Whenever the issue of tracking phone sales comes up, there always seems to be an industry-wide understanding that it is OK to just lump all phone sales together and go on our merry way.
However, doing that isn’t just wrong… it’s dangerous.
Lumping all phone sales together for your online store is just like lumping all web orders together.
In fact, these orders are quite different. The leads originated from different sources, and must be tracked so you know where to put back your marketing dollars.
For example, say you’ve been putting time into your AdWords account lately. If you’re track your web PPC sales but not your phone PPC sales, you could be ignoring up to half the conversions your AdWords account is generating.
Not only is this valuable information that you can use to help your business grow, but it’s also the kind of granular detail that will impress your metrics-centric boss.
There are a lot of steps to go through. However, if you set everything up correctly, you get an incredible amount of valuable information. Here’s how to do it…
Step #1- Tagging your Traffic Sources
To do this, you need to use Google Analytics and their traffic tagging. It is a simple parameter that you add to the end of your destination URL to track the source of the click:
For example, if you wanted to track all your traffic from an email campaign, I would recommend using a this as your destination URL:
Then, when you log into your Google analytics account, you see how many clicks this email got, and attribute all these visitors to your email efforts.
To view this data, log into your Google Analytics account, go to Traffic Sources -> All Traffic and type in “Email” in the search bar.
This will give you all the traffic from this source.
Tag all the traffic sources you can for the most data possible.
Step #2- Creating Receiving Numbers that are Trackable
Once you have your tagging in place, you now need dedicated phone numbers. If you have three sources of traffic you are looking to track, create a total of four phone numbers for your business (one “catch all” phone number that is on your site now, and three additional “receiving” phone numbers to track).
For this, go through Fonality.com. They have a user-friendly interface and advanced hardware that allows you to create custom messages when one of your phone numbers is dialed.
If you’re using their VoIP system and their phones, you can create messages that appear on your sales phones when a particular number is called.
When your sales representative sees the phone ring, a message is shown that only appears when that specific number is dialed.
In this example, we’re tracking three traffic sources- AdWords, Bing PPC and Email Traffic. Each one will have it’s own receiving phone number purchased from Fonality. We can easily tag a phone number to display a message to your sales representative.
If your Adwords number is dialed, then I recommend having the message “AdWords” appear on your sales representative’s phone. If your Bing PPC number is dialed, use the phrase “Bing PPC”. The same is true for your “Email” phone number. Your main office number can have a generic message line “Main”.
This is very important. You want your sales representative to know the source of the traffic before they pick up the phone.
Step #3- Creating Your Sales Representative’s Order Page
Many e-commerce stores point their sales reps to the website’s home page to place orders. Still others have them manually entered into their database or their merchant account.
Instead, create a custom landing page that only your sales reps will see. This page should be bookmarked as their homepage, so every time the sales rep’s browser is launched, they’ll be taken to their custom sales page.
We’ll call this the “Phone Order Page”. This page will only have four links, clearly aligning with the messages displayed on their phone when it rings.
One link will say “Main”, the others “AdWords”, “Bing PPC” and “Email”.
All these links will take the sales rep to a second page. We’ll call this page the “Phone Products Page”. It conveniently lists all the products on one page, with any corresponding information a sales rep might need to close a sale- inventory numbers, prices, quantity discounts, upsells, links to the sales page, links to the checkout page on your site, and anything else your sales people might need.
Now, even though each link on your “Phone Order Page” will send your rep to the “Phone Products Page”, each link will be tagged separately with their own GA tracking code.
For example, if the “Main” number is dialed, then the “Main” link should look something like this:
This basically means that when the order is placed, it will conveniently show up in your Google Analytics as a phone order that came in off the main phone number.
Here are your other three links:
This way, when the phone rings, and your sales rep sees the message on the phone, they can click the corresponding link to take them to their custom “Phone Products Page”, ready to talk to the customer before they even pick up the phone!
When your reps place a AdWords phone order, this tagging allows your Google Analytics account to report the sale as “Phones/AdWords”.
Now that this is out of the way, our last step is to display different phone numbers to your visitors based on their traffic source.
Step #4- Attributing Traffic Sources to Custom Phone Numbers
Remember, we have our traffic sources tagged with our GA tags, and we have our “Phone Orders Page” tagged as well.
Now, we want each different source to have its own unique phone number. We do this by creating a CallTrackingMetrics.com account.
CallTrackingMetrics.com is a great tool that displays custom phone numbers to different traffic sources. So, for example, all your AdWirds traffic sees one phone number, your Email traffic sees another phone number, and your Bing PPC traffic sees yet another phone number.
Once you have created an account, log in and click on “buy numbers”.
This allows you to buy or rent tracking phone numbers from the company. You can search by area code, toll free, address or near number. I recommend toll free, since 800 and 888 numbers look more professional.
Once you purchase your tracking number (for as little as $6 per month!), you assign your new “tracking number” to your “receiving number” (your “receiving number” is the number you purchased in your Fonality account).
Once your “tracking numbers” are purchased/rented through Call Tracking Metrics, you can now assign them to your traffic sources. So, every time someone from AdWords visits your site, your website will display a different phone number than a Bing PPC visitor or an Email visitor.
To set this up, go back to your Call Tracking Metrics interface and click “numbers” and then “tracking numbers”. The numbers you’ve purchased are populated in this field.
Click on the “edit” button next to your first number. Scroll down to the “select a tracking source” section of the page. You have these options:
When you select “Google Paid”, Call Tracking Metrics searches for the tracking code that AdWords uses on all its clicks, the “gclid” parameter found in the sequence below…
Click on the ppc ad…
And your landing page automatically gets this tracking parameter…
Once you insert the tracking code correctly, you’re ready to test it out. To do this, go to Google and search for one of your products, and click on one of your AdWords ads.
When you land on your website, you should see the “tracking number” you just reserved from Call Tracking Metrics.
Call this number. It forwards you to your Fonality “receiving number”. Your sales phone will then ring with the “AdWords” custom message. Your sales rep will then know to click on the “AdWords” tagged link on their “Phone Orders Page” to take them to the “Phone Products Page”.
If they continue on to place a test order, it will be tagged in Google Analytics as “Phones/AdWords”. Not bad right?
It’s just as easy for “Bing PPC”. Just select “Bing Paid” in your tracking sources in your tracking number settings.
To track your email traffic, it gets a little bit trickier. Go back to your “tracking numbers” and click “edit” next to the number you want for email traffic. Then, in the “Select a Traffic Source” area, click on “Custom Tracking”, as shown below…
Name the Tracking Source “Email”. In the “Landing URL” field, enter “utm_source=Email”.
This notifies Call Tracking Metrics to switch phone numbers on the website if a visitor lands to your site with this tracking parameter in the landing page URL.
This will display the email tracking number, which forwards to the email receiving number in your Fonality account.
Why You Should Track Your Phone Calls
Like any good marketer, the more data you have available, the better. By tracking your calls from different sources, you’re able to better understand the effectiveness of your paid advertising and email campaigns.
Before, you were only able to track customers that placed orders on your website. Now, you’re able to track ALL orders placed on your website.
This also changes how you spend your marketing dollars as well. If your AdWords campaign generated additional phone revenue, it would justify raising your PPC budget.
If your weekly emails generated tons of phone calls you’re able to track, you might want to consider sending out more emails.
The bottom line is simple… the more you track, the more you know!