What Is Call Tracking and How Does It Work: Ultimate Guide
4 Feb 2019 in Marketing
If you’ve never come across call tracking before, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s either a way to monitor what your kids are up to, or software used exclusively by call centres to keep reps on track.
But actually, call tracking can provide a variety of benefits, from helping you create truly impactful marketing campaigns to supercharging your sales strategy.
So, why use call tracking?
If you speak to your customers on the phone and you don’t yet use call tracking, you’re missing out on valuable insight that can help optimise marketing budget, increase revenue, accelerate growth, and so much more.
In this blog, we’ll run through frequently asked questions around the subject, alongside call tracking benefits and the different types of call tracking available.
What is call tracking?
Call tracking is the process of linking 'offline' phone calls to 'online' customer journeys. Phone numbers used across marketing channels are tracked to help capture the entire customer journey from beginning to end.
By tracking calls, when one is made or received, you’ll be able to see which piece of marketing activity led to it taking place. In simple terms, call tracking is connecting phone calls into your business to the source that they came from.
This can be done manually by asking, setting up specific numbers for specific sources and counting them as they come in, or by using call tracking software, which can do these tasks more accurately, at scale, and provide more sophisticated call metrics.
What are the benefits of call tracking?
Call tracking has the power to enhance your marketing and call centre operations by providing you with rich, customer-centric data that can be applied across the business.
One of the main benefits of call tracking is that it provides a large mix of solutions for marketing teams, as well as helping operations teams deliver better efficiencies and sales results.
If your business receives inbound calls from marketing campaigns, or in general, you need to be tracking them in order to gain a complete view of your customer journey.
Other phone call tracking benefits include:
- Capture data and insights needed to build smooth 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 occur
- Tap into conversational trends
What is call tracking software?
Call tracking software is a cloud-based analytics solution, with advanced and unique tracking capabilities. It is the system that handles the tracking of visitors, events, phone calls, goals, and the processes that unite the customer journey online and offline.
So, how does call tracking software work? In its simplest form:
- A different telephone number is assigned to each unique visitor on the website.
- When a visitor calls the unique number their user data is recorded, and call tracking links the call to the visitors' digital activity.
- This connection gives you a complete view of the caller’s journey, so you can tell what they've been browsing, what products they may be interested in, and which campaigns, channels and keywords drove their call.
Essentially, call tracking software merges phone call data with the visitor’s digital activity, enabling businesses to have a complete view of the customer journey, original source, and much more to enable smarter decision making.
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.
- Campaign level – This is similar to the basic call tracking model, but more numbers are used and are assigned to each campaign you run.
- Session level – 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 – Capture all interactions with your site across all visits (including sources, keywords, and channels) that occur before a visitor picks up the phone. Call tracking software such as Infinity can give you the full picture of the customer journey.
How are fixed numbers used for call tracking?
Fixed numbers are used in offline marketing campaigns such as radio ads, posters, business cards, stationary, billboards, catalogues and generally any piece of activity where a phone number can be featured but not connected to an online marketing journey.
Fixed numbers still provide usable data but are not as comprehensive as dynamic call tracking numbers. While fixed numbers and offline call tracking can’t provide as much insight as dynamic numbers, they still have many call tracking benefits.
For example, it is useful for seeing which other activities are generating calls and having that recorded in your call tracking analytics platform, which can help you be smarter with your marketing budget.
How are dynamic numbers used for call tracking?
Dynamic numbers are uniquely generated trackable telephone numbers specifically to each website visitor for marketing and operations purposes.
Each trackable phone number will then provide data on individual customer journeys and which source, ranging from PPC, SEO and more, the customer originated from.
Visitor level call tracking requires a pool of tracking numbers that can be used to allocate to each visitor that comes to the website. Tracking pools are dedicated to each website and client so that all calls are guaranteed to connect through to the clients call centre or office.
Using this approach, Infinity can track millions of keywords using only hundreds or thousands of phone numbers, and still provide detailed unique insights on your customers.
What about Infinity’s call tracking?
Infinity’s call tracking software is designed to help you extract sophisticated insights and make every moment matter for your business. It can supercharge call centre performance by providing real-time data on where calls are coming from, to better understand where and why customers pick up the phone.
If you can pinpoint the action that triggers customer calls, you can tailor scripts using high-quality transcripts and deliver call centre agent training that will drive more successful outcomes.
When you pair phone call tracking with Infinity’s speech analytics suite, Conversation Analytics, you can take things to the next level. With both solutions, you can get the insights you need to map your customer journey, improve customer service and streamline operations.
More importantly, this detailed intel into customer conversations can be used to improve AHT and reduce pressure on your call centre teams by deflecting calls efficiently.
Even better, Infinity integrates seamlessly with many CRM systems, allowing you to 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.
A great example of how to integrate call tracking comes from Blue Bay, one of the UK’s leading independent travel agents. 80% of their bookings were completed over the phone and relied on their phone agents to connect calls to a marketing source by asking the caller where they had come from.
This method was subject to human error, put additional pressure on the agent, and left many holes in their customer journey insight.
To address this, they implemented Infinity’s call intelligence solution across the websites of all of their brands. By joining this data up from first click to a booking call, they could measure their return on advertising spend, enabling them to move to an automated bidding strategy in Google Ads, specifically targeting for cost-per-acquisition.
This created a clear, actionable view on every customer journey that came in via the phone that could be acted upon at scale.
Using Infinity’s call tracking software, they were able to achieve the following results:
- 32% cost-per-booking reduction
- 5% increase in conversion rate of visits to calls
- 174% year-on-year uplift in PPC bookings
- Cost-per-bookings savings alone delivered a 4x ROI on Infinity investment
“Injecting goal events from phone calls was an absolute game changer for our digital strategy, allowing us to make intelligent, data-driven decisions for paid search. Infinity's API made this a simple process, rapidly delivering real, measurable results.”
Thomas Malbon | Marketing Intelligence Manager, Blue Bay Travel
Interested? Let's talk.
Every conversation matters. Start one with us to discover how call tracking and Conversation Analytics can accelerate your business growth.
Chief Executive Officer
Founder & Non-executive Director of Infinity. Internet entrepreneur with a passion for all things tech, bit of a geek at heart but with an excellent balance of commercial, technical and marketing thinking. Loves to hit the slopes when he gets the chance.
- Digital Marketing
31 May 2023 in Digital Marketing
The importance of call centre agent coaching
25 May 2023 in Interviews
Insights & Impact Ep.5: Reducing Average Handling Times (AHT)
24 May 2023 in Interviews
May Hubdate: Your Hub just got better, here’s how…