The magic of extensions and what they can do for your business

August 17, 2016 | Jason Kay

You send out 20,000,000 emails per month. Or, you run hundreds of campaigns with thousands of click-to-call results every month. You want to tag the clicks, track the calls, and route the experience many different ways. You want information on what campaign the call came from, where the user is located, and a series of other data points. You’d also like to AB test your messaging or your offers. How do you do this without needing to acquire millions of different phone numbers?

Ever since the invention of the telephone in 1878, businesses have been communicating with the power of voice. Since 1882, companies have been using internal private switches, now commonly known as a PBX to route calls. In the old days, in order to track or route calls, switchboard operators would connect wires from the source (caller) to the destination (the call recipient).

Today: Extensions

Much like switchboard operators connected callers with their respective parties, Retreaver has Extensions. Extensions is a much requested feature because of the power they can harness into one phone number by bridging the PBX technology of the old with the force of the Internet.

What can you do with extensions?

One of Retreaver’s main capabilities is being able to tell a company exactly who is calling, why, where they came from, what they clicked through, what they were looking at right before they called, and a host of other data. With extensions, you can save on the costs of dynamically issuing millions of phone numbers (a unique number to each unique user), by simply using an extension on the end of your one phone number – or a few, depending on what you’re doing and how many variables you’re looking to track.

You can:

– Run offers with an IVR prompt to enter the “special code” once a customer has called in, thus tallying how many respondents that offer gets.

For example, a cruise line AB testing a free beverages plan versus a free balcony room upgrade can tell some people to enter “freedrinks” when they call in, while others would be given “freebalcony”. These are, in effect, extensions. 

– Have a landing page or website with hundreds of different use cases for tracking and routing, all while using relatively few numbers.

For example, run a content with thousands of entrants by phone using extensions to key in required data or IVR prompts prior to speaking with an agent. 

 Get granular with unique ad-click data to find out the most you can about the success and variables of each ad campaign.

For example, run a few paid ad campaigns with a click-to-call call to action for a series of car washes. You can track the unique ad-click data through embedding extensions into call-to-click buttons on the ads to avoid provisioning huge number pools. 

Extensions can be used to provide cost effective, accurate attribution, provide personalized customer experiences or promotional codes. Assign extensions to individual support agents, sales reps or to VIP customers. The applications are only limited by your imagination.

Contact Retreaver today and start using extensions in your business.

Introducing Retreaver Perform – a comprehensive solution for affiliates

August 10, 2016 | Jason Kay

It was just over a year ago that Retreaver launched its rebrand from affiliate and call-tracking centric platform CallPixels. Today we are taking the next step toward our vision of building a customer success driven content management system. Over the next ten months we will develop our product suite faster than ever in order to deliver a solution that’s just right for every segment of our user base. Retreaver’s brand new product edition, Retreaver Perform, is our first step in this mission.

Affiliates, say Hello to Retreaver Perform

Logo-Retreaver-Perform-RGB

Today, Retreaver is segmenting its affiliate marketing product as Retreaver Perform.

For user familiar with the previous terminology, moving to Retreaver Perform will come naturally. “Affiliates” have become “Publishers”, “Targets” have become “Call Buyers”, and “Target Groups” are now “Buyer Groups”.

Retreaver has always excelled at call attribution, however, in order to deliver on our promise of “Personalization, Relevance, & Context at Scale”, we felt the need to address our performance marketing users directly. The affiliate business is unique, complicated, and full of opportunity. That’s why Retreaver Perform addresses this industry singularly, with upcoming features created with the performance marketing space in mind.

The Retreaver Perform product product is being organized by “Contact Sources”, “Contact Handlers”, and “Contact Points”. We’ll be updating our support materials over the coming days to reflect the changes. The new terminology is all a part of our goal to be a turn key solution for anyone on the receiving end of a phone call. We hope our affiliate and performance marketing users will enjoy the industry-custom Retreaver Perform product and join us on our journey to create a new customer experience standard in the telephony space.

