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Mark Sullivan - Director of Demand Generation & Marketing Operations at CallRail
Mark is a Full Stack SaaS Marketer leading the high-performing customer acquisition team at CallRail
Mark is an experienced marketing leader, speaker, & writer laser-focused on scaling customer acquisition, retention, and monetization by building talented, fulfilling marketing teams. He’s also a contributor to VentureBeat, CMO.com, American Marketing Association, Street Fight, and Search Engine Journal.
The phone communication is extremely important and we have built an entire business around it at CallRail.
The Outbound Marketing Growth (03:50)
I don’t have concrete numbers on that. However, we have seen quite a few numbers of pumping schemes. We see it a lot with toll-free calls.
Pumping Schemes (06:33)
A lot of the calls I am getting are of fundraising nature - such as fraternal brotherhoods or charities asking for donations. On the other side, there are vendors and businesses trying to sell.
Basically, we are focused on the bad calls and filtering those out. We have active spam prevention that we like to call the Robo Rail. It protects our customers and their data.
The Legitimate Uses of Telemarketing (09:55)
Our world is primarily inbound, but we have outbound calling built into our tool as well. When you give a business your phone number, whether that's through making a phone call and dialing them directly or through a form, you're basically saying it's sort of opt-in.
The vast majority of businesses that we're calling on a day to day basis are not selling that information. They're using it in more legitimate ways to contact us about their products and services.
Getting Phone Numbers From The Leads (02:30)
A lot of businesses often forget that much of the traffic is coming from the mobile phone which is one click away from interacting directly with your sales team. The vertical is also very important to consider especially if you are targeting older demographics.
The context, your business, what you are selling and who you are selling it to is really important. If you can answer those questions and really dive into that, you can also figure out where to put the call to action and get those leads ringing your phone.
Marketing Channels Where You Can Put Those Call To Actions (04:45)
A lot of ad platforms such as Google, Facebook, even Yelp have call campaigns. You can set up and optimize for inbound phone calls, whether from the ad itself or from collecting a phone number. You can also drive people to your website and you can either have them fill out a form and get a phone number on that form.
Pixeling The Customer (06:11)
If they are coming directly from the ad platform such as Facebook’s call now button, there is no pixeling going on there outside of that ad platform's ecosystem. However, Google does allow you to create audiences based on that.
The Best Practices For Phone Number Capturing (08:15)
I think that having forums that have fields for phone numbers are really important. There's a lot of value in having a phone number field, even if you don't make it required on your forms. This is especially useful for higher priced products.
Other Best Practices (10:14)
A very effective practice is putting some kind of a help text such as ‘we never sell your data’ because people are very sensitive about their privacy.
Problems That Can Occur While Using Phone As a Business Channel (02:40)
If you have a platform that's receiving the calls, you need to be able to decide what happens if step one doesn't occur. Make sure to treat those inbound phone calls as what they are - precious leads that you’ve worked to get.
When you set up a call flow you can have a greeting or a menu. You can route calls based on those menu steps. There is also something called the Round-Robin step, where you're essentially distributing the calls as they come in evenly across a team.
Working on a Distribution Logic (04:56)
I do think that when you get into high volume situations, you're going to be scheduling much more.
The Right Timeframe For Reaching Back (06:20)
They are 90% more likely to become a customer if you follow up within 30 minutes. Following up really quickly while they are in the shopping moment is extremely important. We have a feature within CallRail where if we detect any phone numbers submitted on a form on your website, you can set it up in the backend. You can dial your sales team and connect them immediately with that person’s phone number. The advantage of that is following up immediately.
Scheduling Meetings (07:51)
Scheduling meetings are the appropriate methodology for demo requests. I always recommend that you capture a phone number on all those requests on your website such as meetings, booking appointments etc.
Handling Calls When You Are Unavailable (09:34)
If you are not able to pick it up and if no one is available, you can send it directly to voicemail. At CallRail we serve more than 100,000 businesses and many of them set up ‘direct to voicemail’ method because they are often in these types of situations.
We can also transcribe those voicemails for our customers and they can get the transcription directly to their email.
What To Include In a Voicemail (12:14)
You want to make people know they’ve reached the right place. Your business name is critical and letting them know why you can’t pick up the phone. If you can give them some expectation of when you can call them back that would be great too.
Last Thoughts (13:20)
You could have something called a whisper message that is only heard by the receiving end of that phone call. It's basically a short piece of text that you can add at the beginning of a call. It can be really helpful to give context to what people are calling.
Using Business Phone Appropriately (02:33)
The primary data that our clients want to get is the attribution of the inbound calls they receive. The marketing teams are trying to understand what is driving these phone calls, so they can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
Also, understanding what content someone is looking at prior to making the phone call is extremely important.
Assigning Value and ROI To a Phone Call (04:04)
Some people use our automated lead scoring model. It's a machine learning model that we built out and is over 90% effective at determining whether it is a good lead or not.
Integrating the Data Into Other Analytics Systems (08:59)
My advice is to pick one system and pull all the data into that one system. However, it’s incredibly challenging to get all lead interaction types into one platform. Unifying all that data is really challenging. When you are evaluating a tool, you need to make sure that those platforms integrate with the analytics applications that you're using.
That's still a big challenge for marketers and we're working on trying to solve that here at CallRail.
Before getting into multitouch attribution you should try to understand an identity resolution and that is figuring out who is doing what while interacting with your brand.
Other Forms of Data and Analysis (14:07)
We have a suite of tools that we call conversation intelligence. These tools use data that is captured on the call itself to transcribe to spy keywords in the conversation and to highlight certain phrases that are mentioned frequently on calls to understand the nature of those interactions.
The Overlap Between The Phone, Digital Marketing & SMS (02:45)
Phone numbers are not going anywhere anytime soon. It’s an open, regulated network and people are keeping their phone numbers longer and longer and not changing them. Phone numbers are here to stay, but also the trend of calling businesses.
When it comes to chatbots and messaging bots, I don’t see them fulfilling their promise in the near future. The reason I think that it’s because I don't think that the average business has enough data to train those chatbots to answer intelligently.
I don’t think they are good enough for the average business.