Call Tracking Systems for Your Internet Marketing Campaigns

Posted by Gary Gorelik - July 12, 2011 - Analytics - 4 Comments

Though it is easy to get deluded in the online virtual world, the fact of the matter is that the physical reality overpowers everything. The goal of any and all online marketing campaigns being conducted is to increase conversions, leads or any other measurable form of success. For some types of businesses, an online marketing strategy may be able to direct visits to their website, but due to the nature of their service, their leads may prefer to call the company directly rather than fill out an online form. In these circumstances, businesses need a way to track their incoming phone calls in order to gauge the success of their marketing campaigns. This article will describe the four call tracking systems that help businesses monitor their Internet marketing success.

Manual Tracking

The simplest method with very minimal upfront costs (you just need a customer service representative and a phone) is to ask your potential client how they found you. The majority of all websites have a “Contact” link on their website through which users can access the company’s phone number and call them to get more information about a product or service. But how many of you as a business owner or employee monitor your phone calls? How many of you ask your potential client how they found you? Even if you do ask them these questions and they answer you with a substantive answer, such as on a Search Engine; do you take it one step further and ask them which keyword they typed to find you? The unfortunate reality is that many of them won’t remember.  This is an extremely crucial piece of data that you need to know if you wish to determine whether your online advertising is successful. Remember, people these days are very busy and want information right away. They don’t want to wait for a reply after filling out a form. It is easier and quicker for many to call and get the answers they want immediately.

Manual Tracking plus a set of phone numbers

There are a few different approaches one can take to tackle the issue of tracking calls. The most hectic method is by manually coding in different phone numbers on various landing pages of your website or within the different channels of your marketing campaign. For example, if you have a product page and a client calls your regarding a product, you would have to write down the phone number and the time that the person called.  You would then have to collect information based on how the client found you. Did they find you by referral, advertisement and/or search engine? If, search engine what keyword did they type to find you?

Multiple Phone Numbers

1-800-xxx-0001, 1-800-xxx-0002, … , 1-800-xxx-000n

One of the most widely-used methods is the automated and dynamic call number generator that presents a unique phone number on a given page of a website. These numbers are generated based on different mediums, such as traffic source, campaigns or even keywords. These softwares and systems have the ability to be linked with well known industry Analytics tool such as Google Analytics or Omniture. The biggest concern with this type of implementation is the amount and variations of different phone numbers.  This brings up issues of branding your phone number and the reliability of prospects using the same number to call in with.

One Phone Number plus Unique Codes

Another method that has also been started to use considering its cost effectiveness, is by placing a tracker code, similar to Google Analytics, and reference key. These trackers interlinked with analytic systems like Google Analytics can enable you to monitor the number of calls that were generated and view complete data that is readily available within the interface, such as time spent on the site to the keyword that generated the traffic.

Every software or system has different types of features available to target different types of businesses. Below are a few well-known call tracking system providers that we decided to showcase:

AvidTrak

  • AvidTrak has been rated as the #1 Call Tracking Software & System by Top SEOs
  • Provides phone call conversion tracking for offline print media, and online Internet banner ads, pay per click and other search engine marketing campaigns
  • Starting price of $3.50 per telephone number per month
  • Per minute toll charges range from 5.5 cents to 8.5 cents depending on the call volume

Mongoose Metrics

  • Offers 2 primary solutions: the AccuTrack 1:1 and the AccuTrack Session
  • ·         AccuTrack 1:1 is for organizations that want to integrate phone numbers into offline marketing campaigns, and for those looking for a high-level understanding of what online marketing initiatives drive phone conversions
  • The AccuTrack Session incorporates all features of the AccuTrack 1:1 alongside the ability to track and record granular details about individual callers, such as keyword searched and last URL visited
  • Starting price is $100/month

IfByPhone

  • ·         Call tracking features are divided into 4 primary products, namely the SourceTrak™ Basic, SourceTrak™ Dynamic, SourceTrak™ Dynamic Groups, SourceTrak™ Session
  • Pricing is explicitly separated into 3 packages – Basic monthly fees is $49.95 whereas the Complete package charges $74.95 per month
  • Per minute toll charges range from 3.5 cents to 7.9 cents depending on the call volume per month

REF:CODE Analytics

  • Call tracking analytics tool that is best suited for small to mid-sized businesses
  • REF:CODE Analytics uses a reference key so you don’t need to change your phone numbers or display new ones
  • Fully integratable with Google Analytics letting you track goals and comparing website visitor experience of online leads to direct calls, as well as extract analytics reports for specific dates and traffic sources
  • Full website visitor history is recorded
  • Currently in Beta mode so the tool is totally free to use

Depending on your company’s budget and the volume of phone calls that it receives, one may want to start looking into manually tracking phone calls in the initial phases of the marketing campaign. As your business expands and grows, you may want to upgrade to a service that caters better towards the volume of calls you receive. Ensure that thorough research is conducted before opting for any service and find out what they specifically offer and how they can help your corporate in particular. At the end of all this, your primary goal is to find out where your clients found you and whether or not your marketing strategies are working. Once determined, you are well set for making strategic marketing decisions for your businesses, based off the quantitative data that you now possess.

Have you had any experience with any call tracking systems? We would love to hear your thoughts and methods through which your business has been able to track calls metrics.

About the Author

Gary Gorelik

Gary Gorelik is an Internet Marketer at 9th sphere, a website design Toronto firm that was recently voted #1 in Toronto for their SEO services. He enjoys researching and writing about various internet marketing topics particularly related to search engine optimization & social media.