What is Call Tracking? All you need to know about tracking calls

what is call tracking, what is a call tracking software, benefits, how does call tracking work & how to implement

So, back in 2000, folks thought we’d ditch calls for online chats. Surprise! Calls stuck around.

…and not only did they stick around, but people seem to prefer them as a primary means of contact and they keep growing!

For marketers who crave data, missing out on tracking these calls is simply not an option. Enter Call Tracking Software, software designed specifically to track phone calls from customers and attribute them to the marketing campaign that drove them.

This guide is designed for everyone who wants to get a good, deep understanding of what call tracking really is, how it works and how you can get started in no-time.

Chapter 1: What is Call Tracking

How many times have you caught yourself asking a caller the following question?

“Where did you find out about us?”

Maria G. – Call Receptionist

A Call Tracking Software helps you know the answer even before answering the calls and identify the sources, channels, campaigns, keywords or listings that bring phone leads into your business or clients’ businesses while keeping this info (and much more) in one centralized place in order to keep your phone leads tidy and easy to handle.

Call Tracking IS NOT a method for finding your lost phone or device, spy on your spouse or family members or track the status of your online delivery.

Call tracking is a necessity. Proving the ROI of your marketing efforts, especially those driving sales, becomes a puzzle without it. Your data trail vanishes when potential customers pick up the phone.

Chapter 2: Why is Tracking Calls Important?

Phone calls stand out as valuable conversions for marketers and business owners, often boasting higher conversion rates and average order values compared to other forms of engagement. Failing to track these calls can result in an incomplete understanding of your ROI.

By including a call tracking software in your marketing stack you’ll have the ability to:

  • Learn which ads, keywords and marketing channels are driving calls
  • Understand which landing pages or listings are the ones that convert visitors to callers
  • See how many of these calls are “high quality” leads and conversions
  • Listen what your callers truly care about

Too bored to read all the bullets? Hear it from Rob.

Chapter 3: How Does Call Tracking Work?

Call Tracking is actually pretty simple. Think of call tracking as giving each marketing campaign its own special phone number, whether online or in the real world. All the calls to that number? They go straight to your main line.

A more advanced version of call tracking is to use a pool of numbers with dynamic number insertion (DNI), which tracks calls and attributes them to their session, revealing keywords, campaigns, page the customer called from, etc.

If we want to dive into more detail there are 4 types of call tracking:

3.1 Offline Static Tracking – Tracking Phone Calls from Offline Sources

This type of call tracking is used when you want to track inbound phone calls from a TV ad, a radio ad, a billboard or a flyer.
For each medium you can use 1 tracking number.


1. Placing a tracking number on a billboard
2. Running a radio ad which mentions the tracking number
3. Airing a TV ad which prompts viewers to call the tracking number

billboard call tracking
In all of the above cases, you assess the impact of each offline marketing campaign, by counting the number of calls each medium generated.

3.2 Online Static Tracking – Tracking Calls from Static Online Sources

This type of call tracking is used when you want to track phone call leads from Google My Business (GMB), Call Ad Extensions, Online Listings, etc.

For each medium you can use tracking number.


1. Count the number of calls your Google My Business listing drives
2. Count the number of calls your Google Ad Extension generates
3. Place the tracking number on a listing site (e.g. Yelp) and count how many calls the listing drives
4. Place a tracking number on a landing page and count calls the landing page generates

Below we have 2 ads triggered by the same keyword “free immigration lawyer new york” – who would you call? 🤙
Call extension Lawyer Example

3.3 Source Level Tracking – Tracking Calls from Online Channels

This type of call tracking is used when you want to track inbound phone calls from your website at the source level.
For each medium you can use 1 tracking number.


John wants to learn which online channels are responsible for driving calls, from customers that visit his website.

