What is a main line tracking number?
A main line tracking number is a phone number used with software to track, record, and analyze phone calls to a business’s main line. It is primarily used by location-based businesses but can be used with any business’s main line telephone number.
Business phone numbers have traditionally been provided by a local service provider that also provides internet and television, such as AT&T or Comcast. As voice over IP (VoIP) technology has become more affordable, more and more business phone numbers are provided by non-local VoIP business phone services, such as Ooma and Vonage. Today, businesses have the option to choose from a number of service providers for their main business line.
When it comes to phone numbers used in advertisements, however, many businesses opt for call tracking numbers that allow them to track and record phone calls to better understand what exactly is making the phone ring. These tracking numbers are traditionally forwarded to the business’s main line so that the calls are handled the exact same way as a normal phone call. As the adoption of call tracking software has grown, so has the desire to have a main line tracking phone number with the same features and functionality as traditional call tracking numbers.
Tracking phone number features can be broken down into two categories, session-level features and source-level features.
- Session-level tracking numbers are useful for combining phone call and SMS activity with a caller’s web session. These numbers are also called keyword call tracking numbers. For more on the features available with session-level or keyword tracking phone numbers, go here.
- Source-level tracking numbers are useful for tracking specific campaigns, first-time callers, and for recording phone calls to analyze for customer service, lead quality, and lead classification.
A main line tracking number is a source-level tracking number a business uses as its main line. The advantages of using a main line tracking number as a business’s main line revolve around flexibility and software-driven features. The three primary reasons to choose a main line tracking number over a traditional business phone number are below.
- Flexibility: These numbers give a business flexibility as they grow, move locations, or need different call flows. The numbers are portable and can scale with business needs.
- Analytics: These numbers come out of the box with dashboards exposing first-time caller data to evaluate marketing performance, automatic lead classification for evaluating lead quality, and call recordings for sales/customer service training.
- SMS: As messaging platforms explode, more and more businesses need SMS capability for their main line business phone numbers. These numbers come equipped with cloud based, software driven SMS experiences built for business.
Who uses main line tracking numbers?
Any business with a main line business phone number that wants the features of a call tracking phone number. Many location-based businesses and their marketers prefer main line tracking numbers to measure the success of local SEO efforts. For a detailed dive into how they do this, start with this guide on Mike Blumenthal’s blog and follow up with the advanced guide to local SEO call tracking here on our blog.
How to get a main line tracking number
There are two ways to get one of these phone numbers: provision a new number from a call analytics software company like CallRail, or port your existing business phone number over to a call analytics software company. Porting a phone number into and out of a call analytics software vendor should be free-of-charge. Beware of exorbitant fees from call analytics providers.* For more on porting a number into CallRail, see this post on number porting.
*We wrote a post on phone number ownership and porting fees that’s worth taking a look at if you’re looking to port an existing business phone number or a call tracking phone number.