In today’s market that is revolutionised by Google Adwords and Analytics, businesses often forget the one device that consumers use every minute of every day – the smartphone. Despite being very aware of the smartphone revolution and its impact, marketers tend to overlook the importance of inbound calls.
In the current scenario of cut-throat advertising and dog-eat-dog businesses, this is a fatal faux pas.
Your phones are ringing – let’s take a quick look at a few things that you have probably been disregarding all this while.
1. Phone Calls are not Dead
This is the biggest myth that’s doing the rounds these days. When someone argues that “People love to text and chat. Who has the time to speak on the phone?,” we like to shove these stats in their faces:
BIA Kelsey says that 30 billion inbound calls were made in 2013.
It also predicts that this will increase to a whopping 73 billion inbound calls in 2018.
This massive increase of 143% is probably because…
2. Tapping for a call is easier than typing in a form
Like it or not, mobile devices are everywhere. It is no wonder that as of now, the number of web searches from mobile devices has overtaken the number of web searches from desktops. Surveys say that 61% of mobile searches and 52% of mobile ads resulted in an inbound phone call for businesses.
When a lead visits your website on their smartphone, they have a few options:
- Fill a form
- Chat with a bot
- Make a call by dialling their number or tapping the click-to-call button.
It is simply natural for mobile users to make a call – it requires the least number of taps.
Users even have a tendency to not trust businesses that don’t have a phone number.
Do the math – more smartphones equals more mobile searches, more mobile searches equals more phone calls.
And more phone calls equals more sales, because the third thing you didn’t know is..
3. Inbound calls have significantly better conversion rates
Through a website form or chat, the visitor provides his/her contact details and the agent gets back to the visitor after a certain period of time. In India, the average time taken for an agent to call a lead back is 54 hours. By this time, the lead has probably lost interest in or moved on to another, more available, business.
On the other hand, when a visitor decides to spare a few minutes from their life and make a phone call to a business, you are at a great advantage: They already have a genuine purchase intent. They need to know more about the business, and they need to know it right now. The agent who picks this call makes the most of this opportunity, and more often than not, this ends in successful conversion.
While this is good news, we have a bit of bad news coming up.
4. You’re losing money by not investing in tracking inbound calls
Sure, you have invested enough in tracking the click-paths of each inbound lead. Using cookies, Google Analytics gives you the complete story behind each web visit. So far, so good.
But as soon as the lead feels the need to speak to your agent, gets a number from your website and picks up that phone, the online trail ends. He is now invisible to all your online tracking tools- and as far as you are concerned, this is now an abandoned visit.
You are blind to the click-path of this call, simply because there is no click-path!
Now if this ended in an offline purchase, you have no way of knowing this either. This transaction basically ends up as a John Doe.
A comScore study reveals that 63% of website visitors completed their purchases offline. This means that you know nothing about 63% of your visitors.
Without this information, not only are you losing credit for all the marketing work you’ve done, you’re also losing opportunities to further refine your marketing campaigns.
Now, before you start panicking about ‘losing’ all your leads to seemingly invisible phone calls, let’s discuss the concept of call tracking.
So what is Call Tracking?
Call Tracking lets you see the full story behind your lead’s path to purchase, including in-depth details about your phone calls. You get information about what keywords he used, and which marketing campaign led to this inbuond call to your business.
Once you have this information, you can invest intelligently in marketing campaigns that work for you, and stop investing in ones that don’t.
When your campaigns work well, it cascades into more phone calls, more sales, and easy accounting for each and every transaction.
If you are ignoring your phone calls, you are leaving money on your table. Call tracking is that one simple strategy that will save you from going up a blind alley and lets you ace your digital marketing ROI.
Read an introduction to call tracking here.