Contrary to popular belief, currently 9 out of 10 sales that take place in America take place offline. While the average consumer recognizes that they may receive better deals online; they still prefer to purchase offline (only 7 percent of retail sales in America were placed online last year).
A recent Harris Interactive poll showed that 40 percent of consumers want help with their smaller purchases, while an astounding 85 percent of people want personalized help with their larger purchases (i.e.: booking a cruise). With the majority of consumers still not willing to purchase online, it is becoming more important than ever to capitalize on other methods of creating a helpful checkout process to make sure you gain an advantage on your competitors and stay ahead of the game.
How do call-tracking solutions work? And how can they help you convert more visitors to paying customers?
Call tracking solutions have been around for years but have been under-utilized by web marketers. As a strong believer in the value that call tracking data can provide a business owner, I have been using these services for years. I’ll explain the basics below.
There are two options to start with: signing up with a call tracking solution or creating your own platform for tracking calls. Champ highly recommends signing up for a third-party service as there are many great companies that have invested millions into their platforms and service offerings with much success. Most of these third-party platforms offer their services for a minimal monthly fee ($15 per month on average) which beats the initial investment to create software from scratch and allows every business to engage in call tracking without the service becoming cost prohibitive.
Recap of steps to setup call tracking:
- Sign up for a service, we recommend Marchex Call Analytics, formerly Voicestar
- Start utilizing the data to increase conversions and sales
Once you have installed call tracking on your site, a different phone number will automatically appear for users based on how the visitor enters your site. For example, a user who clicks a pay-per-click ad in a search engine result will see a different phone number than a user that comes to your site from Facebook. Don’t worry – you don’t need to call your phone company and add multiple lines and devices and pay an arm and a leg to this set up. In the administrative panel of your call tracking solution you will have the ability to dictate where the call should be routed and when the user calls the “tracking” number they will automatically be redirected to the phone line destination of your choice. This is typically cookie-based, which means if the user comes back to your site tomorrow, next week, or next month they will see the same tracking number that is tied to their original source of entry to your site – this allows you to track conversions more accurately. As we learned in the beginning of this post, most users are not likely to purchase online and if they do, they may need some time to think over their decision before making the actual purchase.
Another core benefit of call tracking solutions is that they allow the ability to record every incoming call. We’ve all called a company before and heard the classic “this call will be recorded for quality assurance.” With the right call tracking solution you can record all incoming calls that are being tracked and easily listen to them as audio files on your devices to analyze what your team is doing right and more importantly what they may be doing wrong. Also, you can review potential sales that were lost over the phone and follow up with offers and promotions that may peak more interest to potential first time customers if marketed properly to them..
Call tracking solutions are best utilized when the data is analyzed on a regular basis and marketing efforts are adjusted accordingly to match where the most success is being achieved. Ultimately my recommendation is to set up in-depth conversion tracking for both online (via Google Analytics) and offline sales (via call tracking) to maximize the ROI you will receive from your multiple marketing efforts.