Buyer's Guide to Call Tracking Software for Marketers


Published on

Call tracking has become the new mission-critical marketing technology, joining marketing automation and CRM. It’s why analysts estimate marketers will spend $1 billion on call tracking solutions this year.

As a marketer, if you are looking to implement a call tracking solution to track, route, score, and manage phone leads, it is important to be prepared for the purchase-making journey.

Published in: Technology
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Buyer's Guide to Call Tracking Software for Marketers

  1. 1. eBook EBOOK Buyer’s Guide to Call Tracking Software for Marketers
  2. 2. Buyer’s Guide to Call Tracking Software for Marketers The role that voice and the phone call play in marketing and sales success has never been bigger. There were 30 billion inbound sales calls made to businesses in the U.S. alone last year, and thanks in part to the popularity of smartphones, that number is expected to reach 70 billion by 2016. This great news for marketing and sales, since studies have shown that inbound calls are the most valuable type of lead, converting to revenue 10 times more than web clicks. However, this re-emergence of voice is forcing marketers to acknowledge that they have a critical blind spot that is costing them business. Simply put, CMOs don’t know what marketing programs make their phones ring, and they can’t attribute sales opportunities and revenue from those calls to the right sources. Without this data, marketing teams struggle to optimize campaigns, content, and marketing ROI to generate more of the phone leads that sales managers value most. This is why 2014 is expected to be the year for call tracking in marketing. Analyst firm BIA/Kelsey predicts call tracking will become a $1 billion market this year, and the technology will take its place alongside marketing automation and CRM as the critical tools marketers rely on to accurately prove and improve campaign ROI. If you are considering implementing call tracking, it’s important to know that not all call tracking technologies are created equal. This buyer’s guide will: • Explain the benefits of call tracking • Describe the different types of call tracking technology • Guide you on what questions to consider when selecting a vendor • Highlight cost and pricing models Introduction © 2014 Ifbyphone, Inc. | (866) 263-3808 | | | 2
  3. 3. Buyer’s Guide to Call Tracking Software for Marketers Call tracking is a form of lead attribution and marketing analytics technology. Marketers and lead gen agencies use it to track inbound phone calls back to the specific marketing sources that originated them, and then follow those leads through the sales cycle to revenue. How It Works: Call tracking technology lets you insert unique trackable phone numbers (local, toll-free, or vanity) in your marketing material. When someone calls that number, the solution knows exactly what source they’re calling from. Call tracking technology enables you to track inbound calls back to any marketing source: online, mobile, or offline. You can attribute phone leads (and the pipeline and revenue they generate) to specific ads, campaigns, keyword searches, referring websites, mobile, email and direct mail blasts, content, social media, or any other marketing source, including Google and Bing PPC. If that lead goes on to become an opportunity or a customer, you can tie those events back to the original lead source. This allows you to understand and prove how your marketing is generating phone calls, so you can optimize performance and spend and ultimately drive more high- quality phone leads, opportunities, and revenue for your business or clients. What Is Call Tracking? © 2014 Ifbyphone, Inc. | ((866) 263-3808 | | | 3 Tracking Inbound Calls Is Important, Especially in Mobile Search 70% of mobile searchers call a business directly from search results. 61% of mobile seachers say it’s important that businesses give them a phone number to call. 33% of mobile searchers said they would be less likely to refer a brand to others or use the brand if it didn’t offer an option to call. Source: Google and Ipsos Research Study, September 2013
