Tracking phone leads

Dugun, where we’re investors, is an online wedding marketplace connecting┬ácouples with the full range of merchants they need during their wedding planning process. These include wedding venues, organizers, and photographers.

Until recently, Dugun used to connect couples and merchants through the use of a text-based online form. Once the couple discovered a merchant that they’re interested in on Dugun, they would fill out a text-based form to get in touch with the merchant.

While text is a means of communication, it isn’t the only one. Many people prefer to speak over the phone rather than through text. This is especially the case for a couple’s interactions with merchants during their wedding planning process. Most couples are going through this process for the first time and therefore have a lot of questions. Speaking over the phone is the fastest way to get answers.

Since Dugun relies on merchants for most of its revenue, it’s important that Dugun be able to track the leads it is sending to merchants. If Dugun were to display a merchant’s phone number on its website, it wouldn’t be able to track these leads. In the past, it therefore wasn’t showing merchants’ phone numbers on its website. While some couples who would have preferred to place a call chose to fill out the form instead, our hypothesis was that most couples simply typed the merchant’s name into a search engine to find the merchant’s phone number on its own website. When this happened, although the couple actually discovered the merchant on Dugun, Dugun and the merchant didn’t know this.

So Dugun recently launched its own set of merchant-specific phone numbers. In addition to a text-based form, Dugun now lists a phone number for each of its merchants. You can see an example below.

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 10.03.38 AM

If a couple calls this number, the call is routed through Dugun’s call center to the merchant. This lets Dugun keep track of the phone leads that it sends to merchants, while not losing these leads to a merchant’s own website. The result is that Dugun delivers more value to merchants, and is also able to show the value that it is delivering.

If you operate a marketplace where the ultimate transaction takes place offline, it isn’t always possible to monitor the transaction’s completion. Monitoring the leads you send to suppliers is the next best option. And if users are used to interacting with suppliers over the phone, routing calls to them through your call center is a great way to accommodate this user preference while retaining your ability to track the leads you’re sending.

  • Mert Arman

    Great subject. We’re also trying to find solutions to “going offline” problem since we serve as a marketplace in software sector with yazilimbulutu.com. This post inspired me to write a one-in-all blogpost for all the lead solutions that exist. Thanks !

  • Mert Arman

    Just published the post. I’m looking forward to your comments. Thanks ! bit.ly/1nPnGrc

  • Good post. A clarification regarding Dugun. We don’t track clicks on merchant phone numbers. We route the calls to merchants through our own call center.