Phone tracking, or call tracking, is usually known as a software that tracks the location of a cellphone. In marketing, however, call tracking is a more complex system that uses call analytics to gather information about your customers. It helps to determine the success level of your online marketing campaign in a streamlined way.

Call analytics is the way your tracking service collects, analyzes, and produces a report about the data from your customer’s calls. This feature is valuable because it gives your team a look into the effectiveness of a marketing strategy. With that information, you can optimize your company’s ROAS (return on advertising spend). The data they collect comes in the following forms:

  • First-party data like customer records
  • Third-party data like demographics
  • Customer journey data like website visits
  • Conversational data which is generated from conversation analytics
  • Call data, like the length of call or area code of the caller

How Phone Tracking Works

data collection puzzle pieces fitting together

In a business, phone tracking collects data on the callers who engage with the business. It helps businesses gain new insights, use their money wisely, and understand which of their marketing strategies are working best.

Phone tracking works by setting a unique phone number to connect a customer’s phone call with a specific advertisement or online activity, like webpage clicks. This lets you know if a specific goal is being met. It also lets you know which one of your marketing tactics work, and which interactions turned into conversions.

Phone tracking also captures the digital journey that your customer went on before calling you. Depending on the tracking service you use, you can have more or less information reported to you. Some things they look for are specific keywords, source campaigns, marketing channels, and ad groups.

Lastly, phone tracking will look into the effectiveness of the phone call. For example, some phone tracking services analyze the language from the phone call to note how many keywords were spoken and discern the conversion rate, whatever that conversion may be.


When you use one of your marketing strategies to engage consumers, you want to evaluate its effectiveness with pinpoint accuracy. Using a call tracking service means identifying a set of actions that your customer does that results in a desired outcome (i.e., purchasing a product) and assigning a value to each of those actions. This process is called attribution.

Attribution is the primary goal of phone tracking services because it provides you with your true ROI (return on investment). Not only will you see which clicks led to conversion, but you will also see which marketing tool created the most customers for you.

To put it in simpler terms, attribution connects you with specific data about your customer engagement. This makes phone tracking a beneficial addition to your marketing team, as it quickly proves itself to be more valuable than its cost.

Why Phone Tracking Is Necessary for Your Business

Phone tracking is an excellent tool for your marketing department to use to engage with consumers in the best way. It can improve your business overall and close the data gap between you and your customer’s behaviors. This can help you determine how to enhance your digital marketing presence.

If you use phone calls as a method of communication with customers, but don’t use a call tracking service, you could miss out on vital information. Things like attribution data and the opportunity to analyze primary source data for first-party customers.

Using phone tracking helps you understand how successful your marketing channels are by using DNI (dynamic number insertion). DNI is a call-tracking feature that assigns a unique phone number with an advertising source, both online and offline. This means you will know which one of your marketing methods have worked when you receive a call. This is similar to how websites use cookies to analyze online behavior.

man looking confused

Another way a call tracking service can help you is by providing trackable, unique phone numbers that are newly assigned to each customer. It will become part of a package deal with the information you are gaining from your customer interactions. This is because it provides a unique identifier that belongs to an individual’s session on your website, so you will receive specific data from that individual interaction.

Is Phone Tracking a Wise Investment?

Using a call tracking service means using your money wisely. Most service providers offer monthly subscriptions or “packages” that vary in price based on the level of sophistication and preciseness you want for your marketing data collection. Many companies have both the phone numbers and minute usage as part of the subscription, while some give you the option to bill it separately.

The number of services you get for the price is definitely worth the money. Those are discussed further down. You can expect to pay anywhere from a few dollars per month to over $2,000 per month, depending on the type of package you choose and the size of your business.

What Services Come with Call Tracking Packages?

Sometimes call tracking services will integrate with your business tools. These business tools can be through Google Analytics or other CRM (customer relationship management) platforms.

Subscriptions for call tracking vary based on the number of services you want. Many services include call recording and analytics. This is when the software analyzes the customer’s language in the phone call to determine where they learned about the company, and what the outcome of the call was.

Second, many call tracking services offer AdWords integration, which is Google’s massive PPC (pay-per-click) application that advertises your company on Google Search and Google Display Network. If you use both call tracking and AdWords services, then you can optimize your company’s advertising. Google even offers its own call tracking service, though it is very limited.

