A Few Types Of Call Tracking For Marketing

marketing call tracking

In an age where we speak to AI systems called Alexa and Siri, the expectation is that this kind of process will transfer to consumer service.

Instead, calls are the new frontier in consumer communication. Why? Because humans still want to talk to other humans, especially when there’s a high-value purchase involved. Advertising and marketing firm, BIA/Kelsey “projects 169 billion mobile calls to businesses by 2020, driven by smartphone penetration, high commercial intent, and the natural handoff between mobile engagement and phone calls (i.e., Google “call” buttons).”

With the knowledge that the future shows a large amount calls arriving from multiple sources and digital ad spend increasing annually, brands need to find a new way to measure this influx of call data to fully optimise ROI and better understand exactly which touchpoint is generating the most revenue. 

Call tracking contains an array of measurements that can help paint a complete picture for marketing teams and tackle the data coming their way, here are a few that deliver.

Session-level tracking

Session level tracking is broader and uses paid search keywords to collect data during a 1 to 12-hour session. From there a dynamic number will be assigned to one session, any calls made during the session will be attributed to the keyword source.

Why is it useful?

For large companies that run multiple ad campaigns at the same time and have busy call centres, session level tracking makes it easy to target and prioritise audiences while also collecting information on where they arrived from.

User-level tracking

One prospect/user can arrive at multiple destinations before picking up the phone and in order to build an accurate customer journey and digital profile, you’ll need to collect as much data on one subject as possible. Each user is given a unique ID upon entering a specific website and with that, it is easy to collect data via; acquisition channel, sessions, user journey and revenue generated. When they return to the website, the exact number appears for them again. It helps build an entire customer history.

Learn more about implementing user-level tracking in your stack here. 

Why is it useful?

User level tracking is revolutionary. It allows sales and marketing teams to better understand their customer base individually – as in they are able to establish relevant conversations and an environment of personalisation based on a single user’s experience.

Via: BIA Advisory Services

7 Ways To Have An Impactful Conversation With Your Consumers

These days, consumers arrive from an array of digital channels during the path-to-purchase journey, but more often than not there is a moment when human interaction is necessary, especially when something goes toes up or for larger purchases such as real estate or a car.

According to Google, “47% of those they surveyed described feeling “frustrated or annoyed” or “more likely to explore other brands” when a call wasn’t picked up. The advent of click-to-call is causing an influx of call volumes, a whopping 70% of prospects hit the call CTA.

Once the button is pressed and an offline interaction begins, the quality of conversation or rate of pick up can make or break a conversion, which is why we have a few suggestions for transforming your communication strategy that will guide your callers to the final stage of their journey and beyond.

1. Follow up

Following up is not chasing or harassment, its courtesy and can improve upsell potential. A post-conversation chat should be filled with a knowledge of the customer (based on their history) and also questions that can help gauge a greater understanding of what they want in their own words.

2. Speed up decision making

Automated workflows can speed up how a caller lands on the right agent based on their context. If a specific answer is required, understanding a prospects movements on a brand website can give the agent a headstart to finding a solution before they even answer the call.

3. Remove friction

Take away the multiple delays associated with IVR systems, no one likes friction in CX especially when the purchase is of high value. Remove pain points for callers by cascading or sending them through a quicker route to the conversation they really need to have.

4. Know the trends

Analyse, analyse, analyse. Conversations with consumers these days come with a ton of context behind them as the research phase almost always starts with a browsing history. Tracking every key measure from these touchpoints can be a useful way to understand the bigger consumer picture and make conversations less about interrogation and more about connection.

5. Understand their data

Knowing every granular detail of where/how/why a consumer has arrived at your doorstep is vital. In some cases, a PPC (pay-per-click) caller is more of a priority than someone who didn’t visit a higher value page or is just casually browsing.

6. Bring them back

B2C industries like automotive and travel know that a missed call is a missed opportunity, especially when considering their high-profit margins. If a consumer’s call isn’t acknowledged it can be detrimental to both company reputation and the bottom line. For mobile workforces, a simple solution is using just that, their mobile.

Missed call notifications in email or SMS form have a knack for dropping call abandonment rates by nearly 80% while ensuring sales teams value callers and proactively pursue them. Sending a callback request SMS to a missed consumer is always favourable on their end if a call isn’t picked up, data from Software Advice shows that 63 per cent” of consumers surveyed preferred callback.

7. Be a human!

This brings us to the last and final point of any consumer-facing conversation, be a human being! Personalisation is the bread and butter of CX lately, we may think we want to speak to robots but the need for just the right amount of empathy is currently outweighing the convenience of chatbots.

