Snowed In: How CallTrackingMetrics’ Queues and Soft Phones Make It Easy To Close The Office But Not Affect Our Customers

In parts of the East coast, we have been hit with a ton of snow this year. Just because we are not willing to risk the snowy roads to be able to come into work doesn’t mean that our customers will experience any blip in service from our team.*

For example, we route all calls through a CTM voicemenu that then routes calls to queues of agents. Callers can press 1 or 2 to be routed to the sales or service queues respectively. When an agent is working at home or from somewhere other than the office, there is a ton of flexibility as to how they can accept calls. Not only can we route calls to our agents on landlines or cell phones anywhere in the world, they can also accept calls on their computer using CTM’s browser phone. The great thing about the browser phone is that if for some reason an agent momentarily needs to take themselves out of the queue, they have a simple on/off button right in the CTM call log to accept/not accept calls. Also, if Verizon has a local phone outage (like happened here in Maryland), the browser phone is not affected at all.

The browser phone also offers us the capability to conference in other agents and transfer calls to other agents all through the computer. Office phone system capabilities- without the office phone system in play.

Finally, we are able to use our soft phone (browser phone) to be able to call our customers back from one of our tracking numbers, so that they recognize the number on their caller ID- and it gives the perception that we are in an office.

In short using the queues as well as our soft phones is great and helps us give our customers who are not snowed in the support they need.

To learn more about queues and soft phones please follow the links below.
* note that some of us have kids and pets that sometimes can be heard in the background to which we have not figured out a solution for that work from home issue just yet.


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Using Call Queues To Achieve Your Routing Goals Presented by: Todd Fisher

Features the video will discuss:

  • options for routing calls to agents through browser phone, cell phones and landlines
  • routing based on schedule and in the moment agent availability
  • weighted routing to agents based on skill/priority
  • sticky routing so callers get to the same agent each time they call
  • using queue’s to bill customers per call
  • post call surveys
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Google’s Advanced Call Reporting– What to know

Google serves as the solution to so many of our everyday needs. Whether you’re looking for a dinner recipe, concert tickets, or helping your kids with their homework, all you need to do is “google it” and within seconds you have the world at your fingertips.

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Google has also played a huge roll in the advertising world with the creation of Google Adwords. With typical advertising channels, it’s almost like fishing: you’re just casting your ad out into a pond full of fish and you’re just hoping that those fish want your type of bait. However with Google Adwords you’re able to target people who are directly searching for your product, eliminating the waste of advertising to people who have no interest in what you have to offer. So if you sell TVs, you’re only casting your line into a pond full of fish actively looking to purchase a new TV.

With the evolution of Google Analytics and AdWords we are now able to know statistics and demographics that are advanced compared to what information was available 20 years ago. For example Google Analytics and Adwords can tell us:

  • what ad copy (ad text) was clicked
  • the keyword searched
  • how long a visitor was on each page
  • how many pages the visitor clicked on/visited
  • the device they used
  • the viewer’s demographics

With Google Adwords you only pay for what people click (PPC). Ideally someone searches one of your keywords that triggers your ad, they click the ad and then purchase your product creating a 100% conversion rate. However that’s the perfect scenario, and in reality the average conversion rate is 2-5% not even close to 100%. In order to get the most ROI, marketers will take the information from the visitor who converted and optimize their ad and website with the goal of achieving an even higher conversion rate in the future. This can be done by a business owner or they can hire an expert who specializes in analyzing and optimizing this information.

However, there has traditionally been a major flaw in these PPC campaigns: there’s not a way to measure the phone calls that resulted from your ads. Meaning that you could have an adwords campaign running that is driving in dozens of clicks but aren’t resulting in any offline (phone) conversions.

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There are many industries where its not realistic to fill out an interest form or make an online purchase: for example a plumber. If you’re in need of a plumber you’re not going to fill out an interest form and wait for them to get back to you, you’re going to want/need to get them on the phone and over to your residence ASAP.

