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What is Call Tracking?

CEO Hack: The Power of Knowing How a Client Found You

How did you find out about us? In today’s world, where potential clients and customers are bombarded with distractions, it can be difficult for them to remember how they find you.

Often, clients will just say “online.” While this helps give you a little insight, it doesn’t help you optimize and tailor your marketing budget and spend.

Full disclosure, I use Call Rail for our Blue 16 Media clients I work with. Essentially what it does is it helps clients and our team to understand where calls are coming from.

What is Call Tracking?

Here’s How Call Tracking Works:

For example, I (a potential client) Google your company name or maybe your services (dentist in Washington DC). I see your website listing on Google (e.g. David the DC Dentist) and click from Google (organic or paid) to your website (e.g. http://DavidTheDentistinDC.com).

When I get to your website, it would show a particular call tracking number. This number is different from your regular number if you were to directly type in your website URL in a browser (although you could have a different number for this as well).  That number that I dial forwards to whatever number you want (typically your primary business number).  When I call that number, typically I (the potential client) will hear something like “this number is being recorded for quality assurance purposes.” While I’m not a lawyer, legally most states require you to let a caller know their call is being recorded.  For our clients, we also add a “whisper message” when the phone rings for a business owner like David explaining “This call is from Google or This is a Google referral” (it could also be Facebook or Instagram or Direct Mail, etc).

This also might help with customer service if for example, you have a different greeting based on where they are calling from. A tailored answer might be “Hi, thanks for visiting us on Facebook (if the call was using the Facebook tracking number), I hope you had a chance to like our page, we have Facebook only offers, how can we help?”

In the example above, this unique number is just from potential clients the find your website through Google. Also, if people that know you still Google your business name to find your number, it works the same way. You can set up your call tracking number for different marketing platforms (e.g. Direct Mail, Podcast Advertisement, Facebook Page, Facebook ads, etc.) and even various campaigns within those platforms so it helps out with understanding what is working. It’s not without some gaps because sometimes people click from Facebook and then go to Google and then to the website. That person would be a “Google referral.” Or they might search on their computer and then search again on their mobile device.

Please Note: It typically only shows the last place they came from. Because people’s browsing habits are fragmented today, it can be difficult to be exact but it does help. It also never hurts to still ask just to confirm. 

Lastly, the idea is that whatever call tracking number(s) you use, you don’t want to use them anywhere else or it kind of defeats the purpose. 


PS-For any digital marker or business owner that might be reading this, do yourself a favor and install call tracking on websites. I didn’t do it in the beginning and it was a mistake for clients I was working with. Often, we depend on clients to ask but sometimes they don’t so take that off of their plates and also showcase the impact you are having on their business. 

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Gresham Harkless Jr.

Gresham Harkless is a Media Consultant for Blue 16 Media and the Blogger-in-Chief for CEO Blog Nation. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.

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