You’re going to want to track phone numbers. Why? So much with the Internet today revolves around email. People are heavily focused on email, and email is an outstanding platform. But in my findings, for higher-priced sales, my customers notice a huge difference in prospects who call on the phone.
They’re more interested. They want answers now. They don’t want to fill out a form and wait. And therefore, getting those customers to a telephone is critical. You want to be able to provide your lead generation efforts with a phone number.
But I’ve also found that a lot of companies struggle with tracking offline activities like phone calls. They’ll simply put in their company’s phone number, and that creates problems when trying to track activities in their leads.
Ask the Question
Here’s why. They sit down and they have a meeting. At that meeting, it’s decided, every time a phone call comes in, let’s ask how they found out about us. It’s a good step. Unfortunately, people forget to ask.
In addition, customers don’t accurately report this information. We have seen this before time and time again, as we’ve worked with a client and the phone calls that came in were actually tracked for training purposes. And we were able to listen to some of the inbound calls from customers.
Even though on some occasions, the client’s staff would ask, “How did you hear about us?” the overwhelming number of calls that came in didn’t know. They would say, “The Internet.” They would say, “Google.” They would say, “On your website.”
Well, that’s all well and good, except on the website, they were looking at a promotional website. The client’s offer may have been promoted on multiple websites.
So pretty soon you start to get into asking your prospect, before the conversation even begins, several probing questions about how they found out about you, and the customer starts to get irritated. They’re calling to ask you questions. They don’t want to be processed six ways from Sunday.
Prospecting for Gold
You asking them, “Okay, and what did the ad look like? And what page was it on? And what was the domain name of the website where you found us?” That can all happen automatically by using tracking numbers. When I first started in this business, I thought tracking numbers were some big huge deal that I had to go to the phone company for, and sign a very long agreement, and then lease these phone numbers. That’s no longer the case.
There are several companies on the Internet – I’ll list five here – that will actually, within minutes, have you up and running with one or more phone numbers that provide tracking for your advertising offers. One of them is called phone.com. It’s fantastic. We use them. It’s very scalable.
They have a great back end that allows you to secure numbers, create voicemail boxes or simply reroute the calls. They’ll even transcribe messages left on different lines, and send them to you as an email or a text. They’ll record the messages left. Or they will forward the phone calls to the appropriate line that you want tracked.
All of this at the end of the day provides fantastic reporting.
Jason is a Web Marketing consultant and the CEO and founder of Digital Harvest, a Tampa-based marketing firm that helps companies increase their online exposure and generate more business.