To do this he assigns 1 tracking number to every source.
Direct – XXXXXX1
Organic – XXXXXX2
Newsletters – XXXXXX4
Social Media – XXXXXX5
Referrers – XXXXXX6

With Dynamic number swapping, visitors see a different number depending on which channel or campaign drove the lead, and John gets a detailed breakdown per source

What is Call Tracking? All you need to know about tracking calls image 1vtd502

3.4 Session Level Tracking (DNI with pools) – Tracking Phone Calls from Website Visitors

The most advanced level of call tracking is combining the visitor journey with the call. A DNI script combined with number pools, allows you to track calls back to visit details such as the page the visitor called from, UTM sources, campaigns, keywords and click IDs. This method should be used if you wish to setup conversion tracking in your Google Ads, Microsoft Ads or Facebook business manager accounts.


Mary wants to track all calls that originate from her client’s website and have a breakdown by source, plus the ability to send calls back to Google Ads and Facebook as conversions. To do this Mary creates a single pool of numbers with Dynamic Number Swapping (DNI). This will then attribute each call to the source/medium/campaign that drove it.

Add Tag

How does it work?

Each time a customer visits your website, he will be assigned a tracking number from your pool of tracking numbers. This means that each visitor sees a unique phone number the entire time he navigates your website. When he leaves, we free up this phone number so it can be re-assigned to your next visitor.

DNI collects all the information you need to track a caller’s behavior, while is responsible to do the dynamic number swapping on your website!

What data can you track?

Visitor tracking gives you plenty of information, here is all the data that you can gather:

Source Type (Google PPC, Google Organic, referrals from yelp.com, etc.)Referring domainCaller ID
Keywords (for all PPC)MediumCountry, State, City
Which landing page drives the most callsWhich tracking number was calledDuration of the call
Date and time of the callComplete page view history of the caller

Chapter 4: What Industries Should Use it?

If your business relies on phone calls to get customers, then you have to use a call tracking software. It helps you figure out which ads work best – period. Think automotive, healthcare, home services, legal, travel, education, real estate and any small local business.

Chapter 5: Offline Conversion Tracking

Call tracking software allows you to automate tracking and uploading of offline conversions to Google Ads, Meta Ads and Microsoft Ads.

Offline conversion tracking is important because it allows marketers to measure the effectiveness of their online campaigns in driving real-world results. It helps them to understand how their online marketing efforts translate into offline sales and customer behavior, which is essential for making informed marketing decisions.

Offline Conversions

Download the eBook to find out more.

Stop Losing Leads: Cracking the code of Offline Attribution. Learn How Offline Conversions can boost your ROI – while bringing you more accurate marketing data too

There are a few steps to setting up offline conversion tracking which involve capturing click IDs from your marketing ads and then linking them to sales data in your CRM.

By linking a call tracking solution with your CRM and the platforms you run ads, you’ll be able to see which ad clicks led to sales, and adjust your marketing strategy to ads that provenly work.

For phone call conversions, using a DNI script is necessary to set up a forwarding phone number and specify leads that you want to be tracked. Your call tracking software will then monitor the number of calls generated, and the call can be recorded as a conversion if it meets a specific duration requirement.

how offline conversion tracking works

Chapter 6: Call Tracking Features that Elevate Caller Experience

Call Tracking software is typically enough for marketers to gain insights but can and should also be used to elevate caller experience. A good call tracking software should tick the boxes below with the following Call Tracking Features.

Call Whispers: A call whisper will play a short audio message before you answer the call, preparing you to handle the lead with important information beforehand. Look out for call tracking software that offer both text to speech and uploading of audio files.

Call Recordings:  Call recording is one of the most useful add-ons enabling the user to identify high performers or employees who may require further training. Once calls are recorded, they can be listened to from the app or downloaded to your computer. 

Transcriptions: Similarly to call recordings, call transcriptions enable the business to read and analyze incoming callsOnce the agent picks up the phone, our call tracking software starts to record the dialogue. A few minutes after the end of the call, the user can head over to the activity page and get a transcription of the conversation.

Keypad Entry (IVR): Use IVR to help your callers reach the right team. This streamlines the call process, directing callers to the right department or information efficiently, enhancing their experience.

