Is it possible to track clicks on phone numbers within the email?

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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  • (Edited)
Okay, Emma. You're absolutely fabulously totally awesome when it comes to tracking and reporting click details to hyperlinks within my emails. But I have a question for you to test your considerable superpowers. For the sake of discussion, let's suppose these 3 things:

  1. if the overwhelming majority of my email recipients (over 60%) are now opening my emails via their smartphones, 
  2. and if I have a toll-free phone number included within the content of my email, 
  3. and if that phone number displays as a clickable phone number on their smartphone 

...if those 3 things are true, then is there any way to count and report clicks from the email to my phone number from smartphones? Is there any way to define the phone number as some special kind of click for tracking purposes? (Sorta like creating a button in the drag-and-drop editor automagically creates a link.)

After all, I just sent out an email blast to my entire mailing list, and the switchboard told me the phones starting ringing immediately with folks saying they just received my email and they want more information about our program.

So if that is possible, wow, my click-through rate could be much better than reported and my email campaigns much more successful than I know. Calls from smartphone users who click on my email -- that group just might be entirely too large to ignore.

Just a thought ...
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Ted Hogan, Champion

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Posted 3 years ago

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Katie Lewis, Official Rep

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Hi Ted! This makes total sense. You may have already spotted in our Resource Center that you can link text or an image to a phone number, but that "special" URL isn't tracked in Response. Here's that bit from our help docs:

You can link text or images to these "special" URLs by adding the following code (which is not trackable in Response) into the URL field:
  • tel:<phone number>: This will open the number on your phone with it pre-populated so you can call it. It works on Android, IOS and computers.
  • sms:<phone number>: This will open up the text app on your phone with the number pre-populated so you can text it. It works on Android and iOS.
  • fb://<relevant information> (for example: fb://profile/12345678910): This will open the Facebook profile on your phone. It works on iOS.
  • twitter://<relevant information> (for example: twitter://user?screen_name=twitterhandlegoeshere): This will open the Twitter profile on your phone. It works on iOS.
My instinct says that URLs like that aren't trackable for the same reason links to email addresses aren't trackable: because when someone clicks on a linked phone number, that link doesn't go through Emma (unlike the links to a document or a website) and instead opens your phone's call feature (I'm sure there's an official word instead of "call feature," but I'm totally blanking!).

I'd love to hear what our Product Team's thoughts are, however. I'm going to run this by them at their next team meeting -- which should be tomorrow, unless the holiday week has thrown them off -- and I'll let you know what I learn!
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Ted Hogan, Champion

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Hi, Katie.
Thanks for the link to the Resources Center. You're talking to something of a renaissance caveman who doesn't often read the instructions before trying something, but I do eventually learn, and I might yet evolve into a higher lifeform.

I'm definitely still a work in progress. ;)

The fact you are not able to easily track this click on phone numbers from smartphones doesn't really surprise me. I guess the question for your programming folks (who definitely have a serious level of genius) is whether it might be possible to tag these clicks with some kind of unique tag which would enable tracking the phone response.

It would certainly be valuable intel for email marketers to have if you could figure out a way to make it work. And I thought it might be a good exercise for your folks to brainstorm over coffee and crullers.

Yep, the holiday makes it a short week for us, too. No worries.
(Edited)
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Katie Lewis, Official Rep

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Hey Ted! It turns out that the problem here is the tracking we would be able to add for phone links would make the link not clickable to make a call, because the link would show up in the inbox as an e2.ma link (like regular URLs) instead of the phone number. I learned that we recently did some work to remove tracking on phone numbers because it was breaking the ability to click-to-call.

So I think the better experience we're hearing from people is they'd like those calls to easily go through rather than be able to track clicks upon the links, since it seems it's one or the other. A great idea, though!
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Ted Hogan, Champion

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Okay, I do completely understand the problem with tracking a click-to-call -- after all it is only a clickable link on smartphones and not on other devices. But, that also means digital marketers need to find some alternate way to track the source and success rate of the rapidly growing numbers of calls from email and other sources. There are companies out there that offer call tracking services, but then, they are not in the email business. Thanks for looking into this Katie.