In marketing, measuring is everything. In one of the podcasts Chase and I did back last year, we went over all of the ways SEO can be totally transparent, tracked, measured, and presented in a way where you can make strong business decisions and scale what’s working. You can visit that article here.
The days of static tracking numbers are long gone – dynamic phone number insertion allows for us to do an array of amazing things for both tracking and marketing purposes:
- Track a caller based on the page of the website they land on (homepage, attorney page, blog, practice area page
- Track a caller based on your marketing channel (Google Ads, LSAs, Social, Organic, Direct)
- Track the caller/agent ratio to know how long someone has been placed on hold, or better vet if the caller is a qualified lead (coupled with first-time caller vs. previous caller)
- Serve a number on the website associated with the probable IP of the caller (display a tracking number with a more proximate area code, should the caller be beyond your main office’s established zip code).
A lot to think about just for a simple sequence of 10 digits isn’t it? In the following podcast, we were able to do a deep dive into the capabilities of CallRail, our preferred partner for call tracking and marketing.
The following interview has been transcribed for our readers from rev.com. Please excuse any discrepancies from the transcription.
Today on the Legal Mastermind Podcast, we have Emily Rose Popson. She is the Head of Demand Generation and Customer Marketing at CallRail. CallRail’s a really great tool. We integrate directly with CallRail and our reporting. It helps our clients see some really great metrics. So, if a call was picked up, if this is the first time they called, length of the call, and there’s really so much more that CallRail does. With that being said, welcome to Legal Mastermind Podcast.
Emily Rose Popson:
Thanks for having me, we’re happy to be here.
Emily, so starting off, what actually is CallRail?
Emily Rose Popson:
CallRail was started by a small-business owner in Atlanta, Georgia who wanted to democratize call tracking for small businesses. Just 11 years ago, it was really reserved for enterprise businesses, and it was pretty expensive.
Andy Powell, our founder, set out as a small-business owner to make it more accessible to the solopreneur, the entrepreneur, and the small business so that they can market with confidence and understand what’s driving people to call their business.
Over time, we’ve evolved to help businesses of many sizes and across many industries market with confidence, communicate with confidence, and turn more leads into more and better customers using advanced analytics, going beyond the call to also tracking forms, recording those conversations to help you put more data back into your marketing, to improve your ROI, and to just run a better, stronger business with again, greater confidence all around.
Thanks so much, Emily. I guess for our first question, what actually is call tracking and what does it do?
I know some of our listeners might know, but we’ll just make sure that everybody’s on the same page.
Emily Rose Popson:
At its core, call tracking is pretty simple. I know this might even be too simple for your listeners, but in case we have a newbie into call tracking, we’ll start there.
Call tracking assigns a unique phone number to every marketing campaign, ad, or keyword. It can tell you exactly what sources are driving the best clients to call your firm. It just allows you to understand both the buyers on and offline behavior with your firm, with your marketing.
Obviously, it goes without saying, the more you know about why people are calling, what is driving people to call, or fill up forms on your site to get in touch with your business, the better able you are to optimize towards the campaigns that work best, get rid of the stuff that’s a waste of money, optimize your ROI, and just run a more revenue-generating, efficient practice all around.
I think our listeners are going to know from our enthusiasm throughout this call that we are big proponents of CallRail. We have been using CallRail for our clients and for ourselves for quite some time. I think that we really hopped on board because you were able to track organic.
Up until that point, we were really couldn’t find a vendor that was able to do that. At first, we were like, “There’s no way.” Then we tried it out and we were like, “It actually does.”
Was that kind of a turning point for you, or the organic, was that something that was introduced later on?
Emily Rose Popson:
It’s an interesting question. As a marketer myself, it’s a fun one to get to answer. It’s one of my favorite parts of working at CallRail and from day one having CallRail as a tool in my toolbox as well…
Andy Powell, again, our founder who started CallRail… CallRail’s built on SEO. We didn’t put money into marketing our business, our own business for a long time because we had all this data flowing back to us and we knew exactly how to optimize our own search engine results to drive the best business.
