Why Dirty Call Tracking Numbers Aren't Worth It and How to Avoid Them

By Melissa Duko, July 20, 2017

If something is dirty you tend to avoid it, right? Unless it’s some delicious dirt pudding, no good can come of it. So, you’d think dirty call numbers would strike fear in the hearts of marketers.

Think again.

Marketers throw caution to the wind in favor of dirty call tracking numbers every day. Sure, the numbers are dirt cheap, but they’re cheap for a reason.

Using dirty call tracking numbers can pose a significant risk. Here’s why they aren’t worth it, and how to avoid them.

What’s a Dirty Number?

Call numbers are trackable phone numbers assigned to different ad campaigns. Businesses use these numbers to trace which ads are performing the best.

A dirty call number is any trackable phone number, typically an 800 number, that recently belonged to another business.

Related Post: How to Build a Killer Call Campaign in 3 Easy Steps

Let’s say, Joe’s Plumbing Company uses 800-555-5555 and suddenly closes their doors. Three weeks later, Larry’s Master Plumbers purchases that same number. Unfortunately, whenever someone dials, they think they’re still calling Joe’s Plumbing.


Source: Someecards

So, how does a call tracking number become dirty? Well, some call tracking vendors aren’t aging their numbers long enough. In fact, some vendors are putting numbers back out there after less than 30 days.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Them

When a phone number is dirty it can skew a business’ analytics. You might think your keywords are driving calls when they aren’t. Or you may be puzzled why you’re getting lots of calls, but no conversions.  

Related Post: The Dirty Truth About Call Tracking and What Every Marketer Wants You to Know

Dirty call numbers not only waste time and money, they also hurt your reputation. Unlike abandoned phone calls, which allow customers a list of alternative businesses to select, here they have no choice.


Source: Memegenerator.net

Customers who call the old number for Joe’s Plumbing, may feel like they’ve experienced a bait and switch when they hear the receptionist for Larry’s Master Plumbers instead. No bueno.

How to Avoid Them

Fortunately, there are a couple things you can do to avoid getting assigned a dirty call tracking number.

Related Post: 4 Reasons Click to Call Is the Future of Facebook Advertising

Select a reputable call tracking company. There are several out there. Just make sure you do your research and investigate before choosing call tracking software.

Another simple tip is to Google the phone number. Don’t forget to search for the phone number using several formats like (800) 555-5555 or 8005555555.


Source: MemeSuper

By making sure your call tracking numbers are clean, you’ll avoid the complications that dirty call tracking can bring. And with it easier to track your ad campaigns, you’ll be increasing your chances of having a strong ROI, too.  

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Melissa Duko

Melissa Duko

Melissa Duko is the Senior Editor and Digital Specialist for eZanga and its ad fraud management platform, Anura. She brings to her role more than a decade of journalism and editing experience. A graduate of the University of Delaware, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, concentration business and technical writing, minor Art History. She also has a Master of Science in professional writing for the public and private sector from Towson University. She isn’t afraid to admit that her love for Starbucks is at gold member status. (Since 2011!) More Articles by Melissa Duko