What You Need To Know About Call Tracking

By Hannah Eisenberg - September 26, 2014

Today, I have the honor to introduce Darren Carter from NYC SEM - he is my go-to person for any paid advertisement for my clients! Not only is Darren a great guy to work with, but also really good at what he does! Darren, the last time you and I talked you told me a great story about how call tracking helped one of your clients to avoid losing business by keeping prospects and customers on hold forever. Can you tell us more about that?


What You Need To Know About Call TrackingHave you ever hung up when you were kept on hold for too long?

If you knew that your potential clients were hanging up out of frustration, wouldn't you want to do something about it?

But how could you find out?

Recently a client, for whom I manage pay-per-click advertising, hired a call service that was supposed to transfer incoming calls to one of eight service locations. We were not sure how well the service would work so we implemented call tracking both to record incoming calls and to determine from where they originated.

When my client and I received the recording of the first call answered by the service, we were shocked to hear that the caller was immediately placed on hold and that he hung up after a minute and half. The next call was to the call service demanding to know what had happened!

How does call tracking work?

Call tracking is an amazing technology that provides critical data to sales and marketing professionals, especially if your business depends on prospects calling you. With call tracking, a business can measure both online and offline telephone call leads.

Call tracking works by forwarding calls from a tracking number to your main phone line. The forwarding is invisible to the caller. However, the call tracking company logs the caller ID and additional details about the caller and call.

Offline Call Tracking

Let's say, you attend the same trade show each year and want to quantify the leads.

By using a tracking number on all your show materials and registration, you will identify callers as having attended the show. By using call tracking, you’ll be able to measure the leads generated through those tradeshow materials directly. This is much more accurate than relying on sales or service staff to ask where the caller where they found you.

Online Call Tracking

But you can also use call tracking online. By simply pasting a Javascript into the footer of your website, you enable online call tracking to change the telephone number on your website based on the digital marketing channel source.

In the case of AdWords clicks, this happens dynamically from pool of numbers so that you can match the call to both the search keyword and ad that triggered it. You can also specify what number you want to appear on the website yourself. So if you want to track leads that come from a particular website where you purchased banner ads, you can specify a tracking number for traffic coming via those ads. By using the Google Analytics integration, you can track whenever a visitor to your site calls.


The challenge for many businesses is getting over the fact that we are in a post-telephone number world. Your clients do not remember your phone number except in the those rare instances where the telephone number has become the brand, like 1-800-MATTRESS. Today your clients or potential clients look up your number, usually from your website, unless they have the direct line of customer service or sales rep.

In general, if your business has a local component, then local tracking numbers often perform better. But even for national businesses, local rather than toll-free numbers may perform the same or better. Fortunately, you can test this by running a pool of local numbers and a pool of toll-free.

One final caveat: if you record calls, learn what the laws are in your state for recording calls. To be completely safe, simply use the announcement feature that tells the caller that the call is being recorded for quality assurance purposes.

What does Call Tracking Cost?

For many small businesses, the basic local tracking account at $30 per month is all you’ll need for online and offline tracking. The account includes 10 local numbers and 500 minutes of calls. As long as you keep the call tracking service, you retain your call tracking numbers.callrail_dashboard

One cost effective call tracking vendor is Callrail. The company recently added the ability to receive texts on any tracking number and to receive notifications after potentials have filled out a contact form so that you can call them immediately.

The dashboard now shows the caller’s path through your website before calling and a history of his or her calls. Additional integration include importing caller and call info directly into Salesforce.com and providing a webhook to send call information into any back-end system. Callrail offers two-week free trial with a pool of either local or toll-free numbers.

Bottom Line

Closing the marketing loop means that marketers can determine which marketing sent the best-performing leads. This helps improve marketing efforts and prioritizes spending on the channels that drive sales. When a business get leads through the telephone, call tracking is the technology that closes the loop.

CTA 10 Useless things to cut from your marketing

CTA 10 Useless things to cut from your marketing

Darren Carter is the Principal at NYC SEM. He specializes on Google AdWords, Analytics & BingAds. He provides clients with PPC Consulting and Management Services. Please feel free to contact him with any questions at darren@nycsem.com.
CTA 10 Useless things to cut from your marketing


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