Part 2: How to Use Dynamic Number Insertion to Track Campaigns

Learn how to display different phone numbers for different types of campaigns in three steps. This article is the second in a four-part series.

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Part 2: How to Use Dynamic Number Insertion to Track Campaigns

If you’re looking for a high-level overview of the performance of your advertising campaigns, you can start by tracking at the campaign level. The idea here is quite simple: display different phone numbers for different types of campaigns. For example, if you’re trying to see if TV performs better than Facebook advertisements, then you assign one phone number on the TV campaign, and a different number on your Facebook ads. Depending on how many calls you get into each number, you can tell which campaign is more effective.

Let’s look at a hypothetical example.

SmartMarketing is a marketing agency, and their client is OK Pest Control, who’s looking to get their business off the ground. Like many other marketing agencies, SmartMarketing uses Google Analytics to provide holistic reporting on digital campaigns.

For their launch campaign, OK Pest Control wants to first start testing different marketing online channels like Adwords, Twitter, and Facebook for younger generations and offline channels like direct mail and billboards for an older demographic.

To track offline channels, SmartMarketing will print two different phone numbers for billboards and mail. This will allow them to distinguish calls originated from billboards versus mail. Advertisers can help their leads remember the printed phone number by creating a vanity number like (1-800-FLOWERS).

To track online channels, SmartMarketing will use dynamic phone number insertion. Campaign Level Tracking

They’ll need three steps to make this work:

Step 1. Pass the correct data to the OK Pest control landing page.

This can be done with “link tagging,” which is the most common technique when you use Google Analytics. The way link tagging works is very straightforward. You can add parameters to the URL in your online ads, emails and other campaigns to capture data about your performance.

For example, you can track the source (e.g., the site on which the ad appeared), the campaign name, and keywords you used in the ad. Analytics will then use this information to attribute your traffic.

In the OK Pest Control case, a URL with these kinds of parameters looks something like this:

https://okpestcontrol.com/ad?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=launch_promo

If you’re displaying your ad and want people to remember it, you can customize your URL using a link shortener like Bitly.

Step 2. Extract the data.

Once the data is passed to the landing page through the custom URL, the next step is to extract campaign information from the URL itself.

Since SmartMarketing wants to track the campaign performance, they will look at the “utm_source”, “utm_medium” and ”utm_campaign” combination and allocate a different phone number every time a new combination is passed. Because the goal was to compare different channels (Google, Facebook, Twitter) for their launch campaign, they have created one campaign per source.

Step 3. Map the phone numbers.

Given there are three custom URLs (one for each campaign), SmartMarketing will provision three numbers for OK Pest Control. They will map a unique phone number to each custom URL combination.

Twilio provides local and toll-free numbers in the United States and Canada. SmartMarketing chooses to let OK Pest Control decide the type of phone numbers, because they might want to emphasize a local presence by using local numbers or be more inclined to use a toll-free number.

Now SmartMarketing can show OK Pest Control which phone number and channel generated more interest. SmartMarketing can gauge interest in the form of number of calls, call duration, or could even record calls and run keyword detection to estimate if calls converted into a sale or booking.

The Twilio REST API makes adding call reporting to your application relatively straightforward. You can pull call logs and recording logs using a few API Calls.

That’s it! Implementing campaign-level attribution is as easy as assigning a programmable phone number to each campaign. Basially, think of your phone numbers as UTMs.

But what if OK Pest Control wants more granular reporting on the performance of an individual keyword, or each user’s browsing session? This is where keyword-level attribution and session-level attribution come in, which we’ll cover in the next two articles of this series.