Tracking Phone Leads

- April 30, 2008

As an SEM client strategist of several lead generation clients, I often get caught up in the hustle and bustle of trying to generate as many leads as possible and finding the best method of tracking those leads. Tools such as Google Analytics have made the process a lot easier by embedding a tracking code in the source code of every page. The code tracks the user throughout the site and allows the marketer to see: the user’s activity, how long they spent on the site, how many pages of the site they viewed before exiting, what geographic location the visitor is in, and of course who converts by completing a “goal” on the site. Typically, the main “goal” for lead generation sites, is getting the visitor to fill out some sort of “Contact Us” or “Request More Information” form. This is an easy method to track because we can code the form and set up the confirmation page as a “goal” within the Google Analytics interface.

That being said, a lot of people visit sites to get a phone number because they would prefer to talk to someone directly. As you can imagine, tracking a phone call is not as easy as tracking an online form, but it is doable. Here are some methods to consider if tracking your phone calls would be of value to you.

  1. Unique Phone Numbers – If you are participating in CPC campaigns, send the traffic to a landing page that has a unique phone number. If you have access to several unique phone numbers, a step further would be to allocate one unique phone number per search engine that you are running traffic in. This will allow you to effectively track phone calls that are coming from Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.
  2. Pay For Call – There are several vendors that offer a Pay for Call Service. Superpages & Ingenio are two in particular that will give you a unique phone number to use for your ad/listing.
  3. Test Unique Phone Number in Ad Copy- If you have a unique phone number, you can test it within the ad copy displayed on a search engine results page. It might slow down the number of clicks, but would be a good way to see who chooses to call instead of going to the site for more information.

Phone calls can be a valid source of leads, and often the most qualified. Most companies are very proud and confident in the product and/or service that they are offering. Therefore, most feel that if someone is interested enough to call about the product and/or service, they can definitely be sold from speaking with someone directly. The main obstacle from receiving phone leads, is the ability to track where the leads came from. Many companies participate in multi-media marketing plans such as: television, radio, print, direct mail, online, etc. Therefore, unless the sales rep specifically asks the individual where they “heard about the company”, there is no way of knowing where the lead truly came from. That being said, if you test one of the three methods mentioned above, you will potentially gain some insight into the source of your phone leads.

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