The Internet has given rise to a plethora of new marketing opportunities, from Pay Per Click to the endless supply of social media campaigns. That being the case, one of the most effective and valuable modes of marketing currently available predates the Internet era: Pay Per Call marketing.
Considering that two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone, it’s only logical for savvy marketers to use mobile technology to their advantage. Pay Per Call fits in perfectly with the Internet advertising landscape. Mobile search has driven over 162 billion inbound phone calls to businesses over the past year – that’s more than double the roughly 77 billion calls generated last year from mobile devices. Furthermore, 69% of mobile searchers call a business directly from search results. These trends have staying power as consumers continue to move their lives into the mobile realm.
What Is Pay Per Call Marketing?
There are numerous old-school forms of Pay Per Call, such as simple paper advertisements urging consumers to call the number listed and purchase a product or service. But the method with which you might be most familiar is late-night infomercials, which are designed to spur you to call the number on the screen and try out what they’re selling. So what exactly is Pay Per Call?
Pay Per Call is a marketing strategy in which merchants pay to generate qualified leads who are induced through an advertisement to make inbound calls to the merchants either to purchase or inquire about a product or service. The publisher who participates in Pay Per Call marketing earns a commission for every sale the merchant closes.
How Does Pay Per Call Work?
Say a solar panel installation company called Company X wants to generate leads via Pay Per Call. Company X will place an order with an advertising agency to receive a specified number of calls from prospects interested in going solar. The advertising agency then creates the content and has its publisher set up an advertising campaign with forms and tracking phone numbers targeting the right websites and various channels either online or offline to generate leads that will be directed to Company X.
If a potential customer wants to install a solar panel in their home and they come across Company X’s Pay Per Call advertisements, they will fill out a form and the advertising company will have an agent call and text them to gauge how serious they are. The Pay Per Call platform will then further qualify, route, and track that person’s interactions with Company X’s campaign. Assuming the potential customer meets Company X’s qualifications for being a high-quality lead, they will be directed to Company X’s sales team to take the process of selling from there. If the sale closes, it generates a commission for all parties involved in making the sale – including you, the publisher.
Pay Per Call Basics
It is often the case that you’ll be running multiple campaigns simultaneously, which makes it all the more important to be able to keep track of a whole host of information.
Two crucial aspects of how to set up Pay Per Call effectively are (a) putting in place a comprehensive campaign management system to monitor and control all aspects of each campaign and (b) call attribution. You’ll want to use a campaign management system to make sure you have control over creating the campaign, assigning tracking phone numbers, terms and conditions of the payout, overall costs, ROI, and the ability to store or pause campaigns that are not active. Call attribution allows advertisers to connect each phone call to the particular campaign that brought it about.
There are two basic kinds of tracking phone numbers you can use in Pay Per Call. The more basic type is to assign a unique tracking number to each publisher and/or campaign. Much like with infomercials, when prospects dial that number, it clarifies to which publisher/campaign the call can be attributed.
Dynamic tracking numbers, on the other hand, are embedded in your web content and offer much greater detail about the lead. One of the best Pay Per Call tips is to use dynamic tracking numbers to determine which keywords and landing pages led the prospect to view a particular ad and make the call. Dynamic tracking numbers are used to trace campaign IDs to a specific advertisement.
Launching a Pay Per Call Campaign
An important affiliate marketing tip – consider the following before launching a campaign:
- What are your goals?
- What demographic(s) are you targeting?
- Which location(s)?
- At what times will you be placing your ads?
- Which platforms will you be using? Will they be online or offline?
Location and the platforms you will choose for running campaigns are very important for obvious reasons. A bit less obvious is timing – make sure you time your campaigns so that the merchant’s sales team will be ready to take the call. If you generate a lead that calls an insurance company at 1 in the morning, chances are nobody will answer, and if they ever do reach that prospect, it may be too late to close a sale.
Choosing a network that maintains an industry expertise in Pay Per Call is also key for running successful campaigns because the network will know how to optimize results for their publishers.
In an example of this, Aragon Advertising’s healthcare offers perform particularly well, especially during fourth quarter each year when the reenrollment period begins – we see as much as 3x growth in that sector. We have consistently increased our payouts over the past year for our direct inbound sources while providing data to help them optimize the quality for our buyer. Fourth quarter is a great time to run health insurance offers as open enrollment increases both front-end interest and the ability to convert into sales for a buyer. Aragon has been named the number one Pay Per Call network three years running.
Why You Should Use Pay Per Call
While Pay Per Click has gotten a lot of attention, Pay Per Call marketing can get much better results. With Pay Per Click, conversion rates tend to be low because all the prospect does is click a mouse. For all you know, this could be an accidental click. The visitor might stay on a site for only a few seconds and then vanish forever.
On the contrary, with Pay Per Call, when a prospect makes a phone call, it’s a strong indicator that they’re interested in a product. If a prospect puts aside a couple of minutes out of their busy lives to make an inquiry, there’s a good chance your merchant will close the sale.
This means conversion rates tend to be higher with Pay Per Call, which translates into more commissions and higher payouts than other forms of lead generation, making for a potentially lucrative revenue stream. It’s also popular because it provides an opportunity to monetize smartphones and it’s easy to track, avoiding disputes about how the lead was generated. In the same way, Pay Per Call also makes it simpler to determine ROI for a given campaign.
Ultimately, including a phone number increases online CTR up to 30%, average phone order values are 1.5-2x higher than online orders, and perhaps most enticingly, Pay Per Call boasts 30-50% call to conversion rates compared to a mere 1-3% with Pay Per Click. Why pass up such a tried and true way to make money?