Have you successfully set up the Google Analytics 4 integration with CallRail?

I have enabled the GA4 integration for most clients in CallRail, but have struggled following the Google Analytics 4 integration help documentation with the added requirements of creating custom dimensions, metrics, etc. to actually get that data in GA4.

I have been familiarizing myself with GA4 over the past year, but still consider my competency low compared to my familiarity with UA. I've been successfully collecting data in GA4 and recreating goals like contact form submissions, etc. over the past year for client accounts. CallRail has been a bit of a bear for me. For starters, I'm a little disappointed that the GA4 integration is only now becoming available which means that I will not have these YoY comparisons for phone call reporting for clients when the switch to GA4 happens later this year.

All I want is to be able to recreate the current Universal Analytics set up (know how many phone calls were triggered and be able to attribute those phone calls to their appropriate source - whether that be organic, Google Ads, etc.).

Has anyone here successfully accomplished the above? If so, are you able to share the steps taken? I'm just a little baffled that by setting up the GA4 integration in the CallRail interface that this event data doesn't just start getting sent. I know I need to work through the custom dimensions, etc. steps in the documentation so if you have any tips to simplify this to ensure:

  1. The number of phone calls triggered from CallRail are captured as events/conversions in GA4
  2. They are properly attributed to each channel

...I would love your help!

Misc.: I also read in an email sent to me from CallRail that you will no longer be able to import these conversions from GA4 into Google Ads. Does anyone know more about this? I've successfully set up conversions for form submissions (recreating destination-based goals from UA in GA4) and imported those into Google Ads for conversion tracking. 

Thank you,




Date Votes
  • Hey James!

    Once the integration is active, you'll begin to see phone call events populate in GA4. These can be set to Mark as Conversions. Even without any custom dimensions and metrics, you should start seeing those events.

    As you mentioned, setting up custom dimensions and metrics is your next step. Setting up a custom dimension for source is how you'll be able to track the channels of your calls. I definitely understand your frustration with this process. Unfortunately, Google did not make the necessary attribution fields available to us in GA4, and as a result we cannot send our source and medium data to their default channels. This means custom parameters must be created. 

    Concerning importing conversions from GA4 into Google Ads, because there is not a standard gclid (Google Click ID) field, our events will not show in any connected Google Ads reporting within GA4. Additionally, the conversion import from GA4 to Google Ads will not include our events. Instead, we recommend using our direct integration with Google Ads.

    I am interested to hear from our other members who've already set this up. Let us know in the comments any tips you have for this process!


  • I'll chime in, as I just recently set up my integration to begin collecting these events and parameters in GA4.

    First, I'll say that it is important to note you must map the parameter field name to exactly what is labeled in the help document. Because there are no additional settings in the CR integration, we have to honor the field names they chose when they built the API connector. As an aside, this is probably a request I would make: allowing us to select the mapping of our choosing to custom names of the parameters.

    Second, it is important to remember that these are event parameters you are creating in GA4, which means you must use the custom dimensions and custom metrics feature in GA4 -- NOT events. Here's a decent article showing step-by-step instructions for creating custom dimensions. In addition, it'd probably be helpful for people if the GA4 integrations guide in the help center identified which parameters are presets within GA4 and which are custom-made by CR.

    Once created, and you allow 24 hours to propagate/collect in GA4, you should begin seeing a new event appear in your list of events, either in Admin > Events or in Reports > Engagements > Events. If you click on this event in the reporting section, you should see all of the associated parameters of the phone_call event. NOTE: there is no need for you to create a custom event called phone_call.

    As Robin mentioned, it is apparently a Google limitation that blocks their integration from automatically connecting data points to GA4's existing event parameters: campaign, source, medium, etc. Here's a CR article that explains in greater detail the issue between the CR integration and Google's native events.

    For reporting purposes, I'd recommend Looker Studio and the GA4 data source. All custom dimensions and metrics created in your GA4 account will be accessible in Looker Studio. From there, you can do basic filtering to present greater insights into the phone call lead traffic your clients are receiving.

