5 Ways Phone Numbers Bridge the Gap Between Online and Offline Marketing
The team over at HubSpot have mastered the art of creating a steady stream of valuable content for marketers. The majority of which I find both educational and actionable, which is why I was interested in reading Kipp Bodnar’s take on multi-channel marketing in 5 Methods for Connecting Online and Offline Marketing
, posted late last week on HubSpot’s blog.
But I found myself disappointed because the article didn’t quite hit the mark. While Mr. Bodnar’s article covered several interesting tactics, he missed one of the most common and effective means for marketers to connect online and offline marketing efforts: phone numbers
. Or more precisely, campaign-specific phone numbers.
The article outlines such methods as tracking URLs, Social Media, QR Codes, and Offline Reach Building. It neglects, however, to address how unique, trackable phone numbers can be used to connect consumers to businesses. For companies who offer products and services that require a consultative sale--such as financial products, insurance, home services, and higher-end retail--this is especially important as the aforementioned tactics may drive engagement, but don’t typically drive conversions.
So, to help explain why phone numbers should have been at the top of Mr. Bodnar’s list, here are 5 ways campaign-specific phone numbers bridge the gap between online and offline marketing initiatives:
- Call Now- The Ultimate “Call-to-Action”: For offline media such as print, TV, radio and outdoor advertising a phone number is the simplest and most intuitive call to action. Nearly 100% of consumers carry a mobile phone in their pocket or purse. While smart phones make it easier to scan QR codes or type lengthy tracking URLs than feature phones; offering a phone number for customers to call gives them a quick and easy way to be directly connected to one of your highly-skilled sale agents. Urgency based calls-to-action, such as "Limited Time Offer", also work very well in offline channels.
- Tie calls directly to the ad placement: Using campaign-specific phone numbers, marketers can directly attribute sales and phone conversions to the exact offline media that drove the call. Detailed call analytics also provide demographic, regional targeting other data to help marketers get the most out of their media spend.
- Callers can be filtered for quality: Not all calls are created equally and you may not want to connect every caller to your sales agents. By using IVR and call treatment capabilities defined at a campaign-level, callers can be filtered to ensure only the ones that meet your targeted quality criteria are connected to your call center.
- Mobile drives clicks and calls: While there is some debate as to whether mobile is considered an online or offline channel, the fact remains that more and more mobile consumers are using their mobile devices to search for companies, products, services and make purchases. Phone numbers are becoming increasingly more common in mobile search ads and it is no wonder. Adding a phone number to search ads has demonstrated to increase click-through rates between 5-30%, according to Google. And since launching click-to-call capabilities last November, Google now claims there are more than 500,000 businesses using click-to-call today.
- Online search drives offline conversions: For many products and services (such as financial products, education, home services, insurance, etc) consumers may conduct their research online. However, when it comes time to complete their purchase, they prefer to talk with a live human being. Without the option to call, consumers often get frustrated and abandon their search. Campaign-specific phone numbers can connect their online search behavior with their offline purchase. Number pooling capabilities, like our RingPools feature, allow you to tie calls and phone conversions directly to the keywords that drove the call for better ROI on your search initiatives.
What other methods are you using to connect your online and offline marketing initiatives?
Interested in learning more about how campaign-specific phone numbers can help you maximize your offline and online marketing initiatives?
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