In many ways, all leads today are cross-screen leads, which makes it that much more important to know from which initiative a lead was derived. Was the lead generated by an online display or mobile search ad? Was it an in-app ad or a promoted tweet?
Attribution is important because it helps marketers identify the source of a lead as well as validate and refine their ad program decisions. Knowing how many consumers act on mobile vs online, search vs display, location-based or directory listing ads, and which of those leads may turn into a purchase, is valuable data and essential to helping shape a comprehensive lead generating marketing program. As most of today’s ad campaigns drive offline activity, e.g., calls, in-store visits, etc. it is critical for marketers to ensure they have strong attribution programs in place to effectively prove offline impact.
Calls are a universal offline metric, regardless of the screen, and offer key data points that can help reveal the potential ROI of an ad. However, to effectively attribute calls from cross-screen leads, marketers must utilize these best practices:
- Include contact information up front – Clear contact information is one of consumers’ most sought-after ad features – especially for service-related ads. As many consumers call the business prior to completing their purchase, featuring phone numbers prominently in direct response ads is essential to aiding attribution efforts.
- Go beyond the last click – Click to call or tap to call often uses a last click approach to track how many consumers connect to the business they are searching, but attribution shouldn’t be based on clicks alone. Advertisers only counting clicks or taps on a call button lack visibility into whether the call actually connected, the call duration and other insights. Marketers should ensure they are able to evaluate the full lifecycle of that consumer-business connection. Call tracking and analytics technology provides rich lead generation data that helps marketers more accurately evaluate lead quality.
- Close the online-offline gap – Dynamic Number Insertion (DNI) seamlessly replaces phone numbers with call tracking numbers on a destination website or landing pages based on how the visitor arrived at the site or page. This practice allows marketers to tie calls back to the specific originating digital or mobile campaigns. Most of these ad programs are already generating calls but DNI makes total lead generation more transparent and provides attribution lift.
- Measure the purchase loop – Call attribution metrics can help optimize advertising programs in a number of ways. Marketers should measure and test campaigns’ offline phone lead generation using multiple variables, e.g., various display creative, ad networks, distribution partners. Also, call analytics can be integrated into CRM systems to link back to purchase activity.
- Ensure quality calls are delivered – Spam and telemarketer calls, even wrong number calls, are not only a nuisance but can dilute advertiser call response data. A quality call-blocking feature is essential and marketers should test their provider’s success.
Regardless of the screen, knowing how to best leverage calls as an offline lead attribution metric is essential for today’s marketers.