  4. 4. Buyer’s Guide to Call Tracking Software for Marketers Simply put, call tracking technologies have become popular because inbound calls are the most lucrative type of lead. They are the leads sales team most want to receive, and therefore the ones marketers most need to generate and track. Consider the following stats about inbound sales calls: • Inbound sales calls are booming: There were 30 billion inbound sales calls made to businesses in the U.S. alone last year, and that number is expected to reach 70 billion by 2016, according to BIA/Kelsey. • The impact of mobile: The surge in mobile device adoption and the continued growth in mobile advertising are partly responsible, driving an influx of sales calls into businesses. A 2013 study by Google found that 70% of mobile searchers call a business directly from search results. It makes sense: tapping a click-to-call link on your smartphone is much easier than trying to fill out a web form on your device’s tiny screen. • Phone numbers encourage trust: That same Google study also found that 61% believe it’s important that businesses give them a phone number to call, and 33% would be less likely to use and refer brands that don’t. Consumers see phone numbers as a sign that a business is trustworthy. • Inbound calls drive revenue: According BIA/Kelsey, 61% of businesses consider inbound phone calls to be excellent leads, more than any other type. It’s why marketers are spending $68 billion annually on ads to generate those sought-after inbound sales calls: phone calls mean revenue. This re-emergence of voice is forcing marketing and sales teams to acknowledge that they have a critical blind spot that is costing them business. The problem is twofold: • First, CMOs don’t know what marketing programs are making their phones ring, and they can’t attribute sales opportunities and revenue from those calls to the right sources. Without this data, marketing teams struggle to optimize campaigns, content, and marketing ROI to generate more of the phone leads that sales managers value most. • Second, marketing and sales teams can’t control how inbound calls are routed and managed. They spend resources and budget trying to generate high-value calls, but then are forced to cross their fingers and hope calls get routed to the right person right away and are handled correctly. Why Are Marketers Adopting Call Tracking? © 2014 Ifbyphone, Inc. | (866) 263-3808 | | | 4
  5. 5. Buyer’s Guide to Call Tracking Software for Marketers Calls are undoubtedly critical to marketing and sales success, but neither marketing nor sales have the right tools to measure, optimize, and control them. Call tracking technologies are the solution. They can eliminate this blind spot by tracking phone calls back to their source and through the sales cycle to revenue. That means you can: • Calculate ROI and Other KPIs: You no longer have to guess which campaigns are driving sales calls – and you no longer have to bicker with sales or with your agency clients about which phone leads you brought in. Instead, you get a complete, detailed understanding of which campaigns are generating calls and how those leads are impacting pipeline and revenue. • Optimize What Works: Even better, you can use call tracking data to pinpoint which activities are working – and which aren’t – and make improvements. You can focus resources and budget on the campaigns, ads, keywords, and content that are actually driving leads and revenue while eliminating those that aren’t. © 2014 Ifbyphone, Inc. | (866) 263-3808 | | | 5 Even Online Shoppers Want to Talk 77% of online shoppers say they would be interested in getting help from a real person before making an online purchase. 82%say there have been times when they have not been able to get help from a real person. 58% have a question that cannot be answered by information on the web site. 52% of those who have not been able to get help from
a real person say it has affected their decision to not purchase the product. Source: IMShopping and Harris Interactive Survey, August 2009
  6. 6. Buyer’s Guide to Call Tracking Software for Marketers © 2014 Ifbyphone, Inc. | (866) 263-3808 | | | 6 While call tracking is a relatively new technology, it has evolved quickly. And the truth is that not all call tracking technologies are created equal. There are currently three different “generations” of call tracking available for marketers to use: first, second, and next – with each new generation building on the previous one’s functionality. In order to help you make an informed decision about what kind of call tracking will work best for your needs, let’s look at the types available. About First-Generation Call Tracking First-generation call tracking is the most basic and can be used for offline advertising (such as print ads, direct mail campaigns, TV or radio spots, billboards, or trade show materials), some content marketing (like tracking calls from eBooks, presentations, webinars, and brochures), or email blasts. You can use first-generation call tracking software to procure unique phone numbers to manually insert in your marketing materials. You then attribute those numbers in the call tracking software to their respective sources, and configure, schedule, and generate real-time and historical web-based reports on phone leads. What first-generation call tracking can’t do, however, is track calls from online and mobile ads (including Google PPC search ads), SEO terms, banner