Beyond Clicks with CallRail: The Power of Call Tracking in Measuring Marketing Success

2023.11.20 10:05 AM By Joshua Taddeo, Principal Consultant
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Data Tracking

In the modern world of digital marketing, the spotlight often falls on metrics like clicks and online engagement. These metrics are undeniably essential but tell only part of the story. What about the offline interactions that traditionally do not include marketing data, such as phone calls? Imagine missing out on a wealth of information hidden within every phone call your business receives. It's a problem that many marketers don't even realize they have.


That's where CallRail comes in to fill in vital details for your marketing success. Call tracking is a powerful tool that can transform how you measure marketing success. In this blog, we'll discuss why you need to implement call tracking in your business and why more is needed to track online metrics. 

The Limitations of Click-Based Metrics

Businesses face the perpetual challenge of accurately measuring the return on investment for their advertising campaigns. While Click-Through Rate (CTR) or Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) have long been the go-to metric for assessing the performance of digital ads, it's essential to recognize that CTR/MQLs, while valuable, don't provide the complete picture necessary for a business's success.

Click-based Metrics Don't Track Quality

As digital advertising technology evolves, we must question the best measure of success. In a world where computers can dynamically optimize campaigns in real-time based on performance data, a fixation on increasing CTR/MQLs may overshadow the more important goal of driving return on investment (ROI). If your systems are adequately connected but receiving insufficient data by leaving out the financial aspect of the results, it may ultimately mean you're training ad platforms to optimize for junk leads.


Customers sometimes come to us due to significantly high spam lead volume. Poor quality leads in your data feedback or an incomplete picture of a successful lead within connected ad platforms can provide incorrect signals of what the company finds valuable in its results. Once the ad platform identifies what drives leads, it will continue to send you similar-quality leads until you break the loop and improve data quality. If you optimize for and incentivize your team or ad channels for MQLs instead of ROI, it's easy to drive leads who aren't interested in purchasing now or potentially ever.


While CTR/MQLs are undoubtedly a valuable metric, it doesn't provide a holistic view of user behavior. One of the critical limitations of CTR/MQLs is that it needs to tell the entire story behind a click. In this context, CTR doesn't inform us why a user clicked an ad and what transpired after that click.


Consider a scenario where your digital ad campaign boasts a high CTR. While this might initially seem like a cause for celebration, it's imperative to ask whether the users clicking on your ad are genuinely interested in your product. What if they land on your website but promptly exit without exploring further?


Simply because someone clicked an ad doesn't necessarily mean they are genuinely interested in your brand and poised to convert into a paying customer. It's essential to recognize that the ultimate goal of digital advertising is to drive conversions and sales. Therefore, focusing solely on a high CTR or MQLs may lead to disappointment if the conversion rate remains low.

Call Tracking Results

Online Metrics Don't Give You the Full Picture 

Online metrics typically provide data on specific online activities, such as website visits, click-through rates, or social media engagement. However, this data may only capture part of the full scope of a customer's journey, including offline interactions or factors like word-of-mouth recommendations.

Furthermore, metrics alone may not comprehensively understand the "why" behind customer behavior. Understanding the motivations and emotions of customers requires qualitative data and insights, which online metrics cannot always provide.

It can lead to a fixation on vanity metrics like website traffic or social media likes, which don't necessarily correlate with business success. High traffic or engagement only sometimes translates into increased sales or profitability. Additionally, online metrics are susceptible to inaccuracies due to factors like bots, ad blockers, and cookie restrictions. Data quality issues can lead to incorrect assessments of performance and ineffective decision-making.

The Hidden Potential of Offline Conversions

Some businesses operate in both online and offline spaces. Relying solely on online metrics may require more attention to valuable data from in-person interactions or traditional marketing channels. Click-based metrics attribute conversions to the last click or interaction that directly preceded the conversion. Consequently, offline conversions resulting from a sequence of online and offline touchpoints may need to receive accurate attribution to the online efforts that contributed to them.


Furthermore, many offline conversions take time to materialize. For example, a user might click on an online ad and later visit a physical store to make a purchase. Click-based metrics might not account for this delay and may fail to connect the online ad clicks with the eventual offline conversion. Users will frequently switch between devices (e.g., from mobile to desktop) before making an offline conversion. Click-based metrics often need help to track these cross-device user journeys effectively, leading to incomplete data and inaccurate attribution.


