form, and to make sure that as many of those people that would call or could call, are incentivized to call.
So, these five rules that we’re gonna go through for more rings, follow this pattern. Number one, you got to nail the offer, and this is really true of almost all marketing. You’ve got to have the offer right. And I’m gonna take you through some steps that we use to outline a testable series of offers so that you can find those right offers that generate the additional phone calls. You have to put the offer in the right places, and we want to harmonize the elements, which I’ll go into.
This is actually really, really powerful, and especially if you have…in situation with phone calls, we often have multiple offers on the pages: fill out a form, pick up the phone. And if we can harmonize the elements and get people to the right part of the website, we can really drive home on what it is they’re interested in and want to talk about on the phone.
Measure to the money. We’re gonna geek out a little bit on how you can measure phone calls all the way back to the dollars, which is really important. And as I said earlier, understanding the quality of the calls you’re generating is important. We’ll talk about services like Convirza. And then finally, Master Mobile. There’s still a lot of businesses that have their head in the sand around mobile. It’s growing but it converts terrible. Well, as it turns out, especially when we’re optimizing for phone calls, this is a deadly mistake.
First of all, let’s talk about nailing the offer here. You probably suck at the offer that you’re making. I’m sorry to say this so boldly. But let me give you a few guidelines about how you can find your way to the offer that will work, because the offer that will work is gonna be very different from the offer you think will work, in most situations. What we’re looking for [inaudible 00:14:18] is, number one, we want alignment. So, it has to be aligned with what the visitor expects, and this is typically about keeping promises. Keeping promises made in ads, keeping promises made in links as they carry through your website, in pursuit of a solution.
Emotion. So, as we talked about, there’s segments that could be persuaded to call, there are segments that are going to call, and these folks are gonna be more relationship oriented. So, emotion really can come in to play here, more so than a more stale or logical call to action that just says “Fill out this form,” or “Add to cart.” Making sure that we’re very, very clear on the call to action, and providing value within these calls to action.
So, here’s an example, if I do a search for “in home elder care.” Here we have a great lead generation opportunity, phone calls are very valuable. The result of a successful sale is very expensive, so it has a high average order value. The phone calls are very valuable. “Senior care in your home, care and comfort in your home, complimentary in home assessment.” So we’ve made a promise here. There is a benefit and a very specific call to action, complimentary in home assessment. And we bring them to a page. This is a pretty typical approach for folks generating leads in spaces like this, where they bring you to a directory page, “Call us today.” There is no mention of this complimentary in home assessment, there is no repetition of the care and comfort in your home. It just says, “Call us today.”
The big headline here says, “Full service listing.” There’s a featured testimonial. So, there’s a definite disconnect. There is not a relevance that we have here. These are not aligned. Contrast this with Home Instead Senior Care, “A piece of mind with our high quality care, call in. Austin, Texas.” So this is geo-targeted, very nice. We bring them to a page that says, “Struggling with care for loved ones.” So we’ve mentioned piece of mind previously, this is a little bit more negative approach to this, “struggling with care for a loved one,” but we haven’t just said, “Call us.”
We’ve tied the knot to the ads, and this could be probably even better targeted, and there are probably ads that are a better match for this landing page, but we didn’t just leave the person. “Providing care to Greater Austin, around rocking Georgetown.” So we’ve reiterated that geographical point as well. So, this is a better match, this is a better alignment. Make sure that the pages that you’re bringing traffic into are aligned with the promises that you’re keeping, and that in each step on your website, as people click, you are keeping the promises that you’re making.
Let’s look at another one, Palm Springs, California drug treatment centers. I love the SEO stuff here. “Alcohol rehab programs and dual diagnosis treatment facilities. Comprehensive listings of addiction treatment.” That is our promise. Well, we bring them in here and it brings them to the featured [inaudible 00:17:36]. We didn’t actually ask or talk about Desert Palms treatment, but we brought them to a page in which that appears to be the most important thing.
So, there is a disconnect in the alignment. Up at the top is a great place to place an offer that would tie the alignment together, and so we did a test. We wanted to see which of these calls to action would tie as close as possible to the paid search ads and the organic ads that were bringing people here, the organic listings. “Don’t waste this moment, call now. Recovery is just one phone call away. Healing your family starts with a single phone call. Call now to speak with an addiction treatment professional. Call now for a confidential addiction assessment. And for immediate treatment help, call.”
