What's a Phone Call Worth?

For a variety of reasons, businesses often seem to overlook the value of a phone call.  

“Leads” are most often viewed as the form submissions that come from the website.  Yet, when we ask businesses if they’d rather have someone call them or submit a form (i.e., “request for more information”), they almost always say, “Call!”

A phone call is a more personal lead.  It implies that the individual trusts your brand and wants to interact with you. Now you have the opportunity to demonstrate your customer service savvy and technical expertise, and help walk them into a sale or trial.  And that’s a valuable opportunity that I believe should be counted as a lead. The alternative is a submitted form lead which requires you to take the first step of simply trying to make contact with this prospect.

online leads - phone calls - pryor consultation

So why not count these calls as leads?  Even if customers don’t phone that often, wouldn’t counting the extra lead volume generated from calls make a difference in how you view the results of your marketing?  If you receive 10 phone calls for every 100 submissions, you may have been overlooking 10% additional lead volume.  And that can drastically change your cost-per-lead (CPL) perspective.  For example, for easy math, what if you were receiving 100 submitted forms and 100 phone calls in a month?  Ignoring those calls as legitimate leads means that your CPL appears twice as high as it really is.

How Can You Get More Calls?

Let’s take it one step further.  What is the quality of a phone lead versus a website lead?

If you keep track of your close rate on website leads and phone calls, then you should see a difference in one versus the other.  If phone calls close at a higher rate than forms submitted, then perhaps it’s time to consider some changes:

  • If you’ve focused your website heavily on the “Submit” button, does it make sense to begin directing people away from the forms and over to making a call?  

  • Is your phone number prominently placed on the site at all times?  In the header, the footer, and maybe in the page copy?  

  • Is there one obvious number to call, or do customers have to decide between a half-dozen numbers listed for various departments?

So, what is a lead worth to you?

What is a phone call worth?

If a phone call is worth more than a website lead, look at reworking the design of your site to play to this strength.


This is another example of how we work to improve conversion rates for our clients. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the umbrella term for what we do: using digital marketing research and channels to help grow your online business.