CTM Blog


The Complete Call Tracking Glossary

by Chris Todd

CallTrackingMetrics has been a leader in the call tracking industry for a long time, and we sometimes take for granted that everyone here has been using the same terminology for years. But, we recognize call tracking terms are not part of most marketers’ everyday vocabulary. We want to make sure everyone has a cheat sheet when it comes to common definitions within call tracking. And we don’t even want to assume a universal understanding of the phrase “call tracking,” so we’ll start there!

The Fundamentals of Call Tracking

Call Tracking

Traditional call tracking is the process of tying an advertising source to a phone call using unique phone numbers. Modern call tracking has evolved beyond phone calls, to effectively tie any conversation back to its marketing source, for both offline or online channels. 

*Call tracking can’t help you find a phone, keep tabs on your partner’s cell, or tell you when a package will be arriving. We can certainly understand the confusion!

Dynamic Number Insertion (DNI)

The core element of online call tracking, dynamic number insertion (DNI) uses a short line of code to automatically switch phone numbers on a website to match the user’s source, geographic location, or other custom trigger. The dynamically generated number can then be used to match a conversation back to the web activity of that user.

Tracking Number

Tracking Numbers are the phone numbers used in dynamic number insertion, or on other marketing materials, that are associated with your call tracking provider. You own the phone number, but it’s configured inside software like CallTrackingMetrics to provide the source of the call, call recordings, and other features. They route to the desk phones, cell phones, or other business lines your team uses.

Target Number

A target number is a phone number that will be swapped with a tracking number using DNI. It’s the phone number that exists on your website when no call tracking has been implemented or triggered. You might have multiple target numbers on one website. 

Receiving Number

After someone calls a tracking number, the conversation gets forwarded to a receiving number. The receiving number is the phone number of a specific team member or call queue that will actually be picking up the call and answering. 

Tracking Source

Tracking sources are buckets that contain related tracking numbers and are built to provide high-level, at-a-glance attribution. Online tracking sources are used to define the parameters DNI uses to swap the most relevant phone number for a website visitor. An offline tracking source would be static numbers you might add to a print ad, or email footer. An popular example of an online tracking source is `Google Ads` used with dynamic number insertion for all website visitors who came to the site through a search ad.  

Tracking Code 

The tracking code is JavaScript added to a website to power dynamic number insertion (DNI) across the site. For CallTrackingMetrics, it’s one line of code provided in the software that can be copy/pasted and added to a site manually, with a plugin for WordPress users, and through Google Tag Manager

Register for our online course to learn more about the core concepts of CallTrackingMetrics

Enhancing call tracking through intelligence and reporting

Call and Conversation Analytics

The category of data you can collect through call tracking is known as call analytics, or conversation analytics. Metrics from conversations themselves to provide managers and teams with performance benchmarks to review and analyze. Examples could be talk time, the source of a call, or aggregated volume of texts or chats handled by Sales.

Conversation Intelligence

Conversation intelligence is an advanced feature of conversation analytics. It’s the process of analyzing spoken words, through call recordings and transcriptions, to identify and extract patterns, signals, and actionable insights for Marketing and Sales teams. 


Transcriptions are the written account of a spoken conversation. Transcriptions can be real-time during a conversation, or processed after a conversation has ended. 

Keyword Spotting

Keyword spotting tools provide automated analysis of conversations to identify words or phrases spoken, as they happen, to trigger a follow up actions, categorize your calls, or alert you if high priority actions need to be taken.

Call Scoring

A call score is a categorization of a phone conversation, to apply a measure of quality or additional context to the phone call. It can be applied either automatically or by the Sales team member on the call. There are multiple ways to score a call, but a rating of 1 to 5 is often the core, as well as marking a call as a converted sale, or not. Additional tagging can be done to further contextualize the call. 

Read our comprehensive guide for a more detailed approach to lead scoring for Sales and Marketing success.

Improving conversation efficiency and experience

Call Management

Call management is the system and tools in place to get a phone call where it’s supposed to go. The goal of call management is to increase efficiency and speed in getting calls answered and to improve the caller experience by getting calls to the most appropriate party.

Call Routing

Very similar to call management, call routing is the specific path a call takes to connect the caller with the most appropriate party. It can be a self-selection in a voice menu, an automated process, or manually sent through a receptionist. 

Call Forwarding

A simple form of call routing, call forwarding takes a call to one phone number, and passes the conversation to another phone number. The caller will only see the original phone number called, not receiving information on the operational phone number used internally by the business.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Menu

A very popular form of self-selected call routing is an IVR. It’s a menu before a call starts to give the caller multiple options to choose from to get their call answered by the right person or team. An example would be “press one for Sales, or press two for Support.” 

Call Queue

Call queues are a type of call routing for teams where multiple individuals are designated to answer the same kinds of calls. It allows the business to set up rules for how to distribute calls to those teams. It can be based on availability, a specific order, or other customizable options. 


GeoRouting, or geographic routing, dynamically routes calls to the location that is closest or most relevant to a specific caller. This type of call routing works to eliminate the need for placing callers on hold and transferring and is ideal for businesses with multiple locations.


A softphone is simply a phone powered by the internet, so you can make calls from your laptop, desktop, or any device connected to the internet. It’s software that can be customized for the needs of the organization or teams using them. 


Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the method and technology that powers voice communications over the internet. Both desk phones and softphones can be configured to deliver calls through VOIP. 


Beyond phone calls, customers and prospects connect with businesses through various methods. Omnichannel is a business strategy to give their audience a seamless experience regardless of which channel they choose. Omnichannel encompasses all methods of communication like form submissions, texts, live chats, social media, and calls.  

CallTrackingMetrics branded terms to know


The CallTrackingMetrics FormReactor helps bring form fills together with all your conversions to give a full picture of your lead activity. You can create custom forms inside of CallTrackingMetrics to add to your website, or sync with your existing forms. The FormReactor provides attribution for your form submissions and connects you to features to automatically follow up and close leads faster.

Spam Detective

To avoid businesses wasting time answering spam calls, Spam Detective identifies likely spam and gives users the option to add tags or route them through a different menu. This allows teams to treat spam calls differently, saving time and effort, and allowing a second opportunity for those callers to verify their intent. 

Smart Routing

Smart routing is a tool that expedites communications using customizable If/Then conditions to build a sophisticated workflow. When someone calls, they’re automatically routed to the most relevant person or team. It consolidates the routing benefits of IVRs, queues, and other call management features to create a personalized, and automated, path for callers.

Bonus Acronyms


It’s what our friends call us. Our name is long. So when we want to save a little bit of time, we go with CTM instead of CallTrackingMetrics. You’re more than welcome to use it too.


SaaS stands for Software as a Service. It’s a way of delivering software online, and gives the developer a way to update and maintain the service without requiring customers to install or purchase anything new. As an example, CallTrackingMetrics is an award winning SaaS provider


Unified Communications as a Service. This is a type of cloud based service that includes a an internet powered telephone system, plus the ability to message, chat, and bring other forms of communications together. UCasS often focuses on internal communication.


Contact Center as a Service. Similar to UCaaS, CCaaS provides cloud based telephone and communication tools. The focus is on improving call center functionality and efficiency, leading to better customer communication.

While this is already a lot to get a handle on, it still just scratches the surface of the functionality and benefits of call tracking. Want to get a good feel for the impact these tools can have for your team? The best next step is to request a demo of the CallTrackingMetrics platform.