For testing purposes, Convirza recently began conducting mobile click-to-call campaigns for some of our call tracking clients.
A test with a franchisee-owned Holiday Inn Express found that Google measures click-to-call campaigns with less than 50% accuracy.
Objective: Drive calls to the front desk of the Holiday Inn Express. These calls generate revenue for Holiday Inn Express and provide valuable mobile marketing tests and call analytics for Convirza.
Strategy: Purchase pay-per-call ads using Google AdWords Call Extensions. Rather than using the hotel’s phone number as the call extension for the mobile PPC ads, Convirza provided local phone numbers. These numbers were routed to the hotel. This allowed Convirza to gather call analytics data.
Tactics: Convirza spent $10,000 dollars on click-to-call (CTC) mobile ads over a two- week period. These ads contained phrases like ‘Book Now’ or ‘Call Now to Book a Room.’ The call extensions (the tap-able phone numbers) were local numbers provided by Convirza and routed directly to the hotel.
Results: Google billed Convirza for 1,848 calls generated via click-to-call. This means that 1,848 people tapped the phone number in the ad. Google billed for each and all of these taps because it believes they are actual phone calls. Thus we were billed for 1,848 phone calls.
However, our call analytics platform found that only 896 calls (48.3%) were actually completed (rang at the hotel). Again, less than half of the 1,848 calls for which we were billed were actually calls. The rest were either mistaken clicks or abandoned calls.
Only 278 calls (15%) were actually qualified leads (i.e. people looking for a hotel room). The rest were wrong numbers, people asking questions about future reservations or just random phone calls from odd people.
And 185 calls (10%) ended in a room reservation.
There are several takeaways from this pay-per-call experiment
1) Had we relied on Google AdWords for data alone, our CPL, CPA and even CPC would have been badly skewed. Fortunately we used our call analytics tool, Convirza, to provide accurate data.
2) If we had used the standard business phone number and not a call tracking phone number we would have had vastly different analytics. This data would have led to incorrect decisions about ad optimization, ad copy, and even the entire pay-per-call model Google offers. Our assumptions would have been incorrect and our future decisions about marketing spend would have been based on incorrect data.
3) The campaign was still a success. We nearly doubled our marketing spend immediately.
Most marketers would gladly take those results.
4) Use a call tracking number when you conduct mobile click-to-call advertising. There is simply no other way to get clean data.
There is no downside. You have to use some phone number as the call extension in Google AdWords. Why not use one that will give you rich call analytics data?