Tracking online PPC results for activity that starts and finishes on the site is reasonably easy. However, when offline action follows online prompting, it gets a little tricky. So, we'd like to tip our hat in thanks to Bill Hartzer, writing in WebProNews for a concise article profiling "Voicestar . . . (a) company that allows you to track all of the phone calls to your business and know exactly where you're getting the greatest ROI, whether it's from print ads, organic search results, PPC ads, or even a printed catalog."
Reading further, we find out that:
"Calls can be tracked by their status: good calls, voicemail calls, hangups, are all tracked, and all the Caller ID information is saved. The calls themselves can be saved for future reference, and the calls can be heard through your PC’s speakers. Certain “groups” can be set up: you can assign certain types of calls to certain groups and see which ads out of the group are producing results. Some of the reports allow you to compare certain campaigns (reports can be emailed daily, weekly, monthly). Data is pulled if there is activity. Some of the types of reports that are available include an ad report, a user report, a top callers report, a top zip codes report, an ROI calculator, a calls by hour report, and a user access log report. "
Bill got a lot of good comments on this post. One answered my most pressing question, namely, what other services are out there offering to support tracking at a reasonable price. From "samplevoice" (name not given), commenting on Bill's post we learn:
"There are many call tracking providers out there and price points have gone down considerable thanks to some of the newer VoIP-based providers.
The leaders in the field include:
eStara -- www.estara.com
Who's Calling -- www.whoscalling.com
Call Source -- www.callsource.com
Ingenio -- www.ingenio.com
Of these, eStara and Ingenio specialize in pay for performance applications, in print and offline campaigns."
From our readers, we'd be interested in your comments on any of these services. Have you used them, or recommended them to your clients? What happened? Were you satisfied with the results? Please let us know.