Other call tracking service offers include keyword and visitor tracking, real-time reporting, and, of course, DNI. Different companies offer different combinations of these services, and their most sophisticated packages will offer all of them, usually with their own unique features.

What Happens If You Don’t Use Call Tracking?

If you don’t use call tracking for your business, one of three things can happen:

  1. You won’t know which of your ads worked.

Customers who have clicked through your ads are more likely to call your business. If you use call tracking, you will know exactly which advertisement was successful. It provides keyword insight for your team that can allow them to make more impactful lead generation campaigns.

  1. You won’t know what your customers want.

Call tracking software can show you what your customer wants when they call you because different advertising campaigns will have different phone numbers. This allows you to see what they are calling for, and to improve your lead generation.

Most tracking services offer CRM software, this keeps track of previous calls your customer has had with your company. Their needs will already be available to employees when they talk to the customer. The result? Faster and more personal service. Your customer will be impressed with the streamlined experience they have with your company.

  1. You won’t be able to keep your employees accountable.

Call tracking means listening to every interaction your customers have with your employees. This service enables you to review phone call length, quality, and success rate. Any discrepancies can be resolved by quickly going back to the call.

The Best Call Tracking Services


phone screen showing recording is on

CallRail is a platform that keeps track of business correspondences, like PPC ads, emails, keywords, social media posts, and of course, phone calls. They boast crystal clear visibility for their customers to see exactly which marketing channels are working, it also includes special features that can help optimize your marketing tactics.

CallRail has a 14-day free trial period to see if the service works for your company. They don’t require a contract, so you can use it month-to-month. Here are some of their features:

Instant Numbers

Within minutes, you can configure a new number for tracking. They use customized phone numbers to create a call route between customers and your business. Then, they analyze the route based on the unique numbers so that you can tailor your message to your customers based off what works best.

Multi-touch CPL Reporting

Callrail compares your CPL (cost per lead) across Google, Facebook, and Bing. They increased the number of action types they will analyze, these are actions that your customer will do in order to connect with your business.

Multi-touch reporting is when the company ties your inbound information (calls, texts, emails) with ad spend data on several platforms like Google and Bing. The data will be shown through CallRail.

This feature allows you to view all of your advertising channels separately by pulling data straight from the source. In this way, the service creates your own customized report based on your company’s performance.

Dynamic Number Insertion

CallRail’s service includes DNI with every one of its packages.

Call Recording

As with most call tracking services, CallRail will record phone calls to your business so you can review them or make notes on them later to help improve interactions with your customers.

Conversation Intelligence

This only comes with three of the packages available at CallRail but is very useful. The Conversation Intelligence feature records transcripts of all of your calls, which increases accessibility for employees reviewing the calls.

Form Tracking

Call tracking shows you which ad or keyword encouraged someone to call your company, whereas form tracking shows what made them hit “submit” on a form. Combined, they form a complete picture of your lead activity. CallRail offers form tracking in three of their packages.


$45/month up to $2000/month Call Tracking Only Base Package:

  • 10 local numbers
  • 500 local minutes
  • 100 text messages
$95/month Call Tracking + Form Tracking Includes Call Tracking and:

  • Custom form builder
  • Form lead tracking
$95/month Call Tracking + Conversation Intelligence Includes Call Tracking and:

  • Call transcriptions
  • Keyword spotting
  • Automatic lead tagging
$145/month Analytics Suite Includes Call Tracking and:

  • Form Tracking
  • Conversation Intelligence
$145/month Complete CallRail Platform All CallRail products including call tracking and:

  • Form Tracking
  • Conversation Intelligence
  • Lead Center

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Google Ads Phone Tracking

The first thing that you should know about Google Ads Phone Tracking is that it is “free”. It tracks your calls for free, but as you pay for every click, you are charged with the standard CPC (Cost-Per-Click) for every click on the number Google displays for you. In terms of call volume, Google phone tracking stays aligned with other tracking services that charge per answered call you receive.

graph showing 100% satisfaction

Google Ads phone tracking is a conversion tracking process that Google uses to show how many calls were made from a specific PPC advertisement on their platform.

Google Ads will evaluate the effectiveness of, and track, three types of calls for you. First, they track calls that are specifically from call-only advertisements. It also tracks ads with location and call extensions. In this case, you should set a minimum call time for calls so that you can determine when it has become a conversion.

The second type of call they will track is calls coming directly from your website. You can set up DNI on your website to improve this service by adding the code to your web properties. This will show through which avenue your caller found your number. The code will then adjust the call forwarding number that shows up to your employee answering the phone.