    EDIT: I will also add that you should review the integration triggers in CallRail. This is where you determine the minimum criteria to send calls to GA4.

    Go to Settings > Integrations > Integration Triggers to review your current triggers. To get everything into GA4, you should set the value to "All" for every criterion.

  • Thank you Roland King for this detailed response! 

  • Thank you for your detailed reply, Roland King.

    Ultimately, I think there are two issues here:

    1. The limitation that blocks CallRail's integration from automatically connecting data points to GA4's existing event parameters: campaign, source, medium, etc. 
    2. My familiarity with custom dimensions in GA4 (thus far!)

    I think I'm looking for an out of the box solution (like what the UA integration offered) and it simply doesn't exist (yet, anyway). 

    Thanks again!

  • Understandable.

    Just know that even though you create a custom dimension in GA4, it will still map the data/values within it to an existing event. For example, CR is asking you to create a custom dimension with the event parameter of "campaign." Campaign, itself, already exists in GA4. This custom dimension is simply capturing the CR value and mapping it "manually," so to speak, to the existing parameter. It is then associating that parameter with its custom event (phone_call), so you can dive deeper into the relationship between the CR event and all of the values connected to it (call duration, campaign, source, etc.)

    More broadly, and beyond CR (which I know is a headache in many ways with its integration), mastering custom dimensions is going to be critical as you migrate to GA4 for all your clients. Outside of Google Tag Manager, there really is no other way in which to capture data.

  • Thanks, Roland King. So if, for example, I want to be able to go to Acquisition > Traffic Acquisition in GA4 and phone calls broken down by default channels, how should I configure that custom dimension? Or is it because it's a custom dimension I will not be able to view it like this like I do other events/conversions (like destination-based form submission tracking)? Not acquisition channel, these phone_call events are currently being registered to 'Unassigned' as the channel (see below). 

  • I set up the dimensions and metrics for several websites, and made a spreadsheet to make it a little easier to copy/paste. It's still a pain to get through a bunch of them, but this helped simplify it.

    I did notice that it's calling stuff outside of the phone_call event by these names. Like if I click on the "page_view" event, the CallRail dimensions show up in there. I'm not 100% sure that's what's supposed to be happening?

  • Thank you Carlos Santiago for sharing that spreadsheet!


  • @... - Per my latest note above from yesterday, is there a specific custom dimension that needs to be established so that these phone_call events get properly attributed to their channel? As shown in the screenshot below, these events are all being attributed to 'Unassigned' for channel group. My end goal: Be able to quickly see the number of phone calls attributed to each channel (organic, paid search, email, etc.). Thanks!

  • Carlos Santiago - Thanks for the spreadsheet. Do you have screenshots in GA of how you are able to splice & dice the data for these events/conversions? Can you separate the number of phone calls by source, channel, etc.? Are your phone_call events being properly attributed to these default channels or being grouped in 'Unassigned' like in my screenshot above? Thanks again!

  • Hey James Bowen,

    Unfortunately, the custom parameters (like source) cannot map to the standard analytics channels as you'd like to see it. That is why you see Unassigned, (not set), etc. However, these custom parameters can be used as filters when running reports. 

    I'd also love to see how other users are running these reports with these custom parameters. 

  • this is my first time setting up the custom dimensions and custom metrics. I just connected the GA4 to CallRail account.

    following the example, one customer dimension parameter is in place - it is the campaign.

    would it be fine to create these two additional ones: 


    source, and event parameter is the source. 

    if yes, what would be the event parameter for the form and first-time caller custom dimensions?



  • Varia - Please see the screenshot below for an example set up for form_id. Since you just set up the GA4 integration, these parameters that are unique to CallRail likely aren't going to be in the dropdown selection, but you can still manually type in the Event parameter as shown below.

  • James Bowen 

    Thank you, James.

