Pay-Per-Call Programs: We’re Not Just Talking Clicks Anymore
A little over a year ago, I wrote about my getting started with pay-per-call in the article Pay-Per-Call Programs from the Trenches. At the time, many of performance marketing networks I work with were jumping on board and offering pay-per-call programs. I must admit, I was a bit skeptical at first, and at the beginning I ran into some speed bumps, which I talked about in the article. But I am the type to test and re-test, try new things and am always willing to give new revenue opportunities a chance to fully reveal themselves.
Such has been my experience with pay-per-call. During the past year, Iâ€™ve tested quite a few things with pay-per-call: a variety of advertiser programs, online and mobile search, and invested a decent amount of budget working through different search ad types, landing page scenarios and more. As performance marketers, this is what we do. We try a lot of things to see what works and where we get the best ROI, so we can rinse and repeat.
In the time I have been working with pay-per-call, some of the things Iâ€™ve tried have worked, some havenâ€™t. But from where I sit right now, I do know one thing for sure. Pay-per-call has brought my business incremental revenue that we wouldnâ€™t have seen if we hadnâ€™t tried it. In fact, since the beginning of the year, weâ€™ve earned more than a quarter million in commissions just from driving phone calls.
Recently, I worked with RingRevenue on a research case study trying to determine best practices for implementing pay-per-call and search campaigns. We found that just adding trackable phone numbers to an affiliate landing page can increase commissions by as much as 12 percent, and this was for a typical online retail merchant! You can imagine that number going up even higher for merchants to do more business over the phone. We also found that search ads that included phone numbers increased click through rates by as much as 250 percent!
As you can imagine, some of the best pay-per-call results come from companies who have placed large investments in their call centers and drive a significant amount of sales volume through the phone lines. We have heard from many companies that take both online and phone orders that their average order values go way up on the phone where trained sales staff are able to up-sell complementary products and services.
Companies scared to jump into the pay-per-call marketplace often worry about paying commissions on customer service calls, as opposed to sales calls. When calls are typically paid out based on having a customer on the line for a specific amount of time, that can be a big concern. Here are two ways we have seen companies deal with this issue:
- Up front Interactive Voice Response (IVR) – Using RingRevenue’s IVR system, they have put in a qualifier for sales and support calls, and only pay commissions if the sales option is selected.
- Sales Tracking – Implementing the sales tracking solutions so that they pay on actual sales as opposed to just time on the phone.
I wish I could say “Gone are the days when publishers miss out on commissions from phone-leakage”. The truth is that advertisers have been slow to implement pay-per-call and swap out the static phone numbers with dynamic commissionable numbers. I have heard whispers of advertisers thinking these are calls they are getting for free today, so why pay for them. This same line of thinking has plagued the mobile landing pages with advertisers quicker to launch them, but slower to actually install conversion tracking. The truth is, that if you can track it, and pay for performance, then your partners will have more reason to promote your services, and in our case have more room to bid on keywords to drive more traffic. The truth is, Pay-Per-Call tracking is fairly easy to set-up, and thereâ€™s just no reason for phone-leakage to continue to exist as a challenge for publishers.
If you havenâ€™t tried promoting pay-per-call campaigns yet, I suggest giving it a shot. Do we still hit some speed bumps every now and then? Sure. But not any more than we hit on the strictly online programs we run. I have been impressed by the results, and also about working with RingRevenue. Since working with their platform, I have given the RingRevenue team direct feedback about ways to improve the platform and have been pleasantly surprised to see how they really listen and actually implement feedback from users. So far, theyâ€™ve been incredibly easy to work with and have a great team who seem very eager to help make us successful with pay-per-call.
Have you tried pay-per-call yet? What has your experience been with it?
Adam, a serial internet entrepreneur, founded one of the first commercial internet service providers (ISPs) in 1993. He has a deep understanding of internet technologies and profitable internet marketing tactics. Adam currently sits on the publisher advisory boards for Commission Junction and the Google Affiliate Network.
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