Recently, CallRail held our first-ever Case Study Webinar. We conducted a live interview with Adam Arkfeld, the founder and president of ParaCore, a digital marketing agency based out of Tempe, Arizona.
Now, if you’ve been following the CallRail blog, you’re probably already familiar with our case studies. (After all, you’re reading one right now!) We love to interview noteworthy users and shine a spotlight on the excellent work we’re doing together. So for our most recent webinar, we decided to do a case study interview in front of a live audience so you could hear directly about how call tracking can benefit your business, straight from the people who use it.
In our wide-ranging conversation, we discussed how ParaCore got started, the benefits that call tracking brings to their agency, and how their data-savvy approach helps them cultivate lasting relationships with their clients.
And for individual clients, the effectiveness of ParaCore’s work speaks for itself –– in one memorable case, a client was able to cut their cost per lead by more than 75 percent after implementing call tracking for the first time.
Call tracking that empowers agencies
Arkfeld had previously worked in the commercial real estate business, but after the housing market collapsed in 2008, he had nothing better to do but make the switch to agency work.
“For the first few years of ParaCore, we focused on building websites for clients,” Arkfeld said. “And over the course of five or six years, these sites gradually started getting more and more complex, with more complicated moving parts to keep track of.”
Though ParaCore started as a jack-of-all-trades agency, Arkfeld explained how in recent years they’ve honed their focus to specialize in pay-per-click (PPC) and lead-generation agency: “We started to see that if we were going to really succeed in the agency business, we needed to specialize, rather than trying to do it all for our clients. That led us to focus exclusively on PPC and paid ads.”
With this specialized focus, ParaCore found themselves on the hunt for similarly specialized tools that could meet their unique needs as a data-driven marketing agency. They immediately recognized that, with lead-gen as their main mission, comprehensive call tracking and analytics are critical for optimizing their work and proving the value of their work to clients.
“Very early on, we realized that when you’re running campaigns to landing pages or websites that have phone numbers on them, the regular AdWords call tracking metrics just aren’t enough to help us prove ROI,” Arkfeld said.
Following a thorough review of the call tracking solutions available on the market, ParaCore became an early adopter of CallRail after being impressed by its ease-of-use and flexible pricing.
As an agency, ParaCore put CallRail’s rich feature-set to work in ways that save them time, improves coordination and communication between them and their clients, and ultimately creates better outcomes for the businesses they serve.
“There are times when a client will want custom reporting or notifications, or they want to be sent a recording of a specific call,” Arkfeld explained. “And fortunately for us, CallRail makes it very simple to provide them with the data they’re looking for.”
“Since everything in our CallRail account is sorted and organized by each client we have, it’s super-easy to jump in, find the information we need, and either send it along to the client or prepare a custom report. Especially for our clients who are a little more old-school, they’re very happy to just let us handle all the technical stuff,” he added.
Not just a data-driven agency –– a strategic partner for clients
During our webinar conversation, Arkfeld explained how ParaCore’s work for clients can be broken down into distinct camps. Their primary mission involves paid media placements, powered and informed by their data-driven approach to marketing.
But for the team at ParaCore, their work goes beyond the technical ins-and-outs of ad buys and SEM. In order to earn the trust and confidence of their clients, they also regularly compile their data and analytics into a meaningful strategic reporting.
“What ParaCore offers our clients goes beyond just collecting the data,” Arkfeld said. “Our mission is also to interpret it, provide context, and elevate it so your data and analytics can be part of your overall strategy and other high-level conversations.”
To that end, during their regular reporting calls with clients, they spend a good deal of time explaining how the data and metrics they’ve collected relate to the client’s overall business objectives, as well as their shorter-term, quarter-to-quarter (or even month-to-month) tactics.
And thanks to the call tracking data they gather in CallRail and the platform’s simple-to-use interface, it’s quick and easy to view key campaign and ad metrics and to synthesize that data into meaningful reporting.
“Since we have a lot of calls coming in that we need to process and review, we have a very strict tagging system for categorizing calls, for new leads, repeat callers, missed calls, and so on,” Arkfeld said. “Thanks to how we’ve organized our tags, we can often get insights about a call just on the tags alone, before we even listen to the recording or dig into the metrics.”
He continued: “Then, we can configure the dashboard and generate reports based on these internal tags we’ve created in CallRail. That’s a huge timesaver for us in terms of the hours we spend analyzing data and assembling reports. We’re also very excited to see CallRail continue to refine your auto-tagging feature through Keyword Spotting, which could help automate and streamline this process for us even further.”
This attention to detail in their work is all done with an eye towards building trust with their clients –– both in terms of delivering great results on their campaign and for inspiring confidence that ParaCore truly has their best interests at heart.
“Being strategic partners with our clients is really important to us at ParaCore because we want our clients to think of us as actual partners, and not just another vendor,” Arkfeld said.
Proving value: cultivating relationships that last
These days, ParaCore considers call tracking with CallRail to be one of their core services — if a client has a phone number anywhere in their marketing funnel, or as part of a campaign, ParaCore is going to track it.
For Adam and the rest of the ParaCore team, the analytics and information gathered through CallRail are mission-critical when it comes to showing how a client’s advertising is performing, and for proving the value and ROI of their services.
“Without call tracking, half of the lead-gen performance in any given campaign will not be tracked correctly,” Arkfeld explained. “The biggest benefit or takeaway of call tracking is pretty simple for us. It lets us speak intelligently about how our campaigns are performing and helps us figure out what’s working, and what isn’t.”
But the benefits of call tracking and ParaCore’s data-driven approach to agency marketing go beyond success in an individual campaign or ad buy. Call tracking is also a big part of their record of excellence when it comes to a supremely important metric for any agency: Client retention.
“The call tracking data we get from CallRail is a big part of how we can establish ourselves as experts in our field, and build trust with our clients,” Arkfeld said. “Anyone out there who works in an agency can tell you: Client turnover for paid media agencies is always a problem. We usually don’t work under long-term contracts in this industry, and clients are always on the lookout for a better deal, and rightfully so.”
This client-first approach is paying off quite handsomely: Out of the dozens of clients they work with, ParaCore has only lost one over the last six months, which is an incredibly low turnover rate for agencies. The client was “lost” when the business was sold to a competitor with a preexisting agency relationship.
As Arkfeld tells it, the data they get from call tracking is a big part of how they’re able to keep their clients happy and keep them on board with ParaCore.
“Now, the ads we run, and the campaign optimization we’re able to do thanks to call tracking — this is all fantastic stuff,” he says. “But if you were to ask what the biggest single benefit of call tracking is, especially for us as an agency, it’s definitely client retention. Keeping clients on for longer means more revenue for us, a better reputation for ParaCore in our industry, and our clients are happier too, of course.”
“I can tell you as a business owner, and I think anyone will tell you the same thing: Keeping the clients you have is way more valuable to your business than having to continuously find a whole bunch of new ones,” he added.
“That’s our big takeaway for anyone looking to use call tracking: You can move mountains for your client, but unless you’re tracking your work, you might never be able to prove it. Having this data is how we establish trust and build relationships with our clients that last.”