Call tracking software records information about incoming telephone calls, and in some regions even the conversation. Call tracking is a technology which can enable the pay per call, pay per minute or pay per lead business model, allowing the tracking of phone calls to be associated with performance-based advertising such as Google AdWords, SEO Services, Display and Electronic Direct Marketing, and supplying additional analytic information about the phone calls themselves. Call tracking is a method of performance review for advertising and/or staff. It is based on the technological possibility of measuring the behavior of callers and is thus the equivalent in telephony to the conversion tracking used on the internet. Via different channels, both procedures offer the opportunity of clearly assigning a customer response to a specific advertising medium.
Call tracking may record:
- The digital marketing source of the call (Pay per click, Organic search, referral traffic etc)
- What number has called
- The geographical location of a caller, if available
- The time distribution of incoming calls
- Recording of the phone call
This information can be used to generate reports such as, amongst others:
- Caller names and addresses (if a database relating numbers to names and addresses is available)
- Postal code summary
- Missed calls
- Call summaries (e.g., hourly, daily)
- Details of repeat and unique callers
- Analysis of frequency of calls by city and area code, if available
An application of call tracking is to monitor the effectiveness of advertising campaigns by comparing tracking reports before and after.
There are currently four technological methods for telephone tracking. Besides an exclusively web-based function, it is possible to evaluate call numbers using a telephone server solution. In addition, there are a few software providers who support advertisers in telephone tracking.
The call-back function is exclusively web-based. Here, the internet user provides a phone number on the website of a company that is advertising at which he/she can be called back. As soon as the user confirms she wants to be contacted with a click of the mouse, the technology behind this automatically sets up a telephone conversation between the advertiser and the interested party.
Callback is often automated through the use of web callback or mobile phone applications.
Call number tracking
Unlike the call-back procedure, call number tracking does not include any web-based functions but is based on a telephone server solution. As a rule, advertisers are provided a multitude of service numbers for customer feedback, where landline numbers can also be used. This enables each print ad, each online banner and any number of other advertising media to communicate an individual phone number as a response element.
Dynamic Call Tracking
Dynamic call tracking works similarly to Google Analytics but has additional software that allows websites to dynamically swap phone numbers presented to each user when the website loads. This is known as dynamic call tracking. In essence, providers for this type of service supply users with software that is placed on their website which controls what numbers are shown to users on the site. there are two main methods of Dynamic Call Tracking:
- Channel based tracking
- Unique session tracking
Channel based tracking allows businesses to capture information on call sources down to the marketing channel, such as AdWords, Bing Ads, Organic and Referral Traffic etc. This provides a breakdown of the source of the call but does not provide particular information about the web session (if the call is from an online marketing source). This method involves assigning a particular number for a particular source of the web session.
Unique session tracking tracks down to each user session on a website, by pooling numbers and allocating each web session a number for a period of time, also known as dynamic number insertion. This allows web-tracking software to accurately link each call to a web session if it results in a call being made to the number shown. The data which can be drawn from this method can be:
- Marketing Source
- Marketing Medium
- Marketing Campaign
- Landing page
- Conversion Page
- Experiments (if A/B Split Testing)
- Device Type
- IP Address Location
- UTM Parameters
This provides a much more rounded data-set for marketing purposes and can be integrated with industry standard software such as CRM Systems, AdWords, Google Analytics etc.
Static Number Tracking
Static number tracking allows marketers to assign an individual phone number to online and traditional marketing sources such as Newspaper, Radio, Television, Billboards and other mediums of delivery for marketing materials. It differs from session based tracking as software cannot be run to dynamically replace the numbers for each viewer, however, this is useful for marketing purposes.
- Alex Michael & Ben Salter (2007). Marketing Through Search Optimization: How People Search and How to Be Found. Butterworth-Heinemann. p. 160. ISBN 978-0-7506-8347-0. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
- "Are Phone Call Leads An Untapped Resource For Marketers?". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-01-08.
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- Search Engine Land Column - 4 Ways Post-Call Conversation Analytics Demonstrate Intent & Validate Conversions
- Marketing Land Column - 5 Tips For Integrating Calls With Digital Marketing Optimization Solutions
- Sydney Morning Herald article - Mobile revolution prompts evolution of marketing analytics