Now what’s the one thing you’re noticing about all these things? We’re asking them to call in the call to action. Asking them to call in the call to action. In all these situations, a form filler’s a perfectly valid way of moving forward, but we are emphasizing the calls. When we did the test we found out that “For immediate treatment help, call” was the winner.
At some point, I’m gonna illustrate how important it is that the phone number be in the headline. So, we’ve put this in a place where it is front and center. It’s at the top of the page, it is high contrast, large font, bold. This looks like the headline for the page, even though it’s technically a call to action. But this allows us to align what we’re about with the promises we’re making out in ad land and in our organic search listings. Incidentally, to test this, we had to make this a graphic so that the search engines didn’t get different phone numbers and read those.
So, just some tricks there, that if you are testing for phone numbers and you’re placing phone numbers in the headlines, you may find yourself resorting to using graphics instead of text headlines in order to facilitate that and not confuse the search engine on what your phone numbers are. So, this was the winner, and this was a 57% increase in phone calls. Now, I don’t know what you value your phone calls at. We’ve worked with people who value them all the way from $20 to over $350. So, a near half [inaudible 00:19:57] of your phone calls with a simple change to the top of the page is a pretty striking advantage. First thing you should test on your site is putting that phone number in the headline.
So, we talked about alignment. Let’s talk a little bit about emotion. We tested a few headlines as well in this space, the addiction treatment center space, to see if we could lend some emotion. So, this is a little quiz for you. I wish we had done this as a poll actually, Brett. This would have been a lot fun, but I’ll talk through it. Which of these do you think had the most increase or decrease in phone calls? Remember, optimizing phone calls. So, “Can we help? Call” was our control. “Speak with a compassionate rehab specialist, call,” “Ready to start healing? If so, we can help. Call,” or, “Ready to stop lying to yourself about addiction? We can help. Call.”
So, take a moment, pick yours, B, C, or D. You ready? All right, here’s what we found in a split test. “Speak with a compassionate rehab specialist” generated a 32% increase in phone calls. This is huge in this space, the point I made earlier that these phone calls are so valuable. This was an amazing win, and we think that “the compassionate rehab specialist” brought enough emotion in so that these visitors felt more comfortable calling.
“Ready to start healing?” actually reduced the number of calls. This is what we call a conceptual headline, and unfortunately, a lot of us marketers tend towards these things. “A place of new beginnings.” “Ready to start healing?” “Let the breezes of healing flow over you,” or something like this, where we really have to, like art, interpret it in order to extract meaning. So, we are not a fan of these, in most cases. It still makes sense to test one of these, because we do see them occasionally win.
This was the most dangerous one that we tested, and I would say hats off to our client for allowing us to test this. “Are you ready to stop lying to yourself about addiction?” a 43% increase in phone calls. Quite striking. Now, there’s a couple of hypotheses for why this works. First of all, “ready to stop lying to yourself” is a big wake up. It wakes up the bouncers in our brain that filter out the things that are predictable, or familiar. Very rarely…there are probably no other sites you’re gonna go to where the headline’s gonna ask you if you’re ready to stop lying to yourself. And if you know something about addiction specifically, it appeals both to the addict and to the family of the addict because there is a collusion of denial that goes on in these addictive relationships.
Anyway, this was…obviously, we were really pleased with this and this told us, for this client, that emotion really did play an important part and that we should focus on that. So, once we have those calls to action that work for us, we want to make sure we put them in the right places. So, if you look at this as a kind of a wireframe of a typical landing page that we use, we always put the phone number in the upper right. That’s where people look when they want to go.
That first group I talked about [inaudible 00:23:26] we’re going to call no matter what. Great to put it also in the footer. Logo, navigation, hero image, content, typically there is a form to fill out right there at the top of the page. It’s close to the [inaudible 00:23:38 to 00:23:40] as possible, trust symbols that support the purchase, and then this scannable content that allows the user’s headers…I’m sorry, the content headlines and contents of a headline so I can scan through and see what’s going on.