The Retreaver Team

Bridge The Mobile Gap With Call-Ready Email Offers

August 2, 2016 | Jason Kay

Email marketing is one of the main tools in the modern omnichannel marketer’s toolkit. It’s fast, it’s scalable, and if you’ve built your email list through opt-ins and subscriptions, the ROI is appealing. However, it’s 2016 and most people check their emails on their phones. That means the rush to optimize email offers for mobile has included mobile friendly websites, smaller files sizes for imagery, and more. Sometimes though, email offers have calls to action that will include converting to another site or a form and filling it in – while possible on mobile, it’s hardly ideal. For performance marketers that need to get lead data in order to pass it on, or enterprise marketers running contests and collecting leads – what do you do?

In the age of the desktop, 20% conversions on short-form leads (like mortgages, insurance, contests, and pretty much anything that requires a form fill or lead details) used to be common. That’s 1 out of every 5 people that opened the form. Today, marketers are struggling to get people to fill out forms. The new mobile norm has moved to “click-to-everything”. Click-to-call, click-to-login, click-to-join…and conversions from an email offered opened in mobile to a form and then a lead generation have plummeted. Luckily, Retreaver has come up with a great solution for this.

 

Email offers with phone numbers for call tracking

The Retreaver solution seamlessly integrates the traditional email offer with the new capability to input dynamic numbers from Retreaver and allow anyone looking at the offer over mobile to click-to-call (or simply call). Not only does this empower the marketer with a set of features to tag, track, and route the lead so as to never lose it, but now the offer is optimized to work with mobile.

It’s really easy

With Retreaver, you can attach phone numbers to your offers, and route the calls to a call center or agents that are ready to collect leads and close sales over the phone. For example, for performance marketers, we automatically integrate with software like LinkTrust, allowing you to create numbers that track back for each of your phone-enabled offers, right from your existing interface. The calls track just like you would expect: when someone calls the number, it counts as a click, and when the call meets your sale criteria, it counts as a sale.

Instead of sending your potential lead to a site and then hoping that site has been optimized to work well with their device and operating system, simply use a set of Retreaver features to get that conversion, including:

– Easily put up an IVR per offer or campaign to intake that caller

Route the call anywhere it needs to go with our smart routing system

Pre-qualify the lead through our tagging system that will identify a set of data to determine what kind of call-in experience to deliver

Interface with your current analytics or ad servers

– Use our continuous ringing feature to never lose that lead by driving them to a series of right places if the first don’t pick up

– Find all the data down to the granular unique ad-click to call info, with the ability to pull reports and analytics from your dashboard

…and more.

Adding Retreaver to existing lead-generating offers is a great way to increase revenue

By adding Retreaver to your email marketing arsenal, you can increase your existing ROI streams and branch out more aggressively into mobile advertising. We can even automatically manage the number of phone lines assigned to each partner, team, department or campaign, deleting them as they fall out of use, saving you as much money as possible.

If you run email campaigns that require forms to be filled out or if you’re trying to capture more of your customers’ data over email, not using calls to capture the mobile demographic is a missed opportunity. Talk to us about adding phone lead generation and data capture to your existing offers and find out how much more revenue you could be bringing in with Retreaver.

Interfacing to Adwords

August 1, 2016 | Jason Kay

Route AdWords Calls Based on Search Keyword or Ad

When promoting your website using Google Adwords, sometimes you want to ensure that calls for certain keyword searches or ads get routed to the correct destination. This is easy to do using Google’s ValueTrack parameters and Retreaver number pools.

Setting up your AdWords campaign

Passing the creative and keyword to a landing page.
Configuring an AdWords ad to pass the creative and keyword to a landing page.

Edit your Google AdWords ad’s destination URL to include the ValueTrack parameters that you want to route on. In the example above, we’re passing in the creative ID as ga_creative and the keyword as ga_keyword.

Configure your campaign’s number display script

url_sniffing

Adding Tags in Retreaver (left) to detect from the landing page URL (right).

View your campaign, and select the Settings tab from the Dynamic Number Insertion section. Here you will configure how Retreaver should detect the ValueTrack parameters that you are now passing to your landing page. As shown above, whenever a visitor clicks through to your page via one of your AdWords ads, we’ll attempt to detect the values of the ga_keyword and ga_creative tags.

