This is a guest blog post by Kathleen Colan. Kathleen is director of marketing and content at Mongoose Metrics, a call tracking solution provider, and has written dozens of blog posts, guest posts and whitepapers on the topic of call tracking. You can follow her on Twitter @mongoosemetrics or her blog at
To maintain a
successful inbound marketing campaign
, marketers have to effectively track and record all lead conversions and associate them with specific marketing activities such as PPC advertising and lead nurturing campaigns.
Platforms like HubSpot and Google Analytics make it is easy to track online conversion data (i.e. contact form completions), but what about when a lead picks up a phone and calls? To capture these offline conversions, and complete the
picture, marketers need call tracking.
How to Integrate Call Tracking
There are two main ways to integrate call tracking, both of which should be used if you’re driving visitors to your website.
In your call tracking platform, assign a unique call tracking number to a certain marketing initiative, such as an email newsletter, online webinar, or PPC ad. Every time a call comes into this number, the platform will register the conversion and associate it with the proper initiative.
Using these two forms of call tracking integration, you can accurately track offline conversions, and use this information to
improve inbound marketing
campaign performance. The following are three examples of how this can be done:
1. Keyword Optimization
You can then combine this information with online conversion keyword data to fully understand which terms are driving the highest quality traffic to your site. Armed with this insight, you can more effectively evolve your SEO efforts, focusing
and content development efforts around the terms that have proven to generate leads.
2. PPC Campaigns
To effectively evolve PPC campaigns and maximize ROI, you need to evaluate campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keyword bids based on conversion rate. To track offline conversions, integrate tracking numbers directly into ads and landing pages.
Use the one-to-one integration by associating a tracking number to a specific campaign, ad group, ad, or keyword bid, and then put the number in the corresponding ad.
There are a several options for how you can include the number:
Within ad copy
: Keep in mind Google and Bing allow a maximum of 70 characters in PPC ads, and a phone number with area code and hyphens (555-555-5555) will use 12 of these characters.
Google Call Extension
: Google offers a Call Extension feature, which allows you to add a phone number to your ad without consuming valuable ad space. This number is then prominently featured below your ad.
: If you have a graphic or display ad, you can feature a tracking number directly within the design.
For landing pages
3. Lead Nurturing
If you use
lead nurturing email campaigns
to progress leads through the sales funnel, repeat conversions is a clear indication a lead is motivated enough for your sales team to contact. To track offline conversions from these emails, add tracking numbers.
Within the email
: There are a variety of ways to integrate tracking numbers into your emails on a one-to-one basis. Make sure to experiment with the placement to see which works best. Some options include:
In a graphical banner
In the right- or left-hand column
In a call-to-action button or image
Directly within content
Within Landing Pages
: If you direct recipients back to a landing page, make sure this page is solely used for your lead nurturing campaign. Within your call tracking platform, you can tag visitors to a landing page as coming from a specific marketing initiative (for example: a lead nurturing email). As a call comes in, the platform will associate the call with the page on which he or she first arrived and report the conversion appropriately.
Do you use a call tracking platform? If so, how have you used it to improve inbound marketing campaign performance?
Originally published Jun 29, 2011 11:30:00 AM, updated October 20 2016