To put it in simpler terms, when your customer clicks on an ad that redirects them to your website and they decide to call you, Google will change the number they call so that you will know where they clicked in order to reach you.

Lastly, Google will track the clicks by your customer, beginning with a click on the Google ad and then a click on the phone number, button, or link on the mobile version of your website. This allows you to specifically track engagement from your mobile website.


CallTrackingMetrics is known for its unique feature called conversation intelligence, which is the service’s way of identifying signals in verbal communication and reacting to them. Once the call is recorded, the feature will search for deeper insight into the conversation, “mining” it for more information about your customer’s needs. By mining, the feature isolates certain keywords and sentiments from your customer and creates an automated response to them.

The company provides you with the data and insight to give your customers guidance on engaging with your company. CallTrackingMetrics boasts its ease-of-use, personalized experience, and 24/7 customer support.

CallTrackingMetrics offers a one-month free trial to test out its services. They offer monthly subscriptions as well, beginning at $49/month for a basic package. To get top of the line services through CallTrackingMetrics, you must request a quote for the cost.




  • Call and text tracking and attribution
  • Integrations with Google and Bing
  • Call recording, scoring, and tagging
  • Basic call routing
  • Live phone, email, and chat support



  • Unlimited Sub-accounts
  • Track unlimited web forms with FormReactor®
  • Integrations with Facebook and HubSpot
  • Design custom agency account structures with flexible billing
  • Capture conversation analytics and automate scoring and conversions
  • Enhanced security for HIPAA/GDPR compliance
  • Live chat widget to engage prospects and support customers


  • Integrations with Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and Zendesk
  • Smart dialer to automate outbound calls
  • Mobilize remote employees with softphone system
  • Contact center and live agent performance reporting
  • Dedicated onboarding support and account executive
  • Leverage team chat for seamless internal communications and coaching

Requires quote


Everything from Connect package and:

  • Account strategy and implementation with our Professional Services teams with a phased migration approach
  • Guided phone number porting
  • Partner with our lead engineers to customize the platform to your business rules
  • Personalized training packages to increase product adoption across your organization
  • Dedicated technical support services, with 24/7 coverage and Service-Level Agreements
  • Dedicated account manager


Invoca is one of the most sophisticated tracking services on the market. It offers cloud-based call tracking and analytics that are unique because it uses Invoca Signal AI (artificial intelligence). Call tracking companies already use AI to collect and analyze data, but Invoca’s is different because it keeps learning. When call outcome signals are identified (like a purchase), Invoca’s Signal AI improves your call outcome classification and the accuracy of showing things that can be tracked

Furthermore, the company has a performance scoring tool that can help you improve the accuracy of predictive models, it also gives you benchmarks to reach. They have pre-trained AI models that you can use in applications and custom predictive models. You can train these AI models using call recordings to establish conversion outcomes, whatever they may be for your business.

Invoca reported a 10x increase in conversion rates for its customers by routing calls using geolocation, time of call, and product interest. For example, if the customer is flagged as repeat customer that is viewing an informative article, then the call will be routed to customer service.

Another way Invoca helps your company is by creating targetable audiences by pushing call analytics into platforms like Google Ads. This lets you program certain actions to follow-up other actions. For example, if the customer is flagged as qualified, but did not purchase anything, they will be added to the remarketing campaign. For customers who have purchased something, they will be added to the upsell campaign to increase potential conversions.

Invoca does not release any information on their pricing, but reviewing websites have reported packages starting anywhere from $500-$1000 per month. They also offer a free trial, but the length of it is dependent on the quote they give you when contacting them.


All in all, it is incredibly important for businesses to use call tracking services for their marketing campaigns. You could be missing out on vital information about your customers and their specific needs. Call tracking can make the process of compiling and analyzing data much easier for your team, so that you can focus on tailoring advertisement campaigns to reach your highest conversion potential.

To learn more about the different ways you can connect with your customers click here or fill out the form below.


Joshua Lyons Marketing, LLC was established in 2015. Since that time we have provided digital marketing services to business and professionals. We help our clients increase their online exposure as a means to increase sales and revenue. Our core services include search engine optimization (SEO), website development and content creation. We also provide other online marketing services, such as email marketing, marketing consultations and various types of advertising. Our team is based in the Milton, Pace and Pensacola, Florida area. However, we work with clients throughout the United States. Read More



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