Multiple tests and research have shown that phone leads have the highest closing rate.

I'm here to show you how you get more of them.

In case you missed part one of this two part blog series, you can find it here.

Have you ever been scratching your head trying to figure out how to get more quality leads that are easier to close?

Maybe your marketing channels are already running smoothly. But you know that when you get a prospect on the phone, your charm and wit has a higher chance of making you money compared to your smileys over email. 

You may have a sales team that handles your leads, or maybe you still take care of them? 

But did you know that 70% of all mobile searchers will call a business directly from the search results? 

And if you don’t have a phone number present, 47% of visitors will be more likely to go to your competitors?

You may also know that some of your form leads might not get reached out to until it’s too late, while a phone call needs to be answered, immediately.

Did you know that the chance of getting in touch with a form lead goes down 100x after the first 5 minutes

lead reach out speed

(Your chance of qualifying the lead also goes down 21x - image source)

It then shouldn’t come as a surprise that phone leads are 300% more likely to close compared to form leads.
This is also the reason why small to medium businesses name phone leads the most valuable type of leads available.

So to make sure you stop leaking money today, here are the other, just as clever, 13 ways to get more phone calls and leads through AdWords and landing page testing: 

14. Spell out the phone number

Back in April of 2013, Google decided to stop allowing advertisers to use their phone numbers in their ad copy. 

Why? Because Google knows people would sometimes dial the number directly from Google and not click on the ad, resulting in lost revenue for Google.

To combat this, I’ve seen multiple advertisers spell out phone numbers in their PPC ads so that Google’s automatic filter doesn’t prevent you from submitting the ad for review.

If you were relying heavily on being able to use your number in the extended headline in the past, this could be a new route for you. It could look like this:

phone number in adwords ad

(Obviously it’s not the prettiest, but could work for you, especially for vanity numbers)

You’d want to make sure your ad is in the top three spots on Google to be able to have your headline paired with your first description line.
You accomplish this by simply adding a period at the end of that first description line.

But be careful! Using your headline for a phone number like that could also weaken your ad, since you could use those valuable character spaces to explain your unique value propositions

Play around with it and see how it changes your phone lead volume and overall PPC performance.  

15. Incentivize the call more than anything

A great way to get more phone leads is to differentiate the value a visitor gets on your landing page by calling vs filling out the form.

Small call-to-action (CTA) landing page changes that you can add below your number could be:

“Get a live quote in less than 5 minutes!”

“Get your quote faster with a call” 

“Phone quotes get a 10% discount. Call now!”  

get more phone calls

(Give your phone number a popping color and bigger font - image source)

Citibank does a good job on its mortgage landing page giving people an incentive to call in (although I’m not sure what the offer code does), with a phone number color standing out compared to the rest of the page.

16. Tap to call above the fold

Are you making the crucial mistake of having your phone number be an image? You may be preventing people from using their smartphones click to call feature that automatically scans a page for your phone number. 

With quick answers and real time feedback being the number 1 reason people prefer to call a business, forcing your visitors to leave your site to then dial in your number manually could be a killer of phone conversions

tap to call

(Stats don’t lie. Making it easy to call is a given - image source)

String Automotive saw a 200% increase in phone conversions by making sure the call to action of calling was above the fold

Not sure how to make your phone number clickable? Use the code below.

<a href=”tel:+1-800-888-8888″>Call 1-800-888-8888</a>

The “tel:” part is the number that will actually be dialed. The “Call 1-800-888-8888” is what will visually be shown to the visitor. You can also change that to “Call us now!” or split test other incentives.

17. Identify call driving keywords

If you’re not already working with a call analytics platform, start working with one asap.

Call analytics companies like CallRail, Call Tracking Metrics, IfByPhone, and many others, help you see which keywords you’re bidding on that result in phone calls.

If you already know that you’d pay more per lead for a phone call compared to a form lead, then using these keyword/call analytics can help you bid more aggressively on keywords that produce the highest call volume for you. 

This is especially fun to use as bidding more aggressively on those call generating keywords can also result in better ad placements, higher click-through-rates, more visitors, and ultimately, more closed deals for you. 

18. Use AdWords website call conversions

Sometimes your visitors need a little more convincing to call you than what’s in your AdWords ad. And that’s okay.

We as humans are very visual when we determine and judge who we want to do business with, so it makes perfect sense that people would want to scope you out before giving you a call.

If you don’t want to get involved with a call analytics company and paying for that service, Google has made it pretty easy to now start tracking visitor phone calls from your site or landing page that originated from an AdWords click. 