You’ll need to have a Number Pool configured for your campaign in order to use this feature. Because we are tagging numbers dynamically as visitors reach your landing page, you might need a large number pool depending on the number of unique keyword/ad combinations that you want to track, but limited to the number of concurrent visitors you expect.

Once the visitor calls the number that is displayed, we automatically Tag the call with the Google AdWords tags that have been set on the number.

Tagging your Buyers with your Google Adwords Tags

Enabling the Id column in Google Adwords.
In order to get the creative ID that will be passed to our landing page, we need to enable the Id column in AdWords.

Now that we are passing the creative ID and search keyword to our landing page and detecting it in Retreaver, we need to tag the Buyers on our campaign. You can retrieve the AdWords creative Id for your ads by following the instructions above.

tag
Adding a Google Adwords creative Tag to a Buyer.

Edit the Buyer you want to tag, and add the tags to the tag list. In our case, we’ve tagged a Buyer with ga_creative:17394206701 because we have a special ad that’s promoting Google AdWords call tracking and we want to be sure the we know what the caller is calling about. To do this, we’ve also added a bridged ping tracking URL to our campaign, informing our operator that the caller is calling about AdWords. If you have only one Buyer tagged with the tag, you can add a bridged ping tracking URL which is tagged with the ga_creative tag instead of the buyer_id tag, it’s up to you.

Routing Based on Traffic Source

Sometimes you have high-value traffic that you want to ensure only gets to your best call buyers, or sales representatives. Perhaps you have a Google Adwords campaign running and you want to make sure calls from that campaign are treated specially. Add any parameters you want Retreaver to sniff for by editing your Default URL Parameter Sniffing as outlined in this article.

Next, we configure the Retreaver.js script to detect the source parameter in the landing page URL. You’ll need to have the script somewhere on your landing page for this detection to happen. Navigate to your campaign and click the Settings tab in the Dynamic Number Insertion section.

Enter source as the tag key and URL parameter, and update the campaign. Now whenever someone visits your site, we’ll automatically check the landing page URL for the source parameter, and set the source tag if it is found. For this to happen, you’ll need to have either a Number Pool configured for your campaign, or numbers configured and tagged individually with each possible source tag that you want to use.

tag_buyer

Adding a source tag to a Buyer.

Finally we add the source:ga tag to our Buyer, ensuring that any Google Adwords calls get routed to it only. Perhaps they are specially trained on handling calls from your AdWords campaign, or it’s a buyer that pays you more for these high-value calls.

Call-Only Ads

The only way to pass keywords into Retreaver from Adwords Call-Only ads is to set up a static phone number in Retreaver tagged with each keyword, and then in Adwords set up a corresponding Ad Group using that phone number and that single keyword.

Click here to view an example.

This has potential to be somewhat tedious. Feel free to contact support@rereaver.com for assistance setting it up.

We would also love to know how you’re using it and what needs Retreaver is filling. Knowing this would go a long way toward helping us automate using Google’s Adwords API.

We Have An API – Interface With Retreaver

July 18, 2016 | Jason Kay

As a cloud platform, Retreaver understands how important APIs are to all aspects of business. Organizations are adopting separate services faster than ever before, but need to integrate, organize, and optimize the performance of each. That’s because today’s successful marketers are focussed on performance and ROI. They’re also omnichannel marketers that require many different technologies that work together.

To work even better for our users, we have an easy-to-use API and interface with many services and platforms you use already, including AdWords, Eloqua, and more.

Documentation

View our dedicated API documentation.

Downloading your calls via the API is pretty much as simple as sending an HTTP GET request to:

https://api.retreaver.com/calls.json?api_key=YOURAPIKEY&company_id=xxx
You will need your API Key and company ID, you can find the company ID at the top of your Company page.

The api_key and company_id parameters are both disregarded if you don’t pass in a valid api_key. You would end up seeing the calls for whatever company you’re currently set to via the UI.

Finding your API Key

Once logged in, click on your name in the upper right hand corner, then click My Account. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and click the Show button to reveal your API key. You can then select the key and copy it into your clipboard.