A happy medium is the best bet in this scenario, use technology to make the process of getting to the human help easier, now that’s impactful.

Via: Google, Software Advice

The Benefits Of Geolocation For Predicting Behaviour

Google recently announced a plan to test new geolocation technology in emergency response systems, so that 911 services in selected American states could get to mobile users in distress a lot quicker. “Google tested its new system across parts of Texas, Tennessee, and Florida covering about 2.4 million people. The test took place in December and January and was apparently only for people using Android devices that called into 50 different 911 call centers in those states,” stated Hot Hardware. 
Companies like RapidSOS who participated in the test claimed that “the data sent by Google was more accurate with a radius of 121-feet around the caller, rather than the 522-feet typical of data sent by the carrier.”
Geolocation technology like Google’s has become a standard feature in many industries from e-commerce to law enforcement. Since a majority of today’s society exists online, using a device’s GPS to help with things like shopping, mapping, and even our well-being is just another way to make life easier for we humans. When it comes to customer service, geolocation is a handy tool that many marketers swear by,
“Every advertiser has an understanding of where consumers are located through their devices translated as specific GPS coordinates,” Jim Kovach, vice president of business development at CrowdOptic told Fortune

Location history is an excellent indicator of customer behaviour and a useful predictor of how to keep them happy. Here are a few ways to do that:

Geotargeting for better segmentation

This is a useful method for zeroing in on where a customer base will usually be, knowing ahead of time where a prospect plugs in is another way to enhance personalisation. Geolocation tracks by IP address and connected to that is a range of data which aids in targeting ads specific to a customer’s location. “If a user from a high-income neighbourhood visits a car dealer’s site or clicks on a paid search display ad, that consumer may be directed to a landing page displaying a luxury vehicle, while consumers located in a lower income area may be targeted with a deal on an economy vehicle,” writes Search Engine Land, This knowledge can also help segment customers in a brand’s database for the after-purchase phase when retention comes into play.

Bridging the gap between online and offline customer data

We’ve reiterated this fact, but connecting digital brands with their on-the-ground vendors is essential for increasing the bottom line. One way to do that is to join mobile ads with brick and mortar campaigns. Unilever is a good example of this. Their ice cream brand Magnum saw great success in Ecuador when a mobile banner ad invited customers to create their own ice cream and pick them up in store. According to Mobile Marketer, “Magnum saw 14 percent in-store sales increase and claims to have doubled the world record of ice-cream bars sold in a store on a single day.” Another method for geo-tracking online to offline behaviour is by using a feature like Google’s AdWords. This system allows for a more granular scope of customer location possibilities, such as TV regions, airports, cities, departments, municipalities and more.
All in all, geolocation is a useful way to stay technologically adept and produce relevant marketing which many customers respond to positively.
Via: Search Engine Land, Fortune, Mobile Marketer, Hot Hardware. 

Here's How To Strengthen A Brand's Verbal Identity

On average businesses in the UK spend around £116,000 on “tone of voice” development, meaning that brands are just as interested in defining the way they sound as refining how they look.
One company that has aced verbal branding is Apple. A substantial portion of people on earth can identify the voice of Apple’s intelligent personal assistant Siri, whose original American female voice is borrowed from flesh and blood human and not whipped up in a computer. Apple recognised our need for human interaction, even if we’re only talking to our smartphone.
That reliance on smartphones is increasing; upcoming generations are leaning more into self-service than ever before. But, for more demanding queries or more expensive purchases, callers want to hear another person.
So what does this mean for the future of verbal customer service? “There’s so much noise in the world, and you’ve got a very small window to initiate a conversation with people. If people aren’t interested in what you have to say, they’ll go elsewhere,” Fred Perry’s brand director Rob Gaitt told Marketing Week.
Fully utilising the time a company interacts with customers after initiating a conversation is a hurdle for any enterprise, because no two callers are alike. Here are some ways to make a brand’s voice heard.

Making the call-centre standout

A caller emotionally connects with a brand the moment they pick up the phone to interact with an agent. No pressure. Robotic legacy tech just isn’t going to cut it anymore; callers want to know that if they’re making the jump to put receiver to ear — it’s going to be worth the time. Every word should be on point. “[It’s] 80% good writing principles and 20% [what] we can own in our writing style that makes us distinctive,” explained Jon Hawkins, former head of brand language at BT and founder of Honk to Marketing Week.

