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5 call tracking techniques to improve your digital media ROI

Author's avatar By Expert commentator 13 Oct, 2014
Essential Essential topic

A review of alternative call tracking techniques and systems linking to a contact centre

ClicktocallIn the online world, it should be much easier for marketers to understand customer behaviour. Although online advertising is still evolving, it’s cheaper than offline marketing; ecommerce allows for instant conversions; and online it is possible to track real time results via impressions and clicks.

However, although the internet may be great for building smart customer profiles, businesses should not neglect the importance of human contact in the customer journey. A recent study found that 64% of people get frustrated when they can only interact with a company online.

The phone, the unsexy cousin of the click, is still the strongest lead source for the majority of businesses. Therefore one of the biggest challenges for online marketers is in connecting online impressions with offline engagement.

5 techniques for helping call tracking

Here are five techniques for streamlining the customer journey from initial impression to sale, and improving ROI through your contact centre.

  • 1. Click-to-call tracking

The most popular call tracking technique is analysing click-to-call conversion data, and Google recently announced they are offering this service free for their AdWords users. This feature allows advertisers to identify and measure calls to their business after an ad click through occurs.

How it works:

  1. a snippet of code is placed on the company’s website or mobile site;
  2. a unique forwarding number gets generated for each AdWords click;
  3. when a customer calls from a unique number you can link it back to a specific page on your website as well, as publisher sites within the display network, to see the types of calls they are generating;
  4. by integrating Google Universal Analytics it also becomes possible to track keywords (i.e. search phrases) the customer used before clicking on your webpage. Your call centre staff are therefore aware of the specific needs of the customer.

Data from this new free feature will allow marketers to understand which keywords and ads are driving the most phone calls from your website and which are resulting in more valuable calls.

Elan Hasson, digital marketing and information manager of People's Trust Insurance, says that, 'prior to website call conversions, we didn't have the ability to track ROI when prospects clicked through our ads and called our sales centre. Website call conversions [have] enabled us to better attribute lead and sales activity to the correct AdWords campaign after seeing a 79 percent increase in the total calls attributed to AdWords.'

  • 2. Traffic acquisition

Google’s call conversion tool allows marketers to optimise each page of their website by seeing the amount of engagement it’s getting, but what other ways are there to identify and target the right audiences?

Knowing exactly where the majority of your customers are coming from means your potential customer base widens significantly.

How to further track traffic acquisition:

  1. IP and (Subscriber Trunk Dialing) tracking software allows agents to see the exact geographical location where calls are coming in from;
  2. Integrating call tracking with bid management software, like that provided by Marin Software, can allow marketers to see the keywords that lead to the most offline telephone conversions. Having this data means they can fine tune their PPC and SEO campaigns.

Companies who understand the needs of their clients and know how to target them are likely to significantly reduce their cost per lead. For one company who had their data reviewed this was as much as 50%.

  • 3. Conversion to phone call

Companies like ResponseTap provide call tracking software which allows marketers to track the entire customer journey and not just the initial call. The software provides information about:

  1. the publisher which drove the visitor to the website;
  2. which keywords the customer used before calling;
  3. the webpages they looked at before, during and after each call.

By analysing the full customer path in real time and understanding a customer’s needs before they even know it themselves, companies can deal with a call much more efficiently.

Integrating call tracking with analytics software like Google Adwords tracking, Adobe SiteCatalyst, or DC Storm can further improve customer understanding and increase the conversion to the right kind of call.

One company wanted to reduce information only calls to make capacity for Sales calls. By reorganising content for existing members and non-members differently they were able to increase the conversion to the right kind of call by 66%.

  • 4. Conversion to sale

This next stage relies on a call centre staff member being clued up about an individual customer’s needs before they’ve even introduced themselves.

Here are some techniques that can increase the call handler’s chances of making a sale:

  1. Dynamic Call Routing: this allows companies to route a call according to how visitors have found their website, and to direct that calls to the best team, department or person within the business;
  2. Call Whispers: this feature alerts the call handler about the campaign that has motivated their call. A phrase is read out to the agent before or after a call, telling them information about the caller. This phrase could include anything from how the caller found your website, to the keyword they typed in;
  3. SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) integration: an SIP is a signalling protocol that makes it possible to implement services like voice-enriched e-commerce, web page click-to-dial, or Instant Messaging depending on the preferences of the individual customer.

Using smarter and more sophisticated routing to get the calls to the right people will result in increased ROI. One of the businesses who had their data reviewed saw an uplift in sales of 15%.

  • 5. Average order value

The final bonus for the contact centre salesperson is increasing the average order value (AOV) at the end of the customer journey.

Here are two techniques that can provide the agent with valuable information about the customer and encourage them to spend big:

  1. CRM Integration: instead of using your CRM to just be a system that retains customer information based on manual entries, integrating your website and call tracking software brings in valuable customer information directly into your CRM. It also enables complete end-to-end reporting of lead to conversion through the call channel.
  2. URL Callback: this allows you to send data about the caller to an online system at the start or end of the call in real time. By storing this data in a database, you can integrate with other online solutions like web analytics or CRM solutions to better understand the customer experience and needs.

One company presented the call handler with the actual Landing Page the customer arrived at so that they had an immediate understanding about their intent.  As a result they believe AOV went up 20%.


By taking each point of the customer’s journey in isolation, businesses will begin to notice real results.

Let’s take a look at the example company numbers for each metric, before and after they integrated four call tracking strategies. Traffic acquisition went up 50%, conversion to phone call improved by 66%, conversion to sale went up 15% and AOV increased by 20%:


  • 1,000,000 visitors
  • converting at 1% from visit to call
  • converting at 20% from call to sale
  • at an AOV of £1000

= £2,000,000 revenue

After (assuming some fairly typical conversion metrics, and the improvement percentages taken from each of the businesses above)

  • 2,000,000 visitors
  • converting at 1.66% to call
  • converting at 23%
  • at an AOV of £1200

= £9,163,200 revenue

The difference on these metrics is 458% improvement. By implementing a few sophisticated call tracking techniques, ROI really can go up exponentially.

Image Source/Copyright: Corbis
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