All you’ll need to do is add a simple JavaScript and HTML code snippet to your site or landing page and AdWords will dynamically insert a number to then backtrack which keyword and ad were responsible for that phone call.

All done within the AdWords interface.

You’ll have to create a new AdWords conversion code within your account and make sure you set the source to “Calls to a Google forwarding number on your website” 

adwords website call conversions

And then, voilá, you simply follow the next two steps to add the codes to your landing page and you’re in business.

19. Switch things around

Nearly all marketers and advertisers will promote their landing page form first, and then their phone number as a second option. But what if you switched that around?

By having your phone number as the prominent call to action and your landing page form second, you should be able to see a lift in phone leads.

the call to action to call

(Incentive, colors, and prominence. Dang you do it well! - image source)

The example above comes from PlanetAmex.com, a travel service for American Express customers. 
If you click on the button, it takes you to another page with a form to capture your information, but still lets you know that a phone call will you get you an “Instant Quote!”

This simple, but brilliant, shift in focus as well as some other tweaks helped PlanetAmex.com increase its phone lead volume by over 48%

20. Target mobile devices more aggressively

What makes your phone ring? Probably another phone calling you.

Because of that, you take a look at your device metrics within your Adwords account and see if it makes sense to increase your mobile bid adjustments for higher ranking mobile ads.

To do so, simply go to the campaign (or entire account) and click on the “Segment” drop down, to then click on “Device”. 
AdWords will then show you a breakdown on how Computers, Mobile devices, and Tablets compare in regards to all the PPC metrics you care about.

adwords mobile segmentation

Since there are only two top spots for mobile ads on Google.com, it can be wise to bid aggressively to make sure you’re in between spot one and two, and not 2.8 for example.

Once you see what average position your mobile ads show up at, you can then go into your campaign settings and increase your mobile bid adjustment by up to 300%.

21. The Smartphone-specific ad size

You may already be familiar with the ad sizes for regular display network ads. But did you know there’s a certain display ad size that is made only for mobile?

It’s the 320 x 50 ad slot that is usually featured at the top of mobile pages, allowing for greater visibility and higher click through rates compared to a regular desktop site that may five ads on it at any given time. The higher click through rates can be very significant since your advertising on the display network.

Here’s what those ads can look like:

smartphone adwords ad

adwords mobile display ad

adwords mobile phone ad  

But before you go all gung-ho on this idea, be aware that mobile app ads have been known to be “click happy”.

Sometimes people will be in an app and then accidentally click on the ads. You’ll usually find that games are the category with highest “click misfiring” rates. If that happens to you, be quick to exclude games as an app category.

Another great idea to use for this is to have a 24/7 pre-recorded message. People might not be ready or willing to take to a live person from an app, but there's a possibility they'd listen to a pre-recorded message to get more info from you.

22. Only option is to call

Have you ever tried removing all other forms on contact, except for the phone number?

If you’ve done your homework and have your call to actions in your ads be about the “act of calling” then this could be a great strategy for you to try.

Remove your landing page form completely and have your phone number displayed multiple times (header, front and center, and in the footer) to drive more phone conversions.

Your landing page could now look like this, without the ability to scroll down: 

more calls landing page

(Notice how these guys allow you to text too! - image source)

Although I have no specific stats on this exact strategy, it’s clear to see how only giving a visitor only one option to contact you can be beneficial. 

You could even let them know of an extra incentive for calling like “Please call to get an exact quote”.

23. The call expectation

When people have filled out a form on your landing page or site, it’s quite common you’ll notice a confirmation page that says:

“Thanks!
We’ll be in touch shortly”

But how many times do you not answer phone calls when you don’t know the number that’s calling?

By letting the visitor know, who just converted, to expect a call from “123-456-7890 within the next 5 minutes” you stand to immediately improve your chances of closing the deal, simply because they were the ones who first took action to get in touch with you.

Funny and sad thing is that so many people quickly move on to something else and get distracted.

They then see you calling, not knowing who you are, and the more you call, the more put off they are by you, lessening your chance to get them talking even more.

Do yourself the favor and let people know specifically what happens after they convert on your form.

24. Mobile app targeting

This strategy can be pretty fun, but also tricky since you’re about to show ads to people who are technically on the display network and don’t show the same intent behind the keywords they use on the search network (Google.com).

To go about this, you’ll want to create a new and unique display network campaign dedicated only to app targeting. 

mobile app adwords 

Once you then create your text, image, or dynamic ad, you get to target specific categories of apps from both Apple App Store and Google Play, or individual apps that fit your target audience. 

mobile app placements

Once that’s done, you’ll want to create call extensions for all your ads and then set it to the “Just the phone number” feature that we discussed in part one (Call Extensions and The Click-To-Call Setting).

