Back in business: Why phones are more important to marketing than ever

Consider the following reasons phone calls are alive and well as sales tools
by: Custom Toll Free , June 6, 2017

There was a time when marketers feared call marketing was over and done with, slated to be replaced by the gargantuan growth of digital advertising.

Not even close. Thanks to sophisticated analytics and the fact 77 percent of Americans now own a smartphone, spending on click-to-call buttons within mobile ads is slated to reach $13.7 billion by 2020. Overall, phone calls these days influence an estimated $1 trillion in U.S. spending.

In a common marketing scenario these days, customers search for a business or product on their smartphones and land on a targeted ad inviting them to click (or just call) the memorable phone number listed. Call center specialists are trained to respond to the leads that roll in, and software captures myriad data about the callers that can inform future campaigns. One study reports 70 percent of mobile searchers in the U.S. have used such call buttons (39 percent use them frequently); it also finds adding phone numbers to mobile search ads increases click-throughs by an average 8 percent.

“Call commerce will continue to grow with the trend towards actionable content and measurable results,” the researchers predict. “This includes social media where Facebook, Instagram and others increasingly include buttons to call local businesses — an unwavering human urge, even in a digital era.”

That may be old news to tradesmen and other service-oriented business owners who have optimized call marketing for a long time. For others, it may be a revelation that many consumers still prefer human contact when investing their money.

“Consumers feel more confident making the purchase when they can speak to an operator on the phone, and even relate to the person on the other end,” writes Zoe-Lee Skelton on “The moral of the story is that if you don’t have a phone line, you’ll be turning customers away. And if you already have a phone line, make it easy for customers to get in contact with you.”

Still not convinced? Consider the following reasons phone calls are alive and well as sales tools:

– Conversion statistics don’t lie: Customers who reach a firm by phone are 10 to 15 times more likely to convert (on average) than those who fill out a web form instead. Across industries, a whopping 29 percent of inbound calls lead to a sale, appointment or reservation. “A consumer often will do research of the product or service online,” Skelton explains. “But only go ahead with the transaction once (speaking) to a live person to confirm he or she is getting what was looked for.”

– Incoming calls arrive with urgency, inciting staffers to respond immediately to close sales. Conversely, website leads can languish in email inboxes until reps have the time or inclination to follow up. In fact, some 71 percent of internet leads are ultimately wasted and 35 to 64 percent are never contacted at all, according to Ken Krogue in Forbes.

– Persuasion is something of an art, which is why humans are more effective than websites at following customer cues to close sales. Seventy-seven percent of global customers would rather get advice or solve a problem through a person than digitally, reports a recent Accenture survey.

– Many companies effectively cherry-pick different elements of online and offline marketing to meet a variety of customer preferences. It’s working: One recent Google study found U.S. retailers achieve 16 percent more search ad conversions when they use multiple devices to reach customers.

– Cutting-edge tools can use incoming calls to automatically gather and analyze valuable information about your customer base that can be instantly applied to marketing strategy. Intelligence might include everything from a customer’s income to his credit scores, home ownership, education level, purchasing power, social media profiles or likelihood of buying.

– Because the sources of calls are easily tracked, the ROI of various marketing tactics is relatively easy to pinpoint.

– Call routing tools allow marketers to instantly custom-direct incoming calls depending on their representatives’ availability, proximity or skill level.

– Calls can be recorded and analyzed for analytical and staff training purposes.

– Caller data can be stored for use in future campaigns. One recent study determined 70 percent of IT and business respondents worldwide see data archives as potential revenue drivers.

– Many marketers now optimize pay-per-call marketing through which a company only pays for calls specifically generated by targeted ads.

– Some consumers are mistrustful of businesses lacking phone numbers. One study finds 47 percent of U.S. mobile searchers are more likely to explore other brands if a business in their search results lacks a contact number.

Custom Toll Free can help you choose an infinitely memorable vanity number for your call marketing campaign. Call us at 1-800-CUSTOMIZE.

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