During the years we have invested millions of dollars on marketing, not knowing if our investment was paying good returns. Like most remodelers, we always tried to document the marketing source as each lead came in, but we found many clients gave us a different answer each time we asked the question. This meant our marketing was working, but we wanted to be 100 percent sure which marketing piece or Web ad caught their eye.
Last year we tried something new. We planned to run a three-month radio campaign, which was going to be a $50,000 investment. How could we be sure the radio ad was providing a good source of quality leads? The radio signal was going to reach areas outside our working area, which meant 30 plus percent of the listeners would be living outside our market. After doing research, we found a cloud-based call-tracking service. The service provides a unique phone number for each marketing piece we run. Whether it is a radio ad, print material or Web ad, we now have a different phone number for each. The service tracks the calls that come into each phone number, so we can determine with 100 percent accuracy which marketing piece is generating the most response.
One of the additional benefits offered by the service is call recording. For an extra 8 cents per call we automatically receive the name, address and phone number of each caller, even if they hang up. We were amazed at the number of hang-ups we received just after our office closed each day. With hang-up information, we could begin a direct-mail campaign and follow up with a phone call. We wanted a way to get back in touch with these callers who obviously have interest in remodeling services.
An unexpected bonus that came with the recording piece is the ability to monitor incoming calls to our office. The recordings let us evaluate our workflow and make some adjustments to our process. Every two weeks we review some of the incoming calls with our receptionist. We discuss how the calls were handled and what improvements could be made. Because of these evaluations, we have reduced the amount of time our potential clients are put on hold during the lead-intake process, and we have reduced the time it takes a caller to leave a voice mail. We also have changed some of our qualifying questions based on the pushback we noticed from some callers. Call recording has turned out to be a great training opportunity for our company.
Basic call-tracking services start at around $50 per month for the first five phone numbers and 750 minutes of time. You can add additional phone numbers for $5 each per month and 6 cents per minute. The service provides a Web-based interface to view all the details of the inbound calls and track, graph, and export all of the call information and recordings. The information is stored on the cloud for up to 30 days. The service also offers a “follow-you” calling feature, meaning you specify your contact numbers (such as office, mobile, home) and the service will ring those numbers in the order you specify. There is also a multiring feature, which allows you to ring multiple phone numbers at once. Whoever answers first gets the call. This feature is great for companies with sales teams. You can also choose to receive text messages or emails when you receive a call on each phone number.
There are many companies offering this helpful service. I suggest doing a Google search for “dynamic call-tracking services.” Because most of these systems are an IP-based phone system, not all of them have great sound quality. Take advantage of free trials so you can verify the call quality before making a long-term commitment.
This experience has helped us hone our marketing effort to ensure we are getting what we pay for with each form of advertising. Call tracking has confirmed there is no magic bullet when it comes to marketing; it is the sum of all your efforts that creates results.