ads, and web pages. It also lacks tools to help you optimize conversations by scoring, routing, recording, and managing inbound calls. About Second-Generation Call Tracking Second-generation call tracking software gives you all the abilities and functionality of first-generation call tracking, but it also enables you to track calls from online and mobile sources. This is important if you run lead generation campaigns using Google, Bing, or other PPC ads, banner ads, social media ads, and other campaigns that send people to online or mobile web pages. It’s also important if you want to understand which SEO terms people used to find you before they called, and what web page they called from. Second-generation call tracking works by using a technique called dynamic number insertion (DNI). DNI automatically displays a unique call tracking phone number on your web pages based on how that visitor came to your site. However, it also lacks the tools marketers need to control what happens to calls when they come in. The Different Types of Call Tracking Technology
  7. 7. Buyer’s Guide to Call Tracking Software for Marketers About Next-Generation Call Tracking The latest evolution of call tracking is called next-generation call tracking. It gives you all the abilities and functionality of first- and second-generation call tracking, but it also has tools that enable marketers to optimize conversions by controlling what happens to phone calls once they come in, including automated call scoring, routing, and recording functionality. And it includes tools that work with the phone to help you generate more leads. Phone Lead Scoring: Qualify and Filter Inbound Calls with an IVR Chances are that not every inbound call you generate will be ready to engage with a sales rep. Many might not be. And you don’t want to waste a sales reps’ time by having them field incoming calls from leads that aren’t sales-ready. Next-generation call tracking makes it easy to filter your inbound calls from any source automatically using an IVR. IVR stands for interactive voice response. It is a telephone technology that people interact with using their voice or phone keypad to answer questions or acquire data. Marketers can build their own IVRs (see Figure 1) that they can direct callers to from their campaigns to be qualified. The IVR can answer calls and ask callers the questions you determine work best to qualify them for that particular campaign. For example, if you are using the BANT (budget, authority, need, timeline) model to score leads, you can pose those questions to learn if callers are really qualified. Leads that score high enough can be passed automatically from the IVR to a sales rep for an immediate conversation. © 2014 Ifbyphone, Inc. | (866) 263-3808 | | | 7 Figure 1: Example of post-support customer satisfaction IVR survey built using Ifbyphone.
  8. 8. Buyer’s Guide to Call Tracking Software for Marketers © 2014 Ifbyphone, Inc. | (866) 263-3808 | | | 8 It’s the same principle you use when inserting qualifying questions on your web forms. But the IVR results are often better because leads can be passed to sales right away to have a conversation. With web leads you have to wait for a sales rep to view the lead, dial their number, and hopefully get the lead on the phone. That could take several call attempts, if it happens at all. With IVRs, the conversation is instantaneous, and the lead doesn’t grow cold. Phone Lead Routing: Forward Phone Leads in Different Ways Next-generation call tracking enables you to control not only which callers get passed to sales, but also where and to whom they get passed. Because next-generation call tracking can tell which ad, search keyword, web page, content, marketing campaign, or other source a person is calling from, you can route calls differently for different clients, campaigns, and marketing sources. Call routing options include: • Route by schedule: Create call routing
based on a business’s office hours, time zones, weekends, holidays, and more. Beacon Technologies Sees Over 400% Higher ROI with Call Tracking Beacon Technologies is a web technology and marketing agency. Beacon uses Ifbyphone as the critical link between online marketing spend and offline phone call conversions. For one client, Beacon used unique phone numbers from Ifbyphone to track call activity from sites like,, Google Local, and social media outlets. They now understood which channels were working and adjusted spending accordingly. The end result was a significant increase in ROI. “A lot of companies don’t just get leads that take place on the web. Consumers often pick up the phone and call,” said Brad Henry, Director of Web Marketing at Beacon. “It’s important to know where that lead originated, particularly if the web is involved, in order to optimize marketing initiatives moving forward.”
