Apr 09 2013
An interview with Blair Symes of ifbyphone
Putting mobile aside for a second and speaking of marketing campaigns in general, marketers determine any campaign’s ROI in different ways depending on the goals of the campaign. Some marketers will compare the monetary cost of a program to the raw number of leads it generated, then determine ROI based on their cost per lead (CPL). More sophisticated marketers will measure a campaign’s cost per sales opportunity instead of CPL. And the most successful marketers are the ones that are able to measure ROI by determining how much revenue a program helped generate.
But no matter how you do it, you need the ability to track all lead types back to the campaign. If you are running a series of display banner ads, for example, that drive people to register for a white paper online, tracking downloads only gives you part of the picture. To measure ROI accurately, you also need to track how many leads picked up the phone and called you after clicking on your banner.
This is especially true when measuring mobile marketing ROI. When people are searching for businesses on their smartphones, they often prefer to call the company rather than fill out a web form. It’s easier and more natural. So marketers that can’t track phone leads back to their mobile campaigns will not be able to measure ROI accurately.
How does phone leads tracking work for PPC ads, organic search keywords, banner ads and social media links?
Call tracking software like Ifbyphone enables marketers to track inbound calls back to any type of ad: offline, online, or mobile. For offline ads like TV and radio spots, direct mail, print, or billboards, it gives you a unique trackable number you can insert into the ad itself as a call to action. When people call that number, the call tracking software will attribute the call to the correct lead source. And since call tracking software can integrate with a business’s CRM system like Salesforce.com, you can follow those leads through the sales funnel to see which ads generate the most opportunities and revenue.
For online and mobile ads like banners or Google paid search that drive people to your web site, call tracking software will automatically display a unique trackable phone number on your site based on where each visitor came from. If a visitor calls the number, the software will attribute the call to the proper source. It also works for callers who came to your site from links in organic search, social media, or other web sites. The PPC and SEO marketers we work with at Ifbyphone find this especially valuable: they are now able to not only track web leads, but also phone leads back to the specific paid ad or keyword search that generated it. It’s also great for social media marketers trying to drive leads from Twitter, Facebook, or any other site.
Using call tracking, marketers no longer have to guess which ads, search terms, social media platforms, or third-party web sites are really driving sales calls. And they no longer have to bicker with sales or with clients about which phone leads they brought in. Instead, you get a complete, detailed understanding of which campaigns are generating phone leads and how those leads are impacting pipeline and revenue.
Does ifbyphone’s call tracking software integrate with Google Analytics?
It does. Ifbyphone has a full suite of APIs you can use to integrate our platform with your other business applications and reporting tools, including both Google Analytics and Google AdWords. Our integration with Google Analytics is pre-built, requiring no “assembly” to get up and running. Our clients use our Google Analytics integration to track call analytics alongside web analytics. In their Google Analytics account they can see phone call data from Ifbyphone in the same spreadsheet as their content page views, so they can manage both online and call conversions from a single interface.
What about qualifying calls or scoring leads?
It’s true that for many campaigns, especially in B2B marketing, not every lead that comes in will be ready to talk to sales right away. Many people that download a white paper or watch a webinar, for example, are just kicking the tires and aren’t serious opportunities. That’s why many businesses put qualifying questions on their web registration forms to help qualify leads automatically. They assign a point system to answers, and only the high-scoring leads get sent to sales. The rest get put into nurturing programs.
Well the same holds true for phone leads. Not every inbound call you generate will be ready to engage with a sales rep. Many might not be. And you don’t want to waste a rep’s time by having them field incoming calls from leads that aren’t sales-ready. But at the same time, most businesses don’t want to dedicate live human resources to answering every call and qualifying them manually.
Ifbyphone makes it easy for marketers to filter inbound sales calls automatically using an IVR. IVR stands for interactive voice response, and it’s an automated phone menu that recognizes human interaction, either by telephone keypad or by speech recognition. With Ifbyphone, marketers can send callers from their ads, direct mails, emails, web site, or other sources to a custom IVR that will ask leads the questions you determine work best to qualify them. Leads that score high enough are passed from the IVR directly to sales for an immediate conversation. Others can hear a custom marketing message, be given the option of leaving a voicemail for sales, or even be sent to a second IVR.
And what’s great about Ifbyphone is that IVRs are easy to build using our online portal. You don’t need hire a developer or programmer to do it; you can do it yourself in minutes. Marketers can then monitor each IVR in real-time and make changes to the questions or the scoring system on the fly as needed.
Can you share an example of how businesses are using call tracking successfully?
We have thousands of businesses who use Ifbyphone to track calls from their marketing. They span a wide variety industry and company sizes, from local businesses with less than 5 workers to Fortune 500 enterprises with large marketing teams. We also work with different types of marketing agencies who want to track the inbound sales calls they generate for clients so they can get credit for — and get paid for — every lead they bring in.
One great example is a very basic one: a realtor was spending millions of dollars on newspaper advertising without having a clear understanding of its effectiveness. Using Ifbyphone, they were able to track calls from all their ads to see which were working and which weren’t. They realized that 30% of the money they were spending was being wasted on ads that weren’t working, and by reinvesting that money in the ad programs that were generating business, they were able to increase sales by 25% in some markets without spending a single extra penny.
That’s one of the great benefits of call tracking: by reinvesting only in marketing that generates leads and revenue, you can grow your business without increasing your spend.