Everything you need to know about call tracking

Matt McGillicuddy

By Matt McGillicuddy
12 Sep 2023


10 min read

Contents

The digital revolution has brought lots of benefits for businesses and consumers alike. At the same time, it’s also added a level of complexity to the customer journey. Customers engage with brands across numerous touchpoints, including phone calls. It could be a paid search ad that grabbed their attention and made them want to pick up the phone. On the other hand, it could be a Facebook ad that piqued their interest and made them want to find out more.

Either way, tracking phone calls needs to be a priority for marketing teams relying on phone leads coming into the pipeline. If you’re not, you’ll have blind spots in your data. Important to note that phone calls continue to gain importance in the customer journey. Around 92% of customer interactions take place over the phone, so don’t ignore them!

So, how do you keep track of the different types of calls coming into your business? That’s where call tracking services come into play, enabling you to connect online activity with offline conversions.

In this blog, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about call tracking. We’ll explain what it is and how call tracking software works, to how call tracking amplifies your campaigns. 

What is call tracking?

Call tracking is the process of linking 'offline' phone calls to 'online' customer journeys. By tracking outbound and inbound calls, you’ll be able to see which channels, keywords or tactics persuaded that person to pick up the phone.

Call tracking can be done manually by asking customers on the phone. You can set up specific numbers for specific sources and count them as they come in. Alternatively, you can use advanced call tracking, which completes these tasks more accurately, and efficiently – at scale.

How does call tracking software work?

Traditionally, tracking phone calls has worked by applying unique phone numbers to marketing campaigns. However, advanced call tracking recognises the complexity of customer journeys. Marketing teams understand that multiple touchpoints influence consideration, research, and buying phases. But, connecting offline interactions with the online customer journey is tricky without the right tools in place.

Call tracking services assign individual visitors to your website a unique phone number to call. This data can then be matched to each touchpoint on the customer journey, and the data passed to your CRM software.

The way call tracking works is as simple as one-two-three:

  1. Unique tracking numbers are assigned to each unique visitor on the website.
  2. When a visitor calls the unique number their user data is recorded, and call tracking links the call to the visitors' digital activity.
  3. This connection gives you a complete view of the caller’s journey in real time. As a result, you’ll see what they've been browsing, what products they’re interested in, and which activities drove their call.

Essentially, call tracking merges phone call data with the visitor’s digital activity. This gives you the full picture of the customer journey so you can make smarter decisions.

What are the different types of call tracking?

There are a few different types of call tracking that can give you more or less visibility, depending on your needs. As you can probably imagine, some types of call tracking are more sophisticated than others. These are basic, campaign level, session level, and visitor level.

  • Basic call tracking – One phone number is allocated to a source, typically one number per channel. This shows you where a call came from but can’t provide further insights or help you see ROI. This is commonly used for offline sources or external websites where you can’t change the code.
  • Campaign level call tracking – This is like the basic call tracking model, but you use more numbers and you assign one to each campaign you run.
  • Session level call tracking – A unique call tracking number is assigned to a user for the length of their browsing session. While this can be useful, it doesn’t help you identify the full customer journey.
  • Visitor-level call tracking – Capture all interactions with your site across all visits (including sources, keywords, and channels) that occur before a visitor picks up the phone. Infinity call tracking gives you the full picture of the customer journey.
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In addition to these different types of call tracking, you can also make use of dynamic numbers and fixed numbers. These allow you to better connect the online and offline journey, from your PPC campaigns to out-of-home activity, and unlock granular insights that can be used to drive performance improvements.

What are the benefits of call tracking?

Call tracking enhances your business by providing you with rich, customer-centric data that you can apply across the business. If you receive inbound calls from marketing campaigns, or in general, you need to be tracking them to gain a complete view of your customer journey.

The benefits of call tracking include:

  • Capture the data and insights you need to build seamless customer journeys
  • Understand the campaigns, channels, and keywords that are more likely to drive conversions
  • Monitor, record, and assign value to call outcomes in real-time
  • Evolve your marketing and sales tactics based on real customer data
  • Identify pain points that can be solved before they even happen
  • Tap into conversational trends to refine your messaging
  • Minimise support calls by understanding where you can improve FAQs 

How does call tracking improve marketing campaigns?

Tracking phone calls means your marketing team will be able to connect the dots by clearly linking campaigns, channels and keywords to incoming calls and customers. Because you can see the full picture of the customer journey, you’re in a better position to make data-driven decisions and invest your campaign budgets in the activities that drive real revenue.

According to a recent report, 91% of marketers are expecting to invest even more in Martech next year. Using Infinity's call tracking and Google Analytics together helps you make continuously smarter decisions.

With Infinity call tracking, you can seamlessly integrate call data into Google, giving you a more complete picture of the customer journey.

See the source or medium that led to the phone call, individual keywords, performance of different website pages and which pages customers called you from and provide key demographics about your customers where available.

Benefits include reduced cost-per-click (CPC) on paid search, reduced cost-per-acquisition (CPA), and increases in return on ad spend (ROAS).

Plus, Infinity’s Google Ads integration is stronger than ever. Marketers can capture granular insights on the keyword groups, ads and campaigns that trigger calls directly from Search Ads.

One of our clients found that over 15% of their calls were coming from fixed numbers directly from the search results page in Google. They can now see these calls as conversions in Google Ads, along with insight into what activity led to the calls. Armed with this knowledge, their search agency can make decisions that help them:

  • Connect with more customers
  • Focus budget on campaigns driving desired results
  • Connect revenue to ad spend more accurately
  • Better understand the buyer journeys their customers choose to take

How are real businesses using call tracking software to improve marketing campaigns?

A great example comes from Vodafone. Many of their broadband sales came over the phone, but they couldn’t see what led to each call. Additionally, with so many calls coming in each day, they found it difficult to catalogue the type of calls and where they were coming from. This made it hard to assign calls to the correct affiliate channel.

By tracking the journey that led to each call, they were able to see which affiliates were generating calls, helping them to make smarter decisions around which partners to focus on.

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Furthermore, using Conversation Analytics’ Keyword Spotting feature, they were able to highlight calls when certain terms were used. For instance, terms that indicate a sale, as well as other useful terms like competitors, products, or new/existing customers.

This gave them rich data that informed their strategy and meant they were able to accurately connect sales calls to affiliate channels and partners. Within six months, they attributed over 17,000 sales and they identified a 7.5% conversion rate from call-to-purchase (significantly higher than their other channels).

“Keyword spotting via Infinity has a huge amount of benefit, not only to identify when sales have been made but also to highlight the key themes and topics of conversation, which can lead to improvements being made to our digital marketing messages.” Cai Mullins, Vodafone

How to incorporate call tracking into your tech stack

Every moment matters. If you want to supercharge performance, boost your revenues, and improve your campaigns and strategy, call tracking software is an essential tool for your martech stack. It captures all the data you need to build smoother customer journeys. 

With Infinity’s Speech analytics suite, Conversation Analytics, you can evolve your tactics based on real data from your customers. Identifying the finer points of conversations quickly and easily using call categorisation gives you the context and nuance that’s difficult to track when you’re handling high volumes of calls.

Even better, Infinity’s call tracking and call analysis software integrates seamlessly with many CRM systems. Therefore, you can automatically draw links between marketing data and customer data. With this knowledge at your fingertips, you’re better able to map the journey your customers take and track ROI more accurately than ever before.

Ready to unlock real audience insight at scale?

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