Businesses should consider implementing call tracking software like CallRail to address these limitations and gain a more comprehensive view of the customer journey. Call tracking allows for the integration of offline interactions with online marketing efforts. 
Call Tracking Success

Call Tracking: The Unsung Hero of Offline (and Online) Marketing Attribution:  

Call tracking is a comprehensive system that enables businesses to monitor and attribute phone calls to specific marketing channels and campaigns. This powerful tool helps you understand which online and offline marketing efforts drive customers to pick up the phone, providing valuable insights into customer behavior beyond what typical online metrics can offer.


One of the most remarkable aspects of call tracking is its ability to connect the dots between online initiatives and offline responses. Here's how it works:


Imagine a potential customer encounters your online ad, clicks on it, and subsequently visits your website. After exploring your products or services, they call your business to inquire further. Traditional online metrics might only capture the initial click, missing the following critical offline phone call conversion.


CallRail can connect that otherwise missing data point by providing a dynamic number pool that swaps out the hard-coded phone number on the website to identify which session/customer made the call. Call-tracking software can also trace the customer's journey from the initial online touchpoint to the ultimate offline interaction by assigning unique phone numbers to various online channels or campaigns. It seamlessly attributes the call to the specific online marketing effort that played a pivotal role in converting the prospect into a customer. It can also help keep track of the entire customer journey, similar to marketing automation platforms, especially when you integrate call tracking and marketing automation platforms. 

Real-World Examples of Call Tracking Success

Let's explore some real-world scenarios where businesses have harnessed the power of call tracking to their advantage:

Example 1: A Local Law Firm

A local law firm invested in both online advertising and traditional billboards. They needed to find out which medium was generating more leads. Call tracking allowed them to distinguish between online-generated calls and those from billboard advertisements, providing valuable insights that led to a shift in their marketing budget towards more effective online campaigns.

Example 2: An E-commerce Retailer

An e-commerce retailer utilized call tracking to understand how their online promotions influenced in-store sales. By assigning unique phone numbers to various online ads and monitoring call data, they were able to measure the impact of online initiatives on in-store traffic and conversions. Using a call-tracking solutions such as CallRail can help businesses make data-driven decisions. With its user-friendly interface and robust features, CallRail is an excellent choice for those seeking to bridge the online-offline divide and gain deeper insights into their marketing efforts.


Call tracking is an indispensable tool that clarifies your marketing attribution, ensuring that online and offline campaigns receive the recognition they deserve. By leveraging this technology, businesses can make more informed marketing decisions and drive success for their organization. It's time to make the unsung hero of marketing attribution, call tracking, a pivotal part of your marketing strategy.

Using Marketing Tools

Integrating Call Tracking with Other Marketing Tools

One of the key advantages of integrating a call tracking solution like CallRail is the creation of a unified marketing dashboard. CallRail offers a centralized hub allowing businesses to consolidate data from various sources, providing a real-time snapshot of the marketing landscape. With a unified dashboard, marketing teams can quickly gauge the effectiveness of their campaigns, identify trends, and make informed decisions. It simplifies monitoring and ensures businesses don't silo valuable data across different platforms.

Effective marketing often relies on the synergy between different tools and platforms. CallRail, when seamlessly integrated with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and digital advertising platforms, can yield remarkable results. Here's how they work in concert:

CRM Systems: Integrating CallRail with CRM systems enables businesses to capture valuable information about leads and customers who make phone inquiries. This data can be automatically added to customer profiles, creating a comprehensive view of customer interactions. It helps sales and customer support teams provide a more personalized and effective service.

Digital Advertising Platforms: Integrating CallRail and various digital advertising platforms is particularly beneficial for businesses investing in online campaigns. By associating unique phone numbers with specific digital ads or keywords, you can precisely measure the performance of each campaign. This data allows for more precise budget allocation and optimization of digital marketing strategies.

A crucial aspect of integrating call tracking with other marketing tools is the ability to streamline data. Businesses gain a comprehensive view of the customer journey with data from calls, online interactions, and customer profiles consolidated in a single system. This integrated approach provides insights into how various online and offline touchpoints influence customer behavior. It helps identify which channels are most effective in driving conversions and which require optimization.

Integrating call tracking into your marketing arsenal enhances your understanding of customer interactions and streamlines data for a more comprehensive view of the customer journey. By combining call tracking with CRM systems and digital advertising platforms, businesses can fine-tune their marketing efforts and make data-driven decisions that improve ROI and customer satisfaction.

Overcoming Common Misconceptions

Misconceptions often cloud the adoption of valuable tools like call tracking. Addressing these misconceptions is essential to realizing the true potential of call tracking in marketing.