  9. 9. Buyer’s Guide to Call Tracking Software for Marketers © 2014 Ifbyphone, Inc. | (866) 263-3808 | | | 9 • Route by agent: Ensure that the best performing sales reps receive the most calls by routing a certain percentage to specific agents. • Route by geography: If a business has multiple locations or assigns leads based on territory, set up incoming phone calls to be routed based on the caller’s location. Record and Transcribe Inbound Calls to Prove Quality Next-generation call tracking software can also record and transcribe inbound calls from your lead generation campaigns. If you do lead generation for clients, call recordings and transcriptions can help you verify and prove the quality of phone leads. But even if you do lead gen for your own company, these records provide a wealth of information for marketing and sales to mine, including: • What terminology leads use • How they describe their pain points • The sticking points sales have to overcome • The sales approaches that work best to close deals Lead Generation: Convert Web Form Leads into Instant Sales Calls If you do lead gen campaigns where leads need to be contacted fast, next-generation call tracking can help. It has web form triggering functionality that can help generate a phone conversation between a sales rep and a web lead seconds after they fill out a web form. Here’s how it works: 1. Whenever a lead completes a web page form and clicks submit, next-generation call tracking immediately calls your sales rep and “whispers” the lead’s information in their ear. This can include the name of the form that was downloaded, the lead’s name, and their phone number. 2. If the rep decides to accept the call, the software will automatically call the lead and connect both parties over the phone. Web form triggering can work for any type of web form, including Request a Demo forms, Contact Us forms, or the forms on any of your Google PPC landing pages. It can be a very effective strategy for improving the number of Google PPC leads and other web form leads that convert to opportunities and revenue.
  10. 10. Buyer’s Guide to Call Tracking Software for Marketers © 2014 Ifbyphone, Inc. | (866) 263-3808 | | | 10 Next-Generation Call Tracking • All the functionality of first- and second-generation call tracking + Clean toll-free, local, and vanity phone phone numbers + IVR for capturing and scoring phone leads + Custom call routing + Call recording and transcription + Advanced call analytics reports + Web form triggering + Voice broadcasts Summary of Call Tracking Types First-Generation Call Tracking • Trackable toll-free, local, and vanity phone numbers • Call tracking for offline ads, content marketing, and email • Web-based reports on call volumes • Manager dashboards Second-Generation Call Tracking • All the functionality of first- generation call tracking + Call tracking for online and mobile ads, SEO, and web pages + CRM and Salesforce integration + Google Analytics, Universal Analytics, and Google Adwords integration + Integration with bid management software
  11. 11. Buyer’s Guide to Call Tracking Software for Marketers © 2014 Ifbyphone, Inc. | (866) 263-3808 | | | 11 Implementing the right call tracking solution can help you optimize your marketing efforts, shorten your sales cycle, and drive more revenue. In order to select the right vendor for you, here are some important questions to consider asking: Does Your Call Tracking Software Integrate with Salesforce and Other CRMs? While call tracking software can be used as a standalone platform, some technologies also integrate with CRM systems like Salesforce. All call tracking data is passed to the CRM, so you can generate reports that include phone lead data along with the web leads and other lead types you generate for clients. If you use a CRM system, be sure to inquire about integration options with each call tracking vendor you speak with. CRM integration enables you to follow each phone lead through the sales cycle so you can understand how each of your marketing sources is driving opportunities and revenue from phone leads. Also, ask if data is passed to the CRM in real time so sales managers can see lead source data before they answer calls, or if it is only done via a data dump once a day? Can You Include Call Data in Google Analytics and Universal Analytics? Many companies use Google Analytics to better understand activity on their web site. In 2013 Google took their analytics platform to the next level with the release of Universal Analytics, which gives businesses the ability to view not just web activity, but also data on offline interactions, mobile app traffic, and other sources – all in the same interface. A few call tracking vendors can integrate their call tracking data with both Google Analytics and Universal Analytics and add the critical phone data piece to Google’s marketing analytics puzzle. Be sure to ask vendors if they integrate with both, as Google is pushing most Analytics users to move to their new Universal Analytics platform. What to Consider When Evaluating Call Tracking Technologies
  12. 12. Buyer’s Guide to Call Tracking Software for Marketers © 2014 Ifbyphone, Inc. | (866) 263-3808 | | | 12 How Clean Are Your Call Tracking Numbers, Really? Many call tracking vendors sell phone numbers that are “dirty,” meaning they receive calls from past advertising campaigns with other businesses. If you use one of these dirty numbers to track marketing, it can ruin the validity of your data. Ask the call tracking vendor how they clean their numbers. Do they put their phone numbers through rigorous call “cleansing” processes before they give them to you, ensuring the accuracy of your data? If so, how? Can Your Call Tracking Software Automatically Route Calls to the Right Sales Rep? Generating a higher volume of inbound calls is fantastic, but as a marketer, what you really want to do is drive opportunities and revenue. That means you need to be sure inbound calls are getting sent to the best people to convert them. Few call tracking vendors offer intelligent call routing options, so be sure to ask what they provide. Call Tracking Helps WiderFunnel Show a 42% Increase in Phone Calls for Client WiderFunnel, a marketing optimization agency, was engaged by Saint Jude Retreats to increase phone leads from their web site, since phone inquiries were more likely to convert into sales. To do it, WiderFunnel designed several web landing page variations optimized for phone call inquiries and used Ifbyphone to track calls from each page. The result: WiderFunnel measured a 42% increase in phone calls from their landing pages, demonstrating a significant boost in business for Saint Jude Retreats. “Ifbyphone’s call tracking tools and customer support is second to none. Ifbyphone played an integral part in measuring the success of our landing page optimization efforts, and we couldn’t be any happier with the results,” said Daniel G. Hidalgo, Marketing Director of Saint Jude Retreats.
