Marketing Call Tracking: What You Need To Know

The Ultimate Guide To Call Tracking: What It Is and Why Your Business Needs It

Are you on a quest for tools that can revolutionize your sales and marketing landscape? If so, pause your search and consider this: call tracking. If this concept is new to you, know that call tracking provides a wealth of information for sales and marketing departments to consider. Marketers create successful strategies based on the results of call tracking metrics analysis.

If you’re keen on optimizing your campaigns and translating insights into actionable plans, you’ve come to the right place. Read further to learn how to track phone calls and to use marketing call tracking for your benefit.

What is a Call Tracking?

Call tracking is a marketing tool that determines which marketing campaign works and why customers choose you, all through call analysis. If you have multiple ads, you can track their performance through call tracking. When a customer dials your number, the installed call tracking software shows you which ad campaign was successful.

Marketers can perform in-depth analysis with the help of a call tracking system. Call tracking can answer questions such as:

  • What are the prospects’ preferences?
  • What keywords do callers use?
  • How did your advertising campaign become successful?
  • What keywords in the campaign were effective?
  • How can you modify your ad campaign messages for future success?

How Does Phone Call Tracking Work?  

There are two ways you can track a phone call:

  • With DNI
  • Without DNI

The first method involves using dynamic phone number insertion (DNI). This is a randomly generated unique number that identifies a specific ad campaign. When a call comes in, the sales agent sees the number associated with a particular source and follows the detailed script accordingly.

Wondering how to track a call without DNI? Place a specific form on your website or social media for booking a call. A lead encounters this form either when it pops up or at the bottom of the page. The prospect fills out their contact information and the purpose of the call, and then schedules it. The sales rep dials at the agreed-upon time. This call is logged and attributed to a particular campaign. In this scenario, you don’t need to generate random phone numbers. All you need to do is trace the phone calls in your software and link them to a specific marketing campaign.

Other  Call Tracking Methods

Offline Campaign  

TV ads, radio ads, posters, billboards, newspaper ads, and other offline forms of advertising constitute offline campaigns. You can place a dynamic number on a billboard, for instance. A lead sees this number and dials it. The service provider then redirects the incoming call to a specific agent. This agent already knows what question the prospect is likely to have.

Online Campaign  

As mentioned above, you can perform online call tracking with or without DNI.

If you use DNI, a feature in the call tracking app generates a unique phone number to associate with a particular ad campaign. However, before using DNI, you must install a specific JavaScript code on your website.

This code monitors the source of the visitors and places a cookie in their browser. The cookie then prompts the website to assign a particular phone number to a specific user. For example, with Google Search, visitors will consistently see this assigned phone number on the web (even if they close your page and return later). When a visitor calls you, the salesperson knows that this lead originated from Google Search.

If you choose not to use DNI, you may need a pop-up or another type of contact form. The visitor inputs information into this form, which then gets stored in a log journal. A sales rep refers to this journal to find visitors who have left contact information and other relevant data.

Whether you’re running offline or online campaigns, the inbound call tracking process remains the same.

Other Online Call Tracking Features  

Phone call tracking software can also collect information on the number of calls, call duration, time of the ring, and the visitor’s location. For a more detailed understanding of the call, it’s advisable to have both call recording and transcription. This allows you to analyze the keywords and preferences that triggered the call from the visitor.

Understanding your customers better enables you to quickly meet their needs. However, for more effective marketing decisions, you’ll require more specific information. We will delve into these call tracking metrics in the next section.

The Essential Call Tracking Metrics    

Ad campaign analysis involves more than just basic knowledge of how to track phone calls. Successful call tracking for marketing requires the use of specific metrics. The following information will be helpful if you wish to understand the metrics essential for utilizing call tracking software. 

Call Quality and Length  

It’s a common assumption that longer calls indicate a lead’s greater interest in purchasing a product or service. However, this is not always true. Some long calls may be from users complaining about the service or product, or even spam in the form of a robocall.

Therefore, it’s crucial to distinguish between qualified first-time callers, spammers, and regular clients. Call recording and transcription features can assist you in this task. If you’re looking to learn more about potential business partners, a comprehensive background search can be valuable.

The Number of First-Time Callers  

This metric provides insights into the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. If you have a high number of new leads, it indicates that your message and chosen platform are successfully driving business. However, if you find that you have only a few first-time callers, it may be necessary to revise your message, media, or overall campaign.

Call Source  

DNI, as mentioned earlier, can help you trace calls. It serves as an easy and invaluable data source for marketing analysis. You can determine which campaigns and platforms were successful and which were not.

Geographical Location  

You might be curious about how to track a phone call’s location. Marketers employ geo-targeting to display their ads to users, even specifying the timing and frequency of these messages. After analyzing geographical locations, they can fine-tune the ad campaign by selecting the most appropriate times and places.

Keyword Effectiveness   

You can employ keyword tracking for more in-depth analysis. The calls you receive are linked to specific keywords, allowing you to assess the performance of the keywords selected for your marketing campaign. Any new keywords identified in phone calls can serve as the basis for SEO adjustments in your existing strategies.

Landing Page Performance  

In today’s marketing landscape, the focus often lies on A/B testing of landing pages. Marketers examine elements like content, graphic design, CTAs, and button colors to see what encourages clicks. However, phone call tracking provides deeper insights into highly convertible leads. A potential customer is more likely to call than simply click or subscribe to newsletters.

Moreover, visitors to your landing page verbally express their concerns, objections, and interests to the sales agent through specific keywords. This allows you to better understand what messaging will resonate in future campaigns.

