Call Tracking is one of those business tools that a lot of business owners just don't understand. Let's start with a basic definition; Call Tracking is the use of specific, unique, telephone numbers in a company's marketing/advertising efforts that will help determine what is working and what is not.
- I just want the phone to ring; all calls are the same. Really? Some of your marketing efforts could be generating a large number of customer service or unsolicited sales calls. These are less likely to result in new customers so you would need this information to first tweak your marketing campaigns in reducing these types of calls and secondly when calculating or comparing the Return On Investment ("ROI") across multiple marketing campaigns.
- I already know how people find my phone number. If you ask your customer "how did you find us" you are betting on their memory, setting aside that you are relying on your staff to remember to ask and write down the answers correctly. Where did your last 5 calls come from? From your Yellow Page print ad? A Google Maps search? A brochure from a recent trade show? A Microsoft AdCenter pay per call campaign? Are you absolutely sure?
- I don't want to confuse people with different phone numbers. This is probably the most commonly used response for a business owner hesitant to implement a call tracking solution. What are the phone numbers of the last 5 businesses that called you? Can you recite more than 5 people in your cell phone's contact list? Generally speaking, people do not memorize phone numbers any more. When your customers need you, they will find your phone number.
- The people that answer my phones don't care where the calls come from. Many businesses have adopted a "whisper message" strategy to help personalize responses from your sales staff. If your sales person knew in advance that a call was coming in from a particular promotion, such as a brochure handed out at a particular trade show with a 15% discount, your sales people may be able to pick up some extra business by customizing their sales responses or pitches to the specific ad generating that call.
- I don't think the extra investment in call tracking will yield any return. This is probably the single largest misconception heard today. If you are already spending money on pay-per-call advertising, search engine optimization or any other form of advertising, then spending a small percentage in proper analysis of the phone calls will make your paid campaigns more effective. One OK Telephone client was running several Google Adwords campaigns which collectively were generating a significant number of telephone calls. However, once call tracking was implemented it was quickly realized that one campaign was generating a large number of clicks but very few calls. In fact, each call was costing the company over $250. With this information the business owner was able to stop that particular ad campaign and allocate the monies to the other Google Adwords campaign. The Result: more overall calls AND less total cost spent on all the pay-per-call campaigns.
- Google/Bing/Yahoo/etc. don't like call tracking numbers so my ranking suffers. It is certainly true, or at least it appears to be, that if you use multiple numbers on your website it can confuse maximization of ranking given search engines rely on the Name, Address and Phone number ("NAP") of your business in their ranking algorithms. If your SEO or website company hard codes your call tracking number into your website, then you could run the risk of confusing Google. However, OK Telephone provides a tool that can be used in attaching as many call tracking numbers to a website or landing page without having to hard-code them - OK Tel Dynamic Track. There are a couple of solutions to deal with ensuring a call tracking number will work with the major search engines. Call us to find out how.
- I already get call data statistics from my advertising or marketing company. There is nothing wrong, generally speaking, to rely on a marketing company to draft and implement all of your advertising including both online and offline media. Some advertising agencies are fairly transparent in the reporting they provide. However, there are a number of drawbacks in doing this. Many marketing or advertising agencies charge a significant premium to provide the call metrics as in most cases; this service is outsourced to another company. One OK Telephone client saved thousands of dollars annually by simply opting out of the reporting component of his advertising contract and providing his own call tracking numbers. Whoever controls the telephone numbers controls the advertising. A business owner who does not "own" a call tracking number is potentially at risk contracting to a higher priced service when a lower option may be available. ALWAYS ensure you have complete control of the telephone numbers you use in your advertising.