Call Greetings: Having a call greeting in place ensures that your prospective customer stays engaged while waiting on the line to talk to a customer representative. A call tracking software enables you to use either a pre-recorded message, or text-to-speech played either as a loop or as a one-off followed by the ringtone

Caller ID Display: Supposing your business needs to provide confidentiality, the call tracking ID prevents the agent that handles the call from seeing the clients’ phone number. Secondly, when the tracking number is displayed instead of a phone number, lets you immediately identify the marketing channel that generated the call.

Call Surveys: Call surveys enable you to add another dimension to the data attributed to the call. Just after each call ends, you complete a short survey using the keypad on your phone. This can help to guide future interactions with that customer.

Lead Scoring: This feature allows you to score and evaluate the quality of your phone leads using a star classification rating system. Take notes on your phone leads after your call. Sync that information to your CRM automatically so that they never get lost

Call Capping: Call capping allows you to set a limit on how many calls each destination can receive. Combine with weighted distribution of calls among your destinations for ultimate results.

Voicemail: Voicemail is a no brainer. Choose to route calls directly to Voicemail or when calls go unanswered. Recorded messages are stored in your call tracking account for you to listen.

Call Tagging: Call tags help you organize and sort calls based on specific criteria, enabling easy retrieval, analysis, and reporting.

Email Notifications: With e-mail notifications you can send real-time alerts straight to your or your customer’s inbox, keeping you informed about vital call activities – from missed calls to voicemails and lead inquiries.

Export Leads: A call tracking that respects itself should allow you to export your phone leads in XLSX, CSV, and Google Sheets with a click of a button.

What is Call Tracking? All you need to know about tracking calls Call Flow

Are you a marketing agency or freelancer? Check out these 6 MUST HAVE features your Call Tracking Software should include:

Chapter 7: How to Choose the Right Call Tracking software?

Choosing the right call tracking software can be a daunting task. So many alternatives. So many features. So many pricing plans and models.

As with any other type of software you will be using you want to make sure that it matches your needs and budget.

We’ve written some factors you should consider before making your decision:

  1. Features: Consider the features that are important to you. Some common features include call recording, call routing, and call analytics.
  2. Ease of use: Choose a software that is easy to use and navigate. This will save you time and reduce the likelihood of errors.
  3. Pricing: Consider the pricing model of the software. Most call tracking software charge per minute, while Nimbata charges per call – regardless of the duration.
  4. Integrations: Choose a software that integrates with your existing tools and software. This will help you streamline your workflow and reduce the need for manual data entry.
  5. Customer support: Choose a software that offers excellent customer support. This will ensure that you get the help you need when you need it.

Signing up for a Free Trial is almost always the best way to see if your vibes align with those of the call tracking platform.

But beware not to over do it!

For more information on how to choose the right call tracking software, check out our article “10 Best Call Tracking Software“. It provides tips on how to pick the best tool for your business and also lists some free and affordable call tracking software options.

Chapter 8: Get started with Call Tracking

Hurray! You made it this far, which means that you have understood that adding a call tracking software to your marketing stack is the way to go.

But how do you start? It’s really not that difficult. Follow our lead.

5 steps to get started with call tracking

Step 1: Choose a call tracking platform and sign up for a free trial – At this point we believe you’ve settled down on which call tracking platform ticks your boxes. Go ahead and sign up for a free trial! Typically this gives you access to the platform for 14 days to experiment!

Step 2: Get a tracking number “OK I’m in. What do I do now?”. Grab a phone number which you will place in the marketing asset you wish to track. Tip: Get a number that matches the prefix of your existing number.

Step 3: Set up a call flow – Set the rules of what happens when someone calls this number. Will it ring your phone, play a greeting, go to Voicemail? You set the rules.

Step 4: Configure that tracking code and add it to your site – Tell the script which number to swap on your website and add it to your website. The script will take care of the rest!

Step 5: Connect your call tracking software to other tools – Call data are nothing if you don’t send them to the right places. Go ahead and integrate your Google Ads, Google Analytics, Meta and CRM accounts!

Chapter 9: Takeaway

Even in the digital era, many businesses own part of their sales revenues to phone calls. If part of your customers starts their sales journey online and ends up converting over the phone, a call tracking software will ensure that you don’t waste budget and resources on marketing activities that don’t resonate with your target audience. Now you know what to do! 

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