The Big Differences between Session and Visitor Level Call Tracking and Why It Matters
Here’s the quick answer:
Session level tracks a visitor's marketing source, landing page, and the last page visited before the visitor calls. For AdWords PPC campaigns, you can connect the call to the keyword, ad group, and campaign. Once the session ends, the visitor is no longer tied to the dynamic tracking number.
Visitor level tracking includes the session level data and marketing activities (pageviews, time on page) across channels. Dynamic numbers stick to the unique visitors beyond a single session. This is critical for modern marketers with more complex and longer customer journeys.
Now, here's the longer answer that explains the unexpected loss of data of not having visitor level call tracking.
1. Session Level Tracking Misses Critical Data for Conversion Rate Optimization
In college, reading the CliffsNotes of a book never replaced the value of reading the full book. The same applies for comparing session and visitor level call tracking.
Session level tracking provides the highlights of the customer journey. This is good if you’re interested in a short story with surface-level data of where your customer came from and then purchased in a single session. The highlights work for marketers who use last click attribution. This approach may work temporarily if you run simple AdWords paid search campaigns.
Marketers should focus on utilizing every tool, channel, and device for reaching potential customers with multi-channel campaigns. However, measuring the influence of marketing touch points becomes cumbersome and confusing.
According to a recent study by Expedia, people on average spend 20 visits per week on travel sites across 45 days before actually booking. They use at least 3 resources (online and offline) during the process. They spend at least 44 minutes on the travel agent site on the desktop during the week of booking. This provides an excellent example of how the customer journey incorporates multiple sessions and it exposes the flaws of session level call tracking.
Session level call tracking can’t track the individual across this average customer journey. Then you can’t identify the content, messaging, and marketing tactics that impacted the strongest influence on a customer across the longer timelines, which includes multiple sessions and channels.
How Visitor level tracking enables better conversion optimization
Visitor level call tracking allows you to track visitors and connect the dots between email, organic, Display and PPC campaigns.
Most importantly, you can identify the marketing collateral and website pages where visitors frequent and spend the most time. Then you can run A/B tests to optimize this journey for the next potential customer. This depth of insight gives you the power to optimize the customer journey to reflect trends that lead to call conversions. This type of tracking is critical for B2B marketers with longer sales cycles.
2. Dynamic Number Insertion is limited with session level tracking
Not all dynamic call tracking numbers are created equal. Session level tracking is based on dynamic number insertion. You have one unique number tied to one visitor. This number stays connected to the visitor for the duration of one session. But tracking for one session isn’t enough.
Session level tracking makes sense if you think that there aren’t nearly enough unique numbers to account for the number of unique website visitors. This tracking type may also make sense for businesses with shorter customer journeys.
Visitor level call tracking is the solution to number management issues
To all marketers thinking about number management and the issue of need versus the reality of having dynamic numbers for the thousands of visitors coming to your website, visitor level tracking is the answer.
For example, Infinity call intelligence solves the issue of number management and visitor level tracking with an advanced algorithm. The technology works with existing analytics systems, such as Google Analytics, to establish the peak number of concurrent visitors on the website in an hour and the average browsing time. This calculates how many tracking numbers are necessary initially. Then our algorithm examines the peak number of concurrent visitors to the website during a period, and alerts us if more numbers are required.
The technology does the work and enables an efficient system for 1:1 visitor level tracking. This technology results in 99% call tracking data accuracy. This reduces the likelihood of duplicate call data or errors.
3. Attribution problems arise with session level tracking
Session level tracking is limited to first and last click attribution models. The recent release of Google Attribution is an excellent example of how the attribution landscape has evolved beyond first and last click. Google Attribution provides data-driven attribution to account for a variety of marketing touch points along the customer journey. If you’re following Google’s forward thinking, then session level tracking won’t suffice. Session level tracking provides a short-sighted picture of customer journey data.
Visitor level tracking provides the granular data necessary to build attribution models that more closely align with your accurate customer journey. The statistics from the Expedia study reinforce the importance of accurate attribution. The customer journey cannot be simply understood through a last click model.
According to MarketingSherpa, "61% of revenue (35 million dollars) came from multi-touch conversion paths and 39% of revenue could be explained with a single-touch model." This approach isn’t suitable for marketers who should focus on attributing every marketing dollar spent against the revenue generated.
For the highly valuable inbound calls conversions, it's imperative to examine your approach to attribution modeling and what makes sense for your business. For B2B marketers with longer sales cycles, it's critical to know which interactions lead to that important call.
Are you willing to settle for session level call tracking and sacrifice the advantages of visitor level tracking?
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