API key

API Access in your account page.

Resetting your API Key

In the lower right hand corner you will find the red Reset API Key button. This is useful if your website has been hacked or if your key has otherwise been compromised. After clicking the button to reset your key, there will be a confirmation dialog. After you accept, the new key will appear. The old key is immediately destroyed and you will need to update all your programs and services with the new key.

And now you’re all set!

Retreaver works within your product suite to provide call navigation and insights. Get started with us today in addition with your other technologies in a free trial. Take us for a test drive and see how Retreaver can be a great addition to your suite.

We’re serious about our unbeatable uptime

April 28, 2016 | Jason Kay

Retreaver is fully aware of the enormous impact downtime events have on our customers. We know that customers lose large amounts of money any time their phone systems go down. Beyond revenue, unquantifiable things like trust are lost, and the repercussions can be enormous.

We take nothing more seriously than providing a service that is dependable, because we want you to trust us with your call traffic. We work tirelessly to ensure that Retreaver will always be available, responsive, and fast.

External Providers

Importantly, all call traffic is handled by Twilio, who have an upstanding reputation for world-wide reliability. Retreaver does not self-host phone systems or rely on “race-to-the-bottom” providers. Like Retreaver, Twilio has a strong focus on uptime and quality that we have come to depend on and trust. We only trust the proven reliability of Twilio with your voice traffic.

With that in mind, the Retreaver API must be responsive to requests 24/7 from both customers and Twilio. Our high-availability architecture has been designed with this requirement at the forefront.

High Availability

Warning: nerdiness & technical specifics!

Retreaver is architected for high availability, hosted on Amazon’s AWS. Our primary systems are in the us-east-1 region. We have redundant systems across multiple availability zones for every service. We currently use Postgres managed by RDS for our database, and have automatic failover enabled should a single availability zone go down, or should the server itself crash. Our Redis and Memcached servers are managed by ElastiCache and all have redundant failover systems online.

Retreaver achieves multi-region high availability by also maintaining an online standby cluster in the us-west-2 region of AWS. The database sever in this cluster is kept in sync with our main cluster in us-east-1 using Bucardo.

In the event of an unlikely major catastrophe affecting all of us-east-1, the us-west-2 cluster is failed-over to. Many providers do not have a contingency plan in place for this event, but we remember all too clearly the outage of October 2012.

  • During a failover event, all asynchronous external callbacks (‘pixel fires’) that are normally proxied through a us-east-1 server are delayed until normal operations are restored.
  • Some call log and all dashboard features are unavailable during a failover event, since our search servers are currently in us-east-1 only. Call traffic continues to be handled normally.

The failover process is automated and tested weekly.

Monitoring

We monitor uptime and key operational information such as queue lengths via Pingdom. Our developers are on-call to respond to emergencies and are automatically paged by Pingdom in the event of an unexpected issue.


You can view our Pingdom Dashboard here!


Errors, response times, and servers are monitored via New Relic. Additionally, we pipe all this information and much more into Datadog to provide our developers with a single point of reference, ensuring a fast, targeted response.

Disaster Recovery

Although unlikely, in case of database corruption, human error, or other scenario where failover to a second set of servers is inadequate, Retreaver maintains database backups to S3 via RDS, allowing for point-in-time recovery for up to a month.

Transparency

Whenever maintenance is scheduled, or during an outage, we keep our customers abreast of what’s happening so that they can make important business decisions. Status updates are broadcast to all Retreaver users through alerts on all pages of our app.


You can view our public Status Page here!


If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. Just submit a support ticket and we’ll respond quickly to address your concerns.

Extensions by Retreaver

September 21, 2015 | Jason Kay

Creating a new Number Pool using Extensions
Creating a new Number Pool using Extensions.

Ever since the invention of the telephone in 1878, businesses have been communicating with the power of voice. Since 1882, companies have been using internal private switches, now commonly known as a PBX to route calls.

In the old days, in order to route calls, switchboard operators would connect wires from the source (caller) to the destination (the call recipient).