Get a head of brand language

Having someone’s single vision guide a brand’s voice isn’t a bad idea. Brand identity must stay consistent to maintain caller loyalty. Humans, man; we’re all far more comfortable with the familiar, and the best organisations know that.
“Sixty percent of global consumers with Internet access prefer to buy new products from a familiar brand rather than switch to a new brand,” says Nielsen.

Sophisticated analytics

After engagement, understanding the metrics behind what worked or didn’t between caller and agent is essential data in this algorithmic age. The future of CX means that content finds consumer and not the other way around, integrating the right technology into a verbal communication system is a great way to ensure that no discourse data is wasted.

The whole concept of “verbal identity” is still relatively new, it was only introduced into the marketing sphere some fifteen years ago by marketing consultant and author John Simmons, yet its become mighty useful for brand growth since. Its success could be attributed to the simple idea behind it; what do you want to say?
Via: Forbes, Marketing Week, Nielsen

A Short Explanation Of Dynamic Phone Numbers

analytics - dynamic phone number

Simply put, dynamic call numbers allow companies to track all inbound calls to their business. They are unique phone numbers assigned to each visitor, displayed ‘dynamically’ on the brand website or in a digital advertising campaign. It’s a handy tool that allows marketers to see how their marketing activity, including advertising, is affecting inbound call volume and measure ROI (Return On Investment). Brands can see a visitor’s complete contextual history – including the source and medium that led them there to the page and even the page from which they decided to reach out.

How Does DNI Work?

Standardly, one line of javascript is added to the website or app, which serves a unique number to each visitor as soon as they arrive on the site. Once a visitor has perused the site and chosen to call, the javascript connects the two phone numbers.

Why It Works

A benefit of using Dynamic Numbers is knowing exactly how successful marketing campaigns like paid search (SEM) and social media are in driving calls and ultimately, benefiting a brand’s bottom line. DNI provides real-time data which can allow businesses to better track where their funds are making the most significant impact. It can also record a customer’s collective communication history with a brand based on one number which remains consistent throughout. No matter who they converse with or the size of their team.

Using dynamic numbers also improves the visibility a brand has over the customer’s journey from research to purchase. Often one call (or any one touchpoint) won’t close be the final sale, so dynamic numbers offer an opportunity to connect every touchpoint by recording the user’s online behaviour post conversation. This data can be retrieved in future conversations brand teams have with that user, enriching their experience

The SEO and Call Tracking Myth

There was a misconception that dynamic number insertion or call tracking would hurt a brand’s SEO clout. This just isn’t true, when done correctly DNI is more beneficial than harmful to SEO.

“The problem is that the call tracking industry has traditionally done a very poor job of educating marketers about what correct use of call tracking actually is,” writes Search Engine Journal.

The initial confusion came about thanks to NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number). Google likes these elements to be consistent across all channels, having multiple numbers can confuse the algorithm. However, this only applies to directories and has nothing to do with on-site DNI. In that regard, companies are just fine and dandy.

Word to the wise though, sprinkling call tracking numbers throughout the internet’s directories will definitely harm SEO and hurt a brand in the long run.

“As long as a precaution is made to make certain your tracking number doesn’t get scraped by Google, or some other authority, tracking numbers are totally fine,” writes Adam Steele via Search Engine Journal.

There is no denying that DNI is helpful for both ends of the purchase. On the company side, it produces a bounty of data that reveals the intricacies of the customer journey. From the customer’s perspective, it can greatly reduce the time it takes to find what they are looking for from a brand.
Via: Search Engine Journal

Google’s latest Adwords tool highlights the importance of comprehensive ad-to-call tracking tools

Yesterday, Google announced the launch of its latest AdWords tool, Website Call Conversion. This latest addition joins a number of new products that allows advertisers to link ads and phone calls that has launched over the last year including click-to-call ads, call metrics, and calls as conversion. The way Website Call Conversion works is that every time a user clicks on the ads and is directed to a merchant’s website, they will see a dynamically generated phone number that is linked to those ads. When potential customers click on or call the number, the call itself will be automatically linked to the ad the customer had seen. This allows brands to more easily track which ads has led to phone calls. The important thing to remember here is that Google AdWords only measures approximately 25% of traffic on most brand websites. The remainder of the traffic comes from other channels which is why tracking phone calls to individual ads and users are of utmost importance in order to generate high data accuracy. By providing our clients with Freespee software we are able to allow them to track conversions based on the whole customer journey, not just those that are the result of Google AdWords. Nonetheless, this marks an exciting time for us, as it shows that people are becoming increasingly aware of the need to connect their data in order to see the bigger picture.

