According to Digital Marketing Depot, when a user hits your landing page, it’s converted to a sale only 2-10% of the time. In contrast, someone picking up the phone and calling can produce sales as high as 80%. So phone calls are what sales professionals would call “high payoff” activities.

When businesses like yours include a phone number in their advertising materials, it’s typically either a) your business’s direct line, or b) a call tracking number – a unique number – that transparently and seamlessly forwards calls through to your business. Note: There’s no reason to fear having a different phone number out there for your business. Gone are the days where people memorize phone numbers after hearing catchy infomercials on TV.

Breaking Down Call Tracking

So why would you use a totally different phone number from your normal business line in your marketing? The short answer is…well, for lots of reasons. Call tracking helps you track call data from that line (or among a series of lines, if you’re running various campaigns at once). Data for each call to your business could include date and time of the call, how many times the phone rang before your staff picked up, even length of the phone call. More than that, most call tracking systems also provide recordings of the phone calls if you’re opted in to the call record service.

Knowing more about what happens on these phone calls empowers local business owners like you to be smarter about your business. Call tracking helps gather insights like:

  • Identify peak call hours for your business, and staff accordingly.
  • Learn more about your customer base. What type of person is typically calling your business? Where are they calling from, geographically? What are their most common inquiries? If several people call in asking for a specific product or service, you can likely make promotional, inventory and marketing decisions based on that knowledge.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of your customer service model. If it takes 7 rings before someone answers the phone, “Houston – we have a problem.”
  • Figure out the effectiveness of your marketing. What return (by way of phone calls and new leads) are you getting on your investment in promotions and ads you’re running?
  • Build your contact list using information provided throughout the call.
  • Listen for key words and phrases customers use when talking about your business. Use these to optimize your online presence for search engines and get found faster.

Who Call Tracking Works Best For

Some businesses get more value out of call tracking than others. To get the most bang for your buck, consider call tracking if:

  • You handle most of your appointments and consultations over the phone. If you’re still a call-centric business, call tracking is a pretty obvious value-add. Pro tip: Some local businesses try to mimic call tracking by asking each customer the same list of questions and manually recording their answers. Talk about a major time-waster. Plus, if you have more than one person answering the phone, there’s no way to ensure consistency.
  • You’re looking to zero in on top performing products or services, or you’re thinking about expanding your offerings. These calls can give you great insight into why customers are contacting you and what they really want out of your business.
  • You’re looking to address any gaps in customer service or elsewhere. Understanding the length of phone calls can help you learn more about the types of conversations occurring. Better even – recordings of these calls can help you ensure consistency across multiple team members.