Tracking phone calls service has become one of the most popular marketing services recently. Let’s try to find out how it can improve sales performance: the peculiarities of the given service, difficulties that marketing specialists face when applying it, its features and advantages, and prospects for the development in the nearest future.
Search marketing agencies very often face with certain problems which are typical for a certain type of a customer. For example, small businesses usually have small budgets but greatly overstated requirements. Or there is one more common problem – tracking the number of calls that refer to advertising but not to potential on-line shoppers. In other words, how to track the efficiency of search campaigns, advertising and keywords without using on-line conversion?
As it turned out, the solution lied in a totally different place. So, what are the ways to improve sales?
Yellow Pages innovation – the service to track calls
The problem is not new to search marketing. Yellow Pages (YP) company perfectly illustrates this case. Let us suppose that an advertiser offers to place an ad that fills half of a page, which certainly costs a fortune. Such a gigantic ad will certainly attract lots of customers and guarantees a large number of telephone calls. But how is an advertiser supposed to find out that such a significant investment will give more profit than a previous, standard advertising?
The solution was quite simple. Yellow Pages company offered its clients a call-tracking service for tracking the calls. That is, each ad is assigned a unique phone number and a person who calls is simply redirected to an effective phone number. With the help of this service an advertiser is able to find out that having paid Yellow Pages $60,000 per annum he received 4000 calls, which were included into the call cost in an amount of $15 per call.
It is better than nothing, but this service itself will not make the business profitable. That is why there appeared the necessity to study the given question in more details and experienced marketing specialists continued studying the data, and subsequently began to use additional information about calls that allowed us to see what share of the revenue and profitability accounts for this kind of advertising.
PPC call tracking
First of all, such advertisers as Google AdWords and Bing Ads can take advantage of extensions for making calls from mobile devices. That means that if somebody goes online from mobile device and sees your ad he may click that ad to make a call directly from a phone, and you need to decide about the cost of the click. There are no any additional expenses.
If you want to receive additional information about calls or to track calls from notebooks and PCs you may use Google extension with call forwarding numbers. This option allows accessing such information about a call as the results of a telephone call, the rate of attractiveness of an advertising and phone calls conversion rate. Other indicators such as duration of calls are also available in reports.
Landing pages call tracking
Such technology for tracking user activity which directly calls after they have seen the ads is really efficient. But most often a user clicks the ad and goes to website. In this case call tracking service plays a key role as well.
Tracking call industry inUSAconsists of dozens of companies with different technologies. Some of them have been developed for Yellow Page advertisers, others for search marketing specialists. Those companies may be totally different but one is for certain – they provide a wide range of options for the most demanding taste. Among the most well known companies are such as Marchex, ResponseTap, TelMetrics, Mongoose Metrics, Bionic Click, IfByPhone, Century Interactive, Call Source, and many others.
There are at least a few dozen call tracking technologies integrated with Google Analytics for tracking calls (that is, they can track phone calls in Google Analytics, allowing a more qualitative assessment of the effectiveness of your marketing programs). Companies offer not only tracking services but also provide reports and complete information about the calls. Some of these technologies allow listening calls in the interface to obtain information on location, duration and time of call, and some of them may even convert the calls into the text and analyze the words to define the purpose of the call, such as direct sales, questions about the availability of goods, help requests, etc.
Call tracking expenses
As for businesses representatives, minimizing expenses is very often of crucial importance; call tracking and optimization of this system are additional cost items. All the companies that perform call tracking need to lease phone numbers and pay bills. This means these expenditures are passed on to the end consumers.
In a world with many free services from Google and Microsoft call-tracking technology is not yet well developed, and despite rumors that a beta version of the free call tracking services are about to appear nothing of the king is available as of yet. Although effecting PPC sales became mush easier due to built-in programs for tracking calls, the expenses are on businesses owners till the situation changes.
The future of call tracking
So what are we to expect in the nearest 2-3 years? Some analysts believe Google and Microsoft will provide their customers with free call tracking services in the end. This will create additional competition among those companies, which offer their call tracking services nowadays and they will be forced to make considerable efforts to stay afloat.
Beyond that, there are a lot of undifferentiated technology providers which came from a printing industry sphere and try to switch to digital while others have appeared already in the digital age. One would assume that those companies that specialize in digital marketing will have the advantage; however, if the services will be free of charge, it may be that more mature companies of printing era will be the winners in these conditions. One thing is for sure, major changes are coming in the industry of call tracking but it may be years before they happen.
It can be said with confidence that for the moment call tracking is a quite promising industry in business marketing which can improve the efficiency if working on PPC platform. The profit from using this service greatly outweighs the expenses and the return on PPC is extremely high. It’s not only your business which benefits from it, but also your clients will see the true value and efficiency of this marketing approach. As they say, “game over”, it’s time to use truly effective services that guarantee an increase in the number of calls and the flow of potential customers.