Call tracking in dental marketing has become increasingly difficult for direct mail marketers to track an accurate ROI on their various campaigns. This is due to the adoption of smartphones, voice search technology, and so many other places a prospect can research, find, and dial your business. I love the statistics compiled in this article by Chief Commercial Officer Mike Jeffs at Hark, as they validate why all call receivers should properly source each incoming phone call more diligently by asking more pointed questions.

call tracking in dental marketing


As a direct mail expert, I can no longer rely solely on the simple call tracking number printed on my postcards. There are simply too many other technological tools and distractions to simplify a prospect’s research process to guarantee they will manually enter the call tracking number to their phone. For example, when was the last time you manually dialed a business phone number printed in a magazine or advertisement? Siri, Google, Alexa, and other speech recognition software have pointed us in a new direction. Technology has made us lazier than ever before…I bet many of you don’t even have your closest friends and family members’ phone numbers memorized anymore. “Hey Siri, call John.” and my new favorite trick, “Hey Siri, call John on speaker.” (Yeah, I’m that lazy) have completely changed the way we communicate and respond to marketing and advertising content.

When fielding a phone call, most call receivers inconsistently ask, “How did you hear about us?” only to get the response, “I just Googled you;” Oftentimes our call receivers don’t accurately input the information they gathered into your database for reporting purposes. This leaves marketers and business owners scratching their heads about their marketing ROI.

When we stop to think about what made them “Google” you in the first place, you will naturally adopt a curious mindset that is priceless to your business. Why did they “Google” you? Did they hear about you from a friend, family member, or neighbor? Did they see your billboard? Did they hear your radio ad or see you on TV or social media somewhere? There is almost always more to the story.

In the dental industry, for example, I recommend that my clients train their call receivers to always ask a series of questions to really learn and recognize which of their marketing efforts are working together for their greatest benefit. I think the below series of questions will help any business better track their marketing ROI:

Call Receiver uses their company’s unique answering script and asks, “Where did you get my # today?” or, “How did you hear about us?”

Caller: “I Googled you.”

Call Receiver: “Awesome! And had you heard of us before that?” (Get curious)

Caller: “Yeah, my friends were talking about your office just the other day, so I thought I’d look you up. I’m pretty sure I have driven past your building in the past as well.” (Look at what you just learned…word of mouth is alive and well, and your signage out front was worth the investment!)

Call the Receiver’s validation and follow-up question: “Well, you have definitely called the right place! What is your friend’s name so we can send them a ‘Thank You’ card?”

Caller: “Yes, it was Susan Jones.” (Boom! Now you can call and thank Susan Jones send her a card to enroll her in your referral program, or ask her when you will be lucky enough to see her or her family again.)

Then, for good measure, I always have the Call Receiver ask one more question about any other marketing they may be doing that they are interested in tracking, such as direct mail:

Call Receiver: “Oh we love the Jones family! Be sure to tell them ‘hello’ for us. Just out of curiosity, have you, by chance, ever received a postcard from us in the mail that you can remember?”

Caller: “You know, now that you mention it, your logo looks familiar now that I’m on your website; so I think I may have received some mail from you guys in the past.” (Look at that! Now you KNOW that your “Marketing Mix” is working together and getting you results!)

Obviously, this is an altruistic example, and not all callers will be so forthcoming with information, but hopefully, this has stimulated some thought and discussion for your next call handling training with your team.

Properly sourcing calls will help a business better identify which of their marketing efforts are making a positive impact so you know where to continue to invest those hard earned dollars…and your marketing director will LOVE YOU for it!