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Posted by David Taylor

Offline Conversion Tracking in 15 Minutes With IFTTT

Deliveries. Meetings. Dealing with contractors and suppliers. If you have a client who does a lot of business on the phone, and is always on the move, then tracking phone leads can be a real headache. ROI is key when it comes to any investment in digital marketing.  Your client needs a quick and easy way of passing info about any phone leads through to you as and when they occur to help you in your quest for accurate offline conversion tracking.

In the time it takes to make and drink a (good) cup of coffee, we are going to show you how to set up call tracking for all of your client’s – for free.

With the help of IFTTT, Google Docs and an Android phone – you can set this up and scale it to as many clients as you require.

This solution is a great first step in not only tracking leads, but getting your client into the mindset of tracking offline conversions and its importance for the future.  There are some great systems out there, but they are costly and not suitable for everyone.  If you are helping a business grow, this solution can help them take the next step up and start using some of those bigger solutions, this procedure will help you get them to that step.

Your client will need:

  1. A Mobile Phone

You will need:

  1. A Cup of Coffee
  2. This IFTTT Recipe
  3. An Android Phone
  4. The IFTTT App
  5. A Google account – using Googledocs

Got that cup of coffee ready? Right, let’s get to it…


Create an IFTTT account

If you don’t know about IFTTT (If This Then That) then there are plenty of great posts out there extolling its virtues, all I can say is, get on it. It will help you automate just about everything.  Play, test and have a go – it comes highly recommended and there are guides everywhere that will help you create all sorts of magic. Activating the Android SMS channel will bring up a message to download the IFTTT App – do it.

a picture of the ifttt android channel


Remember that Android phone? now it’s time to download the app. Navigate your way to the android store and download the app. When you have it, find your way to the channels and activate the Android SMS Channel. the 3 images below the screens and it’s really easy to follow:


Find the Android Channel and Press “Activate”

IFTTT Activate the Channel

You Get a message showing that it has been activated


 Android SMS should now have a Green Icon

IFTTT Android Channel Active

At this point, you should have a working IFTTT account, and an Android phone, running the app which has had both the Android SMS channel activated.

You also need to activate the googledocs channel, get that done now as well.

You’re about halfway there, that coffee should have cooled off enough now for you to have a couple of decent swigs. It’s about to get interesting!

Get the Recipe

What we are going to do is give each client the ability to send a text once they have finished dealing with a new lead. They will all be able to send the SMS that contains details of the call direct to a spreadsheet unique to them. Fire and forget, the best type of automation!

First you need to download the recipe we’ve created.

Download The Recipe Here

IFTTT Recipe: Coffeepot Digital Lead Tracking connects android-sms to google-drive

Configuring the recipe

You are going to need the phone number from which the SMS messages will be sent – your client’s mobile number.  You need to treat it like an international call so knock off the “0” and add on “44” if you are in the UK. Other countries are supported, and there is support on the IFTTT site so have a look for the correct combination for your country.


Click on “Use Recipe” and you are almost there. Confirm then open it and give the recipe an appropriate name.

You need to edit the recipe; 3 more changes and you’re ready to rock and roll! Move into the recipe and move down to the actions section:


change the spreadsheet name to something more appropriate.

ifttt actions

Open Googledocs (the one you logged into when you switched on the googledocs channel earlier) and make the following changes:

  1. Create a folder structure in Google Docs. “Phoneleads/” works well for us.
  2. Create a spreadsheet of the same name that you have called the spreadsheet in IFTTT
  3. Make sure the drive folder path & name in the recipe are the same as in googledocs.


Now, the ultimate test! Send a text from the nominated client phone and a few seconds later, the text will appear in the spreadsheet! Make sure the phone that the text is being sent to (the phone that the IFTTT app is installed on) has the contact details of the client saved, this way names will appear.

This is the sort of Data you’re going to get:

ifttt calltracking spreadsheet result

When the number you have specified sends an SMS message, that data will automatically be captured in spreadsheet.  This means that your client can simply send a SMS after a sales enquiry and a record will automatically appear in a spreadsheet.

To split up the SMS messages into different cells, you need to add three pipes “|||” between what you want in each cell.

So, for the first row, the SMS message would be:

“Mrs Jones|||SEO Services” (minus the speechmarks) all the other info is pulled from the phone.

You need to ensure your client is sending the SMS messages – but that’s your job not mine!

You can create as many recipes as you want for different clients and you can have multiple recipes sending to the same spreadsheet (multiple members of a sales team for example.)

You’re not going to get keyword/site data but this is a free first step into proving the ROI of the work you are doing – and can be a big use in securing further investment or convincing clients to take the bigger jump to some of the bigger call tracking systems out there. You need to make sure that your client is sending the SMS messages

The opportunities for this are endless. It’s easy to set up and doesn’t cost you anything and is scalable.  This is one of the many examples of how tools like IFTTT can be used to make your life easier. Do you have any useful IFTTT recipes to help you with your SEO/Digital Marketing? Let us know!

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