The phone calls that are driven from clicks on your PPC ads aren’t tracked by Google or any of the other search engines, which causes major holes in analyzing and reporting. The demand for call tracking and call reporting has lead to the birth of call tracking companies like CallTrackingMetrics and also extensions to the search engines like Google Voice’s Call Forwarding and Google’s Advanced Call Reporting. Google Voice came out with it’s call forwarding a few years back, it comes equipped with the capabilities of:

Advanced call reporting for ad extensions is Google’s newest baby with the capability of reporting on the call you receive through call extensions, offering basic details like:

  • call start and end time
  • call area code
  • whether the call was answered or not
  • call duration
  • call conversions

With the release of Google’s advanced call reporting, many ask the question “how do call tracking companies like CallTrackingMetrics measure up to Google’s call reporting?”

With CallTrackingMetrics integration with Google CallTrackingMetrics is able to report the following information for each of your phone calls:

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  • campaign the visitor came through
  • ad group the visitor came through
  • source of the call (google, bing, paid, organic, social, offline etc etc)
  • medium the visitor came through
  • keyword they used
  • ad match type
  • the ad they clicked on
  • ad position
  • the users IP address
  • the numbers the viewer was able to see
  • the landing page they came in on
  • the last recorded URL they were on before they placed the call

In addition, outside of our Google Integration, our service provides general call tracking features like call recording, geo routing, call queues, IVR menu’s and the ability to capture the caller’s number, name and address. Google isn’t able to provide any of the above information, their system is only able to capture the area code of the caller rather than the whole phone number.

Google's call tracking data

Image taken from Googles help doc on advanced reporting

Other areas that separate us from Google is with CallTrackingMetrics you own your numbers. Yes, both CallTrackingMetrics and Google offer dynamic swapping, however with Google it’s pulling a number from it’s database and you don’t own that number- meaning that same number will be shared between thousands of businesses. With CallTrackingMetrics you purchase your tracking numbers for a low monthly fee ( between $1.50-$3.00 for local numbers) and that number is yours. All our numbers go through months of cleaning to ensure your tracking number isn’t attached to any other businesses.Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 4.40.30 PM

With CallTrackingMetrics you’re able to track past the call extension in your ad copy, while Google’s advanced call reporting only allows tracking for the call extension. Once the viewer has clicked the ad, Google call tracking is no longer available. You have the capability to include a Google call forwarding number on your landing page but there is no way for that call to be tracked back to the ad.

One of the biggest arguments is that Google advanced call reporting is free. Which is true to some extent. Yes, it is free until someone clicks the call button, at that point you are billed the same as PPC click. So depending on your cost per click which typically ranges from pennies to up to double digit numbers, Googles call forwarding might not be that cost efficient way for you.

Lets break the down just a little more:

Say it costs $5 per click to call and you have 10 calls per month. With Google service that would be $50.00 for those calls. With CallTrackingMetrics, even assuming the call was an hour long at .04 per minute X 60 minutes X 10 calls plus $1.50 monthly fee = $25.50, half the price of Google.

Google’s forwarding is also only available in 7 countries being: Australia, France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Sweden and the United States. CallTrackingMetrics offers call tracking numbers in over 30 countries worldwide.

Lastly the biggest difference between CallTrackingMetrics and Google’s advanced forwarding numbers is that with CallTrackingMetrics you’re not limited to only tracking the call extension in your ad copy as a source. With CallTrackingMetrics you can track just about any advertising channel you can imagine (Organic, Paid, Display, Social, Print, TV etc.)

this is an example of an adwords ad copy

This is an example of an adwords ad copy with call extension

We hope this is helpful to break down the differences between Google’s call tracking solution and ours. We think Google is great and they do a fantastic job providing businesses large and small the ability to compete online on a level playing field. While their call tracking solution on the surface looks like a great deal, we would recommend you take a closer look to ensure you are getting the details you really need to make smart advertising decisions.



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Call Tracking For Franchises

Given that we are exhibiting at The International Franchise Association’s Annual Convention this week in Las Vegas, I wanted to describe how franchises are using CallTrackingMetrics call tracking tools to manage advertising and performance across their organizations.