I wouldn’t say it was a turning point, I think it was a foundational element of what CallRail’s call tracking solution provides. It’s, I think, what has kept us number one in the industry for a really long time.
Obviously, we are all on the same page that CallRail is a great resource. For those that don’t have CallRail, or some type of call tracking enabled, there’s a lot of revenue that’s being lost on a daily, weekly, monthly basis.
I know you’ve put together some pretty comprehensive reports and you’ve done some really great studies around that. Do you want to touch on that a bit?
Emily Rose Popson:
Sure. Before we even get into maybe our latest research, at the baseline, we’re talking about the legal industry right now, there are three key benefits to using a call tracking solution and all the various features that that provides to your firm. One is marketing benefits. Baseline, if you can understand what marketing is working and what marketing isn’t, what keywords are working, what aren’t, what advertising choices, what billboard placements are working and which aren’t, the better you can spend your limited marketing resources or the more efficiently you can spend those resources to get the optimal return on that investment.
I am a military spouse. I have lived near military bases for over a decade now. I’m always curious is that billboard placement by the front gate to base a strategic decision. Is it performing better than the bad gate? There are some industries that really target the military bases.
I think call tracking is a type of solution that would help you really easily answer that question. Maybe you don’t need that billboard at the back gate, you only need it at the front gate.
In the most basic sense, call tracking in general helps you from a marketing perspective understand just what channel, what ad, what campaigns are working.
It also helps you whether you’re doing marketing in-house or whether you’re working with a great agency, to do things like keyword spotting.
You can use call tracking to transcribe your phone calls and identify common keywords to then be either bidding on or optimizing for.
This is something we use daily on my marketing team here; we use it to identify negatives. If we see a lot of calls coming in with keywords around… Some people think CallRail’s for tracking ex-wives or tracking friends that have harmed you and tracking their phones.
If we see a lot of call volume, we can see what search terms are driving that bad call volume, that poor behavior, we can go in and run negatives in our PPC and just optimize every single day and adjust to make sure we’re not spending anywhere that’s not driving quality volume into our business.
Those are some examples of the marketing benefits for law firms or any business but particularly law firms, especially those that do bid on very expensive keywords, who are hiring outside agencies to help run their various marketing channels.
There’s also, obviously, the budget benefits. I think we all know that law firms are notoriously risk averse. I sort of think of call tracking as an insurance policy in a sense.
Whether you are doing it in-house or hiring others, and whether you want to be looking at the data or not, you could go in… No one’s going to pull the wool over your eyes in any sense with marketing spend.
You can go in and see for yourself is that keyword they’re betting on, is that placement of that advertising, is that campaign that they really sold me on actually working or isn’t it. What’s been the return on that has been quality calls. Has it not been quality calls?
I also think it helps law firms who are maybe starting to grow, starting to increase revenue spend their budget wisely. I was a small-business owner earlier in my career. I know that feeling of I know I need to start marketing, where do I start?
You start sort of wading into those waters. If I had had call tracking at the time to understand immediately stop wading in that direction, go in this direction that’s where the quality leads are, I would’ve spent a lot more efficiently from the get-go.
Whereas I think a lot of small businesses, they want to get started so simply, they don’t realize these really affordable tools are available now to help them understand from day one, from dollar one spent on marketing if it’s being spent well or not.
Finally, the third benefit, I would say core benefit is especially with law firms who use third-party vendors for virtual assistance, things like Snip AI and others, to understand how their calls are being handled.
You might be spending a lot of money in-house or through an agency to drive great leads and great business through your phone lines.
With a call tracking solution, there are two really important things you can do. One, you can make sure they’re routed to the right people based on the campaign, based on the key term, whatever you want it to be routed on.
