What is call tracking software?

Two illustrated mobile phones with text messages displayed on each.

Call tracking software tracks and records information from incoming phone calls, including call source and audio recordings. It enables businesses and marketers to attribute phone calls to the marketing channels that drove them, such as pay-per-call, local SEO, and other online and offline call-based marketing campaigns.

How call tracking tools solve marketing pain points

Call tracking software can help resolve a variety of marketing concerns, including lead scoring, lead attribution, and keyword research. It can also help you unearth business opportunities based on what your leads and current customers are saying.

See what call tracking features CallRail has to offer.

Below are several common marketing goals that call tracking software helps you achieve:

Here are some of the problems that call tracking solves:

Determining which marketing channels drive phone calls

Tracking calls by campaign is one of the biggest use cases for call tracking software. Without call tracking, it is impossible to know not only how many leads are coming in over the phone, but also which channels generated the calls in the first place. By showing a unique phone number associated with each marketing channel, call tracking allows you to view which campaign delivered each call.

Finding qualified leads

By using the call recording and call transcribing features of your call tracking system, you can analyze your calls to find out if they’re coming from qualified leads. This gives you the power to make campaign changes, focus your ad spend on what actually drives conversions, and prioritize following up with your best leads.

Understanding which keywords are driving phone calls

Call tracking enhances the power of your paid efforts by giving you insight into which keywords are driving calls and conversions. With visitor level call tracking, your call tracking provider will assign a number from your phone number pool to each visitor, allowing you to know who is calling you and how they found you online. After each visitor is done browsing your website, their phone number is freed up for another person to use. This feature allows you to effectively track your PPC visitors and which keywords they use to discover your business.

Proving and improving marketing ROI

Call tracking features like call recording, visitor level tracking, and campaign attribution allow you to track your campaign performance and gain insight into which campaigns are performing the best. This information is helpful for adjusting your marketing strategy for increased ROI.

Finding areas for improvement

Your call recordings contain a wealth of information beyond marketing attribution. You can use call insights to find opportunities to optimize sales calls, demos, product features, content marketing strategy, and more.


Standard call tracking features and how to use them

There’s plenty of call tracking software providers out there, but you should expect them to at least have these four features:

Dynamic number insertion

Dynamic number insertion is the cornerstone of call tracking. This feature dynamically swaps out numbers from your very own pool of phone numbers so you can correlate incoming calls with specific sources. Dynamically swapping phone numbers also allows you to track the source of incoming calls, such as a specific advertisement or marketing campaign.

Multi-channel attribution

Using call tracking to determine which source drove a phone call is great, but being able to track your customer’s entire journey leading up to a call is even better. Multi-channel attribution gives you the ability to see each touchpoint that led to a call, including which campaign drove a caller to your website, which pages they interacted with and the last action they took before calling you.

Call recording

Call recording is essential for call quality assurance. How do you know how well your staff handles customer calls unless you record them? This is also important when it comes to the aforementioned call and lead quality issue, allowing you to confirm that you are driving qualified leads to your business.


Call tracking shouldn’t take the place of your existing analytics platform, it should enhance it. Many call tracking platforms integrate with programs you regularly rely on such as Google Ads and Analytics, HubSpot, KISSmetrics and more, giving you a full picture of your marketing ROI.

Advanced call tracking features

On top of these standard features, some call tracking providers include additional features that can take your business to the next level.

Call transcription

If you don’t have time to listen to your call recordings, call transcription is for you. This feature will intelligently transcribe your call recordings for at-a-glance insight into your conversations. CallRail Transcription tool, allows you to view the transcription with speaker-organized text — similarly to how you view instant messages. You can use these insights to inform landing pages, lead scoring, and more.

Visitor tracking

Visitor tracking gives you the power to select keywords you want flagged in your calls. For example, if you just released a new product integration, you may flag the integrating software’s name to make not of common questions your customers may have. This is helpful for optimizing content and product strategy. You can also use keywords for your product features to ensure your sales team prepares the right sales collateral for their calls and demos. CallRail’s visitor tracking feature, Automation Rules, makes this easy by allowing you to skip to the part of the conversation where the keyword was mentioned.

Call Highlights

Think of Call Highlights as Automation Rules AI cousin. This tool automatically tags common keywords in each call, allowing you to find insights you might not have expected. This enables you to better optimize your campaigns — especially if you use Google Ads.

Call tracking can be a game changer for businesses who want to get to the root of who their customers are and what marketing channels drive them to call. Gaining in-depth insight into caller demographics and behavior gives businesses that use call tracking an enormous edge over their competition, and can ultimately help them capture more leads and win customers.