Much like switchboard operators connected callers with their respective parties, today Retreaver announces Extensions. Extensions, is a much requested feature: connecting visitors to a website with someone who knows exactly who they are and why they’re calling through 1 phone number: by bridging the PBX technology of old with the internet.

Now Retreaver can follow all your customers on their journey interacting with your company, and tell you everything they have done, and everything they need, with only one phone number for your entire organization. Extensions can be used to provide cost effective, accurate attribution, provide personalized customer experiences or promotional codes. Assign extensions to individual support agents, sales reps or to VIP customers. The applications are only limited by your imagination. Contact Retreaver today and start using Extensions in your business.

Configuring your Extension Pool

Creating and using an Extension Number Pool

| Jason Kay

Creating a new Number Pool using Extensions.
Creating a new number pool using extensions.

Extensions allow you to create virtual phone numbers that work just like other phone numbers in Retreaver. Extensions are useful because they allow you to track many different visitors without paying the monthly costs associated with having thousands of phone numbers.

The easiest way to start using extensions is to create a number pool that creates extensions automatically based on the various attributes passed in via your landing page.

You can make entering the extension more user friendly from a marketing perspective by re-framing the number as an “offer number” for say a travel vertical, or a “computer number” in the tech support vertical.

Creating a number pool using extensions

To create a number pool that uses extensions, browse to the create new number pool page, and click the “Extensions” option as seen above.

We suggest setting an extension length of 4, since this allows for up to 9000 extensions, and keeps the length of the extension the user has to enter reasonable. Note that if you do plan on having that many extensions, or more, you’ll need to contact your account executive as currently extension pools are limited to 2000 like normal number pools.

You can always increase the extension length, but it cannot be decreased, so start small.

Setting the base number

Setting the base number.
Setting the base number on an extension number pool.

Each extension pool requires a base number set, which all extensions are based on. You can create a new base number associated with a campaign, or choose an existing one.

Displaying numbers with extensions on your website

Using our Retreaver.js JavaScript library you can easily display extensions on your website, and even make the links clickable for users on mobile devices.

In the above example, we request a number from Retreaver, and then pop the number with the extension into a mobile-ready link.

There’s no need to use the standard +18005550123 x 3444 format, you can phrase it any way you want. You’ll probably see higher conversion rates if you call it an exclusive offer ID or something else that’s relevant to your business.

We’ve linked the number in format tel:+18005550123,,5000 where 5000 is the extension. This causes iOS devices to automatically enter the extension, routing your caller automatically like with any normal phone number!

Bypassing Extensions

This can only be done on mobile, you can hyperlink the number as:  <a href=“[plain_number],,[extension]”>Call [number] using Promo ID: [extension]</a>

Introducing the New Retreaver

October 2, 2014 | Jason Kay

We’re thrilled to announce that CallPixels (2012-2014) is now Retreaver! Here’s how we’re getting even better at managing personalized customer sales experiences at scale:

In 2012, we started CallPixels – a bootstrapped operation running out of Colorado Springs with the idea of minimizing customers’ frustration and getting them where they need to go instantly by seamlessly integrating phone and web user experiences.

In addition to seeing an incredible amount of growth in a short period of time – a 90 per cent increase in users in 2015 alone – we are now setting a new standard in lead pre-screening with best-in-class, real-time personalization.

But with progress also comes change, and so we are excited to announce the launch of our new platform, Retreaver!

Using advanced tag, track and route technology, Retreaver is an innovative contact management company that delivers personalized customer sales experiences at scale, setting the standard in lead pre-screening with best-in-class real-time personalization.

In order to deliver a happier customer, Retreaver tracks customers individually across multiple channels, including online and the telephone, building information about customer history and intention. Our tagging and step-in Interactive Voice Response (IVR) allows us to use knowledge about customers that we get from other channels, such as activity on their website and data we pull from CRM platforms, to help route customers quickly without prompting them. This information is then packaged and routed to the best resource inside of an organization to handle the customer, resulting in a better, more consistent and customized experience at scale.

