Marketer's guide to call tracking software

illustrated laptop showing off the CallRail app


  • Call tracking software shows which marketing channels are generating inbound phone calls.
  • Call recording and transcription tracks the conversations, resulting in deeper customer insights.
  • Maximize ROI with keyword-based tracking, lead management, and other software integrations.

Does your business receive inbound calls from potential leads and current customers?

If you aren’t using call tracking software to collect data from this engagement channel, then a huge part of your marketing strategy is operating in the dark.

Call tracking software connects unique data points to your existing analytics tools and improves attribution for digital campaigns that drive inbound calls and conversions. It can even provide visibility into the content and sentiment of your conversations with customers.

If you’re unfamiliar with this business solution, here’s a brief introduction to call tracking software and how it delivers value to your marketing strategy.

What does call tracking software actually do?

Call tracking software gives you analytics that connects inbound calls to your business with the digital and traditional marketing channels that helped motivate those calls. It enables multi-channel attribution that helps marketers better understand per-channel and per-campaign performance.

Many businesses rely on inbound phone calls as a channel for converting leads into clients. In many cases, though, these phone calls function almost as an offline marketing channel — even though most of your callers will be using their smartphones to reach your business.

Whether you already depend on inbound calls to generate revenue for your business or you’re trying to ramp up customer engagement, you can’t support these offline and digital marketing efforts if you don’t have access to data. You need data that reflects the nature of these phone calls, as well as the actions and engagement preceding each call.

Call tracking software fills these gaps, allowing you to integrate phone calls into your digital strategy — and understand how they function within your company’s larger marketing ecosystem.

What makes call tracking unique compared to other analytics tools?

Call tracking software provides supplemental data and tools that aren’t available through performance analytics solutions such as Google Analytics. Specific call analytics can be used to generate insights about your marketing strategy — including insights that can’t be drawn from other existing analytics solutions.

Although call tracking software typically features its own stand-alone dashboard where you can view call histories and data, this information can be integrated with other data sources and platforms, including Google Analytics, Google Ads, HubSpot, and Marketo, to combine all of your marketing data at one destination.

If you’re using native reporting tools in your advertising specifically, you might have noticed that tools like Google Ads and Microsoft Ads already track basic phone call data points. As a result, you might question the value of adding stand-alone call tracking software to your existing martech stack. A stand-alone solution offers more advanced tools to analyze call content and caller sentiment which expands your understanding of your customers.

Common features of call tracking software

Specific features can vary based on the solution you choose. But the following core features should be given top priority by any brand that wants to maximize its return on investment from call tracking software:

  • Dynamic number insertion (DNI): This feature allows your website to display a dynamic call tracking number which is connected to the source and session of a website visitor. You’ll know which websites are sending customers to your website and which pages are generating phone calls.
  • Call recording: Inbound calls can be automatically recorded and filed in your call log for reference and analysis. These recordings can be used to pull more data and insights from the content of your calls.
  • visitor call tracking: You can track the pay-per-click (PPC) keywords driving inbound calls to your business and track the full customer journey to see which keywords are delivering the highest conversion rates.
  • Google Ads call tracking: You can seamlessly integrate your call tracking software with Google Ads, resulting in a more accurate ROI measurement that can facilitate call attribution by ad campaign, referral source, ad group, or keyword through the Google Ads API.
  • Static/offline call tracking: Using DNI or another tracking phone number, offline ads and marketing content can be linked to online campaign management, providing greater visibility into your overall ad strategy with data you won’t find in your web analytics.
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) integration: You can integrate call tracking data, including phone call logs, into your CRM solution to improve outreach and engagement with prospective customers.
  • Analytics integration: Even if your call tracking software has its own analytics dashboard, integration with other analytics tools improves your ability to analyze and interpret data to gain valuable strategic insights.
  • Additional business software integrations: The best call tracking software will offer integrations and compatibility with a wide range of business solutions involved in phone call engagement and management. These integrations can range from DNI-compatible website building platforms such as Wix and WordPress to marketing optimization tools such as Optimizely and Kissmetrics.
  • Conversation intelligence: You can replace manual transcription and analysis with an automated process that analyzes the content of each call to help you better understand each caller’s needs, as well as larger trends among your target audience. You can score and categorize each call’s content through an AI-driven process developed through an analysis of millions of inbound phone calls.
  • Lead management: You can combine your analytics platform with the full functionality of a call center, including call logs, text message interactions, and a browser-based softphone that can facilitate ongoing calls and engagement with your target audience.

Specialized call tracking software goes far beyond what traditional analytics can offer. As a result, your business is able to expand its knowledge of its core audience and improve its engagement strategy over time.

Using call tracking software to improve overall performance

When you invest in call tracking software to supplement your existing martech stack, your marketing performance receives the following benefits:

  • Effectively attribute inbound calls to ad campaigns in real time. Instead of guessing or relying on customer surveys to gather data, your business can see which marketing channels are driving phone calls to your business.
  • Analyze phone calls to better understand customers’ needs. Through call intelligence and other tools, you can leverage the content of inbound calls to develop engagement strategies that respond directly to customers’ needs.
  • Identify new keyword opportunities. Keyword call tracking can be used to identify possible high-value keywords that your SEO/SEM strategy may have overlooked.
  • Connect offline campaigns to digital analytics. Calls originating from direct mail, print ads, and other offline campaigns can be added to your CRM through unqiue call tracking numbers.
  • Improve the accuracy of your entire marketing attribution story. With a major gap in your marketing analytics now filled, you have a better idea of which marketing drives your most qualified leads. You can then use those insights to fine-tune your marketing spend and strategy.

How to integrate call tracking software into your marketing campaigns

Integrating call tracking software is easier than it sounds.

  1. It starts with opening an account with an existing call tracking solution and integrating it with whatever CRM and analytics platforms you plan to use.
  2. From there, you will create a tracking phone number and add the JavaScript snippet to your website. Customize your call tracking platform to choose the notifications you want to receive.
  3. Once this is complete, you can launch marketing campaigns aimed at driving phone call referrals and view the tracking results in your call tracking dashboard.
  4. Run a test call and see it added to your call database, you can be confident that your software is ready to go.

Bridge the gaps in your marketing strategy

Gaps in your marketing data, and your marketing attribution, are blind spots in your marketing strategies, improve your customer engagement, and raise your conversion rates. Call tracking software offers the visibility your business needs to understand the full customer journey across your full spectrum of marketing channels.