Business executives identify the phone call as the one of the most effective means of connecting with customers, more so than face-to-face engagement, and find it is has an exceptional influence in the path-to-purchase process. A recently released study by the inbound marketing call company Invoca analyzed more than 30 million phone calls from January through December 2014, covering 40 verticals and sub-verticals, in an effort to determine which platforms rang in with the highest response rate.
Mobile-specific channels generated the greatest number of calls, accounting for 53 percent of the total, with 45 percent directly attributed to mobile search (mobile display contributed the remaining 8 percent). Desktop display and desktop search were next in call volume productivity at 11 and 9 percent, respectively.
In the study, consumers identified click-to-call as the most important element during the purchasing phase of a transaction, and the report also found that these phone calls have conversion rates of 30 to 50 percent. In addition, three-quarters of those queried cited a phone call as the quickest route to receiving customer service. The survey also found that calls are most likely to be made on Tuesdays; Sundays had the fewest number.
The quality of phone calls was measured in call duration, as longer calls were the key indicator of buyer intent and conversion. Calls coming from the mobile search sector averaged 3 minutes 58 seconds and mobile display calls were a full minute less. Desktop display garnered call durations of slightly more than five minutes. Calls generated by print sources were longer, with newspapers, direct mail, magazines and directories registering above the average of 4 minutes and seven seconds (newspapers averaged 6 minutes and 10 seconds).
Among other offline channels, the auto industry saw almost 80 percent of its calls coming from these sources, television in particular. However, these calls were less than two minutes long. Radio was an important platform for Insurance, delivering 7 percent of that industry’s calls. But, while offline platforms generated 44 percent of calls for those in Financial Services, mobile search accounted for 21 percent of all calls (the single largest contributor).
While the report acknowledges that a longer call duration is a good indicator of the intent to purchase, it also suggests that the shorter mobile time may lie in these platforms speaking to a less stationary audience looking for a quicker turnaround.
MarketingCharts staff. “Which Marketing Channels Drive Phone Calls to Businesses?” MarketingCharts, May 19, 2015.
Invoca. 2015 Call Intelligence Index; www.invoca.com/data/, May 2015.