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What Is Call Tracking and How Does it Work?

Derek Andersen Senior Content & SEO Specialist, DialogTech

As the leader in call tracking for marketers, we’ve received thousands of questions through our website, in person, and of course over the phone. Interested in learning more about call tracking for marketers? We’ve compiled answers to some of the most common call tracking questions below.

What Is Call Tracking?

Call tracking is a form of marketing analytics technology. Fundamentally, call tracking solutions help businesses and agencies measure how their digital advertising, website, and offline marketing drive inbound calls and detect the quality and conversion outcome of those calls at scale. Marketers can use insights from call tracking to optimize media spend and website performance to generate the highest number of qualified phone leads at the lowest CPL (cost per lead).

DialogTech's call tracking solution shows how many conversions each marketing source drives

View how many calls each of your marketing sources is driving

How Does Call Tracking Work?

Call tracking works by assigning unique trackable phone numbers to each of your marketing sources. These phone numbers capture data from the calls, allowing you understand how many calls each of your marketing sources is driving and basic demographic information about who each caller is. If your call tracking solution is equipped with AI, you can also capture insights regarding the quality, urgency, and conversion outcome of each call.

These trackable phone numbers can be set up in one of two ways:

  1. 1-to-1 Call Tracking: A call tracking solution generates unique phone numbers you can assign to your offline ads, content, direct mail, or other marketing efforts. You can then track the call volume coming in to each of these unique numbers to understand the performance of each source.
  2. Dynamic Number Insertion (DNI): DNI works by placing a piece of JavaScript code on your website. Whenever someone visits your site, the code dynamically replaces the phone number on each page with a unique trackable phone number tied to each visitor, how they found you, and their session. When they call, call tracking captures complete attribution data on the call and the caller and makes it available for marketers to view in DialogTech reports. This technology is ideal for attributing calls from digital advertising, SEO, and website interactions.

Why Should I Use Call Tracking?

The results of digital advertising campaigns are easy to quantify — when everything is online. However, digital campaigns become murkier when inbound calls come into play. Many marketers struggle to connect the online and offline customer journey to not only prove the full ROI of their efforts, but to know how to best invest their marketing budget to generate the most customers at the lowest CPL. This is especially problematic in industries where calls are the most effective revenue generator.

By tracking calls and conversations from each marketing channel, you can understand the full results of your campaigns and optimize your spend to drive more conversions at a lower cost. You can also more accurately determine the next best actions for caller — such as what (if any) retargeting or lookalike campaign to put them in.  As a result, you’ll be able to more effectively allocate your marketing spend to drive revenue.

What Data Can Call Tracking Solutions Capture?

Some call tracking solutions simply measure the volume of phone calls each of your marketing sources is driving. However more robust solutions, like DialogTech, transcribe and analyze each call, providing deep insights about the conversations at scale. 

Below are some of the insights DialogTech can capture from inbound calls:

  • The channel, campaign, ad group, keyword, and webpage that drove the call
  • The device the caller used to engage with your marketing
  • The day and time the call
  • The caller’s name
  • The caller’s phone number
  • The geographic location they called from
  • If they’re a new or repeat caller
  • If the call was answered
  • If the call went to voicemail
  • How long the caller waited on hold
  • If the caller abandoned the call
  • The duration of the call
  • If it was a sales or appointment opportunity
  • What products or services the caller expressed interest in
  • The call’s lead score, on a scale of 1 to 10, based on the conversation
  • If the caller is looking to make a purchase soon
  • If the call resulted in a sale or appointment
  • If a CX issue occurred on the call
DialogTech's call tracking solution records and transcribes each phone call

DialogTech automatically transcribes inbound phone calls and analyzes the transcriptions with AI

Is it Possible to See Data on Callers at the Time of the Call?

The short answer: yes. Some call tracking solutions can pass information on the caller and marketing source that drove the call to the location or agent before connecting them in conversation. Knowing a caller’s online activity before a call helps agents deliver a more seamless experience and tailor the conversation to win the sale. 

This information is usually provided in one of two ways:

  1. On your laptop or desktop: For agents in front of their computers, data on each inbound call can be displayed in a pop-up on their monitors. If your business uses a CRM system like Salesforce or a call center solution like Genesys or Amazon Connect, that data can be displayed within those platforms as well.
  2. Via a voice message: For agents at store locations, working remotely, or answering calls away from their laptops, information on the call can be relayed via an automated whisper message. The message can also ask agents if they want to accept the call before being connected in conversation.

Can I Integrate Call Tracking Data with Google Analytics?

Yes. You can also integrate your call tracking data with other popular solutions like Google Ads, DoubleClick, Salesforce, Facebook, Adobe Experience Cloud, Genesys, and more. Adding call data to your existing martech stack   enables them to measure and optimize the entire customer journey — online and over the phone — which significantly increases their effectiveness and value to marketers.

DialogTech's call tracking solution integrates directly with Google Analytics to show the calls your campaigns drove

Integrate your call tracking data with Google Analytics

What Industries Should Use Call Tracking Solutions?

Any industry that relies on inbound calls to acquire customers should use a call tracking solution. Examples include automotive, home services, B2B, technology, financial services, e-commerce, healthcare, franchises, higher education, insurance, travel and hospitality, senior living, retail, lead generation, direct response, real estate, and more.

What Questions Should I Ask When Evaluating Call Tracking Providers?

Many providers offer basic, bare-bones call tracking solutions. However, you should look deeper to determine which provider will truly add the most value. Here are some important questions to ask call tracking providers:

  • Does the call tracking solution support toll-free, local, and international phone numbers?
  • Does the call tracking solution provide keyword-level and website click path attribution?
  • Can the call tracking solution track calls from multiple phone numbers on a single web page (such as a Find a Location webpage)?
  • How big a pool of phone numbers does the call tracking solution require to give you the data you need?
  • Does the call tracking solution integrate with all the marketing and sales tools and digital ad platforms your business uses?
  • Can the call tracking solution record and transcribe conversations?
  • How accurate are the transcriptions?
  • Does the call tracking solution provide AI and machine-learning technology that can capture analytics from the transcriptions?
  • Does the call tracking solution enable you to analyze conversations based on factors important to your marketing, such as what words the caller or agent said?
  • Can the call tracking solution measure how many inbound calls are sales or appointment calls? And how many of those calls converted?

To learn more about call tracking and conversation analytics, download our Big Book of Call Tracking Success Stories.

Still have questions? Want to learn how a call tracking and conversation analytics solution can optimize your marketing ROI? Download our Big Book of Call Tracking Success Stories.

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