A pay per call company is a lead generating marketing organization hired by advertisers looking to increase their volume of incoming phone calls from interested customers. Pay per call companies may also be known as publishers, cost per action marketers, performance marketers, affiliate marketers, distribution partners or any one of many other terms.
Advertising And Marketing Campaigns
Once hired by an advertiser, the pay per call company publishes advertising and marketing campaigns with the goal of generating phone calls for the advertiser. The advertiser then pays the pay per call company a pre-negotiated fee for each legitimate phone call that it receives.
Qualified Phone Calls
A pay per call company only gets paid by the advertiser when there is a qualified phone call. What determines a qualified phone call is negotiated by the advertiser and the pay per call company before the advertising and marketing campaign begins. Examples of criteria that might determine a qualified call could be the length of a phone call, the location from which the call originated, the time at which the call was received, whether the call actually resulted in a sale or any other specification agreed upon between the advertiser and pay per call company.
Pay Per Call Company Fees
Because the pay per call company is only paid upon performance, pay per call advertising generally costs more than traditional advertising methods where the fee is paid upfront. Pay per call advertising also typically generates higher quality leads than traditional ad campaigns resulting in an improved return on investment (ROI) for the advertiser and justifying the higher prices paid to the pay per call company.
Because the advertiser’s cost is only realized when an ad campaign successfully drives qualified phone calls it allows them to experiment with different types of ads, multiple pay per call companies and numerous advertising channels without paying for ineffectual programs. This low risk experimentation allows pay per call companies and their clients to fine tune their advertising campaigns to achieve ever greater levels of ROI.
The Smartphone Revolution
Pay per call companies have flourished with the popularity of the smartphone. Customers who use their mobile phone to connect to the internet to find information regarding their desired purchases are very apt to simply press a button connecting a call directly to the advertiser. Compared to typing their details into an online form which may take days for a response, the click to call advertising method is highly effective.
Phone Calls Vs. Online Forms
Another reason pay per call companies have enjoyed great success with the advent of the smartphone is that advertisers prefer phone calls to digital leads. Not only do callers already have a higher intent of purchasing, but compared with passively waiting for a customer to complete an online purchase, the direct interaction of a phone call is a welcome offering for any salesperson.
Click To Call Advertising
A technique used by pay per call companies to make it easier for a mobile phone user to connect with an advertiser is known as click to call advertising. Digital ads are enabled so that a smartphone user can simply click on an ad to initiate the phone call. Click to call ads have a much higher cost per click and much lower number of impressions than traditional paid search ads, but have a higher conversion rate. However, the conversion rates of click to call ads can easily make up for these apparent drawbacks.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
Pay per call companies have many unique technologies at their disposal to allow scalability of their business while ensuring advertisers receive high quality phone calls. One such technology is IVR, which allows customer calls to be identified, routed and filtered depending on a variety of criteria such as time of call, caller location, landline versus mobile, repeat callers and more. Callers can be further categorized using a voice prompt and keypad response system where they’re asked to press 1 for a certain function or 2 for another and so on before being transferred to the appropriate live operator.
Because advertisers only pay for qualified phone calls received they have the ability to use several different pay per call companies simultaneously to drive phone calls without the cost of paying for ineffectual ads. With this approach to advertising it’s important for both the advertiser and the pay per call company to be able to track who is generating the calls. The most common method for tracking this information is using unique phone numbers related to each advertising campaign or pay per call company. These unique phone numbers allow the parties involved to ascertain who generated the call and requires payment while allowing the evaluation of the performance of the various campaigns.
The Three W’s
Call analytics allow the advertiser and the pay per call company to understand what is known as “The Three W’s” of the caller’s path to purchase. Data can be used to understand why customers are calling, who is doing the calling and what is discussed during the call. Understanding this information and how it affects caller response allows the invested parties to optimize the pathway leading to qualified phone calls.
Specific call identification systems and IVRs can allow a pay per call company to simultaneously represent an entire industry, known as bundling, regardless of the location, time zone and specific product wanted by the caller. For example, a pay per call campaign targeting the generic insurance needs of customers anywhere in the United States could route callers to appropriate type of insurance sellers (ie. home, automobile, life, travel etc.) in the corresponding locations during the appropriate business hours.
Multiple Channel Advertising
A pay per call company has the ability to advertise and market over a wide variety of channels as opposed to focusing solely on online advertising. Although pay per call campaigns invariably target mobile phone or desktop computer users who are searching the internet, they can also work well with more traditional advertising channels such as television, radio and print media.