Facebook Skip to main content

How Call Tracking Works

To understand how call tracking software works, you must first note that there are two types of call tracking and they work in slightly different ways, but both allow you to track where calls are coming from.

Manual v. Dynamic

There are two typical types of call tracking – manual and dynamic. Manual is when a tracking phone number is generated ahead of a campaign launch and you use the call tracking number instead of your business phone number. This is often used for tv commercials, print pieces, and billboards (more traditional media). Based on where you’ve placed the call tracking number, you’ll be able to note the source.

Dynamic call tracking occurs when a code is added to your website and when someone visits from a particular campaign, the number switches automatically. The phone number is ONLY changed when the campaign or source matches your specifications.

When To Use Call Tracking Numbers

In my years of experience in advertising, one of the most valuable questions I ask a client is, “How many calls did you receive from our campaign?” There are typically 2 answers I hear:

“Yes, we asked how our customers found out about us and tied them back to the campaign.”


“No, we don’t do any tracking.”

While tracking one advertising platform is more beneficial than tracking none, customers often don’t REALLY know how they found you. Multiple platforms (TV, SEM, Social) may have encouraged their call, but they might only list one.

My favorite story I heard from a client was about a customer who called and said they saw their ad on YouTube. The client didn’t have a YouTube account and wasn’t even buying video advertising!

If you’re unsure of where calls might be coming from and think you might have misattributed leads to varying platforms, you need to consider call tracking.

Success Story

Appointments Matched To Google Ads

One of the more popular ways we use call tracking is with our Google Ad (aka SEM, PPC) campaigns. A few of our clients on a monthly or quarterly basis provide us with an export of their customers from that time period. From there, we take the time to carefully “match back” these appointments to the leads we see come through the campaigns, mainly by the phone numbers.

For one of our clients, we see very consistent results and have so for many months, matching on average 30% of their appointments to Google Ad campaigns. This wouldn’t be possible if we weren’t using call tracking.

Benefits Of Call Tracking

Without thorough measurement, it’s hard to know how well your marketing campaign is performing. This is where Call Tracking Numbers come into play. By adding call tracking numbers to your campaign, you’re able to track the length of calls, who they are from, jot down notes about the calls, and much more! At the end of the week, month, year, you’re able to see what performed the best and give each call a value!

Attribute Calls and Sales To Digital Campaigns

Sure, Google Analytics can tell you how many people clicked on your phone number on your website, but it can’t tell you how long the call was or if it even reached your receptionist. With call tracking, you can determine the call quality of all your digital campaigns. By attributing calls appropriately, you can better determine the value your campaigns bring to your marketing plan.

Some call tracking services can allow you to determine the quality of your calls at a keyword level (keyword level call tracking). These tools are vital in helping improve your campaign performance and your return on investment.

Differentiate Calls Between Varying Offline Campaigns

Instead of having your main number on all your offline campaigns (billboards, print pieces, tv ads), you can have different numbers tied to the campaigns. Similar to determining the quality of your digital campaigns, the different numbers for your offline campaigns will allow you to better determine their value.

Get Insights Fast, Not At The End Of The Month

Most call tracking services have a dashboard that shows real-time calls. Instead of waiting to determine your campaign’s success at the end of the month, get insights and feedback on campaigns quickly!

What Is Call Listening & Why Is It Important

While many call tracking software systems include call listening, it’s not always standard. Call Listening is the process of listening to a customers’ call, sometimes in real-time, but for many call tracking systems, it’s after the fact.

You’ve heard it all before… “This call may be recorded for quality assurance.” Well, this is the reason why.

Monitor Campaign Performance

Call listening is not only beneficial to you, but to your agency as well. We find it valuable to listen to call quality to optimize your campaign.

If we hear customers calling for a product that is similar to your current product offerings, but not exactly something you provide, we can add that product as a negative keyword in our SEM campaign so you don’t get more of those calls. When calls come in that mention a product that you value higher than others, we can adjust the campaign to receive more of those calls! It’s a great way to keep the business and your agency in check.

Call Tracking - Guy on phone with white dotted line

Employee Training

Improve your business’ customer service with call listening. Listening to calls can help you find key points to train employees on. Maybe there are certain things said to customers that are hindering sales, or customers are misinformed about the products or services you offer. Call listening allows you to tailor your employee training to improve call conversions and ultimately sales.

Improved Customer Experience

Your potential customers, after you’ve improved employee training, can have improved call experiences. Tailored call scripts can answer questions faster, instill more confidence in your services and products, and close more business.

Call Tracking Resources/Companies

These phone numbers are not expensive at all! There are many services that provide call tracking for a small monthly cost. Our agency, however, provides call tracking for any marketing solutions we run.

Popular Call Tracking Providers For Businesses

There are many more out there with different features and price ranges to fit any and all businesses. Because every business operates differently, we can’t tell you what the BEST call tracking software is, so do your research and take advantage of free trials when available to ensure the software provides everything you need.

Looking For More Help?

Our latest blogs are full of information to help you and your business flourish! And if that’s not enough, feel free to contact us. Our 20+ point marketing analysis will outline opportunities & pitfalls in your marketing strategy.

Our Latest Blogs About Digital Marketing

Man staring at wall planning business' 2022 Marketing Plan - Rogers AdvertisingDigital MarketingMarketing
November 7, 2022

8 Questions To Ask Before Making Your 2023 Marketing Plan

If 2020 & 2021 have taught us one thing, it’s that you can plan for the year, but you need to be ready to pivot. We have already started meeting…
Rogers Agency around table | Full-Service Advertising AgencyDigital MarketingMarketingMedia Buying
June 10, 2022

Why Work With A Full-Service Advertising Agency

When a business owner acknowledges that it is time to seek specialized help handling the advertising and marketing aspects of their business, there are several avenues to consider. Some companies…
Happy man with social media like icon on red backgroundDigital Marketing
February 8, 2022

Why Every Small Business Should Use Facebook Ads

Determining how, where and when to advertise your small business online can be a daunting task, but fear not! We are here to meet all your internet marketing needs, including…