Call tracking software can automatically track the source of the phone calls you receive from your business’ website. And for offline marketing, they will also provide tracking numbers for you to use. Knowing where your calls are originating from will help you to optimize your marketing budget by tracking how many leads and how much revenue each channel is driving.
In this guide we will show you how to set up call tracking using CallRail, our recommended call tracking software. We’ll also show you how to track conversion rates and revenue by combining CallRail with your CRM software.
How Call Tracking Software Works
Call tracking software helps you to track how and where your callers are finding out about your business. Call tracking software does this in two ways:
- By adding a snippet of code to your website to identify how callers found your website; and,
- By assigning dedicated numbers for you to use on other marketing collateral, such as external websites, direct mail, or print ads.
All of the numbers that call tracking software assigns will route back to your business’ phone line. However, because the tracking number is unique, the software is able to report on which channel the call originated from. You can view this information on a report, receive a notification every time a call comes in, or hear it in real time via a “whisper message” before the call connects.
How to Set Up Call Tracking Using CallRail
There are many call tracking software options on the market, but most are targeted towards enterprise-level businesses. Because of this, we recommend CallRail for their small business-friendly pricing, ease of use, and streamlined features. In fact, we recommend CallRail so highly that it’s also the service we use here at Fit Small Business.
Step 1: Choose which Channels to Track
Before you dive too deeply into the software, it’s best to plan which lead sources you want to track. Dallas McLaughlin of The James Agency recommends measuring all of your advertising channels that last at least a few months:
“We typically stick to long term placements which we can measure month over month and compare to other marketing channels. This gives us a better idea of which placements would benefit from more budget and which placements we can effectively cut.
“We won’t usually track one time events such as handing out fliers at a baseball game, or having a booth at a career fair since this doesn’t give us a very clear picture of how to optimize the marketing spend in the future.”
Call Tracking and Local SEO
We recommend that you use the same phone number across all local directories, such as Yelp, Google+, Facebook, etc. Search engines rely on the consistency of your business’ information across directories to help them establish your legitimacy, which affects your SEO performance. You won’t be able to track calls from these directories, but the benefits of local SEO performance outweigh any potential losses in tracking ability.
Because CallRail appends a snippet of code to displays of your phone number on your website, you can still track where your calls originate from without the need for unique phone numbers. Dynamic number insertion should not hurt your local SEO score.
Step 2: Choose your Phone Numbers
Now that you know what to track, your next step is to create your CallRail account. In addition to call tracking, CallRail will provide you with phone numbers and call routing tools like the option to forward calls to your mobile phone after hours.
Once you’ve created your account and logged into the program, click “Settings” then “Add Phone Number.” CallRail uses a simple wizard to guide you through the setup process. The first question is whether you’ll be using the number for online or offline advertising.
For offline tracking, the process is very straightforward. First, give your source a name (for example, 75th St Billboard or New York Times print ad). Be as specific as possible — this is how the source will be named in reports, so the more precise the better.
Next, choose a local or toll-free phone number to appear in the ad. Then, you’ll have the option to setup a whisper message; a whisper message isn’t required, but it can be helpful if your staff need to know the source of the caller before they speak with them (if you’re running different promotions in different publications, for example).
After you create your whisper message, your final option is to enable call recording. If so, you will also enter a notification message (i.e. “this call will be recorded for quality assurance”). Call recording laws vary by state, so make sure that your notification is in compliance with all local laws.
Tracking Callers from Your Website
The most basic way to use call tracking software is to include the unique phone numbers it gives you in your ads. This is helpful if you plan to advertise on a billboard or in a newspaper. But if you want to advertise your business online, how can you track your callers if the ad leads back to your website?
The solution is called dynamic number insertion. Depending on where the lead came from, you can automatically display a different phone number on your website (i.e. one for Facebook ads, one for Google ads, one for Microsoft Advertising, etc.). This is possible by adding a snippet of code to your website that’s provided by your call tracking software.
Dynamic number insertion involves a few additional steps.
First, you will add a snippet of code that’s generated by CallRail into the header of your website. This code is what changes the phone number on your website based on where the website visitor came from.
Next, you will decide whether to track each individual visitor or track a campaign. Here’s what this means:
Track Each Individual Visitor
Tracking each visitor means that you’ll be able to track exactly which website each visitor came from when they clicked on a link to your website. Similarly, you can also see which keywords they typed into a search engine if they arrived at your website from a search.
