10 Reasons Why Phone Calls Still Matter
It's fast approaching the end of the year and, like most marketers and small business owners, you're probably juggling two competing goals:
- Squeeze as much business as you can from 2016.
- Get your plans in place for even more effective marketing initiatives in 2017.
Calls Matter (More Than Ever)Despite all of the digital advances that marketing has made over the past decade, leads from calls have never mattered more than they do today. Why? Because with so much online interaction, speaking to a real person who can help us right away feels almost like special treatment. As a smart business marketer, however, you know that this should be the norm, not an exceptional experience. Focusing on making it easy for customers to call and giving them an outstanding experience when they do is the most direct route to increased sales and more referrals. If you anticipate challenges to the idea that generating more calls should be a priority for your business and must lead your marketing efforts, here are ten points you can use to bring others around:
- 1. Calls Convert: Let's lead with the most important aspect: inbound calls are more likely to convert to a sale than any other form of lead. Some sales and marketing departments put the increased conversion rate at 10x more than other channels. Even if that rate is lower for your sector, a quick chat with your sales team will confirm that calls are their best bet to bring you more business.
- 2. More Calls Are Coming: The surge of mobile devices means that even digital channels, previously dominated by the click-through rate to a website, are now intimately associated with inbound calls. Call volume has doubled in the past three years alone, surpassing 60 billion customer calls last year. This is nothing, however, when compared to the 192 billion customers calls expected to by the time we reach 2019, according to BIA/Kelsey.
- 3. People Prefer to Call: If the customer is always right, you owe it to them to offer an easy option to call. Consumer research by Invoca shows a clear preference for calls, with 65% of respondents saying they'll reach for the phone, while only 24% said they'd prefer to fill out an online form.
- 4. An Important Ad Option: Two of the leading online ad networks, Google and xAd, both find that a majority of consumers prefer a click-to-call option as a way to follow up on ads that interest them. Both organizations have conducted research that finds between 51 to 62% of their users opt for call buttons, rather than ad clicks.
- 5. Enhance Your Ads: Even when potential customers don't choose to call, our research suggests that including a phone number makes online ads more eye-catching. If you can increase your click-through rate at the same time as offering people another way to reach your business, adding a memorable number to your marketing materials becomes a question of "when?", rather than "why?"
- 6. Immediate Response: Ever filled out a lead form or sent an e-mail to a company, only to hear nothing back from them? With phone calls, there's no digital disappearing act or gap in communication. If your sales team is sufficiently staffed, every call is answered and customers know that they can count on a response, which makes a sale far more likely.
- 7. Bonding and Branding: If you use a custom number that includes your business name or a phrase associated with your business - your phone number becomes a branding tool, as well as a way for customers to reach you. When you have limited ad space, whether it's column inches or a search ad word count, a phone number that doubles as a brand identifier makes more of your marketing budget.
- 8. Contact Numbers Are A Constant: There aren't many brand assets that can bridge all forms of marketing materials and promotional channels. Along with your website URL, your contact number is one of the few items in your toolkit that can be used everywhere. That makes it easy to increase the number of places you use it, quickly generating more calls without significantly changing your existing campaigns.
- 9. Industry Expectations: Consumers in certain business sectors consider the ability to easily speak to someone an essential part of the purchase decision. If you're in the legal profession, healthcare, insurance, or any other industry that must communicate complex products or services, you simply have to to make phone calls a priority.
- 10. The Personal Touch: Even the most personable member of your sales team will struggle to make a true connection with customers via online communication channels. An e-mail or instant message conversation lacks intimacy and leaves plenty of room for miscommunication. Aside from being with them in-person, phone calls are the most effective way to build a rapport with customers and make them feel like you care about their business.
So, What Are You Waiting For?
Boost your calls and sales with a memorable vanity phone number!
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