So what we do is, we [inaudible 00:23:58] this a little bit. We take the headline at the top, we use our winning call to action and we make sure that we always have the phone number in the headline. It needs to be big, bold. And it turns out that the uglier it looks, in other words, the higher contrast it is, the more likely it is to be seen. Then we also repeat that about 75% down the page. So, it’ll depend on the design of your page. A lot of these pages are long form content, both for the visitor’s purposes and for SEO. So, if you have a short form content, it may be very close to the bottom, but repeating it is something I would always test, because that person that is scrolling down and reading, is engaged, needs to be reminded that they can take action.
So here’s an example from our treatment center client. You can see here there’s top half of the content. Here’s what the bottom half looks like, there’s a map showing the area. So, here’s our winning call to action. And then we also have this space at the bottom. So, this didn’t lend itself as well to the 75% down the page rule, but this is what we call a dripping pan. Someone who has read all the way to the bottom is probably really interested, and so we want to repeat an offer at the bottom.
Now, we wanted to test the offer at the bottom to see if there was any different call to action. People who are scrolling to the bottom are different, believe it or not, than people who stay at the top. So, “For immediate treatment help,” “Don’t waste this moment” was one of the things we put in there. “Recovery is just one phone call away,” “Stop wasting time,” “Confidential addiction assessment.” We tried a number of things and found out that “For immediate treatment help, call” was again the winner, with a nice 13% increase. So, you know, when you see that your call to action is wining multiple times, you begin to build confidence in that call to action.
So, I think we’ve got the elements here. There’s value there, “immediate treatment help.” There is clarity. We’re not beating around the bush, it is treatment help. There is emotion. Not so much in “For immediate help, call,” but as you saw in other sites, we are able to use emotion more strongly. And then it should be well aligned with the sources of the traffic.
So, now let’s harmonize the elements, which means we want things working together, and we’re gonna kill a few sacred cows here as well. There really are no such things as best practices, there are only good ideas to test, and if you’re not testing then you’re probably copying the worst ideas of your competitors. So, let’s do a little analysis here, too. Those of you that have been optimizing for phone calls, or driving phone calls from the website, let’s see how good your understanding of this element is.
So we’re looking at the form that goes on a page. Now, keep in mind, for this test we are optimizing for phone calls, but we wanted to explore how the form interacted with the visitor. In the first one we have the control. We have a long form asking very probing questions. They’re looking for well-qualified form fills, so they don’t hold back. Everything from your detail information and age, to whether you are involved in legal issues, if you’ve been in rehab before. So, it’s some pretty nasty information. And at the top, it says, “Get help now. Call us toll free, or simply fill out this form, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.” So, even though there’s a form here, this company knew to ask for the phone call, because that’s what they prized.
We did a little variation on this. Now, we didn’t change the form itself, but we just changed the call to action at the top. We changed instead of, “Get help now!” we changed it to, “Get help by calling our rehab helpline.” And the copy under that says, “Remember, it’s better if you call us and take real action.” And this sort of thing was really important, “Take real action right now. However, if something is truly preventing you from calling, then fill out this form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.” So we kind of put this pouty face on like, “If you can’t call us, all right.”
The other thing we wanted to test was, what if we made the form shorter? How would that effect phone calls? Naturally, we would expect a shorter form to be filled out more frequently, and that can have a detrimental effect on phone calls. But if we did this test and found that phone calls remained the same, and we got more form fills, then that’s a win-win as far as we’re concerned. And then of course the obvious one is no form. If we want phone calls, why not just take the forms off? So we thought we would give that a try.
So, pick your winners and losers here, because there are plenty of both. You ready? So, taking the form off, completely taking the form off caused a 56% drop in phone calls. In phone calls. A 56% drop in phone calls, not form fills, because form fills obviously went to zero. That’s a noodle scratcher. If we put a short form on there, phone calls dropped by 67%. This makes sense, of course form fills went through the rough, but not to the tune of 7-to-1. So how about our too long form solutions? Did our test at the top help at all? Yes, it did. Plus 16%. And keep in mind again, this is considered a significant win. And it seems that the uglier and nastier that we make the form, the more our phone calls go up.
