3 Insane Trillion-Dollar Desktop vs. Mobile Marketing Fails

Earlier this summer, I shared five awesome conversion hacks that can help marketers get around the fact that landing pages can be a total conversion killer. Right at the top of my list, I advocate for call extensions; using them can take a whole stage out of the funnel, resulting in huge conversion wins for your business.

Yet in the trillion-dollar click-to-call economy, too many companies are still failing their mobile consumers. The new 2015 Click-to-Call Commerce Mobile Performance Report from Marchex, based on data from more than 24 million phone calls to businesses, exposes a number of critical missteps that marketers are making when it comes to conversion optimization for their mobile customers. Almost one in five click-to-call mobile calls to businesses are abandoned, Marchex found. In case you’re counting, that’s 4.8 million lost opportunities.

marchex-mobile-data1That’s an insane amount of leads – and more importantly, sales – lost. What can marketers do to maximize the click-to-call opportunity and stop losing revenue to these mobile marketing fails?

Here are three totally preventable mistakes you may be making with your mobile marketing, with tips for making your click-to-call campaigns more effective:

1. Unanswered or Held Calls

Calls going unanswered and hold times are the top two reasons calls are abandoned, the study found. People simply don’t want to sit there and wait on hold, and they’re really not likely to call back if you can’t be bothered to answer the phone after encouraging them to call you.

Telling people to call you and then not answering is no different than directing people to your website while it’s down. It’s a terrible user experience and you’re probably blowing the only chance you’ll have to make that conversion.┬áSchedule your call extensions so they only show during the times your business is open and able to answer phone calls within a few rings.

Understand as well that the vast majority of calls aren’t going to be from new customers. Marchex found that on average, just 12 percent of click-to-call phone calls were acquisitions, while more than half were characterized as spam and misdials.


Devise a system for “triaging” and prioritizing calls, enabling staff to the get the right people on the right calls as quickly as possible, while minimizing waste.

2. Untrained Staff or Inappropriate Staffing Levels

Interestingly, researchers found that callers were more likely to hang up on a local business than a call center.

marchex-mobile-data3They suggest the reason for this may be that local business staff aren’t trained to handle mobile search click-to-call inquiries properly. Sending your calls to untrained people is the mobile equivalent of directing ad clicks to crappy landing pages on desktop: what’s the point? You’re not helping the person answer the need that drove them to seek you out in the first place.

Ensure that staff members responsible for answering calls are trained, equipped and empowered to quickly resolve your most common requests and complaints. Arm them with information and establish a protocol for escalating and transferring so you aren’t leaving people waiting on hold.

3. Lack of Mobile Call Analytics

Analyzing call performance, and finding out when you’re more likely to experience hangups and abandoned calls can help you determine your optimal staffing levels. It also helps you understand when you may want to dial back or increase budget to your click-to-call campaigns.

Would you get rid of your website analytics? Of course not. Analytics give you critical insight into the way potential customers interact with your business. They’re even more important on phone calls than for your online presence because calls are more valuable than clicks.

Analytics can help you pinpoint problems and opportunities in your call systems, but you should also take the time to run internal testing. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer and call your own business to see:

  • How many rings it takes for calls to be answered
  • How many transfers get you to the right department
  • How long your hold times are (if applicable)
  • How helpful automated information is for callers

Make this a part of your normal routine, to ensure your call systems are operating at peak efficiency.

Desktop vs. Mobile Marketing Fails

Marketers are failing mobile customers in boneheaded ways you wouldn’t even think of doing on desktop. Think of these mobile goofs and their equivalents in desktop as you decide how to combat abandoned calls and other issues with click-to-call ads:


Smart mobile strategy has the potential for major conversion increases. The easier you make it for the customer to succeed, the greater the opportunities for your business.

Remember, if the caller succeeds, you succeed through increased conversions. Look at my Desktop vs. Mobile Marketing chart one more time; if you wouldn’t dream of doing what’s in Column B, don’t do anything from Column A!

Related reading

what can we learn from voice search in 2018?
Google Ads 2019: What to look out for
mobile search and video in 2019: how visible are you?