The Marketing Case for Call Tracking

Content Marketing | 5 minute read

Tracking inbound leads is a core function of an effective marketing department. It’s interesting when I run into company owners and managers who do not value the inbound phone call or dismiss it as an insignificant part of the lead picture.

At Pittsburgh Internet Consulting, we work with a variety of accounts across a variety of channels and virtually all, if not all of them do some business over the phone.  With the tools we have available today, it's easy to know where those calls are coming from.



Offline vs Online Call Tracking

Many marketers think of call tracking as an online tool, however, tracking calls for offline campaigns can be very powerful as well.

Offline Call Tracking for Traditional Marketing Campaigns

Offline tracking is accomplished by generating a specific tracking number for a specific campaign- Perhaps your big annual trade show. You can use a tracking number for your show directory, the materials you distribute at the show etc. and then just track the number of calls you get from that phone number. If you run ads in a trade publication, use a specific number for that particular publication.

It likely isn’t necessary to run a different number for all your ads, but if you are really curious, you could run two different numbers on two different sets of creative to run an A/B test.

Online Call Tracking for Organic, Paid, and Social Campaigns

Online call tracking relies on a pool of numbers that are dynamically leased to a website user when they visit the website from a specific source. This allows us to know exactly where a caller is from when they pick up the phone can call the number.

For example. I am online and I do a Google Search I will likely click on either a Paid listing from Google Ads or an organic listing in the SERP. Once I click a link that happens to lead me over to your website, I will be “leased” a specific phone number for one hour. If I make a call, my session data will get sent to the Call Center dashboard as well as to Google Analytics.


Why is Call Tracking Useful for my Business?

Calls to your company are another lead source. A lead source where you have an immediate opportunity to interact directly with your lead. I would argue that in most cases, your inbound phone calls are your best leads.

Ideally, you know about how much a lead costs your company and what the value is per lead. If not, you can read about MQL Lead Cost and Value. Being able to report on these inbound calls helps you see the bigger picture of your marketing efforts.

Let’s take a real-world example.


I am looking at two segments here. Sessions with inbound calls who made a shopping cart purchase and organic sessions who did not make an inbound call.

  • Organic Sessions Who Did Not Make a Phone Call - It's clear a vast majority of the sessions to the site do not call in, which is fine because its an ecommerce site and easy for users to self qualify.  

  • Sessions Who Made an Inbound Phone Call - Interestingly we see that the sessions who do call in have a better conversion rate (Almost 1% better) and a higher per order value (Over $100/order).

Depending on your experiments, you may use this data to start shifting tactics in your marketing efforts or making general adjustments to try and increase call volume to see if those numbers will scale.

How Much Does Call Tracking Cost?

The price of call tracking varies from provider to provider. We are a Gold Partner with CallRail call tracking and our clients average around $100/month for tracking. A large part of the cost centers around your website traffic, how many tracking numbers you will need and call duration.

We offer a free analysis for companies who are looking to implement call tracking for their marketing efforts. If you are unsure about costs and want to learn more, just contact us at 412-942-0222.

CallRail Goes Beyond Call Tracking

We decided to partner with CallRail specifically because of the marketing advantages they offer.

Popular CallRail integrations include:

  • HubSpot

  • Google Analytics

  • Google Ads w/ Mobile Click to Call

  • Salesforce

  • Facebook

  • Slack

There are more integrations plus they have their own API.

Beyond that, CallRail also offers additional functionality:

Call Recording

A feature that allows you to automatically record phone calls received by your tracking numbers. After a call ends, the recording will be available to replay in your call log and email notifications.


Text Messaging

A single message sent to or a from a phone number. CallRail’s interface allows you to send and receive text messages from any of your registered tracking numbers on both the website and CallRail mobile app.

Lead Center

CallRail's standalone application where you can access your calls in real-time, as well as your text messages, call monitoring, and Softphone. Access in-depth information about your customers as you receive calls.

Call Flows

The process a caller goes through from the moment they first dial your number to the moment they hang up. CallRail’s powerful Call Flow Builder allows you to allows you to create unique, fully customizable call flows for each of your tracking numbers.


Form tracking

The Form Tracking feature allows you to immediately follow-up with prospects that contact you through a form on your website. Each time a customer fills out a form on your website, CallRail captures the contents of that form and instantly alerts you by phone call, text message, or email.


A digital inbox for recorded messages left by your callers. You can create a custom voicemail in CallRail’s Call Flow Builder that will override the voicemail on a destination number when a call is received by a tracking number. Voicemails can also be transcribed in CallRail for $0.40/each.

These are just a glimpse of some of the features offered in the CallRail package. Me being a marketing professional, I also really like the reporting capabilities. Both the Google Analytics Integration as well as the built-in reporting features. View a complete list of reports available in CallRail.

CallRail is another great tool that marketing professionals can rely on to help provide better tracking and insights into our marketing efforts. If you would like to learn more about this tool, or other tools we utilize for tracking and ROI, don’t hesitate to reach out to me or schedule a meeting.

Robb Luther

A lifetime resident of Ligonier, Pennsylvania, Robb joined Pittsburgh Internet Consulting as an Internet Marketing Consultant in September 2007. Robb’s work experience covers a full range of website design and development, marketing (both online and off), and training responsibilities.