So, why is this? Why is it that there has to be a form on the page? It would seem to be a distraction, potential distraction, in order for us to get phone calls. And why does a nasty form increase the number of phone calls? Well, obviously, the form fill, for those who are on the fence, who would call if persuaded, their first and easiest path to resistance is the form. And so, the form is bringing them there and condoling them with this, “Take real action right now,” messaging, and encouraging them to go ahead and pick up the phone. So, it’s almost like a beacon, like an icon, or an image on the screen that draws the eye to the call to action. Here the form is doing that, and it’s providing its own stopping point by looking really nasty and difficult to fill out.
So I’m gonna skip past this one. This is kind of a unique situation. Bear with me, bear with me. We don’t usually do two calls to action. That was a unique one for a particular market segment. So, the other thing I’m gonna do in terms of harmonizing, is using complimentary space to handle parallel objections. Parallel objections. So when someone’s coming, especially on a landing page, we’re gonna [inaudible 00:31:32] primary objections are.
We begin to understand, through our testing, what the big deals are. In the case of treatment centers, we’ve got this page that is working. We got a nice bump by adding the call to action at the top, by adding it at the bottom as well. Over on the right, we’ve got, “Get help now,” and it says, “Click here for help.” So it is a repetition of the call to action, but it’s not one of our winners. It’s just a poor use of this part of the page. Right up there at the top, “Confidential online assessment.”
We knew, from our testing, that finance was a big deal. So, it wasn’t necessarily the first thing that came to people’s mind, but how am I gonna pay for this? As I’m reading through and being convinced that this could save my loved one or save me from my addiction, how do I pay for it? So we put this up there, and we got a 15% lift, simply by addressing this. So, this tells us that to a large percentage of people, this is important to, and if we address it upfront, that 15% more of them are likely to fill out a form, or in this case, call us.
The rule number four is to measure to the money. So we’re not measuring engagement, we are not measuring time on site, we’re not measuring pages visited, we are not measuring click through’s, we want to measure phone calls, and we want to have some way of measuring the quality of those phone calls. So, tracking, doing the testing, calculating the value of the visitors. And Brett, I owe you an apology because I have not yet switched out LogMyCalls, which was one of the founding companies of Convirza.
Brian: I apologize for that. But these are some of the options that you have out there, for measuring phone calls. DialogTech is the marriage of IfbyPhone and Mongoose Metrics. LogMyCalls, did you guys rebrand or was there a merger or an acquisition involved?
Brett: Yeah, so the acquisition of LogMyCalls and CallSource.
Brian: I do know that when you all came out as Convirza, that your feature set significantly increased, and that’s why I asked.
Brian: So, for us, our clients often choose their call tracking systems. Sometimes they’re not workable, you’re going to see some of the moving parts that go on behind the scenes. But what we want to do is, whenever we generate a phone call, it’s best that we can see it in Google analytics, or in Adobe analytics, depending on what you’re using, so we can track behaviors to that phone call. And we need to be able to see which treatments, which of these headlines for instance, is winning how it’s related to all of the other sessions in our database.
So, you saw that we tested six to eight different headlines. The way we did that was, each of those experiences had a different phone number, and a call tracking software tracks that phone number, and allows us to hit a webpage that registers that. So that we did have a phone call generated from that particular headline on that page.
So we can track things like this. And we can even track, down to the keyword, how many visits came from different keywords and what the conversion rates were, and which treatments it was that that keyword converted for. So, with this post call to action configuration, this is a little bit of software that we’ve actually developed, and it helps us assign numbers to treatments, and then do the hard work of making sure that we are getting data back to our A/B testing tool, which is in this case Visual Website Optimizer.
We also work with Optimizely, we work with [inaudible 00:35:37], we work with convert.com. There’s a number of options out there. But we want to make sure that this data gets back to those testing tools so our [inaudible 00:35:45] can be calculated, gets back into our analytics package so we can do post test analysis and see what segments might be effecting things. That’s what this requires. So, when you are selecting your call tracking software, you want to make sure that you are selecting software that has an integration with these other tools, as many as possible.
So, for those of you that are geeks, this is some of the code that we use to push the information. We’re gonna pick the test, we’re going to push the phone number, the result of that, and then the redirection URL is what is used to take the visitor and say, “Thank you very much.” Basically, the visitor calls, and their browser is redirected in some of these situations, so that they see a thank you page while they’re on the phone with the person.