How Google is monetizing phone call traffic

Local advertising is booming – in the U.S., the business is expected to grow from $21.7 billion last year to $42.5 billion by 2015, according to BIA/Kelsey – that’s 14.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
The reasons for the growth are the same in Europe: new technologies enable new types of services, which then allow consumers to find, call and visit local merchants easier and faster, compare prices and buy offline services online (i.e. the “daily deals” business). More and more companies are adopting performance based pricing, which lowers the bar for merchants to spend more on advertising, as they can easily control the spending to sustain a positive ROI.
Many people within the industry are asking, what is Google doing about this?

The answer is that they are doing a lot. But what we are interested in is the phone call traffic – as local advertising is all about offline leads and transactions.
Google speaks about two offerings – in addition to Google Voice – which are available only in the U.S. market.
1. Mobile Click-To-Call (CTC)

Mobile Click-To-Call – as opposed to Online CTC (rather, “Call Back”) – is an intuitive and natural way of connecting directly with merchants and stores. The end user simple clicks a link/button and makes a call. From the merchants’ point of view this is great, as they don’t need to have mobile landing pages – Mobile CTC works directly from an ad.
How to measure the amount of call traffic then? While it is possible to register and report the number of clicks, without call tracking you can’t tell how many calls were connected. When you are paying for the advertising, this can make a huge difference.
Google launched CTC for local advertising in January 2010 and expanded it to national advertisers couple of months later.
And the results? They were simply blown away. Early this year Google announced, that their advertisers receive millions of calls per month and 200% higher CTRs.
2. AdWords Call Metrics

Still the majority of people search for local merchants with their computers online – and of course search advertising is a great way to drive call traffic.
In November 2010 Google finally launched call measurements on AdWords – Call Metrics. While it’s still available only to a limited number of advertisers – and only in the U.S. – it proves that Google wants to be where many of our partners already are today.
What’s in it for me?
Whenever you pick up the phone to call a car dealer, real-estate agent, insurance company or a restaurant, think how great it is to get a human being to serve you and gets things done instantly. Think how valuable your business is to the merchant.
Every time you see a phone number ask yourself, does that advertiser know how many calls they receive through the ad? Is the media publisher or the ad network able to prove the media value,  including phone leads?
How much is your call traffic worth?

Freespee vs. Call Tracking

If all this buzz about Call Tracking, Call Metrics, Call Analytics, etc. gets you confused, you are not alone. As with any other emerging technology, the terminology for Call Tracking  is constantly developing.
Freespee focuses on helping our partners to track, prove and monetize the phone call traffic through various advertising channels. As the European leader in the industry (18 000+ advertisers trust us to power their inbound call marketing) we are trying to find the right words to describe what we do, in order to make it clear to everybody.
So here we go, definitions:
Call Tracking – Measuring inbound phone call traffic from various sources

  • This is the most widely used term to describe, how many phone calls an online or print listing, campaign or website generates – or from the advertisers’ point of view, answer the question: Where do the calls come from?
  • When Freespee talks about Call Tracking, in the same breath we always remind people that this has actually existed for a long time – however, a modern Call Tracking platform is cloud-based and allows real-time number allocation and provisioning, operator-grade call mediation and connectivity, as well as a full API to integrate with various content and ad-management systems, marketing performance dashboards, and CRM software.

Call MetricsCall statistics from a single source

  • Typical statistics include total number of calls (by hour of the day, day of the week), average call length and the ratio of answered/missed calls.
  • A term made popular by Google with their launch of AdWords Call Metrics in November 2010 – allowing advertisers to get statistics on how many phone calls an AdWords ad unit generates.

Call AnalyticsComplete picture of call traffic

  • Call Analytics is less common term, as it has a different meaning in the call center and telecom industries. In inbound call marketing, what we mean by Call Analytics is that it’s like web analytics but for calls. This includes tracking calls from multiple sources, advanced call metrics and phone leads information – such as measuring the number of unique callers, their geographical origin, displaying the phone numbers of the callers, analyzing the phone lead quality and identifying answering patterns to increase sales conversion rates.
  • In call center business Call Analytics can also mean recording of calls, and the analysis of voice data itself – either by automatic transcriptions or manually listening – to find out qualitative information such as inquiry details or consumer sentiments. We are seeing this type of analysis coming to cloud-based platforms as well.

Now, what does the big picture look like, and what does the Freespee platform offer?

