5 Ways Calls Can Reduce Search Marketers’ Cost Per Lead

Columnist CJ Arseneau discusses how call tracking can help you understand the value of calls in your search program and lower your customer acquisition costs.

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ss-dial-phone-numbersProof of performance, attribution and lead acquisition costs are some of search marketers’ biggest challenges. Search marketing programs are generating leads, but how can they capture more of those leads?

As authors Perry Marshall and Talor Zamir wrote in their book, “Ultimate Guide to Local Business Marketing,” “If you’re not tracking call conversion, then you’re missing out on not only 60 percent to 70 percent of your leads, but also your hottest leads.”

Luckily, advances in call scoring are proving just how hot some of those leads really are. More than that, though, search marketers who use call analytics to discover which phone leads can be attributed back to their programs can instantly reduce their cost per lead.

Here are five ways:

1. Get Credit For Leads You May Not Know You’re Delivering

Search marketing programs deliver leads — clicks have certainly proven that — but call tracking helps reveal other leads.

Let’s discuss a scenario where a search marketer is using clicks only to track performance. The hypothetical search program costs $500 and delivers 100 click-throughs for a $5 cost per lead.

Enter call tracking, and the marketer learns that the same program also delivers 50 calls. This drops the collective cost per lead by 30 percent, translating to $3.33 per lead.

Adding calls into the equation reveals conversions that are not otherwise apparent through click-only programs. In addition, it helps deliver more accurate ROI (return on investment) and enables search marketers to get credit for the leads they are already delivering.

2. Understand Which Programs Generate Leads To Inform Future Campaigns

Search marketers can use call tracking attribution results to optimize and increase monetization opportunities — not to mention that this can be done through dynamic number insertion (DNI), which doesn’t impact the all-important NAP (Name-Address-Phone number).

For many franchises and other national-to-local businesses, NAP consistency is important. But search marketers don’t have to sacrifice NAP consistency in order to leverage call tracking.

By utilizing DNI, JavaScript code is inserted onto web or landing pages and triggers a campaign-specific phone number replacement when a consumer visits the website. Since the phone number in the website remains untouched until the JavaScript is executed, the NAP remains consistent, even when the web page is indexed by search engines.

This enables search marketers to track how consumers arrived at a site and can identify keywords, device types and other indicators that can be used to tailor attribution and enable the marketer to optimize future campaigns to those results, e.g., target the parameters that generate the right leads.

3. Direct Leads To The Right Location

Routing leads to the most appropriate business location is key to ensuring they have the best chance for conversion. Multi-location businesses such as franchises and other national-to-local brands can use call tracking to direct consumers to the closest store or regional call center.

While some experts advocate for each physical location of a national business to have its own campaign, that isn’t always feasible or economical.

Call tracking makes it possible to connect leads driven by national programs to the most relevant location. This can decrease the cost per lead by ensuring that leads are connected with the business that can actually provide the service. For example, a consumer in Ashburn, Virginia, searching for local auto or life insurance wants to be connected to and talk to a truly local agent, not an insurance agent in McLean, Arlington or another DC-area suburb.

4. Track Activity For Existing Customers In addition To New Ones

While new customer acquisition has been the steady mantra for many local SEM (search engine marketing) programs, it is shortsighted in the long run. Studies have shown that existing and repeat customers offer greater ROI than new customers.

When existing customers use call tracking numbers, it shows that they’re going online to search for you — and they have a need that can be fulfilled with upsell opportunities. It all comes down to what is the actual opportunity to transact business via a call, regardless of whether it is from a new or existing customer.

Either way, these are still highly valued calls and should be taken into account in search campaign ROI calculations.

5. Close Conversion Loop With Call Scoring

Call scoring and the ability to easily evaluate the nature of an ad-driven phone call is priceless. After all, advertisers want the phone to ring — but for the right reasons.

Knowing how your leads score also can provide a boost to cost per lead. Increasing those high-quality leads and assigning them a higher value can bring down the overall cost per lead.

Therefore, it’s critical to understand the most basic elements of the calls being driven by your ad programs, not to mention what happens when the consumer and advertiser connect and how to properly evaluate that dialogue against a sound set of lead quality criteria.

For today’s search marketers, call tracking is key to not only revealing the value of calls the search program is already delivering, but in helping lower customer acquisition costs and providing proof of performance.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

CJ Arseneau
CJ Arseneau is vice president of marketing for leading call analytics and attribution technology provider Telmetrics, where she spearheads the company's brand marketing, product development and marketing and communications initiatives. Since joining the company in 2005, she has become a prominent voice in call attribution. She has been instrumental in helping Telmetrics develop its digital and mobile product suite as well as expand its customer base to include the top local advertising publishers and agencies. With more than 18 years of technology and software marketing experience, she is an invaluable member of Telmetrics' executive leadership team responsible for helping define the company's strategic roadmap.

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