Tag Archives: Search marketing Landing pages

When Your Phone Rings Does Your Cash Register Ring Too?

TelephoneAre phone calls the life blood of your business?

It’s not true with online-only companies, but brick-and-mortar stores can live & die by the phone call. I have a client who claims that he can close one sale for every four phone calls versus closing one sale for every ten “contact me” forms completed on his website. Wow, that’s a big difference and I learned that he didn’t know exactly how many phone calls he was getting or whether they could be considered legitimate “leads.”

My client uses Salesforce.com for managing leads and deals that are in the sales cycle and at various points of closing. Even though his website has a “leads-to-forms” application that automatically puts completed forms into Salesforce, phone calls that turn into leads must be manually entered by the sales people. He was very disappointed that his reports would only show a few phone calls per month. Knowing the difference in close ratios for phone calls, he was desperate to see more calls coming in.

I was introduced to a marvelous service called IfByPhone by a colleague who indicated that it might be very valuable to me. Was he right, or what?

I spent some time researching this service. Essentially, IfByPhone provides, among many services, call forwarding to your main business telephone number. When someone searches on Google for instance, your PPC ad or organic listing is displayed. If the searcher clicks on either, they are taken to your website page, however, and this is pretty cool, IfByPhone presents a unique, dynamic telephone number, which if called, is used to track that searcher’s call all the way through to completion. If the searcher calls within 60 minutes of viewing your webpage (and unique number), IfByPhone can report on the keyword phrase the caller used to find you. In addition, you also receive the caller ID in reports that can be generated “on demand.”

Imagine what you can do. You know who called and when; you know, in most cases, for what they were searching; and you know the length of the call (did they talk with anyone or just leave a voicemail). Not only are you able to see if the salespeople are putting leads into Salesforce, you’re able to accurately determine which keywords and phrases are generating the most calls and can then alter your SEO or PPC strategies accordingly.

I would think that the energetic salesperson could also use the caller ID information to place a “cold” call, knowing in advance where their interest lies. That’s about as warm a “cold” call as you can get.

This has been incredibly helpful for my client. He feels better informed and that he now has a better handle on what kinds of phone calls he’s getting as well as the accuracy of his Salesforce management system. We are also using the keyword data provided to improve conversions through SEO and PPC.

So, does your business rely heavily on the phone call? If it does, you may want to consider IfByPhone.

I’d love to know your thoughts.


That Was a Great Landing!


All of us hate a bad landing; it’s an unpleasant experience, it can at times be scary, and it does not meet our expectations. No, this isn’t going to be a post about flying, however you have to agree, a great landing is something we can all appreciate, right?.

I want to continue from my last post to explore the intricacies of website landing pages (or offer pages) and the effect that their design can have on overall conversion results. Of course the landing page should be designed for simplicity and ease of use, using the same brand identity of your company. They should be very specific to the offer you made in your direct mail piece or pay-per-click ad and should integrate your keyword research into the copy and design for each individual campaign. These are all the “must do’s” the very basics of landing page design. But, let’s think about what the next step might be, what could potentially take your campaign from good to great in terms of conversions.

As I stated before, there is not any two of us humans that are exactly alike, even if we’re twins. We have all come from different backgrounds and upbringings which can affect our tastes and preferences, not to exclude the differences in ages, sex or ethnicity. We have all had unique experiences, both good and bad. You can remember the time when you “bit” on an offer that was so unbelievably amazing that you just had to do it, later to find that the offer fell well short of its promotion. These kinds of experiences cause us to have hesitation as our trust factor has been violated. In “Marketing Experiments,” Hunter Boyle and his writers discuss the relationship between anxiety/friction versus incentive/value proposition in landing page design and testing.


What we’re really trying to understand is the emotional and psychological makeup of the person who has clicked on our email offer or PPC ad and by anticipating their needs, present to them the best and most optimized landing page experience that we can. Not an easy thing to do. Consider also that the time of day may come into play. The person that is up at 2:00 a.m. searching and browsing, unless they work during the night, we can assume is an insomniac and has more time to delve into the details of the landing page. Contrast this to that same person who is searching during their lunch break. They really don’t have time to spend, so the design of the landing page needs to facilitate finding the offer, realizing the incentive or value and converting, all very quickly. To complicate things further, if your product is sold internationally, you simply must take nationality into consideration.

The intricacies of landing page design and layout should not be taken lightly, as time and money is at stake without a careful plan of implementation and most importantly, continued testing. Even though you may think you have a fantastic design, if it doesn’t convert, it’s time to throw egos out the window and make changes. It is also important to partner with companies that have the expertise, experience, and technology needed to help you achieve your goals. You too can have a great landing.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

David Soxman