Tracking Phone Calls with Bing Ads Offline Conversion Import

If phone calls are important for a business’s lead generation, it’s crucial to include calls as well as form submissions in conversion data. While call extensions can provide a limited amount of data, AdWords is the only major ad platform that offers an option for tracking calls that occur from your website. Marketers often utilize a third-party call tracking platform to track calls across multiple platforms and obtain more complete data on call quality.

While many call tracking platforms integrate directly with AdWords to import calls as conversions, this option generally does not yet exist for Bing. PPC managers are then stuck viewing only form conversions in Bing and relying on other sources for call data, creating a less than optimal situation for properly attributing conversions within the platform. While you may be able to see keyword data for calls in another platform, it’s still unwieldy to take that into account for bid optimization when the conversions don’t show up directly in the Bing Ads interface.

Thankfully, Bing Ads released an offline conversion import option at the end of 2017. You can use this feature as a workaround to add call conversion data to your account with manual uploads. In this article, we’ll outline the steps to take.

Create a Goal

First, navigate to the Conversion Tracking section and the Conversion Goals page. Select Create Conversion Goal.

Give your goal a name and select Offline Conversions as the conversion type. On the next screen, you can specify a value for your goal and whether you want to count all or unique conversions. Save your goal.

Note that Bing Ads requires a Microsoft Click ID, a parameter appended to the end of the URL, in order to correlate offline conversions with users. Once you’ve saved the conversion, Bing Ads will automatically enable the Click ID feature if it’s not already in place.

Download Your Call Data

Now, you’ll need to obtain data from any calls that came from Bing Ads, including the Click ID from the landing page, the time the call occurred, and any associated value (if applicable). Depending on your call tracking setup, you may be able to download this directly from the call tracking platform.

In our case, calls are imported to Google Analytics, so we obtained data from there. The specifics will vary based on how your data is imported. We set up a custom report filtering for any sessions that contained a phone call event and a landing page containing the Microsoft Click ID (the URL will end with ?msclkid= followed by a long string of characters). We also included a segment limiting calls to those over a defined length, as determined by the Event Value. Finally, we applied an Hour of Day segment to attach time data.

After downloading the Excel data, we’ll now format it to upload into Bing Ads. Microsoft provides a handy template you can use.

    • Microsoft Click ID: Insert the Click ID from the landing page URL (the string of characters following the equals sign).
    • Conversion Name: Add the name of the conversion as you’ve defined it within Bing Ads.
    • Conversion Time: Add the time the conversion occurred in one of the acceptable formats.
    • Conversion Value: Insert the value in plain number format.
    • Conversion Currency: Insert the proper currency code.

Upload Your Data to Bing

Once you’ve finalized your spreadsheet and saved it as .xlsx or .csv, you’re now ready to upload it to your account. Note that if you just created the offline conversion, you’ll need to wait at least 2 hours to upload any data.

In the sidebar, navigate to Offline Conversions under Conversion Tracking. Choose the file to upload and click Import & Preview. Now, you’ll be able to see how if your data uploaded successfully and preview the changes that will be made.

Check Your Data

Once you’ve applied your uploaded conversions to your account, be aware that data can take up to 5 hours to appear. To see data broken down by goal type in the Campaigns view, use the Segment dropdown and navigate to Goal Name under Conversions. Now, you should see your offline conversion reflected in the segmented data that appears.

Start Tracking Calls!

Have you tested importing call conversions to Bing? Do you have any questions about making the process work with your setup? Want to share other uses you’ve found for offline conversion import? Talk to us in the comments below!