While Retreaver continues to maintain its position in the highly competitive affiliate marketing space, we’ve expanded our focus towards increasing customer reach through integration with CRM platforms, including Oracle Eloqua and Salesforce. This makes it possible for enterprise clients to integrate our product into their systems for the very first time.

We know that exceptional customer service is based on knowledge of the customer – but at scale, few companies are equipped to know each person, their details, and their motivations. Retreaver’s technology allows companies to achieve this on a large scale, as well as deliver multi-channeled, measured results. In the end, our goal is to shorten the distance between interest and close of sale – between customer inquiry and company response.

If you’ve been with us since the early days of CallPixels, thank you for sticking around and helping us grow to where we are today. If you’re new to Retreaver, sign up here and learn more about how we are delivering what others cannot – a seamless, multi-channel tagging, tracking and routing platform that serves up a person, not just a number.

Retreaver.js

August 13, 2014 | Jason Kay

Retreaver.js is a JavaScript library for displaying and tagging trackable phone numbers. Retreaver.js offers a flexible API so developers can interact with our services in a way that is both straightforward and compliant with modern standards.

Retreaver.js is the preferred method for integrating your site with Retreaver.

Retreaver.js fulfills the following requirements:

  • It can be distributed via CDN.
  • It can be cached by the visitor’s browser.
  • It does not interfere with page loading.

Using Retreaver.js

In order to use Retreaver.js, you’ll need a Retreaver account, and a Campaign set up with either a number pool or static numbers tagged for each trackable attribute combination.

The examples on this page use jQuery 1.11.1, but it’s not required.

Source code

You can find the source for Retreaver.js on Github.

Live Documentation

Complete, automatically updated live documentation is available on our website.

Including Retreaver.js

Insert the Retreaver.js script between the <head></head> tags in your HTML source.

Including jQuery

The examples below use jQuery. jQuery is not a dependency of Retreaver.js but using it will make your life easier.

Displaying a trackable phone number

In the above example, we demonstrate fetching and displaying a number that will get routed directly to Retreaver sales for display on the external pages of the Retreaver website.

Our IVR menu is configured to ask callers what they’re calling about. If they press 1, their call is tagged calling_about:sales and they’re routed to someone who can help them.

By requesting a number that has been pre-tagged with what the caller is calling about, we can route them directly to a salesperson, bypassing the IVR.

To accomplish this, we initialize a Campaign object with the campaign key from our campaign’s page on Retreaver. We then request a number matching the tags we set, and pass in a function that is called when the number is found.

The number is then inserted into a span with id sales-number.

Calling a visitor

You can use Retreaver.js to initiate calls from numbers that belong to a campaign with click-to-call enabled.

Simply call the initiate_call function on a number, with the visitor’s phone number as the first argument, a payload object as the second argument, and a callback function as the final argument.

The visitor will receive a call from the number and will be routed through your campaign like normal. The only difference is that preference is given to the “Click-to-call Greeting” prompt over the normal greeting prompt.

The payload object can include tags as key-value pairs, a target map and checksum, and timer offset and checksum. For more information on click-to-call see the documentation and our programmatic call initiation article.

Tagging a per-visitor number pool number

While your visitor is navigating your site, or filling out a form, you can tag a phone number with relevant information. This functionality is available any time you have a number pool set up on your campaign with per-visitor numbers enabled.

When you enable per-visitor numbers on a number pool, you are telling Retreaver that you want to be able to add tags dynamically after the number has already been matched and displayed to a visitor. As such, we won’t allow any other visitors to see that number while it’s in use.

Setting a mood tag on a number

As an example, you might have a mood field that users on a corporate social networking site can use to set how they feel. As shown in the example above, any time the visitor changes the mood select field, we’ll tag the number with their new mood by calling add_tags on the number.

Retreaver.js HTML Template

Releasing a number pool number

Number pool numbers are constantly pinged once returned from request_number to ensure they aren’t reassigned with different tags.

If you’re using number pools and the number you received is no longer being displayed, you can release it manually by calling the release function on the number. This will stop that number from being pinged.

The number doesn’t need to be released if your visitor is changing pages and the window is being unloaded, it will happen automatically once the timeout seconds on your number pool is reached.