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    April 20, 2012 // 12:15 PM

    How to Integrate Inbound Call Tracking With Online Analytics

    Written by Rick Burnes | @

    iStock 000015440585Medium introductory3

    For many marketers who rely on the phone, life is like living in Germany -- before the wall came down .

    On one side of the wall -- the click side -- life is rich with data. You can track inbound traffic, its sources, its path through your site, and its progress through your funnel. The other side of the wall, however -- the call side -- is data poor. You get calls to your business, but you don’t know where they came from, and it's hard to track them.

    Today, there's good news for marketers straddling both sides of the wall. The wall is coming down!

    A new class of software tools allows you to actually track incoming calls almost the same way as you track clicks.

    Why Call Tracking Is Crucial for Marketers

    A recent comScore study commissioned by Google concluded that 63% of website visitors completed their purchases offline.

    Think about that -- it means that a majority of website visitors who make purchases start the process on one side of the data wall (the data-rich, web-based side), then end the process on the other, whether it's in a brick-and-mortar store, or on the data-poor, phone-based side. That means all the marketing effort going into attracting and nurturing website visitors is not properly being accounted for. In order to more properly understand your customers' buying cycles, and to understand which marketing dollars are truly driving sales, you need to break down the wall. You need to set up call tracking. 

    How Does Call Tracking Work?

    There are a number of new tools that allow marketers to implement call tracking. Here's a typical process for setting up and using it:

    First, you'll need to set up the app by following steps like the ones below:

    • Install a simple piece of javascript to your website (a one-minute job); then tag the phone numbers on your site that you want to track.

    Once these two setup steps are done, you're ready to track calls. Here's how that typically works:

    • When a new prospect comes to your site after the javascript and tags are set up, they’ll see a new phone number.
    • When the prospect calls the new phone number, your call tracking app should be begin tracking the caller. (If you're using the HubSpot RingRevenue app, RingRevenue will create a lead in HubSpot for the call; at the same time, it will drop a cookie on the caller’s site so it can track the caller's activity on your site. It will then add that to the caller's lead record in HubSpot. See the image below.)
    Call Tracking ScreenShot 1
    • Many call tracking apps will record calls and aggregate call data into a call-tracking dashboard. (For HubSpot users, this dashboard lives inside the HubSpot RingRevenue App. See the image below.)
    Call Tracking Screenshot 2

    How to Use Call Tracking to Improve Your Marketing

    Call tracking data can have a significant positive impact on businesses with lots of inbound call volume. (Here's one detailed case study of a campaign that saw 12% improvement when call tracking was added.) Here are some ways marketers can effectively leverage call tracking:

    1) Get alerted when a phone lead returns to your site. 

    Normally, phone leads disappear into the ether after they hang up. There’s no way to know when they come back to your site and re-engage with your business. But with call tracking and a system of  email lead visit alerts , you could have a call with somebody, get an alert a few days later when they’re back on your site, then call them up while they're engaged to close the deal.

    2) Identify the source of your phone leads.  

    Marketers without call tracking can only guess at the sources of their inbound phone calls. But when you set up call tracking, you can set up tests to measure the effectiveness of different sources. For example, you could put one phone number in a print add, then another in a brochure handed out at an event, and use the call tracking to determine which generated the most call traffic.

    3) Automatically compare the phone-to-lead close rate to the close rate of all other leads.  

    When you add call tracking to a marketing analytics platform  that tracks and measures your full funnel -- from first touch to sale -- you can easily see how your phone leads compare to leads sourced from other channels. How do they compare to SEO leads? How about social media leads? Or trade show leads? When you set up call tracking with marketing analytics, you can finally answer these questions. Then you can use that information to optimize both your sales process (e.g. focus sales reps on leads that are historically more likely to close) and your marketing process (e.g. focus your marketing efforts on generating leads that are historically more likely to close).

    Best of All?

    All of that's great, but here's what might have the biggest impact: Call tracking helps consolidate your marketing.

    The biggest challenge for most marketers is simply managing everything! Inbound calls typically add to a marketer's complicated array of channels because they're hard to track in the place where most other channels are tracked: online. Call tracking solves that problem, putting everything online (and when you integrate call tracking with HubSpot , behind the same login!).

    Have you implemented call tracking to get better insights into your marketing efforts?

    analytics-ima-cta

    Topics: Analytics

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