How to Pick the Right Dynamic Call Tracking Provider

A few months ago we wrote about how to find your fairy-tale call tracking match, and we still stand by our tips — you deserve someone who notices the little things, listens intently and sweeps you off your feet.

Businessman kissing computer monitorBut if the Match.com and eHarmony commercials are true, sometimes the best matches start online. Same
goes for online-to-offline call tracking.

When your prospect starts their search online, stumbles across your site and gives you a call, you need to know which ad campaign is your match made in marketing heaven. So how do you find a call tracking provider who can tell you that?

Here are our top three pointers, borrowed from our friend Kevin Adams at Wright IMC, on what to look for in an online-to-offline call tracking provider.

They Communicate Details


It’s no secret that it’s easier to remain anonymous online. That’s why MTV’s TV show “Catfish” is so popular. (In case you’re not a reality TV connoisseur, the word “catfish” was coined by the show’s creator to refer to people who hide behind false identities on the web to deceive someone.)

Catfish on white backgroundIs your online lead data a catfish?

Let us explain. We once had a client that was rocking a pay-per-click ad group — at least that’s what it looked like by the volume of phone calls the ads were bringing in. But it turns out things weren’t what they seemed. After listening to the call recordings that were tied to those ads, the client discovered that the callers 1) had misunderstood the nature of the client’s business and 2) had no interest in or need for the client’s services. Way to put a damper on things.

But imagine if the company had continued pouring money into that ad group without delving into all the phone calls it was bringing in. We have three words for that: Waste. Of. Money. This client is the perfect example of why you need to look for a call tracking provider that can show you granular details about your campaigns. Ask potential call tracking providers if they can provide any of the following details:
  • Keyword, source and medium of each call
  • Call details such as date, time and length
  • Caller information, including name, business name, phone number and address
  • Call recordings
Remember: The more detail, the better.

They Don’t Rush You


When it comes to online-to-offline call tracking, the one element that’s crucial to making a connection between your online ads and site visitors is cookie length (we’re talking about the electronic kind, but baked goods are always a plus!).

The minute a user visits your site for the first time, the call tracking software automatically assigns a tracking cookie to that visitor. Your website will then display a number that’s unique to that visitor. Each time they return to your site, they’ll see the same number until the cookie expires.

So if the cookie session expires before the visitor is ready to take the next step and make the first contact, you lose the ability to attribute the call to the keyword that initially brought them to your site. But you can’t rush these things.

So the question is, how long should cookie length be? If you have a lightning-fast sales cycle, you might be able to get away with a couple days, but ideally, your dynamic call tracking provider’s cookie length should be at least two to four weeks.

They’re Not Still Involved With Their Ex


Heart wrapped in chainsWhen working with a dynamic call tracking provider, the last thing you want is to end up with a toll-free number (TFN) equivalent to someone who’s not over their ex — that is, a number that’s still receiving calls for the last business it was with. You need a TFN that’s been scrubbed clean of its past to make sure you won’t receive the previous owner’s phone calls.

There are dynamic call tracking providers that don’t bother with scrubbing in order to pass along cost savings to you, but keep in mind that if you use a line that hasn’t been scrubbed, you could be playing secretary for a few other businesses for a while. As a result, your data might not be 100 percent accurate (refer back to our first point to see why this is an issue).

Ask potential call tracking vendors ahead of time if they provide clean numbers and if so, how long they’ve been out of service before being assigned to you.

Remember that a comprehensive marketing strategy involves tracking the relationship between all marketing mediums — including online-to-offline leads. To make sure you’re getting the best results for your money, follow our tips for selecting the right call tracking vendor.