Do you like the terminology? Want to share your opinion? Join the discussion on Quora!

Every Day, Companies Make Wrong Decisions About Keywords

From the moment the Internet began to emerge as a powerful marketing channel, it became possible to measure impact in ways that had never before been possible.  Today companies devote serious resources to tracking visitors and measuring the number of actual orders or purchases generated by an Online campaign.
Being able to see the specific Click path that ultimately led your customers to complete an order on your site should be an excellent basis for knowing how to allocate your Online advertising budget. It would mean that you can make greater investments in keywords that have proven to be successful and ditch the words that don’t generate any results.

1. Sounds simple?

Think again: For 9 of 10 companies, a large proportion of the visits to their website do not result in a completed order or purchase because the viewer chooses instead to call the company. It might be to book a hotel room, or make an appointment with the chiropractor, or buy an airline ticket that was difficult to purchase Online, etc. Thus, the ability to be able to track incoming sales calls and relate them to the viewers’ Internet search is absolutely crucial.
If you use a search word that, according to your report, attracts a lot of visitors but leads to no completed orders in your Webshop, you will probably stop putting money into that word. But what if you knew that this specific search word was generating 8 of your 10 incoming sales calls – would you still make the same decision? And imagine you’re a dentist who makes all the appointments over the phone? How do you benefit by knowing how many people visited your Website after an SEM campaign?

2. Doesn’t everyone measure their incoming sales calls, just like they measure the number of visitors to their website?

No, almost no one does that!
Why? Because the analysis industry has been revolutionized by Online marketing. And people in the industry tend to think that it’s really painstaking to have to measure calls. The 25-year olds at Media agency X ask themselves, “Who calls these days?”
Freespee has gathered significant statistics over the course of two years, in which we clearly show the correlation between calls and Online search words, just as companies already relate their search words to a finished deal in the Web shop. As a teaser, when Google changed the look and feel of Google Places on October 28th, 300% more calls are placed directly from Google search results. Prior to October 28th, the user clicked though to the web site and then placed the call. Expect dramatic increase in call volume in 2011.
As there are millions of calls per day, the Media Agency should ask themselves if they monetize this?
In five years, the advertising industry will be entirely different from what I describe above. By then, companies that measure visitor traffic should also be able to clearly see the correlation to their call traffic. Otherwise, Freespee will have failed in its mission.

PS. Next time I will tell you a little bit more about the increased number of Voice leads from Google places…

How did that customer find you?

Case: IGIA
Search engine marketing, both paid and organic search, is obviously one of the most important areas in digital marketing today, and as such a focus area for developing the Freespee Analytics platform as well.
Together with Guava (part of the French Netbooster Group) we are testing a simple tracking code for an advertiser’s site to show a different Freespee Number (local, trackable number) depending of from where the user comes to the site. This enables networks, agencies and the advertisers see the call traffic by source on Freespee Analytics.

As an example, we take a local small business in our hometown Uppsala, a company called IGIA. They offer naprapathy therapy treatment, and their marketing is based on both word-of-mouth and people coming to their website from various online sources.
IGIA has been using Google Analytics to see online traffic, but haven’t been able to tell, if for example the person who called them and booked an appointment clicked on AdWords ad before, or used a local search engine. They also don’t want to go through the trouble of creating separate landing pages for each visitor source.
So, what they did instead is that they put a Freespee Analytics tracking code on their site. This code displays a different phone number to the web visitor, depending on which source they come from. You can try it yourself, by first clicking on the search links, and then clicking on the link on the results.
Direct traffic – phone number: 018- 843 40 40 organic search: 018-843 40 41 local search: 018-843 40 42 local search (a.k.a. Google Places): 018-843 40 45 organic search: 018-843 40 47 local search: 018-843 40 48
Google AdWords: 018-843 40 49
You can have as many Freespee Numbers as you want, the cost increase is very small. When you get a lot of traffic in one of the channels, such as Google AdWords, you may want to dig in deeper and start tracking different keywords and ad copies. Freespee Analytics scales from a very small business to hundreds of thousands of tracking numbers.
Call tracking and analysis also answers many other questions: If you want to maximize the numbers of calls, is your number easy to find? Is the call-to-action on your ad good? Does offering a 15% discount make people call much more? Is your paid-for campaign targeted to the right people, at the right place, on the right time?

Simple A/B testing will tell you, however online advertising optimization can sometimes get quite complicated, that’s why we have agency partners to do the work for the advertisers.
Just ask, if they can already do phone call analysis for you!