How to Choose Call Tracking Software

Jul 15, 2013
How to Choose Call Tracking Software

Call tracking software helps you measure and analyze phone leads that come from any channel, including web and offline advertising. The web has a lot articles about what call tracking is, but not many on how to choose the right call tracking software for your business.

Recent research concluded that 63% of web-related purchases happen offline. This means that customers who start their research on the web or click on online ads often turn to phone calls to make their purchases. Supporting evidence includes the fact that publishing phone numbers on the site increases overall sales conversion.

Plenty of tools can help you understand a visitor’s behavior online, but when the visitor picks up a phone to call the number published on your site, you lose the trail. This is where call tracking comes to rescue.

Why should you care about call tracking?

The more you know about customers’ behavior, the better you can react. Suppose you run a campaign involving ads on TV, radio, print, Facebook, and Google. How do you measure the effectiveness of each channel? How do you figure out what channels are most valuable for you?

A web-based analytics tool can’t measure the ROI of offline ads (TV, radio, print), and even with online channels, it can only account for clicks. Phone-based leads drop into a black hole. You need a solution that works in conjunction with web analytics software to generate complete analytics for your advertising campaign.

What is call tracking?

Call tracking software measures the number and quality of leads generated by all the channels in your advertising campaign — both online and offline — by assigning a unique phone number to each campaign and making a phone call the most prominent call to action.

Call Tracking Flow

With this model, every lead in the campaign is accounted for. The call tracking software usually integrates with a web analytics tool such as Google Analytics or Mixpanel that lets you view browsing data for a caller.

Call Tracking Graph

How to choose the best call tracking software for your business

When evaluating call tracking software, don’t fall for a slick interface or low prices without considering eight important behind-the-curtain factors.

1. Number coverage

Call tracking involves publishing unique phone numbers across all your campaigns. If you’re targeting a global market for your advertising, you must make sure the service provider you choose offers phone numbers of the type you use in the country of your choice.

Plivo, for instance, offers local, toll-free, and short code numbers in 50 countries on six continents.

2. Dynamic number generation

A call tracking application should be able to generate numbers dynamically for your campaigns. This means that, if you drop JavaScript code in your pages (like a Google Analytics tag), the code itself should be able to show preset phone numbers based on the URL of the page, as defined in the software. Don’t do it manually — you’d have to spend a lot of time assigning numbers to pages, and that doesn’t scale beyond a few campaigns. Also, assigning numbers to various pages manually may lead to errors if you make a mistake.

3. Integration with third-party services

It’s easier to derive deeper insights about phone leads when you integrate call tracking software with other tools you use within your organization. For example, integrating call tracking software with a web analytics tool can give you insights about a caller’s browsing history on the site; integrating with a CRM tool can help you understand the entire sales cycle of an offline lead. Ease of integration with other tools is thus an important factor to consider.

4. Customization flexibility

Every business is different in the way it uses data. The way you want to use call tracking data for your business may differ from how others do. For example, if you want to trigger a certain real-time action for your sales representatives (such as screen pops or CRM database lookups) when a call comes in and that action isn’t built in to the software, you should be able to code it using the service provider’s API. The ability to customize the application plays an important role in how you make good use of the insights generated.

5. Uptime and reliability

Once you choose a call tracking solution, all of your customer calls will go through that service provider’s infrastructure, so the solution should be able to promise high uptime and call quality. Without them, you’ll lose leads and lose credibility among prospective customers.

6. Call recordings and transcriptions

Call recordings and transcriptions can provide a wealth of information about your prospective customers and their needs. Over time, you should be able to spot patterns in the way prospective customers enquire about your products, and the terminology they use to communicate pain points and the like. You can feed this information back into the system to fine-tune your marketing copy and your advertising strategy.

Call recordings can also help you learn how your sales representatives handle calls so you can provide feedback as required.

7. Detailed analytics

Your call tracking solution should cover you on basic analytics such as caller ID, call time and date, caller location, call source, call duration, and caller details. These details should be available in real time. You should also be able to derive insights from historical data such as information on repeat callers and patterns on call volumes and call duration, which can help in optimizing your marketing strategy.

8. Affordability

Cost becomes an important factor to consider when your campaign size increases and call volumes pick up. Since each of your incoming sales calls goes through the call tracking system, you should choose a solution that offers the best rates for calling minutes and phone numbers. Phone number costs matter because when you start scaling your campaigns you could be buying a lot of phone numbers.

It’s all about conversion

What gets measured gets managed. If you’ve held off on doing offline advertising for the lack of a data-driven approach in the model, call tracking is the way to go. Measure your leads. Understand your offline prospects. Increase conversions. If you don’t measure, you may find yourself repeating John Wanamaker’s quote: “I know half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”

call tracking

Want to improve your ad leads conversion? Get started with call tracking with Plivo and take your business intelligence to the next level.

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