If you’re a multidisciplinary firm and you want these types of calls going directly to your main office and maybe these lower value calls going to your virtual assistant, you can have all that routing happening based on the data that call tracking can provide.
You can also just make sure those calls are being handled well by using again, keywords, transcriptions, and keyword spotting, or call recordings.
You can listen back, do some auditing and Q and A on those calls just to make sure the services you’re paying for are helping and not hurting your business.
Do you guys see that? I know you work with law firms; we were talking dozens and dozens and dozens of them and use call tracking with them.
Are those benefits that you’re seeing them understand from using call tracking, or are you seeing yourselves as agencies working with law firms every day?
I mean, I definitely want to elaborate on that last point because I can definitely say one of the first motives of getting call tracking and eventually work in CallRail in addition to obviously knowing where to double down and increase budget, was definitely in some ways holding the clients accountable for a lot of the work that we’re doing that was clear was working.
We were in a situation where you do see KPIs and you do see traffic, you see keywords, you see everything that’s setting up the campaign to definitely yield qualified traffic.
Then you have a client that says, “I just don’t think it’s working.” Maybe you look at form submissions that have intent or maybe chats, but the calls…
Just a quick story, there was one case when we started to implement CallRail where we had a client very much in that situation that said, “Hey, guys. We’ve been at this for six months. I don’t think this is working.”
You come to the table with everything. We’re like, “Pretty sure it is.” But we had additional layer of transparency.
We said, “Actually, we can clearly see that this person, called this person called. Here’s the time and here’s place and all that.”
He looked at it and he go, “Actually, okay, great. Let’s double the budget.” Literally, a conversation started off as they were going to cancel, and it ended that they were doubling their spend. It’s critical from that angle.
Emily Rose Popson:
Absolutely. You mentioned, Chase, some of the newer research that we have out. Law firms in particular are very near and dear to CallRail’s heart, both those that we work with directly and through relationships with market by market and others who try to help more law firms grow or their revenue, grow their client bases, et cetera.
We found some really interesting data in serving about 500 small and solopreneur law firms. They’re facing about $200,000 in lost revenue simply by not responding to inbound leads fast enough.
I think really interesting… On one of the higher ends that we’ve seen, I think just simply because of the average value of a client for this industry, it’s equivalent to about 46 missed clients a year that we believe they’re losing.
It makes sense, right? If we zoom out to just business in general, not even specifically to this industry, we know that people are much, much, much more likely to do business with the business that responds first to them.
We’ve seen data that conversion rates are eight times higher if you respond to someone within five minutes, even if you can’t respond to them on their first touch.
The way that calls tracking, in addition to doing all the things we’ve talked about, can help with these things are in two ways. Call routing… Again, making sure that if you understand that these types of calls…
Ryan, you were sharing a story in our pre-interview about either anecdotally or about a specific client, I’m not sure, of there’s some industries that get more calls on the weekends or maybe specific types of matters and cases come in on the weekends or after hours, et cetera.
We can all imagine what types of cases that that could be. You could set up automation that says, “Well, if they’re searching this term, if they’re searching the best personal injury lawyer in my area,” you can make sure that gets routed a specific way where you know you have staff on hand.
Maybe you want it routed directly to your cell phone after hours. There are many setups and ways you can use the data to ensure you’re not missing any leads at critical times. Just better understanding when quality call volume is coming in.
Maybe even more important to close that gap on the response time, though, is a feature CallRail offers to our call tracking users called automated responses.
You can set up really simple logic that says if their search term was X and I missed their call, immediately send them a text that says, “Thank you for reaching out about our family law services. We will be back in touch with you in the next six to eight hours, or someone will respond in the next 24 hours. Can you fill out this form in the meantime, so we have more context for our conversation?”
You can really personalize and make more specific the follow-up and automate it so it’s instant.
Obviously, we have a lot of tools and resources available on the CallRail site and through our partners that help you write it in a way that doesn’t feel spammy, feels really human so they don’t feel like you miss their call.