  13. 13. Buyer’s Guide to Call Tracking Software for Marketers © 2014 Ifbyphone, Inc. | (866) 263-3808 | | | 13 How Reliable Is Your Call Tracking Platform’s Infrastructure? Once you start using call tracking in your campaigns, the last thing you want is for the software to fail and your phone stops ringing completely. Some call tracking vendors are extremely reliable and have processed hundreds of millions of inbound calls successfully, but many others have not. Be sure to ask what carrier supports their platform and how many calls their call tracking software has successfully processed. Will You Have the Proper Support to Help You Along the Way? It’s important to ask potential vendors what kind of support they offer, how much it costs, and if you will able to get them on the phone and get help when you need it. When working with a call tracking solution, proper implementation is key to getting the most value. This is true especially when you are tracking digital campaign sources like online and mobile PPC search ads, as they can be complex and require specific expertise to configure. A vendor who has Google-certified call tracking specialists on staff and available to take your call will be a big benefit to you and to the overall value you receive from implementing call tracking. Some Other Questions to Consider Asking Vendors • Do you specialize in mobile or online call tracking? Can you track calls back to specific search keywords and PPC ads? • Can you include your call conversion data in Google AdWords? • Do you offer negative match, where you can identify and exclude chosen sources like SEO or PPC branded searches, specific keywords, and domains? • Do you offer “whisper” messages to announce how each caller found you to your agents before they accept the call? • Do you offer a call recording option? • Can I route callers to sales agents who are travelling or working from home? Can they answer get those calls on their home or mobile phones? • Do you offer both toll-free and local phone numbers? Do I own these numbers?
  14. 14. Buyer’s Guide to Call Tracking Software for Marketers © 2014 Ifbyphone, Inc. | (866) 263-3808 | | | 14 • What tools are available for an agency managing call tracking for multiple clients? • Can you generate reports on call activity for each sales agent? • Does your software integrate with bid management software like Acquisio and Kenshoo? • Does your software integrate with the business applications I already use? Are there API integration capabilities and how do they get data out? • Is there the option of custom integrations? Be Sure to Get a Personal Demo After you’ve done preliminary research, you should sign up for product demos, talk to sales reps, and take notes on features that you are interested in. Comparing features can help you understand what you’ll be able to achieve and how the solution capabilities align with your goals. Remember that not every vendor can do everything you want, so it’s important to determine your priorities upfront so you do not have to select multiple ad-hoc vendors later. Some Final Items to Consider Before Making Your Decision After looking at the technology, you may wish to consider a few other things before making your final decision: • Trust: Do they have references? What other businesses in your industry are using their solution? How are they using it? What results have they experienced? Are there tips you can use to help maximize ROI? • Implementation: Will they help you get started? If you decide to go with a vendor, do they have programs in place to help you get started? How long will it take to get up and running? You should also consider testing calls before your launch to insure reliability and detect any potential problems. • Scale and Flexibility: One of benefits of a purchasing a call tracking solution is that it can be applied to virtually any form of marketing scenario. Even if all you want to do is call tracking for a simple print campaign where the calls go to one sales agent today, you might optimize your marketing to do digital ads and expand your sales force to include many agents working in many locations tomorrow. You want to select a call tracking vendor that can meet the needs you have today, as well as those you will need tomorrow as you continue to evolve.
