Tip of the day: You can actually track how many new prospective clients called your firm after finding you via a Google search, Pay-Per-Click campaign, directly typing in your website URL, a print advertising campaign, and even your business card.
No longer do we have to guess. No longer do we have to do a client intake and ask that question, “How did you find our firm?” only to be answered “The Internet.”
How? Call tracking.
How Call Tracking Works
Call tracking essentially assigns a phone number or pool of phone numbers to your firm to use. You provide the phone numbers on your website or in your print advertisements or your business card, and then when a prospective client calls the number, they reach your firm’s main phone number, while each call gets logged in your call tracking system as 1 new lead. It also takes down your visitor’s caller ID, the duration of the phone call, their location (if available), and what landing page they visited on your website when they called (if doing keyword tracking).
Wait a second? Does this mean I have to put a fake phone number on my business card or print advertisements?
Believe it or not, lawyers have been doing this for years. At the end of the day, the callers are routed to any phone number you choose – office, cell phone, whatever – and you get access to an amazing amount of data that breaks down for you how many calls you’re getting each month based on your referral sources.
Imagine if you knew for certain that your Yellow Pages ad got you exactly 2 phone calls? While you may have had a hunch, call tracking proves it.
I’ve worked with clients who have thought they were getting clients from one particular source of traffic only to find out their assumption was wrong once they had the call tracking data.
But, how does it work on websites?
Code! When you sign up for a call tracking account, they’ll set you up with a way to insert a single line of code on your website (with a walkthrough that even an attorney can follow) that will automatically replace your site’s existing phone number with different phone numbers for different visitors. Any time someone calls the phone number they see, they get routed to your firm’s line.
Using Call Tracking for Law Firm Marketing
If you have a “premium” account with a lawyer directory site like Martindale.com or Findlaw, sometimes they include call tracking numbers so they can prove to you each month how many leads they brought your firm. Frankly, every law firm marketing service should have call tracking, from the massive legal conglomerates to the smaller shops. It is the surest way to prove whether or not their attorney marketing efforts have worked for your law firm. It keeps them accountable to you. Just make sure that you can access the data to be able to verify your leads, and not simply get an email that says “You got 10 calls this month” with nothing further to substantiate it.
Occasionally when I recommend call tracking to people, there is some initial hesitation. “But I want people to know my firm’s phone number.” I understand the concern, but nonetheless suggest trying it out. If you don’t like it after one month, you can switch back. Once the attorney tries it for a month, they’re hooked. Getting such precise data for where new prospective clients are coming from was unfathomable not too long ago, and now that this technology is readily and affordably available, no firm should be without it.
Website vs. Print Call Tracking
I mentioned earlier that some call tracking services use “pools” of numbers – so instead of 1 number, there are 4-8 numbers. Call tracking for your website visitors generally uses pools of numbers. Each visitor that comes to your site is assigned a specific phone number. That phone number is tied to their session and the data that comes along with it – how they came to your website (e.g. Google, Bing, AOL, direct, PPC), what keywords they may have used in search to get to your website, and what landing page they first arrived at on your site. Each subsequent visitor is assigned a unique phone number. If the visitor calls the phone number they see on your website, your call tracking software knows exactly which visitor is calling and how they reached you. Single phone numbers can’t perform this function.
Some unique features of law firm call tracking
With each call tracking campaign, you can choose to record the phone conversation. You can also have a greeting message that you hear whenever you answer a call from a specific call tracking campaign. So, for example, when you pick up the phone after someone calls from visiting your website, you can hear a robot voice tell you “You have a call from Google Adwords”, or, “This guy called you after reading the Yellow Pages” or “This caller has your business card”. A great tool to have at your disposal, so you know what knowledge the caller has about your firm when getting on the call.
Call Tracking Services
Call Rail has an easy to use interface that is suitable for many law firms. My only caveat here is that I do not like the support service they provide. If customer service is important to you, I might suggest an alternative like Call Tracking Metrics.
Call Tracking Metrics gives you quick access to demo their platform and see the kind of data you can get from your callers. I don’t like the interface on Call Tracking Metrics as much as Call Rail, but if you can work with their layout it may be a solid solution for your practice.
Call tracking usually starts at around $30 per month, plus anywhere from $1.50 to $3 per additional phone line depending on the service.
Call tracking software is an amazing, affordable tool at your law firm’s disposal to help your firm have solid data about your law firm marketing efforts. I cannot recommend it strongly enough.
If you have any questions about call tracking software or want to share your experience with call tracking software, please let us know in the comments below.