If you've got an ecommerce site then you are probably aware of where your online sales come from and where people hear about your site. Like many online merchants use Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising as well as other online and offline advertising options such as print, radio, or television advertising. If someone searches at Google, clicks on your PPC ad, and comes to your site to make a purchase, then most likely you’re tracking that information. But do you have a toll free phone number on your web site? If you have a toll free phone number, did you know that you can track your PPC campaigns as well? Voicestar is one company that allows you to track all of the phone calls to your business and know exactly where you’re getting the greatest ROI, whether it’s from print ads, organic search results, PPC ads, or even a printed catalog.
According to the Voicestar web site, The Voicestar “call reports accurately quantify marketing efforts, helping you make smarter decisions and negotiate media rates based upon performance.” You can… “reallocate underperforming ad dollars to programs that generate real results, increase response to your marketing efforts by using easy-to-remember vanity and repeater numbers”, even “map the geographic location of all calls, and overlay with demographic information.
Merchants use a secure login and look at their own accounts or set up sub-accounts to track data. This is also offered as a private label option, so agencies and search marketing firms can also benefit by providing this option to their customers. Merchants can see data for each campaign, referrer, and more by setting up certain tracking parameters. Ads can be assigned to Groups. You can track paid search versus natural search results, for example.
Certain reports are set up automatically, while others can be configured to be emailed on a regular basis.
Calls can be tracked by their status: good calls, voicemail calls, hangups, are all tracked, and all the Caller ID information is saved. The calls themselves can be saved for future reference, and the calls can be heard through your PC’s speakers. Certain “groups” can be set up: you can assign certain types of calls to certain groups and see which ads out of the group are producing results. Some of the reports allow you to compare certain campaigns (reports can be emailed daily, weekly, monthly). Data is pulled if there is activity. Some of the types of reports that are available include an ad report, a user report, a top callers report, a top zip codes report, an ROI calculator, a calls by hour report, and a user access log report.
Setting up tracking parameters is all done through a web interface and be tracked easily--the campaign name, the group, the status (active, not active, etc.) the inbound phone number, and the forward number (where the 800 phone number is forwarded to) can all be set up. Each campaign can be set to forward to another phone number or you can set it to configure it to forward to a one general phone number.
Voicemails can be sent to an email address, as well as missed calls, what Voicestar calls “good calls” (connected calls) can be emailed (typically just a notice that a call was received is sent via email). A whisper can be added to calls, as well. For example, a whisper can be added before the call is connected that telling the merchant that a call is coming from your Google campaign).
A lot of the information about calls is saved for future use, including the caller ID information, campaign, duration, time, and the status of the call. Reverse lookup can also be used for mailing purposes, whereas the callers’ name, address, and location of the call is saved.
Click to call is also an option. For example, a web site might want offer an option for someone to “call me now”. In this case, the web site has an online form and the site’s visitor enters their phone number.
If you have your phone number on your web site and receive calls for orders, then you’re not taking advantage of all the tracking capabilities that are available. If someone uses the web to search for a product that you sell, they find your web site and pick up the phone and call you then you won’t know whether they clicked on a Pay Per Click ad at Yahoo! or Google. However, by implementing a solution like one from Voicestar you can track those customers. The more you can track the better; if aren’t tracking all of the ways customers can contact you and purchase your products then you just aren’t seeing the “big picture”.