  • Thanks James Bowen for helping Varia out here!

  • @... - Passing on the knowledge bestowed upon me over the past 30 days! : )

  • James Bowen  I've got the same issue as you do in the acquisition report.  I thought I set up all the right custom dimensions, but I guess they're not passing correctly.  Can you tell me if you got the acquisition report to work correctly?  And attribute to the right channels/campaigns?

  • Deidre Kyzer - Please see Robin's (from CallRail team) response below. So as it stands, this isn't an option. Frustrating, I know. CallRail has stressed that they are trying to make this possible, but currently are limited to what Google will provide them. 

    Unfortunately, the custom parameters (like source) cannot map to the standard analytics channels as you'd like to see it. That is why you see Unassigned, (not set), etc. However, these custom parameters can be used as filters when running reports.

  • James Bowen Thanks for that clarification.  That's super frustrating!  I haven't spent as much time getting to know GA4 as I should.  Have you been successful at running a report that shows you the info you're looking for from an attribution stand point?  I guess we can always pull it directly from Call Rail, but seems like an extra step...

  • Deidre Kyzer - I have not created any kind of filters for this attribution, but if you use the 'User acquisition' report vs. 'Traffic acquisition', you should be able to separate phone_call events/conversions by channel. See screenshot below.


  • James Bowen that's helpful - thanks so much!  Unfortunately - the majority of my calls are showing up in "direct" - which doesn't at all match the report from Call Rail.  So I'll continue to troubleshoot...

  • Good morning Deidre Kyzer,

    Hopping in here to share this post with you. In the comments, you'll see a link to the webinar recording. At 38:13, our product manager goes into further detail about GA4 and what you can expect to see in your reporting. Many found this webinar helpful, so I'm hoping you will as well as you continue diving into GA4 further!

  • Is there any update on this? this inability is such a pain.  and i dont think making Custom channels would work either.  and im assuming its not possible with tag manager?

  • Joe Porter - I've successfully been able to set up event/conversion tracking in GA4 for all clients and can attribute phone_call events to each channel (organic, paid, etc.). I did change my workflow so that I now also use the Google Ads integration in CallRail (vs. imported phone call goals/conversions from Google Analytics into Google Ads). So I feel confident in the data I'm collecting now. Where are you hitting a wall? Happy to help where I can.

  • James Bowen right now Traffic Acquisition shows a TON of "Unassigned"

    And my "first_time_caller" GA4 conversions are not being imported into Google ads. 

    Sidenote i would love to pick your brain for 10min on your setup if youd be willing for a phone call :)

  • Joe Porter - I unfortunately don't have the availability to hop on a call today, but here is some quick feedback (based on my experiences):

    1. There is no way to mitigate that 'Unassigned' channel group for the phone_call events in Traffic Acquisition. This was a gripe I had when the GA4 integration was first rolled out and it is a limitation in the access/data GA will give CallRail access to. You should, however, be able to see these phone_call events segmented by channel group under the 'User acquisition' report.
    2. CallRail has stated that you should no longer import the Google Analytics goal/conversions into Google Ads with the new GA4 integration. They instead recommend using the Google Ads integration in the CallRail interface. I was hesitant to do this because I already had an established workflow and didn't want to change it, but have been happy with using the Google Ads integration which just imports directly from CallRail. Additionally, there is a setting in the Google Ads integration to Create separate conversion actions for first-time callers and repeat callers. This would be my recommended route if reporting on these. Misc., but if you're not already doing so, I would also recommend ensuring your conversion action settings in Google Ads are set to 'One' vs. 'Every' for these types of conversion events.

    Hope that helps!



  • James Bowen I appreciate your input very much. I'm a stickler for clean data, haha.  i hate seeing "unassigned"  I wonder if its just best to remove any GA4 settings for all the phone numbers except "Website Pools"  With website pools there is at least session started that GA4 can get data from. I might test that.  Its just a shame, just wish i can see and manage everything clean in GA4 like before.


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