Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2012 and has now been updated for 2018 to reflect an increased number of call tracking providers.
Tracking phone calls from your website can give you excellent insight into not only the success of your campaigns in terms of generating the calls, but also customer insights such as frequently asked questions, compliments!
There are several different tools on the marketing ranging from a “roll your own” type call tracking solution to enterprise level call tracking solutions. Some solutions even offer features beyond tracking of the calls such as distribution of calls to a phone bank and more.
When it comes to site optimization, it’s important that the provider ties phone calls back to the specific site session, so it ties the GA data to the user. So you get not only how many calls, but which pages the visitor saw. (Did they look at specific products? A specific piece of content? A blog post?) Lead attribution is the number one thing you need out of call tracking software or its not very useful. (Unfortunately, many trackers don’t really do this well). That can be a key differentiator.
Here are a few providers that we’ve looked into for not only ourselves but also for our eCommerce clients:
CallRail *(Affiliate Link) was inspired by my blog post a few years back on how to roll your own call tracking system using Twilio. Twilio is a very cool voice application API with tons of features. CallRail has taken the “roll your own” idea and put it on steroids with an easy to use configuration interface and nice looking, useful reporting features. The price is right for small businesses starting at $30 per month which includes 10 tracking numbers and 500 minutes of call time which should be plenty for most businesses. The setup wizard walks you through provisioning numbers and setting up tracking rules for who should see your tracking number (organic visitors, Google PPC, etc.)
We’ve had great support from the founder Andy and his team who quickly fix any bugs we find and are very responsive in adding new features and answering quick questions. They also have an affiliate program which is nice so that we can send our clients directly to CallRail and not have to send our clients a phone bill each month.
The downside to CallRail unfortunately also lies with the backend that makes it so powerful, Twilio. While phone numbers directly from Twilio are relatively cheap ($1 per local number per month, and 1 cent per minute), they are not cheap enough to create a “number pool” so that each visitor session could be assigned a unique number. Number pooling would allow keyword level details for call tracking which could add a ton of value both for SEO and PPC purposes. Another downside to CallRail is that as of the time of this writing there is no replacement feature if your phone number happens to be in an image. In the past we’ve modified the roll-your-own method to replace images, so we do understand why as of now this isn’t exactly scalable.
AvidTrak is a tool that our CRO team has recently worked with. Especially when it comes to conversion, you want your system to be able to log the data into GA, the user, and integrate their data with other systems (like your CRM) – which is what our client had in mind when using AvidTrak. Our team appreciated the tool’s capabilities but did mention that AvidTrak’s reporting interface can feel somewhat clunky.
CallTrackingMetrics *(Affiliate Link) is another provider we’ve looked at for eCommerce clients. One of the specific highlight features of CallTrackingMetrics, when it comes to eCommerce, is that it also has a Shopify plugin. Which means your sales and support team can see customers’ information (including their complete order history and even how they found your store) right away. This can be incredibly beneficial for brands that sell complicated or customizable products that might require a little more engagement to ensure customer satisfaction.
Although their pricing comes in a little higher, starting at $19/month plus usage for small businesses, the platform offers a variety of features in a relatively easy to use dashboard. Additionally, users can view reports that help you understand which of your campaigns are driving phone leads so you can get a clear view of your ROI.
Although Invoca seems to focus more primarily on financial and insurance brands, they hold the potential to be a good option for eCommerce businesses that rely heavily on the relationship between marketing efforts and inbound calls to help drive revenue. Invoca places emphasis on making things easier and smoother for marketers which is part of why they offer a variety of integrations across platforms and tools including Salesforce, Google Ads, Facebook, Adobe, and Instagram. Additionally, Invoca also uses artificial intelligence to pull data from conversations themselves to help marketers and sales team members recognize a prospect’s level of intent.
Unfortunately, Invoca doesn’t provide pricing information on their website (your price is determined by which of their products you choose to use for your business) so you’ll have to contact them to learn more.
Ultimately, as I mentioned previously, these solutions offer some very interesting features but the technology still leaves something to be desired. Over time, as user behavior evolves and Click-To-Call technology continues to become an increasingly expected practice, call tracking will ultimately change and become even more useful and maybe even in some cases, more specific to the needs of eCommerce brands.
Note: Interested in using call tracking for your eCommerce business? Fill out the form below to contact us today!