Answered

Creating a conversion event for first time callers in GA4

Hi folks!

I'm trying to set up first time callers from CallRail as a conversion event in Google Analytics 4. I followed the steps in https://support.callrail.com/hc/en-us/articles/9495611166733-Google-Analytics-4-Integration to do the CallRail integration and am seeing phone_call events triggering as well as the first time caller custom parameter when I click through to the phone call events.

What I want is for those first time callers to be counted as a conversion event. I've tried a few things, but none of them have worked, so I figured I'd see if anyone here has any ideas. What I thought it should be would be a setup like the screenshot below, but it's not being triggered, even as new callers come in. Is there something I'm missing?

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Comments

59 comments
Date Votes
  • Hey Bradford Health Services,

    We will update the thread here once we hear from Google. I do suggest you attend the upcoming product webinar where this information about GA4 will be covered. You can register here

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  • I just wanted to check if there is an update on this issue?

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  • Hey Steve, 

    Unfortunately, Google has not given us an update on a fix for this. Our product manager is in touch with them but hasn't heard anything. I will post any updates here.

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  • Still trying to solve this issue. Has CallRail or Google come to a consensus on how this should be appropriately handled? We need to only count first time callers for our Lead tracking.

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  • Hey Robert! 

    If you are looking to track only first time-callers, I would advise setting up an integration trigger. This a great work around that, when enabled, will only send your first time callers from CallRail to GA4. 

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  • @... is your product team planning to add support for choosing to send multiple call events to GA4 instead of just one phone_call event in the same way that you have done with the Google Ads integration? It would be much more valuable if we had a first_phone_call and a repeat_phone_call to use as our conversion metrics if this issue is not able to be resolved in any other way.

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  • @... the issue with using the integration trigger is that it limits the data that we are collecting in Analytics. I don't want to lose access to the data of the repeat callers just so that I can solve the issue of having to log conversions. It's a great temporary solution but it doesn't ultimately solve the problem.

     

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  • Hey Luise,

    To answer your first comment, as of right now, we are waiting on Google to resolve this bug preventing the creation of custom events. Once resolved, this will allow for far more robust data than what is currently available. We understand the value this will bring our customers and should be possible once Google resolves the bug. 

    As for your second comment, I agree; that work around is not always a good solution for everyone since many want both first-time and repeat callers to pass.

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  • @robin it seems to me like your team has been waiting for google to resolve this issue for a long time…

    How long are you planning to wait? Universal analytics will stop recording new data in just over two months. The clock is ticking.

    Cheers,
    Luise

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  • Hey Luise,

    I definitely understand wanting this resolved quickly as UA is about to sunset. We don’t have a timeline from Google on when they will resolve this bug. For now, all the data is sending over, and using custom parameters, you can filter and view first time callers versus repeat callers. A custom event for this just cannot be created, which I know many are finding frustrating. 
     
    We are waiting on Google to resolve this because going through the process of creating the separate event sends on our end will only cover a single variation. However, when Google resolves this bug, you’ll be able to create custom conversions based on any combination of data we’re sending, which is far more robust.
     
    Again, I understand your frustration with this, and we hope a resolution is coming soon.
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  • My workaround for this was to create a custom Exploration that references the first_time_caller parameter of the phone_call event, like so:

    Basic, and doesn't actually create this as an Event that you can mark as a Conversion, but another alternate option that wasn't mentioned in this thread. Thanks!

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  • Thanks Chris Uzzo for sharing this with the community!

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  • Thank you Laura for the update. Our agency has decided that we only cared about first time callers so as a workaround to this issue we used the integration trigger in GA4 to only send first time calls as the phone_call event. Well that workaround will be supported indefinitely or would you recommend we switch over to the new process?

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  • Luise Lee great question! The integration trigger workaround is still supported and we have no plans to discontinue it.  You can continue to use that if that's your preference. 

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  • I am also having this issue. In my case, the client is tagging their calls and forms, and we want to only mark calls or forms with the custom tag "Business Won - Insurance" or "Business Won - Cash." I have set up tags as a custom parameter, and I can see the tags pulling into GA4, but that's as far as I can get. I've tried to set up a custom event using these parameters, and I cannot get it to fire no matter how I set it up. I hope there is a fix soon as this would make reporting a lot easier.

