Three ways to drive more value from your inbound calls

Marketers are well aware of the growing importance of mobile in reaching today’s consumers and are shifting their marketing budgets accordingly. Let’s not forget one thing though: all of those smartphones can make phone calls too. And your mobile marketing is generating lots of calls.

New research from DialogTech, which has developed software allowing marketers to analyze and track their inbound calling generated by digital ad campaigns, examined some 60 million website sessions and 400,000 resulting inbound phone calls generated by customers using its platform between November 2014 and May 2015.

Over this six-month period, calls from mobile sources were up by 34 per cent, representing 78 per cent of all calls received by May 2015. Most of the calls came from landing pages (51.9 per cent), followed by mobile searches (29.4 per cent. Display and social made up the rest of the call sources. The report added inbound calls generated by landing page and search results tend to have a higher intent to purchase. And inbound calls from social are expected to increase as with Facebook and Twitter recently introducing call buttons within their advertising.

In a previous interview, DialogTech CEO and CTO Irv Shapiro said that with the explosion in the use of smartphones and the corresponding shift of market budgets over to mobile, people are reaching out to companies more and more often by phone. They see an ad, end up on a company page, and rather than navigating a cumbersome “contact me” form on their mobile device, they’re tapping the hot-linked phone number to make a voice call.

“Mobile advertising is exploding, and as a side effect call volumes are exploding,” said Shapiro. “Our mission is to make it easier for businesses to handle that transition to a mobile world.”

The DialogTech report recommends three opportunities marketers can seize to truly harness the power of inbound calling as part of their digital marketing campaigns.

The first is Attribution. If companies are tracking whether or not inbound calls are originating with a particular marketing campaign, DialogTech said they could be underestimating their attributions. The company estimates the average phone-through rate for call buttons at 2.3 per cent, similar to the average web form conversion rate of 2.4 per cent. However, phone-through can be tough to attribute, which makes it difficult for marketers to truly evaluate campaign performance and which messages and platforms are generating leads and conversions.

DialogTech recently launched support for Google Extensions to help its platform enable that call attribution and tracking. Calls from Google Extensions have been growing rapidly, from 10 million in February 2012 to 40 million in September 2013.

The second opportunity is Personalization. According to a BIA/Kelsey study, call conversions become revenue 10x more frequently than web conversions, and that’s enhanced if a personalized experience can be offered. Mobile marketing is already about personalization to a person’s interests and web activities using cookies and metadata, and if that data can be integrated and presented to the person handling an inbound call, that caller can have a more personalized interaction that ensures each caller is routed to the right person or department, and is more likely to make a purchase.

Finally, the DialogTech report points to is Disposition. Today, with the shift from desktop to mobile, tracking the customer journey is more difficult as consumers may use multiple devices and even in-store purchases to research a potential purchase before pulling the trigger. Particularly with more complex purchases, such as a new car or real estate. The report shows that industries that are either require considered purchases, such as insurance, or conversation, such as pest control, tend to have a higher phone-through rate, DialogTech said it’s important dive deeper into call conversions, particularly in these more complex purchases, to truly understand both their digital journey and what happened on the call. Call recording and transcription technology can be used to run analytics to see what is driving successful calls.

“Today’s mobile-first world has fundamentally shifted the way consumers interact with marketing and engage with businesses,” said Steve Griffiths, senior vice-president of marketing, strategy & analytics at DialogTech, in a statement. “As marketers shift greater percentages of their budgets to mobile channels, getting closed-loop attribution for both digital conversions and phone calls is critical. Our latest research illustrates marketers who analyze and understand the impact of phone calls in the mobile path to purchase have a significant advantage in developing impactful programs and accelerating customer acquisition.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras is a technology journalist with IT World Canada and a member of the IT Business team. He began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada and the channel for Computer Dealer News. His writing has also appeared in the Vancouver Sun & the Ottawa Citizen.

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