Business Intelligence & Analytics Articles

CallRail Review – Analyzing Your Search Marketing Efforts With Phone Call Analytics

by Rakesh Sharma
Published on 8 April 2013

callrailogoFor most small businesses, search engine marketing is an end in itself. They forget that search engines only provide small businesses with traffic. The level and quality of follow-up drives conversion rates from prospects to customers. This week we will look at a solution that helps you follow up from search traffic. In this CallRail review we will see how this phone analytics software can be of use to you.

About The Solution

While working with the auto repair industry, Andy Powell discovered that his clients needed a simple way to measure their marketing campaigns. "While SEO and PPC drive traffic, businesses need to know if that traffic is converting," he says. So, he teamed up with his co-founder Kevin Mann to design and develop CallRail, a solution that helps small businesses measure the calls they receive from different marketing channels. According to Powell, the emergence of cloud communications platforms helped them create an outstanding user experience and provide a high-quality cost-effective cloud telephony system.

CallRail works by correlating incoming phone calls back to the campaign that drove the call. Thus, CallRail can be used to track the effectiveness of organic and PPC marketing campaigns down to the keyword level. "This helps business owners know which ad campaigns to double down on, and which to cut," says Powell. In addition, you can also use the solution to record telephone calls. The recorded phone calls can be used as instructional materials to train sales staff and measure quality of incoming leads.

Not surprisingly, the solution is targeted at small businesses and digital marketing agencies. "Businesses love knowing where their calls are coming from, and agencies love having a tool that helps them prove that they are delivering clear value to their clients," says Powell.

Tracking Search Marketing With CallRail

The workflow for CallRail works on two levels: external and internal. In the external workflow, visitors to your website are dynamically assigned a phone number (from a pool of pre-configured numbers) when they visit your website. If the visitor calls your business, the phone number (assigned to that unique visitor) helps you track conversion rates and, also, provide customized service.

CallRail configuration is extremely simple and can be activated with simple steps under the hood. Once you select a destination phone number, you need to enter the pool size (or, the number of visitors that can be tracked concurrently on your site). After this, you need to select the tracking source (organic versus PPC) and the option to provide email notifications. The application comes bundled with custom functionality such as the ability to block or filter callers by category. You can also configure dynamic numbers from outside the given pool of numbers.

While configuration is one part of the service, the other part consists of generating rich analytics and integrations. Thus, you can generate reports that delineate important statistics about your conversion rates. For example, you can generate reports that segment calls by keyword and source. CallRail's integrations with multiple third-party vendors extend the application's functionality. CallRail is built on the Twilio API (we wrote about them earlier here)and integrates with Google Analytics, Google Adwords, and WordPress.

Benefits of Using CallRail

Perhaps, the greatest benefit of using CallRail lies in its ability to empower small businesses with customized service. For example, you can combine data from the prospect's navigation history on your site with your product data to record custom messages for products. The solution also enables you to identify and track actual conversion rates for your website. In addition, custom messages such as Whisper messages (or messages that are played for agents answering the call) enable you customize your messages. Finally, CallRail also offers a wealth of analytic information for its users such as reports and dashboards. What's more, you can export call logs for filtered criteria in .csv format or generate custom reports.


CallRail provides the ability for businesses to select a pool size of up to 100 phone numbers, and have businesses tracking campaigns of 50,000+ visitors/month.

The application's founders and designers should consider providing tools to allow customers to change how their calls are routed based on time of day.

The Basics: What Does the Interface Look Like?

The interface looks great and simple. Five tabs enable you to navigate between tasks and data. The summary is CallRail's equivalent of a dashboard and displays key metrics related to your application. The Reports option enables you to generate specific types of reports. In addition, you can also use the interface to configure integrations with a simple click.



CallRail has comprehensive documentation, one that spans detailed information as well as quick primers on how to perform essential tasks related to the application. You can also follow or connect with the application's support staff on various social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Finally, you can also write to the support staff.

Depending on the number of calls and minutes required, CallRail scales up to fit your small business budget. Special mention must be made here for their thoughtful price calculator.

The Bottom Line

CallRail is an especially useful and interesting tool for small businesses. It enables you to make sense of your search efforts and follow up with phone calls. In effect, you end up optimizing each lead with concrete actions, thereby increasing your chances of success. Highly recommended!


Apps mentioned in this article