They feel like you have everything set up to take care of them and make them feel like a valued client before you’ve even actually connected.
It’s pretty intense automation. I’m sure our listeners that are really into data are probably kind of freaking out right now, honestly.
It’s interesting since there’s such an increase in business development and in operations standpoint for law firms that this kind of stuff is going to really resonate.
It’s also my understanding reporting with the dynamic number insertion, there’s keyword insertion, so you can also see goals being accomplished by page level.
It’s not just the call took place on the website, you can see with any sort of analytics that you use, the call took place because they came to this certain page on the website too.
Emily Rose Popson:
Absolutely. Dynamic call tracking, I would say… I don’t know if you’re seeing this with your clients, but I would say it’s one of our more underutilized features that we do see law firms use it at a much higher rate than the average small business.
It just allows you to better understand that entire journey up until the call, whereas the static single source tracking a call from a billboard gives you that single touchpoint insight.
When you use dynamic call tracking and dynamic number insertion, as you reference, especially for your digital channels across your website, when they call you get that instant view of that entire journey and behavior that they had.
It just gives you so much more context. I also think it saves you a lot of time in a billable industry. It’s like if you can shave off a few minutes asking them how’d you hear about us? Have you checked out our website? You already know all of that. You don’t have to ask those questions. You can get right down to business.
For our listeners that are thinking right now “Whoa, this is very technical. I’m just a solo guy. I’ve got a marketing team in-house.” How hard is it to implement CallRail?
Emily Rose Popson:
All right, well, I’m going to ask both of you to keep me honest. Again, one of the things I think has kept us number one in the small business space is it was intentionally made for small businesses.
It’s as easy as setting up… You can be using CallRail in a matter of minutes. If you want to use dynamic call tracking, it’s as simple as copying, pasting a line of code on your site and you’re off to the races.
Even if you’re, even if you’re not, if you’re running some offline advertising or single-number advertising, all you have to do is go set up a free trial.
Within minutes, we give you a phone number. You tell us what that phone numbers for, and we’re going to tell you if you get any calls for it. Does that seem fair to you guys?
I can attest this is true.
Emily Rose Popson:
We do not lie.
Kind of touching on that with the numbers, I know Ryan touched on it before with the SEO aspect. Dynamic numbers for our listeners, that number’s switching out constantly.
Just to kind of clarify… a billboard, CallRail will be able to sign a specific number for that billboard, and then every single person that comes to the site would see a different number.
I know that’s something just to kind of clarify because I know when we first started using CallRail, we’d have clients that would reach out and say, “My number’s wrong on my website.”
The first thing, it’s explaining actually we’re doing advanced tracking. It’s something to be aware of.
The number is going to change for every new person that comes to the website when you’re using what known as the dynamic numbers.
That wasn’t really a question. I just wanted to clarify because sometimes people… We’re getting a little technical.
Emily Rose Popson:
Well, it can be scary, right?
As a small business owner, you can get really attached to your phone number. We hear that a lot.
I’m curious how you navigate that with your clients. As we talk to clients every day, what I say to them is if there’s a phone number that you’re really attached to, it’s a vanity number, a number you picked out, and for whatever reason it’s just so near and dear to your heart, use that in your more static channels.
If it’s a memorable vanity number, use it on a billboard when someone has a split second as they drive by to capture and memorize that.
Really lean into that advanced tracking with dynamic number insertion on your website. Most cases, I’d ask everyone to reflect on their own behavior on a site, right?
You’re not going there and memorizing the phone number; you’re calling or clicking it to get in touch with that business. By using that and enabling that behavior, you as the firm, you as the marketer can just get so much more data and insight to help you run just a stronger business and market with more confidence.
I just think it far outweighs any of the vanity behind some phone number usage.
Definitely agree, Emily. That’s our number one way to respond to people that are kind of really in love with their phone numbers is just the value you see from having the tracking and having the data.