CallTrackingMetrics works with franchises in all phases of growth from 2-3 franchisees to thousands. There are common threads in our conversations with these organizations:

The franchisor is often responsible (and paid by the franchisees) for a good chunk of the advertising that hapmcdonaldspens for the brand.

The franchisor wants to be able to track what the franchisees are doing with the leads that are going to them from the advertising and the franchisee wants to know that they are getting something for the advertising dollars they are sending to the central office.

In addition, often the franchisees want to do their own local/personalized advertising in their own markets and the central office would like them to track how those are going so they can potentially replicate across other markets.

This is the perfect scenario for call tracking for several reasons: 

  1. Many franchises are service based businesses where a lot of leads still are coming in via phone.
  2. These are often highly competitive industries where a single ad click can easily cost $30+ or more and being able to track calls back to those ads is critical to make sure the ads are working. They can also be high ticket services with hundreds of dollars on the line in each call.
  3. Calls are a wealth of information with call recording, scoring, and keyword spotting providing info on how the calls are going and what revenue is coming out of them.


franchising_structureHow do franchises typical set up their call tracking program in CTM? 

  1. Account Structure: CallTrackingMetrics offers the ability to have a master and child account structure (through the agency and enterprise plans) so the central franchise office can create a master account that has a holistic view of performance and create child (“sub”) accounts for each franchisee location. The franchisee employees/managers can have access to their respective child account. The central office can choose to house nationwide/central tracking phone numbers in the master account and then place local/franchisee specific tracking numbers in the child accounts.
  2. Local Numbers For Every Location: In addition to tracking calls coming into main vanity/toll free lines for the franchise nationally, many organizations set up individual local tracking numbers for each of the franchisees. This is particularly useful if you have a website where you list out of all of your franchisees and their phone numbers. Each of those can be tracking numbers. You can even make them dynamically change depending on the advertising channel the website visitor is coming through.
  3. Georouting National Numbers: National tracking numbers that are used in large advertising campaigns can be geo-routed to the correct local franchisee so that callers end up exactly where they need to be and central offices dont need to have a call center taking calls.
  4. White Labeling/API Integration: Franchises wanting to provide their franchisees with access to this information have a number of options. They can white label the software and have their franchisees log in, they could leverage our API/webhooks to import the information in automatically into their own internal software, or leverage integrations we already have in place with systems like FranConnect, SalesForce, Google Analytics/Adwords etc.

What types of advertising are Franchises tracking? 

  1. National advertising campaigns: When running broad ads in mediums like print and TV, franchises want the ability to know exactly how many calls are coming from each ad. They also want to be able to see which franchisee the call was georouted to and what the outcome of the call was.
  2. Online advertising campaigns: Franchises will often run national and local PPC and display ads. Tracking numbers can be tied to specific advertising channels (like Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook, Display, Social Media, Organic, Local Search etc.) and when the visitor lands on the franchise website/landing page, they will see a tracking number specific to georoutingthat channel. Once a call is placed, we immediately report on the exact visit that led to the call (and send that information back into systems like Google Analytics and Adwords) so that campaigns can be optimized around calls.
  3. Local Franchisee Specific Campaigns: Does your franchisee want to advertise in a local publication or hand out fliers in their area? Provide them access to their sub account and they can search for and purchase tracking numbers to track every campaign they are doing. Campaigns that do well can be highlighted and replicated across other areas.

What can franchises do with the call tracking information? 

The short answer is there is wealth of information in your calls! Lets start with some of the more obvious:

  1. Optimize advertising spend around those ads that generate calls.
  2. Optimize websites and landing pages around those pages that are generating calls and the keywords generating calls.
  3. See reporting on which franchisees are getting calls, missing calls, when the calls are coming in (time of day, day of week etc) to make sure calls are being answered and not missed. Uncover potential staffing issues and performance issues just by looking at the call metrics.