So, the other thing about this is, we want to make sure that we have some metrics on the call quality. So, are we still closing as many clients who are calling? One of the metrics that we use is call duration. So, if the call is really short, if it’s a 30-second or a minute call, it’s probably an unqualified, someone who’s dialing and had the wrong idea. So, that’s one of the ways we can use it. If you’re able to integrate with Convirza, they’re actually doing voice analysis and text analysis, looking for certain keywords that are markers of a call, and they can actually give you a score.
So you have very, very accurate and in-depth knowledge of how your inquiries are going to decrease in the qualities of your scores. Because we don’t want to just flood the call center with a bunch of blah calls, and say, “Look at all the phone calls we generated.” Ultimately, we want to generate a revenue.
Finally, master mobile. Now, you’re gonna be surprised about this, but mobile phones actually have phones in them. So, if phone calls are important, then mobile phones are amazing. And I will tell you this, for the clients that we optimize for phone calls, their mobile traffic convert significantly higher than their desktop traffic, across the board, including both form fills and phone calls. So, think about that. Their mobile traffic, definitely in every site we’ve ever approached where they had a lot of mobile traffic, or not a lot of mobile traffic, it always converted significantly lower than desktop and tablet. For phone calls, that is unacceptable. Your mobile sites should convert higher. And in fact, as much as 2X higher.
So, when we were talking about carrying the five rules to the mobile site, we’re talking about responsive websites, responsive works. But not just responsive, [inaudible 00:38:47], the sticky calls to action, and how you can leverage your menus. So, here is the site we’ve been looking at. We’ll carry the five rules over to the mobile site, and what we found on this particular site was that our call to action disappeared, because it was an image.
So, what we did is we added it back in, “For immediate treatment help, call.” Twenty-six percent increase in mobile phone calls. Ta-da! Was that so hard? So, all you have to do is carry the things that are working on desktop over. This is the first round. Now, don’t get too excited because not everything that works on desktop is going to work on mobile, and in fact, a lot of things are not.
So, responsive websites. This is the desktop site for another treatment center’s company that we optimized, and if you look at it on the phone, this is what it looked like. So, this is not particularly mobile friendly. We figured, well, why don’t we test it? If we took the time to go to a responsive website, would that increase our phone calls? And so we took this page here, and we responsived [SP] it.
Here’s another example of a responsive website. We’ve got the phone number here. As you saw, the call to action is gone. There’s no CTA. This also gave us a 19% drop, just by simply removing that CTA, and we are very sad about that. A very simple thing to do is go ahead and code your phone numbers, as tel [SP] links because the browsers do a spotty job of automatically listing them. Most browsers will attempt to spot a phone number, make it clickable, and then allow you to call. You should explicitly go in and use the [inaudible 00:41:24] colon syntax necessary to make that stand out on the browser as a clickable phone call. Just doing that, not leaving it to the browser, gave us a 20% increase in calls for this particular test.
We also recommend sticky calls to action. So, people are scrolling like crazy on mobile phones, so we like to have a sticky call to action so that when they finally get the information they’re looking for or they get tired of scrolling around, they can click and begin a phone conversation. So, this just illustrates how this sticky header sticks, regardless of how far you scroll. We recommend testing header, we recommend testing footer. Just a number of things in these sticky headers. You can adjust the menu, making the menu available. You can test search for the directory portion of the website where they’re looking for a location, etc. But just making this call to action sticky and available [inaudible 00:42:26], gave us a 9% increase in calls.
Here’s another place you might consider: Adding the phone number to the menu. This is a terrible and very distracting menu design, but all we had to do was make the phone number one of the menu choices, and we got an 11% increase in phone calls. Can you see how doing this over and over, 10% here, 11% there, 19% there, plus finding the right call to action where you’re seeing 20, 30, 40% increases in conversion rate is having this incredible impact on the number phone calls that the website is generating?
So, we are coming up…maybe we’ve gone a little long. Let me review very quickly for you. Those people who are committed to phone calls value them as much as 7X form fills. The way to get to double the number of calls you’re getting, is to nail the offer, put it in the right places on the page, harmonize all the elements, and sub calls to action, make sure you’re measuring to the money so you know you’re getting quality calls, and don’t rely on your responsive website, it’s going to be a customized effort.