Then you’re able to make those responsible and transparent decisions when you’re especially dealing with AdWords and a lot of high-level SEO campaigns.
Emily Rose Popson:
You know what I wanted to ask you guys, not to flip the script on you, but something I hear a lot from agencies…. We get together with a lot of our agency partners across various industries.
I think there’s a value, whether you’re an in-house marketer… I listened to your episode with Brenda not that long ago about bringing in a CMO and some of the challenges they can face where maybe partners at the firm think they know what marketing is or think they know what is important.
You can actually use call tracking as the in-house marketer or as the agency to prove again, vanity concepts of marketing or maybe more just archaic ideas about marketing wrong really quickly because you can so easily tie it back to revenue and quality inbound lead generation.
I’m curious if you guys have any stories of that, of just having a client currently or maybe in the past, we can anonymize them, but who’s come in and is like, “I know this is what we have to do for my firm, this is going to grow our business,” and using call tracking or other analytics been able to prove them wrong and show them how they can actually run way more efficient marketing?
I can speak on it briefly just because I worked in-house at law firms for about five years. The first time we did any sort of call tracking, I think back then we were using Kall8, and it was very much just vanity number and just straight up.
It was the first time we were able to do text notifications. I did it to the point where we launched a brand-new campaign and everyone was just waiting, I don’t know, not by the phone, I guess they were waiting by the computer or whatever way they get notification by their cell phone.
The second it came in, because that dynamic number we use there, they’d get a text message in a group and then say like exactly where it came from.
It completely validated the whole start or the whole launch to that campaign, which is extremely exciting.
Every single time, you try something brand new that you’ve never done before, getting that first piece of validation is extremely gratifying.
CallRail, another benefit of it… It sounds like I [inaudible 00:21:35] the benefits, but you can export tons of data and use it to analyze things besides what market is working, you can analyze that consumer behavior and in your ideal client behavior.
There’s a lot of uses for data. Is there something clever either CallRail or even one of your agencies has done where you’re like, I never thought about exporting the data and looking at it that way?
Emily Rose Popson:
I’ll tell you what I’ve seen lately in our work with law firms is we’re working on a new integration, direct integration, that’s coming with Cleo here soon. The use cases around that are really compelling.
Being able to overlay the marketing data, the behavioral data that comes out of CallRail with what’s happening after, beyond that point in the journey.
Just the advanced ROI metrics you can get from that, and really watching as an account grows with your firm, the true ROI, because sometimes we have a tendency to take snapshot, ROI data.
We got this one lead, this call came in, we spent this much on it, and we got this case and we made this much, but some clients stay and grow with you over time.
By overlaying more data together in these various systems that are critical to a law firm’s business, you can actually understand how that $37 or $237 you spent on that phone call has actually resulted in years of revenue for your business over time.
That’s something that’s really interesting to me right now. In addition to some of the stuff we’re seeing with… We’re really seeing an uptick in virtual assistant platforms like Snip AI, and CallRail data integrating to better understand just behavior, call length by keyword… All of it to just again, feedback into running a more efficient business.
So, thanks so much for your time today, Emily. For our listeners that would like to learn more about CallRail, obviously callrail.com. What’s the best way to get started with using CallRail?
Emily Rose Popson:
Absolutely. As I mentioned, we are purpose built for small businesses. We like to mitigate risk for businesses and make marketing a confident practice, not a risky practice.
We feel the same way about trying new technology. If you head over to callrail.com, you can start a free trial.
You don’t have to enter a credit card, anything you could try us out for two weeks, completely free… Play around with adding some tracking numbers, to some marketing campaigns you have running right now.
Ask your agency that you’re working with to test it out for you to get you some better understanding of what they’re doing for you. Then if you want to continue, we started just 45 bucks a month.
It’s really affordable for the insights you garner from the data that surface about your marketing performance. It’s a little bit of a no brainer, especially if you’re in industry spending on marketing.