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Call Tracking: The First Step to Attribution Success

Call tracking isn’t new, it isn’t flashy, and it won’t win you an award for creativity. Nevertheless, call tracking could be the single most important tool in your marketing technology stack. Here’s why.

What is call tracking?

Call tracking is a technology that provides analytics for phone calls from both online and offline sources. There are two major methods for tracking calls:

  • Static call tracking. One phone number is tied to one marketing channel or referral source. The business purchases a static tracking number. Calls to the tracking number are forwarded to the target number. Businesses can then selectively place the static tracking numbers on marketing pieces. Offline media like direct mail, conference hand-outs, television, and radio are good candidates for static call tracking.
  • Dynamic call tracking. This technology can dynamically swap phone numbers on your website or online advertisements when they load. This lets you track the number that is called and associate it with a specific source, campaign, keyword, session, or user. This is one of the most effective ways to track calls for all sources, but the actual setup can be quite complicated.

Why is call tracking so important?

As marketing budgets continue to grow, it becomes increasingly important to understand how each marketing channel affects your business goals. In order to budget effectively, you need to assign credit to your marketing channels through attribution modeling—but what happens if you can’t track some of those channels? Call tracking helps you fill in some gaps.

Call Tracking Search Example

Let’s look at a problem example. Your customers search for your product on Google and find results with a phone number. They call it. At the end of the month, your AdWords conversions are down but your calls are up. Maybe you think, “I should cancel my AdWords budget.” But this might be a mistake, because the ads are driving calls.

The first step in attribution modeling is making sure you can measure progress toward your business goals. Call tracking is a great measurement tool for both offline and online marketing channels.

Call tracking helps you budget based on ROI

For example, let’s say your boss has asked you to put together a marketing budget for 2017, based on which tactics drove the most calls (customer leads) this year.  You’ve used the following tactics:

  • Billboards
  • Pandora ads
  • Local radio ads
  • Facebook ads
  • Direct mail

Guess what? Without call tracking, you can’t do it. Unlike frequency or reach, call volume allows you to attribute transactions to individual marketing channels. Call tracking is a simple, affordable way to understand how each of your marketing channels are driving calls—both offline and online.

Here at Click Rain we get giddy about call tracking. We’d love to help you understand how it works, which vendor is right for you, how much you should budget, and how it fits into your attribution model.

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