Take you back through this. We found the offer that was a 57% increase. We harmonized the elements for a 17% increase. Fifteen percent by making the side bar call, putting something at the bottom. The right call to action at bottom gave us 13%. Just on these few things for the site, obviously we’ve been working on this for a while, we’ve more than doubled their conversion rates, and it’s been very, very profitable for them. We are for hire. So, if you are dedicated to phone calls, our promise is this: work with us for the six months during our conversion catalyst process, we’re gonna find enough phone calls and form fills, not only to pay for our services, put a lot more money in your pocket.
It’s going to be a no-brainer for you to keep working with us after that six months. You can call us directly at this number, or you can email me, firstname.lastname@example.org. We also, obviously, have ways for you to interact with us on our website. So, if you’re one of those people that just isn’t going to call and isn’t going to email, visit our site and fill out one of the forms. So, Brett, that’s all I’ve got.
Brett: Great. Thank you, Brian. Appreciate it. That was great. I’ve got a couple of questions that have been in queue here for a while, that I think we’ll kind of quickly go over and we can answer. The first answer is, and this is one I get a lot also, is with call tracking. STO is so important with consistent [inaudible 00:45:11], name, address, and phone number across the web. How do we prevent negative impact of different phone numbers in place for call tracking?
Brett: Yeah, I think that answers it. Any call tracking provider, or anyone that knows what they’re doing, will use, we call dynamic number insertion which does that. It swaps the number out, and so you’re not gonna have negative effects on SEOs. So, I think that should answer that question. The next question was, in California, you must have an alert to let a caller know that the call is being recorded. There’s some service that only tracks times of calls without recording. I can answer that with Convirza, yes, there is.
That’s a pretty basic service. Any call tracking provider will allow you to turn on or off call recording, and any of them will let you also play a disclaimer at the beginning of the call that would say, “This call may be recorded or monitored for quality assurance,” and that would be complying. You could report the calls. So, you still can record in California, you just need the disclaimer, which most call tracking providers would have that. So, I think that would answer that question. This one was here, they just missed the results of the long or short form. I think the results was that the long form was better, correct?
Brian: The long or short form. Let me just jump back to that. Is it this one?
Brett: Yeah. Yeah, I think so. I think that’s the one she’s referring to.
Brian: Yeah. So, the long forms performed the best, and having the right call to action at the top gave us a 16% increase. And we’re optimizing for calls here, not form fills.
Brett: All right. That other question I have here, “My business is a tour company. Do you have data on the effect of calls with book online features?”
Brian: Book online features. We did do a site redesign with a company that booked golf tours in Scotland. So, groups that wanted to go [inaudible 00:48:32] classic courses in Scotland. They also valued phone calls but had the online booking capability. Ultimately, that was a great custom item. I don’t have any specific travel industry or hospitality industry data, to tell you the truth, and I suspect it would be very different, in a lot of ways, from, like, addiction treatment centers as one area that we focus on, universities.
So, I think my answer is no, I don’t have information on that. But the processes that we’ve used here, the five rules, applied to a hospitality website are gonna guide you to the right direction, and help you understand what that combination of… Because part of what you’re doing is understanding the size of your segments. So, the segment that will call, that wants to call, that just can’t book a tour without speaking to a person, might be bigger or smaller in your universe, depending on your geography and what you’re offering.
Likewise, the size of that persuadable segment, that would call if given a good reason, but also would fill out the forms or go through the booking process, we want to find out how big that is. So, as you go through and apply these five rules, you’re essentially understanding the sizes of these different segments.
We have been working with a resort in Hawaii, and one of the things we found is that, if you have a static third party booking engine, your hands are a bit tied. So it becomes really, really important if you can’t optimize this third party tool, because it’s really important that you take your destiny in your own hands and that you try to get folks who are going to call, that persuadable segment, make sure that you are getting them to call because that’s when you can take things into your own hands. The mistakes or the generalizations that your booking engine is making would have less impact on your bottom line. So, I hope that’s helpful. I wish I had some specific data for you on calls versus booking online. Talk to us in about six more months and we will have that information.