Some more interesting things you could do: 

  1. Have your franchisees mark calls with scoring and conversion information so you can view how much revenue is coming from each advertising campaign, the quality of the calls and view conversion statistics by franchisee. Imagine being able to know how much revenue is coming from each of your campaigns?
  2. Choose to record the calls and have your managers use the call recordings as great training tools and also hear what callers are asking for.
  3. Turn on keyword spotting for your calls so that the system will automatically categorize the calls along product lines, tone of call, if appointments were scheduled etc so you can filter reporting across your franchise using these tags.
  4. Turn on premium caller ID and collect the name and address of each of the callers calling your franchise. Use that information to create a targeted mailing list for promotions.

Interested in talking more about how CallTrackingMetrics can help your franchise? Contact us and we would be delighted to demo the software in action.

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Setting Up CallTracking Numbers Using CallTrackingMetrics Video Blog

Learn the basics – This short video will demonstrate how quickly and easily it is to purchase your tracking number and get them set up in under 5 minutes.

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CallTrackingMetrics Case Study: Addiction Recovery

In order to help our potential clients better understand how call tracking can benefit them we set out and interviewed several of our current client in different industries. Asking them how CallTrackingMetrics has improved their marketing endeavors. We’ve received several responses which we will be highlighting in posts throughout February.

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CallTrackingMetrics Terminology 101

Whether you are just getting started with CallTrackingMetrics or have been using it for a while, you’ve probably realized there are a lot of different terms you need to know. This post will give you a short overview of what we call the various components that make CallTrackingMetrics work.

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CallTrackingMetrics Case Study: AdVision

As a growing company we attend conferences offering demos of our product and illustrating the benefits of call tracking. We’re often asked questions like “who uses calling tracking” or “I’m not sure that would benefit my industry”.  People often are surprised when they hear the list of common industries we support.

We offer marketing solutions for industries large to small, from your local locksmith to your dental offices, call centers to car dealerships and we’ve found that different companies utilize our service to accomplish different goals. Some companies use us solely for our Google integration because they want their phone call leads to be credited as conversions in Adwords. Others use us for our ability to geo route calls based on the callers locations.

In order to help our potential clients better understand how call tracking can benefit them we set out and interviewed several of our current client in different industries. Asking them how CallTrackingMetrics has improved their marketing endeavors. We’ve received several responses which we will be highlighting in posts throughout February.

Here’s Holly from AdVisions’ story:

As a digital marketing strategist, I’m always looking for the most comprehensive data regarding just how effective our digital strategies are performing. I realized there are 2 types of conversions from a website, online such as a form submission and offline such as a phone call. Monitoring our online conversions was easy, there are several avenues reporting that data. However we didn’t have a way to monitor our offline sources such as phone call leads and sales.

Which brought us to CallTrackingMetrics.

  • CTM’s software allows us to know when offline conversions are happening which allows us to more accurately report on the lead volume and cost/lead that PPC brings through the door.
  • Being to attribute the calls down to the keyword level is invaluable! Knowing which keywords are driving calls allows us to know how to better optimize the account and where to allocate budget to get the best ROI.
  • CTM’s call tracking software has helped us uncover issues with our clients sales tactics by recording calls.
  • The call recordings helps our management to reveal issue with our customer service and better monitor agents who aren’t converting to sales. With the use CTM we’ve not only improved our ROI, we have the capability to better monitor and manage our staff.

CTM provides us with a deeper understanding into the digital marketing funnel and how revenue flows from traffic > lead > customer. We are then better able to figure out which part of the equation is a problem for our clients and we can help address it.

Holly L.- Search Account Manager – AdVision

Do you have a story to share? Send it to me and we can feature you in an upcoming blog.


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Who to Share the CTM Love with…

share the love

Yesterday we announced our big “Share the CTM Love” campaign, where we’re asking you to send some folks our way! If your referral signs up in the month of February, we’ll give both of you a credit to your CTM account (see details)!

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A Quick Overview of Call Tracking Metrics Integration with Google Analytics – Video Blog

Here is a quick overview on the five key factors of CallTrackingMetrics Integration with Google Analytics which will send your PPC phone calls into Google Adwords as conversions.

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