This will then allow people to "click-to-call" only from ads inside mobile apps. This is where a  24/7 pre-recorded message (similar to a voicemail) can work well since again.
This then allows the visitor to leave the voicemail to learn more if they’re interested in what you have to offer. 

25. The social proof call queue

Have you ever been really desperate in trying to lose weight and almost bought some miracle drug late at night while eating your last donut?

Hopefully not. But if you’ve ever stumbled across weight loss landing pages, you’ll notice there is a tonof social proof going on. What is social proof you ask?

social proof landing pages 

(Would you jump off a bridge if I did? Social proof says so)

In layman’s terms, social proof is like the testimonials you see, business logos, or other factors that increase credibility to your visitors so that they feel more at ease doing business with you.

By letting your visitors know that other people are currently talking to you over the phone you take away part of the fear of calling you by showing that other visitors are already doing it.

Here’s how some of these landing pages are doing it:  

social proof ideas

social proof ideas

The advertisers responsible to these are adding these small popups in the bottom right hand corner so that when a visitor scrolls down, they notice the rectangular box staying put. 

Think of these little boxes as stamps of approvals by previous and current visitors, similar to ecommerce product reviews that help people build trust before taking action.

A way to make this work for you is actually to tell people on the landing page or site that there are “three people ahead of you” underneath the phone numbers.
You may think that this will deter people from calling since everyone hates waiting, but the opposite is actually true.

We ran this idea as the only split test on a landing page and saw a 23% increase in phone calls at a 96% confidence level. The reason for the improvement, we thought, was because people first need to clear their “BS” meter, then the trust can happen.

26. The post-conversion countdown timer

Have you ever heard of the term loss aversion?

Similar to earlier strategies, the post conversion countdown timer works in a way that promotes urgency and the fear of losing out on something so that the visitor is more likely to call you. 

But not only does this help improve your phone conversions, it also helps by taking your visitor off the competitive market and pre-occupies them so that they won’t go back to Google and start looking at your competitors. Pretty valuable right?

countdown timer

(Post conversion example with a countdown timer and a phone number - image source)

You can have your designer create a simple five minute countdown GIF that you then place on your confirmation/thank you page. We’ve heard from call recordings that some visitors call in, almost stressed out thinking that they’ll lose out on a certain offer from the landing page they were just on.

This idea works. 

BONUS: 27. The sticky header/menu

Have you ever been on a desktop or mobile page where you begin to scroll down and the header follows?

This is called a “sticky header” that sticks with you as you scroll up or down. The idea behind this strategy is to have your call to action of calling in the header so that when a person scrolls down, they’ll always have the option to call that’s only a tap away.

Not only do sticky headers make things 22% quicker for your visitors to navigate, but there is a resounding love for them. There was a recent usability study done that showed that 100% of people would prefer a sticky header compared to a non-sticky one. 

What does this mean to you? Give people what they want and they’ll do what you want. Giving you more calls. 

In conclusion...

The more you think about it, the more it makes sense to focus on getting more phone leads.

people who fill out forms vs. people who call in are at different stages of the buying cycle. People who fill out forms could be looking for more information before they’re ready, while people who call in are usually ready to pull the trigger and buy today

It therefore shouldn’t come as a surprise that phone leads are 300% more likely to close compared to form leads and also the reason why small to medium businesses name phone leads the most valuable type of leads available.

What have you tried that improved your phone leads? Let us know in the comments!

Johnathan Dane

Published 11 February, 2015 by Johnathan Dane

Johnathan Dane is the founder of KlientBoost and a contributor to Econsultancy. He's been interviewed by Google and has a German Shorthaired Pointer named Tanner. Connect with him on Twitter.

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Comments (2)

Mark Sullivan

Mark Sullivan, Director of Partnerships at CallRail

This is a really useful piece. I especially like #15 "Incentivize the call more than anything". Not too long ago we were all trying to funnel people into clicks because we could track those. Now I think a lot of businesses (especially local businesses) need to try to funnel more customers into phone calls since they're A. trackable now, and B. converting at a higher rate than other trackable actions.

almost 3 years ago

Johnathan Dane

Johnathan Dane, CEO/Founder at KlientBoost

Thanks Mark! And agreed :)

The value of the call compared to a form is such a huge difference in intent. The only question is: Are you able to increase the visitor intent by the things you do on your site and landing pages?

almost 3 years ago

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