Brett: I’ve worked with quite a few online travel companies, and all these principles would apply directly where we see great results. In that industry, we work quite a bit in it. So, I don’t know if that helps. The next question is, have you ever tested the effects of latency on web response?
Brain: Latency on web response. So, I wonder if they’re talking about… So there’s two issues here. Number one is, if my page loads more slowly, will that increase or decrease my phone calls? The answer is that, in general…well, so there is an area of load times for your industry, and it’s different for each category of audience, for which it won’t make a difference. Above which, you’ll have a significant drop in conversion rate because you’ll see a higher bounce rate, or a higher exit percentage based on the slow line.
You kind of have to test your way to what that is, but the rule of thumb, you’re always gonna be safest if you work to reduce that. Sorry about that noise. You’re always gonna be safest if you work to reduce that. So you’re more likely to have an increase in conversion rate in this lower area. And whether the difference between two seconds and three seconds, you might find that three seconds actually converts more than two seconds. But once you cross above a certain threshold, then you really start to shoot yourself in the foot. Does that make sense?
Brett: Yeah, that makes sense.
Brain: Yeah, so, optimize. Get your page loading as quickly as possible, certainly remove any arbitrary…you know, like, if you’ve got some old code on there that’s trying to hit a CDN for a resource that’s not there anymore, and it’s just waiting and it’s holding up the page, then get rid of that stuff. I recommend webpagetest.org. There’s a fantastic analysis of your pages, what each element is costing, which of those elements is actually impacting the load times, and gives you a grade A through F on first by load time, overall load time, use of CDNs, and several four, five categories of information. So, webpagetest.org. Great resource for improving the performance of your pages.
Brett: Okay. All right, another question we have here. Do you have a success story with a tech company product?
Brian: A tech company product? It depends on what you mean by that. So there are two broad categories for that. There’s a business to business tech product, which has a long sales cycle, and generally involves a sales rep, and series of phone calls, lots of stakeholders involved in the decision making process, and this is a huge opportunity always missed by these companies. So, we don’t work with a lot of these companies because the long sales cycle makes it more difficult for us to optimize the website. And they don’t seem to value the phone calls as much as they should.
We’ve taken a couple of them through the sales process, through the math of really what is a phone call worth versus a form fill. Most of the marketers are incentivized to increase form fills, leads that go into the CRM from the website with no one interfacing with them. But when they do the math and they see how valuable the phone calls are, they’re rolled back and they’re like, “Oh my gosh, I just don’t know if we can…you know, if we hire you guys and you set the phones on fire, will our sales people be able to handle the calls?”
So, for them, the issue is usually that fear of getting too many phone calls, which seems like the right problems to have. You can staff for those as you start to see how well you can increase your phone calls. The others is technology products that are sold, [inaudible 00:54:49], and that really depends on the product and the make. With technology products, you generally get a savvier visitor. They are generally more interested in taking care of transactions on their phones and things.
So, they’re a little bit more challenge or a little bit lower emphasis on making the phone ring. But if you’ve got a long sales cycle and a sales person involved in the process, you are probably way under valuing your phone calls and could be really knocking it out of the park by emphasizing those, and taking some chances. See if you can generate the phone calls, and if your staff can handle that. So, I hope that answers the question.
Brett: I think that does. And I’ll echo that. We’re a tech company that’s B2B and we use…of course, drink our own Kool-Aid, and inbound phone calls are leading marketing source for new sells.
Brian: Yeah, and to give you an idea, we’re a relatively small business but we do a lot of stuff like this online. Sales phone calls still come to me. They’re that important to us. So, if it’s coming through to the sales line, it comes directly to me. So, call our sales line, you’ll get to talk to me directly.
Brett: Yeah, definitely, B2B, it can work. But you’re thinking outside the box. Traditionally, people don’t do it. All right, I think that wraps up everything else, all the questions that I had. Brian, we really appreciate all of your time. And your presentation, it was great. We had a lot of positive feedback here in the questions, saying [inaudible 00:56:30].
Brian: I can’t wait to read it. Thanks very much.
Brett: And so, like I said, the recording will be sent out. So, look for an email, or you can go to our website. And then if you have any other further questions, feel free to email us back and we can answer those for you. So, thanks for everyone that attended, and we’ll talk with you next week.
Brian: Thanks, everybody. Thanks for coming.
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