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  • Hey Andrea,

    I know many have been frustrated with the reporting capabilities in GA4 compared to Universal Analytics. I would suggest using integration triggers to only send calls that are tagged accordingly. This will at least separate out the calls you don't want to track in analytics. 

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  • Thanks @.... My understanding is that I can only have one integration trigger per integration and that it only applies to calls, not forms. Is there a way to set up form integration triggers? 

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  • I apologize for the confusion. Yes, you are correct. Integration triggers can only be set up for calls. You can select multiple tags to be included in your call integration trigger. 

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  • Thank you for the clarification. I'll continue to follow this thread so I can get updates on the fix with Google Analytics.

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  • Any updates on this? We are also trying to do this to parse out events/conversions for each phone number separately like we were able to in UA but I am having issues configuring the event with the custom dimension.

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  • Hey Sarah Blocksidge,

    Yes, we have made an update on our end to now send first time callers and repeat callers as separate events to GA4. You can read more about this in our product manager Laura's top comment on this post. You'll just need to sort the comments by vote to see her reply at the top since there are many new comments on this post. 

    Let me know if you have any further questions, and welcome to the community!

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  • Hi Robin, 

    My team is actually trying to figure out how to create events for each separate tracking number based on the custom definition so we can count them as separate conversions! Similarly to OP, I am toying with different event settings such as this:

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  • Hey Sarah,

    Thank you for clarifying that for me! 

    So separate events cannot be created for our data to pass to. Instead, we suggest setting up custom dimensions for the tracking_number parameters. This will allow you to create reports filtered by these dimensions. However, with the way GA4 is currently set up and requires us to send data, events for our data cannot be created. 

    I did see one of our support agents submitted a feature request about this on your behalf, so our product team will take a look, as they're always looking for ways to improve integrations.

    Let me know if there's anything else you have concerns about in the meantime!

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  • Hi Robin, no problem! Ya sadly having reports is not enough for many of our clients, as there are also limitations on filters for reports so there is nothing that really helps. Many of our clients are franchises and have multiple locations we need to track separately. Hopefully, the product team will be able to help. Thanks for the response!

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  • I completely understand, and I apologize for the inconvenience of this. We've been hearing from many customers about their struggles with the way GA4 is different from UA, so we're always looking for ways we can help to improve the overall experience. 

    I appreciate you taking the time to reach out to us and let us know the areas you're experiencing issues. If we do make any kind of updates with the integration, I'll let the community know in the Integration topic, so I highly suggest giving the overall topic a follow.

    Have a great rest of your Friday!

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  • Hey Carlos Santiago - did you ever get this working? I believe the CallRail events go in via the Measurement Protocol which is why the Modify/Create Events rules feature in GA4 does not work on them to create our own custom metrics or dimensions. The docs say those won't work on Measurement Protocol events, only those pushed by the client-side. Super frustrating because the Custom counter Metrics are super helpful to have in Looker Studio. 

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  • Hello Ketan. You are correct in that there are some limitations with the CallRail/GA4 integration. Google Analytics 4 has many fields that they have built in natively but they are not open to us at this time. That is why we use custom dimensions.

    Our Product team is keeping an eye on this in case anything changes. The Google integrations are some of our most used and talked about so we will jump on the opportunity to improve the GA4 integration as soon as we can. It's the same case for other tracking services. These are Google settings so we are unable to make the changes on our end. However, we continue to work with Google and other 3rd parties to continue improving our interactions. Thank you for your post.

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  • Indeed. In addition to the custom dimensions, maybe you guys could push over 2-3 other custom metrics as part of your optional config? 

    • total_calls
    • total_first_time_calls
    • total_repeat_calls

    Set those to "1" when they happen and if anyone configures those 3 custom events in GA4 (just like we are adding the other dimensions you push values for), we'd all get nice custom metrics to use in Looker Studio tables. It'll be impossible for any other solution to work since you are pushing data over Measurement Protocol and thus nothing can be intercepted. Happy to discuss more!

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  • Hello Ketan. I've presented this request to our Product Development Team and we will keep you updated as we continue to improve the GA4 integration. We are always interested in creating new features that will benefit our clients. Click here to post your ideas and see what our other clients are talking about. This particular request is already on the radar.

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