The trade-off for more specific data is that you’ll need a lot of phone numbers. Tracking each visitor requires a rotating pool of phone numbers from which each visitor is displayed their own. In other words, a website that receives up to 20 unique visitors at one time will need at least 20 different phone numbers.
Track a Campaign
Tracking a campaign tracks your visitors more broadly. You can assign a single phone number to each channel that you want to track (for example, one phone number for Google ads, one phone number for Facebook ads, etc.).
While this can give you a lot of rich data, the downside is that you need to define each source beforehand. If a new channel is created without you knowing (for example, if a blogger writes a review of your business and you receive traffic from it), then these new leads won’t be properly identified.
As a rule of thumb, tracking each visitor will give you more specific data, but it will also require more phone numbers which usually means additional costs.
Step 3: Set Up Call Routing
In addition to call tracking, CallRail includes some additional calling features that may benefit your business such as call routing. Call routing allows you to record a greeting that plays for your callers, which is then followed by:
- An interactive menu, where callers choose how to route their call by pressing a button to select an option (“Press 1 for sales, press 2 for customer support, etc.”)
- Round robin, where calls are connected to the next available agent
- Call scheduling, where calls received during certain times, such as after business hours, are forwarded to another number like your mobile phone
- Voicemail, where callers can record and leave a message
You can also combine these tools. For example, you can set up an interactive menu that forwards calls to different phone numbers after-hours depending on the option the caller chooses. To set this up, click “Call Flows” on the top menu bar then “Create Call Flow”. From there, you can create your call flow using the drag-and-drop interface.
Step 4: View Your Call Reports
Once you’ve set up call tracking and have started receiving and tracking your calls, you can start to extract metrics and reports. From the CallRail dashboard, you can view a list or chart of your most recent calls. You can also save this data as a CSV file if you want to analyze it further or export it to a PDF file to print.
You will see the source of each call, the caller’s name and location, the start time of the call, and its duration. If you use a pool of phone numbers on your website, you can also see the referring domain and any keywords that were searched for.
CallRail also allows you to set up email alerts, which can be sent to different people whenever calls come in from specific sources. You can even have a recording of the conversation sent as soon as the call is finished.
Remember to include a notification message before the call connects to inform the caller (i.e. “this call will be recorded for quality assurance”). Call recording laws vary by state, so make sure that your notification is in compliance with all local laws.
How Call Tracking Software Can Help Your Business
One of digital marketing’s greatest advantages is the ability to track almost any metric with ease — whether views, clicks, conversions, or any of the behaviors that occur before, during, or after these actions. However, a lot of business still takes place over the phone – about 92%, according to Salesforce – and this has traditionally been a very difficult channel to track. Call tracking software offers a potential solution.
Because call tracking software can tell you where your incoming calls are originating from, it can help you to identify which lead sources are delivering the best return on your investment. Knowing this information can help you to maximize your marketing budget.
The most valuable insights will come when you combine your call tracking software with your CRM software. This allows you to track not only how many leads are coming from each channel, but how many are converting and how much they are spending.
How to Use Call Tracking Software with a CRM
As we mentioned earlier, call tracking software becomes even more useful when it’s paired with CRM software. This will allow your business to not only report on how many calls are coming from each source, but also how much revenue they’re generating.
A simple method is to enter the lead source when you save a lead in Insightly. To do this, you can create a custom field called “Source”. Then, create a dropdown menu with all of your different advertising channels (for example, print ad, Google ad, Bing search, etc.).
For specific instructions on how to create custom fields in Insightly, check out How To Set Up Insightly – A Step-By-Step Guide.
As the lead progresses down the pipeline, make sure you continue tracking the source. When you convert it to a contact and opportunity, for example, you’ll have to manually copy the source in a new data field.
Once you’re in the habit of tracking the lead source in your opportunities, you’ll be able to run reports that show how much revenue each source is driving. Using Insightly’s custom reporting tool, you can compare “Lead Source” against “Opportunity Value” and other metrics.
Another option is to actually integrate CallRail and Insightly using the program Zapier. Linking the two programs allows you to automatically create a new lead or opportunity after a phone call is completed.
Bottom Line on Setting Up Call Tracking
For businesses that rely on inbound phone leads, call tracking software is a necessary tool. Being able to measure how many leads are coming from each channel and how much revenue each one is driving is essential to setting your marketing budget.
To get started with call tracking and take your phone sales to the next level, visit CallRail and set up call analytics for your business.