Visitor-To-Call Ratio (VCR)  

This metric indicates the percentage of visitors who call you, relative to the total number of visitors on your website. Known as the VCR (Visitor-to-Call Ratio), this figure helps you gauge the true effectiveness of your marketing channels. A high number of visitors doesn’t necessarily translate into high-intent calls. Therefore, using this ratio, you can evaluate which mediums outperform others.

Time of the Day  

The time of day when users call your company can inform your ad targeting strategy. For instance, based on product and marketing analysis, online call tracking can help you decide whether to run your ads during late hours or over the weekends.

In addition to these major metrics, you might also consider other minor ones like call volume, total number of clicks, and similar measures. You may be wondering, ‘How long does it take to track a phone call?’ The right software enables marketers to track phone calls in real-time.

Depending on the specific call tracking metrics that are most relevant to your company, we will explore various types of call tracking below.

 Types of Call Tracking   

There are three main categories of call tracking solutions, each suited to different objectives:

1. Source-Level Call Tracking: This approach allows you to gauge the effectiveness of your campaigns by using unique phone numbers. When a lead dials one of these unique numbers listed in an ad, the call tracking software identifies the source of the call.


  • Easy setup of a unique number for each online campaign
  • Ability to track both online and offline campaigns
  • Capability to test the efficiency of individual ad campaigns


  • Difficulty scaling this form of call tracking across multiple campaigns, as managing numerous unique phone numbers becomes complex
  • Limited insight into how prospects engage with you prior to making the call
  • Lack of information regarding the prospect’s keywords and other browser activities.

2. Keyword-Level Call Tracking: This form of call tracking operates as follows. You create a pool of dedicated phone numbers corresponding to specific keywords related to your business.

After your ad is posted, a lead searches for the keyword, clicks on the ad copy, and the app then assigns a dedicated phone number to that particular message. When calls come in, sales agents can identify the origins of these calls based on the specific phone numbers and associated keywords.


  • Scalability is a major advantage, as DNI generates a unique phone number for each site visitor, allowing you to monitor multiple marketing campaigns concurrently.
  • It’s an effective solution for SEO marketing because you can analyze which keywords are relevant to individual leads.


  • This approach cannot be applied to ads that don’t feature keywords, such as those containing only images, icons, etc.

3. Multi-Channel Attribution Tracking: If you wish to trace the customer journey, this type of call tracking can identify all the ‘stops’ a lead makes along the way. For example, a customer might discover your Google PPC ad, read your message, and then close the browser. A day or two later, the same customer searches for your company on Google and calls you to make a purchase.


  • Gaining insights into the customer journey can provide valuable information on how leads find your company and engage with your team.


  • Small businesses may not require such detailed tracking of customer journeys.

The next section will discuss the key reasons why you need call tracking.

 Why Do You Need Call Tracking for Marketing?   

Let’s take a closer look at the goals and benefits of tracking calls. Here are some of them:

Optimize marketing budgetCollected call tracking metrics provide invaluable insights into which ad campaigns are effective and which ones need to be paused.
Enhance SEOData gathered from calls about keywords that interest customers can assist SEO specialists. They recommend eliminating or pausing less relevant keywords and incorporating new ones. With the right messaging, you can achieve better rankings and more effectively reach your customers in the future.
Monitor offline and online marketing campaignsDNI can help you track phone calls originating from any advertisements you publish. This captured information can be utilized to make informed marketing decisions
Improve customer experienceAnalysis of customer intent provides valuable feedback to management. It allows you to determine the reasons for the calls, the times of day they occur, and whether representatives are providing solutions. The results of this analysis can help you fine-tune the performance of your sales team and enhance customer satisfaction.
Manage your sales teamCall recordings provide extensive insights into how your sales representatives interact with customers during the closing process. Based on this data, you can identify key strategies for improving closing rates by customizing the service.


How To Pick Software for Online Call Tracking   

Choosing the best call tracking software can be a daunting task. You need to consider several impactful factors in addition to determining your needs and budget for the online call tracker.

  • Ease of Setup and Usage: A seamless installation and user-friendly interface eliminate unnecessary questions and delays, making your work more comfortable.
  • Flexibility: Customizable settings should allow your company to tailor inbound call tracking according to your specific business needs.
  • Essential Features: Among the most valuable features is call recording, which provides insights into lead preferences and offers analytics for informed marketing decisions. These analytics can be both real-time and historical, painting a comprehensive ‘marketing picture’ of your ad campaign’s effectiveness.
  • CRM Integrations: Linking your call tracking software to a CRM system eliminates the need for manual call logging, thereby significantly saving both time and money.

 How Do I Add Online Call Tracking to My Website?   

After choosing the best solution for call tracking online, the next step is installation. To enable DNI, you’ll need to embed a specific JavaScript code on your website. While the process is straightforward, the specific steps for installation can vary depending on your platform and the features you plan to implement.

What You Should Do To Track Phone Calls Properly?   

You need to follow these steps to elevate your sales call tracking to the next level:

  1. Focus on analyzing metrics like VCR and the percentage of first-time callers, rather than just looking at overall call volume. Relevant leads are the most valuable to your business, so it’s crucial to know their exact numbers.
  2. After analyzing, optimize the keywords in your ad campaign messages. Remove unnecessary or redundant words and introduce new ones to boost your search ranking.
  3. Choose the right CRM tool for integrating your call tracking software. Using the wrong CRM can result in your employees spending excess time on routine tasks, negating the benefits of your call tracking software.”

 The Bottom Line   

Marketers are no strangers to multi-channel attribution. However, many businesses still need to bridge the MarTech gap, and a lack of capacity and expertise in tracking phone calls often contributes to this problem.

With a call tracker app that’s tailored to include features like call recording, 24/7 analytics, and CRM integrations, you can do more than just track phone calls—you can propel your business to the next level.