Tracking numbers

General
But how do you know?  Tracking numbers 
How do you know that your advertising or marketing is working?  I never spend a dime on advertising unless I can track whether is pays off.  Any time someone approaches you to advertise, always demand a tracking number.
 
What’s a tracking number?
Phone numbers aren’t what they used to be.  Land lines are largely obsolete.  Cell phone numbers are portable and you can change carriers and keep your number.  Ever heard of Google Voice?  You can have multiple phone numbers which all forward to your main number.  A tracking number is an actual phone number people call, which is forwarded to your office phone number, but which you can monitor and track.
 
How it works
Simply put, a tracking number is just a call forwarding feature.  But, with the internet, you can learn an incredible amount of information by using tracking numbers.  Every time a tracking number is called, the internet tells you the number the dialed from, the date, time and duration of the call. It also records the call, digitally of course. 
 
Why you should use tracking numbers
If you can tell how many people dialed a specific number to reach you, you can tell whether your advertising medium is effective.  Taking out an ad in a newspaper or magazine?  Use a tracking number to tell how many people called you from that source.  using a pay per click internet campaign, use a tracking number to see how many legitimate calls you get for the money you spend.  Sponsoring a baseball team or a charity?  Once again, use a tracking number to see who really calls as a result of your efforts.  I used tracking numbers back in the day of the yellow pages.  My yellow pages rep would come around each year and try to sell me more and more ads, bigger and bigger, more and more expensive.  But, I used tracking numbers and I could tell him, “it cost me $X for this ad and I only got “Y” number of calls and “Z” number of cases.”  When I advertise, it’s not a guess whether the money I spend is worthwhile.  I know precisely what cases or clients I get from every source of marketing.  Sure, I have made mistakes in spending money where I shouldn’t have, but I learned quickly whether it paid off or not.
 
How much do tracking numbers cost?
Here’s the thing which really surprises people.  A tracking number is only a few dollars per month.  Seriously, the going rate is around $3/month and 5 cents/minute.  I generally have 20-25 tracking numbers at any one time and never pay more than $100/month.  Think about how much money you can spend in advertising or marketing or sponsoring, isn’t a few dollars per month worthwhile to tell whether it is money well spent or money wasted?  Every time I speak to a group, I put a tracking number on my materials.  I know exactly how many people call after  I speak to a group.  You can also re-use tracking numbers.  When I stop advertising in one source, I re-use the number for a different source.  There are innumerable ways to use tracking numbers.
 
Where do you get tracking numbers from?
I use a service called Callfire, but there are many others.  Check out CallRail and Twilio and Grasshopper for comparison.  I am happy to discuss the use of call numbers with you, feel free to give me a call.