Many marketers tend to zone in exclusively on their customers’ digital journeys while failing to attribute their
business’ inbound calls, missing out on valuable opportunities to take credit for sales.
However, mobile search has become so good at generating phone calls that BIA/Kelsey has predicted that mobile search will generate 73bn calls to businesses in 2018, up from 30bn in 2013.
Further to that, when you consider that telephone calls convert 10-12 times more than clicks, it’s no wonder that traffic and other traditional metrics are becoming increasingly irrelevant to marketers.
Here are six key reasons why calls are more important to your business than clicks.
1. Mobile search is more common
Smartphones offer ease of use and immediacy. It’s therefore no wonder that Google announced in May that mobile searches have now surpassed desktop in 10 countries, including the US and Japan.
What’s important about this is that Google also discovered 71% of mobile searchers routinely make phone calls to businesses directly from their search engine results pages, which in itself should change the marketing goals of your campaigns.
2. Inbound calls reveal a wealth of useful information
Call tracking allows you to attribute offline sales to every inbound lead, so you can more accurately measures the impact of your banner ads, email marketing and PPC campaigns.
Marketers can use software to track phone calls to drill down into data and identify a whole array of areas that can be optimised.
For example, from their phone call conversations, marketers can discover areas that need tailoring in terms of messaging and buying experience, as well as their customers’ most asked questions and objections.
As well as providing demographic details about customers, call tracking software gives a 360˚ view of buyers’ path to purchase because the unique technology is able to track a visitor’s interactions with your site right up until they call you.
3. Phone calls generate local businesses’ best leads
According to BIA/Kelsey’s ongoing Local Commerce Monitor study, small-business advertisers say time and time again that a phone call is the most valuable type of new business lead.
According to Invoca, 61% of businesses rate their incoming phone calls as an excellent source of leads, ahead of any other inbound lead source. BIA/Kelsey has found similar figures of 64-86% amongst local marketers citing calls as their best leads, whose other sources include clicks, traffic, form fill-outs, social media leads and even footfall in-store.
More importantly, the type of business you run determines the importance of phone calls. For example, services or high-end products tend to benefit the most from telephone calls, whereas retail businesses with bricks-and-mortar stores rely less heavily on them.
4. Calls generate more revenue than clicks
Convirza’s data shows that the larger the purchasing decision – particularly when it comes to high-value items or when choosing a new service – the more important calls are to a business.
While of course the web produces more leads – sometimes up to 95% of them, no less – Convirza’s own research discovered that phone calls produced 25% of the overall revenue.
This means that with less work needed, marketers would need far fewer phone calls to convert to produce the same amount of revenue as web leads.
5. Callers turn into customers 10-12x more often than clickers do
Research from Marketing Sherpa and Hubspot indicates that form fill-out leads only convert to customers about 2% of the time, in contrast to the 25-40% of inbound phone calls to local businesses that turn into customers.
That means that calls turn into customers 10-12 times more frequently than web leads do.
Interestingly, Google has stated that pay-per-call mobile AdWords campaigns have 6-8% higher conversion rates than pay-per-click campaigns. They also say that including urgent phrases such as ‘Call Now’ or ‘Call us today’ in mobile ad copy improves conversion rates.
6. Calls come lower in the sales funnel
While the conversion process can take weeks or months with web leads, phone calls are much closer to the point of sale in the marketing funnel.
Across the marketing world the percentage of converting web leads is 2%, meaning 98% are dropping out within three months of them first hearing about your product or service. This leaves marketers spending a lot of money to generate a lot of leads that won’t convert.
Phone calls, on the other hand, have a 31% conversion rate across a range of industries, resulting in revenue often within minutes rather than months; if someone calls, they are ready to buy.
When you consider the impact of phone calls in the buying cycle, it becomes difficult to ignore the importance of generating and tracking them.
While clicks will help you to generate calls, it is turning your attention to generating more phone calls that will quickly and easily bring higher quality leads into your business.
Guest Post by: Natalia Selby
Currently looks after marketing at call tracking software company, Mediahawk. With over 10 years of experience in analytics, content management and eCommerce, Natalia knows how to help businesses get the most from their online marketing, and how to effectively integrate offline marketing.