  15. 15. Buyer’s Guide to Call Tracking Software for Marketers © 2014 Ifbyphone, Inc. | (866) 263-3808 | | | 15 Most call tracking solutions are delivered via the cloud and sold as a recurring subscription. Some offer their services as a monthly subscription that can be cancelled at any time, though you should inquire about their cancellation policies before you sign up. The main factors determining the cost of a subscription are: • Functionality: Call tracking software is often sold in different tiers or packages, where you pay more for advanced features. You should discuss this with your vendor to ensure you get the best package for your needs. • Phone numbers and usage minutes: Many packages include a certain number of phone numbers and calling minutes per month, and then charge extra when you exceed that amount. It’s important to determine your estimated tracking volume so that you’re not surprised by the cost. • Customer support: Some providers have free customer support, but others will charge you extra. One final note on cost: some vendors also have monthly minimums built into their contract which you must pay regardless of your usage level that month, so it’s wise to ask about those as well. Cost and Pricing Models Not All Call Tracking Providers Are Created Equal Not every call tracking provider has the technology to properly track every type of marketing source. And many also lack the technology to route and manage inbound calls. When talking to a call tracking vendor, be sure to ask if they offer the following functionality: • Full attribution down to the keyword level • The ability to track SEO as well as PPC • Customizable session times • Negative keyword matching • Real-time reporting • Customizable phone routing options once the call comes in • Dynamic whisper messaging • Integrations with web analytics, CRM, and bid management technologies • Support from Google-certified experts
  16. 16. Buyer’s Guide to Call Tracking Software for Marketers © 2014 Ifbyphone, Inc. | (866) 263-3808 | | | 16 The value of fully understating the call tracking implementation process and ownership cannot be stressed enough. A solution is only effective if you use it, and implementation is just the starting point on the road to success. A call tracking playbook that is tied back to your business goals and objectives will allow you the ability to discover real value out of what you purchased and help you assess and adjust your strategy along the way. Develop a Call Tracking Playbook Tips for Selecting the Right Vendor • Carrier Support: The carrier support behind the call tracking technology is critical. Think of the impact on your business if the call tracking technology goes down and calls stop coming in. • Call Management: True marketing ROI is measured in opportunities and revenue. You don’t want to just lob inbound calls over the fence at sales and hope everything magically works out. You should be able control call routing to ensure the best possible outcome for those phone leads. • Integrations: It is important to know how you will be able to get your data out of the call tracking solution. Do they have an API? Custom integrations? This is especially true if you are also using a CRM solution like Salesforce.
  17. 17. Buyer’s Guide to Call Tracking Software for Marketers © 2014 Ifbyphone, Inc. | (866) 263-3808 | | | 17 Summary Inbound calls have re-emerged as the most effective channel for generating high-quality leads and closing business. Smart marketers are looking for a call tracking solution that allows them to effectively measure, optimize, and control inbound calls, get credit for the phone calls they generate and identify which campaigns are making their phones ring. There are many call tracking options and the decision- making process is often complicated. This guide is intended to ease that process by helping you understand the benefits of call tracking, the types of technology available, and questions and tips to help you make an informed buying decision for your business. Next Steps Call Ifbyphone today at (866) 263-3808 to learn how Ifbyphone can help you grow your business. You can also request a demo of Ifbyphone’s call tracking solution at
  18. 18. About Ifbyphone Ifbyphone, the leader in voice-based marketing automation (VBMA), connects, measures and optimizes sales and service calls for businesses and organizations. Ifbyphone’s VBMA solutions capture and manage phone leads and information that often slip through the cracks of traditional marketing automation and CRM software solutions. The Ifbyphone product suite is a set of software-as-a-service applications including call tracking, hosted IVR (interactive voice response), call routing, virtual call center and voice broadcasting. Organizations of all sizes in all industries use Ifbyphone, including marketing agencies, lead generation, e-commerce, direct response, financial services and insurance, health care, retail and logistics, and SaaS and technology. For more information, visit © 2014 Ifbyphone, Inc. All rights reserved. Twitter: Facebook: (866) 263-3808 300 West Adams Street, 9th Floor Chicago, IL 60606