By Amanda Crangle
It’s a Tuesday morning, and I’m logging into a video call with a dealer who is interested in working with our team. We go through the obligatory greetings and weather updates. He’s ready to dive in, and so am I.
After a few minutes, I pop the big question: “How many leads are you currently generating through your website monthly, on average?” He looks up and pauses for a moment.
“What do you consider to be a lead?” I press on. Another pause, this one a little longer.
“When someone fills out a form on the site?” he asks more than states.
“What about phone calls? How many leads do you get from people calling you through the site or online listings?” He twists his mouth slightly as though it will help him land an answer.
“I don’t know for sure,” he answers slowly.
“Very few businesses are tracking calls effectively. The challenge this provides is that we won’t have accurate benchmarking data to know how our team’s work impacts your results online. However, at least we’re addressing this now so you can implement a positive change right away.”
This scenario has played out more times than I can count over the past decade.
Call Tracking Is Vital
Whether you run a local dealership, an original equipment manufacturer, or an e-commerce store, call tracking is a vital way to measure website performance. Very few companies in the water treatment industry use call tracking, and even fewer use it well. There is a great opportunity for those that do. Why don’t more companies use this handy tool? A couple of misconceptions may explain this.
First, there’s the myth that people know the call-tracking number is not your “real number” and won’t call. After over a decade of using call-tracking numbers that forward directly to an office line, I’ve never once seen this be an issue. On the contrary, according to Forrester, 84 percent of marketers say phone calls have higher conversion rates with higher average order value than other forms of engagement.
While using local rather than toll-free phone numbers can make a difference, the actual number matters little to the caller. Especially as technology advances, people simply use the click-to-call feature from their mobile devices and don’t give much thought to the actual number being dialed.
Second, many believe they need only one call-tracking number. In today’s digital-first world, we must know what is working to drive leads and sales for our businesses. Many companies invest in search engine ads, search engine optimization, social media, online directory optimization, and display advertising—not to mention traditional marketing, such as direct mail and broadcast. A single call-tracking number may tell you how many calls came in, but it does not tell you which source generated the calls.
Does this mean you need one call-tracking number for every advertising channel? When it comes to digital, the answer is no.
Dynamic Number Insertion
Dynamic number insertion (DNI) is a call-tracking feature that assigns a unique phone number to each online source and then displays that phone number to visitors who arrive at your website via that specific source.
When the visitor calls the unique number, the business will be able to track which pages, ads, keywords, and search terms are generating the most calls and adjust marketing budgets accordingly. It can also be used to find ways to increase calls by improving the user experience on the site.
To put this in a real-world example, let’s say four people are visiting your website at the same time. One person saw your Google Ad, clicked, and is now browsing your site. Another saw your Google Business Listing on Google Maps and clicked through to the site from the Website button. The third person found your site through an organic link. The final person typed your URL directly into a browser’s address bar.
There are four people coming from four channels, so four unique numbers will appear on the site.
How many DNI numbers do you need? It depends on how many people visit your website at its busiest times. Your marketing team will be able to look at your website analytics and give you an estimate. It’s best to get one or two more numbers to be safe. If you have only four numbers, and six people are on your site at the same time, two people will not see DNI numbers but whatever the regular phone number is on the site. This means one-third of your calls will not be tracked from their source, making your data incomplete, and any optimization is not as accurate.
Call-in leads are usually more qualified than those who submit forms, so putting a significant effort into tracking how these leads come in is incredibly important to the business looking to generate more high-quality leads. According to a study by Invoca, a call-tracking software provider, “phone calls are the most valuable source of leads for businesses, with an average conversion rate of 23 percent.”
To get started, you can use call-tracking software to set up your call-tracking DNI numbers. From there, you can ask your web developer to install a snippet of code on your website and create a goal in your Google Analytics account to measure phone calls.
What are some specific ways to use DNI to improve your online marketing efforts?
- At a high level, when you track calls through Google Analytics, you can see overall which pages are driving the most calls and visitors but not generating as many leads. These pages, if improved, can provide the biggest opportunities for increasing leads.
- You’ll also be able to tell which channels are driving high-quality calls to your site and allocate funds to the best converting channels.
- More granularly, you’ll be able to tell exactly which keywords from paid ads on search engines are generating the most calls, so you can optimize the budget to go more toward these keywords and less toward those that are not.
Just as you would want to know which of your sales reps were generating the most sales, tracking which sources of website traffic are generating the most (and least) traffic is also a key metric for the savvy business owner looking to get more qualified leads.
The number of businesses in the water treatment industry using call tracking with DNI is very low. From my own experience, only about one out of 30 use it well. This presents a great opportunity for those that are quick to implement this simple and powerful method of data tracking.
1.”What Is Call Tracking and How Does it Work?” Invoca.com, https://www.invoca.com/blog/what-is-call-tracking-software-and-why-do-marketers-need-it. Accessed 10 Jan. 2023.
2.”Marketing Predictions for 2023 From Invoca Customers.” Invoca.com, https://www.invoca.com/blog/marketing -predictions-2023. Accessed 14 Dec. 2022.
About the author
Amanda Crangle and the team at Lamplight Digital Media help residential and commercial water treatment companies profitably grow their dealerships using digital marketing. They have worked with over 100 water treatment dealerships spanning North America, managed millions of dollars in ad spend and performed over 1,000 scientific website split tests. Crangle intimately knows the water industry, having worked in a dealership as a sales rep and as a general manager. She and her team are passionate about expanding consumer awareness of water quality issues and providing education on final barrier solutions.