Calling All Smart Marketers (who dig data and like saving money)!

3 Aug

As a consumer, I want to know that I’m getting the best “bang for my buck.”  Before any big purchase, you can be sure I’ll turn to consumer reports and reviews on the Internet and do some homework on what fits my needs, lifestyle and budget.  On a much bigger scale, business owners need to be equally as savvy when it comes to their bottom line.  One big, yearly investment successful businesses face is their marketing and advertising program.  Yet how can you be sure that your investment is working?  Do you know exactly how much business are you generating from the newspapers ads, direct mailers, birthday cards, telemarketing, radio, TV, website, social media (and the list goes on) that you’ve been doing for 10+ years?

Our recommendation, utilize call tracking across all of your marketing initiatives.  It seems like a simple solution to a complex challenge. Well, it is simple.  All you have to do as a business owner or director of operations is sign up with a call tracking company in order to KNOW the following:

1)     Where your calls are coming from – i.e. which marketing initiatives are making the phone ring

2)     How many missed, dropped, or busy calls you’ve received – a perfect follow up tool for your telemarketer or front office person!

3)     How your front office staff handles live calls (all calls are recorded) – and the follow up training needed

These are straightforward and solid reasons to invest in call tracking, so how much will it set you back to figure out your ROI?  The cost is relatively inexpensive compared to your overall marketing budget (by the way, how do you determine your budget? Well, that’s a question for another post).  Sample pricing for call tracking will look something like this:

  • Assume ~$50/line per month:
  • 1 line for newspaper, 1 line for direct mail and 1 line for web
  • 3 lines x $50 per month = $150 x 12 months = $1,800 annual investment

Also, there is typically a one time set up fee around $200.  All numbers are routed through to your office number, so your regular front office person can still answer all calls without skipping a beat!  We recommend contacting one or more vendors to determine the best program and pricing for your specific marketing and tracking needs. And, be sure to check with AHAA Marketing to see if we have any additional vendor deals available.

So why doesn’t everyone use call tracking? 

 Here are some popular objections I come across when speaking with businesses about using call tracking – and yes, I have answers for all of them!

  • “I’m afraid my older patients will be afraid to call an 800 number.” – Call tracking numbers are offered as both 800 numbers as well as local numbers.  If you live in a more suburban or rural area, your potential patients may feel more comfortable calling a local number.
  • “I’ve spent a lot of money on advertising over the past 10 years.  What if people see a different phone number on my ads?” –  Interested patients or potential patients will call the number in front of them, not cross reference with the phone book.
  • “My front office person is really great at asking every person how they heard about us, so why do I need call tracking?” – No question that your front office person is great, but the person on the other end of the phone may be holding your newspaper ad or direct mailer in his/her hand and tell your front office person that they drive past your office every day; this may be true, but it’s not the reason they picked up the phone and called.  You want to measure the most effective sources of your marketing leads, not depend on casual interpretations.
  • “I don’t need call tracking because I think I get about 10 calls for each ad placed.” – This response is especially difficult when looking at ROI.  What makes you more secure as a business owner, the statements ‘I think my marketing is working for me’ or ‘I feel that I get a bunch of calls’ or a report that shows definitively that you’ve received 45 calls on your direct mailer and 3 on your newspaper ad? 

Why call tracking? 

I’ve worked with businesses across various industries and they all want to know the same thing: is my marketing working for me?  The best way to determine whether your marketing is working for you is by measuring:

1)     How many potential customers respond to your marketing

2)     How many come in to your office

3)     How many of these people make purchases.

In essence, what’s the ROI on your marketing efforts.  The first item, “how many potential customers respond to your marketing” can be determined quickly, easily, and accurately just by utilizing automated call tracking numbers. The other two are addressed with your practice management software or internal processes. Lastly, it’s important to evaluate quarterly whether your marketing dollars need to be reallocated — call tracking helps you make this decision quickly and effectively.

Interested in learning more about call tracking?  Ready to investigate how call tracking can fit into your marketing strategy?  Email Keara M. Piekanski, AHAA Marketing Manager at kpiekanski@ahaanet.com.

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