Myth 1: Privacy Concerns Related to Call Tracking

One common misconception that deserves closer examination centers around privacy concerns related to call tracking. At first glance, it's understandable that individuals might harbor worries about their conversations getting recorded without their consent. However, the reality is quite different. Reputable call tracking services, including industry leaders like CallRail, prioritize strict adherence to privacy regulations and guidelines. These regulations ensure that businesses conduct call recordings and data collection lawfully and ethically. Moreover, many jurisdictions stipulate that explicit consent from the caller is a prerequisite for recording phone conversations, further safeguarding individual privacy rights.


Call tracking is not a clandestine invasion of privacy but a tool designed to elevate the customer experience and support efficient and effective marketing results. Businesses aim to better understand customers' journeys, needs, preferences, and pain points by obtaining consent and responsibly handling call data. As a result, it enables them to provide more tailored and practical support, resolve issues promptly, and create a seamless customer journey. It's essential to recognize that the primary goal of call tracking is to enhance the quality of service and support offered, leading to higher customer satisfaction and improved business performance.

Myth 2: The Cost Versus Value Debate: Is Call Tracking Worth the Investment?

Another misconception centers on the cost of call tracking. Some businesses, particularly smaller ones, might hesitate due to perceived high costs. However, this cost-versus-value debate often tips in favor of call tracking. The insights, data, and optimization opportunities it provides can significantly boost marketing campaigns' return on investment (ROI).


By harnessing the power of call tracking, businesses gain a granular understanding of their customer interactions, enabling them to make data-driven decisions that directly impact their marketing strategies.


These insights can unearth previously hidden trends and patterns in customer behavior. Businesses can identify which marketing channels drive the most high-quality leads, allowing for a more targeted allocation of resources and budget. For instance, if call tracking reveals that a specific online ad campaign consistently generates more phone calls from prospective customers than other channels, a business can redirect its marketing budget toward the most successful campaign, optimizing ROI in real time.


Moreover, businesses should consider the long-term benefits of call tracking. Over time, as companies refine their marketing strategies based on call tracking data, they can expect to experience improved conversion rates, higher customer satisfaction, and increased customer retention. Thus, this translates into lasting cost savings by reducing the need for expensive marketing trial-and-error and enhancing the efficiency of marketing spend.

Myth 3: Debunking the Myth that Calls Tracking is Only for Large Corporations

The misconception that call tracking is reserved for large corporations often stems from the assumption that it requires substantial marketing budgets and complex infrastructure. However, in today's dynamic business landscape, call tracking has evolved to be versatile and accessible, catering to companies of all sizes. One such accessible solution is CallRail, a prime example of how this technology can work for businesses regardless of scale.


For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), CallRail offers an opportunity to harness the same potent tools that large corporations employ. The beauty of CallRail is its adaptability; it allows SMEs to choose from a range of plans that align with their specific business needs and budget constraints. This flexibility ensures that businesses can start with a plan that fits their current requirements and budgetary limitations.


What's even more compelling is the scalability offered by CallRail. As SMEs grow and expand their marketing initiatives, they can seamlessly upgrade their CallRail plan to accommodate the increasing volume of calls and data. As a result, this means that CallRail is not just a solution for the present but can evolve with your business, adapting to its changing needs and requirements.


CallRail, with its user-friendly interface and cost-effective pricing plans, is committed to making call tracking accessible and beneficial to SMEs. This powerful tool allows smaller businesses to optimize their marketing strategies, make informed decisions, and compete with larger enterprises on a level playing field. This democratization of call tracking will enable companies of all sizes to unlock the potential of data-driven marketing and enhance their overall success.

Improve Conversions and Your Bottom Line with CallRail

While online metrics like click-through rates are valuable, they only offer a glimpse into the broader marketing picture. The limitations of these metrics in understanding the "why" behind customer actions and attributing offline conversions are clear. Call tracking, exemplified by solutions like CallRail, is the missing link, ensuring a comprehensive view of the customer journey.


By choosing to implement call tracking, you're not just embracing a tool; you're adopting a strategy that can significantly enhance your marketing success. It empowers you to make data-driven decisions, discover hidden trends in customer behavior, and optimize your campaigns for the best return on investment. Call tracking bridges the gap between online and offline interactions, providing invaluable insights beyond conventional online metrics.


For businesses of all sizes, CallRail offers a versatile and scalable solution tailored to your unique needs and budget. It's more than a recommendation; it's a key to unlocking the full potential of data-driven marketing. Try call tracking with CallRail and transform your marketing strategy into one that genuinely measures and maximizes your success.