PPC Marketers: You Must Track Phone Calls!

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If you’re a bit TOO digital in your orientation, you can forget or ignore the fact that a large amount of business is still done on the phone. I know I ignored this, at one point, in my digital enthusiasm. But different people and different generations prefer different communication channels. And consumer communication habits vary by vertical, by product, and by situation.

PPC Visitors May Call Your Client

When you run pay per click ads for companies that also get phone sales or leads, you may be generating business that doesn’t show in your AdWords reports. You want to make sure you claim all the success you’re responsible for. And that you know the PPC spend’s total ROI.

If the destination website displays a phone number prominently and you don’t track phone calls, that’s a hole in your ROI measurement. For that reason, we encourage our PPC clients to use call tracking.

Use Call Tracking to Track ALL Your PPC Results

The call tracking solution we use (in combination with onsite programming and the phone number in an AdWords destination URL parameter) ensures that callers who come from PPC use a specific phone number. The programming shows a phone number specific to the marketing channel. PPC visitors see one phone number and other visitors see another.

Call Tracking Benefits Beyond PPC ROI

  • Call Tracking Numbers: Dynamic VoIP telephone number in each advertising source to generate detailed reports. Track each channel separately. Find out which marketing channels work best.
  • Real-Time Reporting: Web reports that reveal ad source, date, time, duration and callers’ phone numbers.
  • Daily Leads via Email: Reports calls answered and missed. Recapture missed calls and recover lost leads.
  • Recorded Call Analysis: Digitally records and indexes calls for easy retrieval and review. Some of our clients have found value in reviewing their calls to find and fix customer service issues. They can make sure their call center people aren’t getting in the way of the sale.
  • Caller Demographics: Census data by Zip Code helps you target specific markets.
  • Data Appending: Provides names and addresses for about 60 percent of all callers. That means anyone who calls can become part of your direct mailing lists.

Phone Call ROI Can Be Huge

For one hotel client in Jan 2008 we generated 996 sales via AdWords. Call tracking told us we got another 498 bookings via phone. That’s 50% more bookings than shown in PPC reports alone. The total revenue tracked by AdWords was upwards of $900k. Phone calls brought in about another 35%, or $336k.

I’m certain that the phone plays a big role in hospitality marketing, and I’m sure it does in other industries as well. Lead generation campaigns for complicated products also can generate a lot of phone responses.

Don’t miss out on tracking this component of your marketing!

Brian Carter is the Director of Search Engine Marketing for Fuel Interactive, an interactive marketing agency in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He is responsible for the SEO, PPC, SMM, and ORM programs at Fuel and its partner traditional agency Brandon Advertising & PR.

Brian Carter
Brian is author of The Like Economy: How Businesses Make Money With Facebook and Facebook Marketing: Leveraging Facebook's Features For Your Marketing Campaigns, How to... Read Full Bio
Brian Carter
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