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How Pay per Call Marketing Can Boost Your ROI

Measurement and Analytics

By Eli Martin

With digital capabilities right at your fingertips, pay per call marketing is often overlooked compared to its seemingly less expensive counterpart: pay per click. But pay per call can be a cost effective model that has the potential to return high ROI dividends.

The value of a phone call plunges someone deep into the sales funnel, shortening your lead-to-close time as well. These ‘hot leads’ have instant validation, something that can’t be said for ‘a click’ on a pay per click campaign.

Here are five reasons why pay per call marketing is a solid complement to your current marketing efforts, and how it will help boost your return on investment (ROI).

1. Mitigates Risk

All of your marketing efforts (i.e. banners, pay per click, social media, email marketing) are trying to reach a common goal: a revenue producing event. Phone calls lead to revenue producing events, yet some agencies feel it undermines their activity. Why? The bread and butter of an agency (social, search, content) becomes moot with pay per call, or at least that’s the way agencies see it. It’s important for agencies to remember that pay per call is a supplement to what they’re currently doing and will be a nice boost to their ROI.  

By using pay per call, you’re mitigating your risk because you’re only paying when your phone rings. Do other advertising efforts guarantee contact with a customer? No, but pay per call does, capturing customers further into the funnel; essentially, reducing risk that’s inherent in marketing.

2. Qualifies a Lead

Anybody can fill out forms online and give you their information to call them back. Of course that’s helpful, but are you asking them, “Are you really interested in car insurance? Are you really interested in finding a new doctor?” Probably not because it’s a form.

People who fill out forms tend to be casually interested, and more often than not, forget they filled them out. In contrast, people who pick up the phone are looking for immediate gratification.

Take advantage of that burning interest. Phone calls allow you or your call center to quickly qualify the lead, gauging their desire or need for your product or service. With each question asked, the caller is further vetted to ensure they’re a solid lead.

For the advertiser, some pay per call providers have the ability to schedule a qualification duration, meaning an advertiser only pays for the call when that call duration is achieved. It results in a win-win scenario: the advertiser pays for a qualified lead, and the lead receives the product or service they desire.

3. Gives Valuable Feedback

Call recordings let you hear what’s working and what isn’t. If you’re not sure why some leads convert better than others, call recordings will help you identify why.

For example, customer service is lacking because you don’t have the infrastructure in place (like a fully staffed call center or dedicated team to handle the call volume). Callers might abandon the call after a few moments, leaving you wondering what’s wrong with your campaigns. The lack of available staff to answer the call might reveal a lag time that’s unacceptable to your callers.

Perhaps better training is needed to show your team how to be polite but not chatty. Your call center might not be aware of the time limitations to qualify a call, and as such, are more chatty with callers.

Also, the call center should be aware of promotions, too. If you’re a hotel running a special package rate for the upcoming holiday weekend, the staff answering the call should be aware of it. Otherwise, your team won’t be able to handle the calls appropriately, or worse yet, leave the caller moving onto someone else that can help them. Refining your training and opening up communications will enable your team to efficiently handle the influx of calls or risk paying for an unqualified lead.

4. Targets Ready-to-Buy Customers

While pay per click aims at branding, researching, conversions and sales, pay per call targets people who are ready to buy. Some examples of this include:

  • Click to Call: Mobile users don’t want to spend time filling out forms, they want to order now! And click to call makes that a breeze. If a person needs an electrician, odds are they don’t have time (or want) to research while the food spoils in the fridge.

  • TV Commercials: People who call a phone number from a commercial may be ready-to-buy. Commercials for mesothelioma, auto accidents, and lawyers result in direct calls because they’re attention grabbing to those who need to soothe or sue.

  • Abandoned Phone Calls: Your water pipes are frozen and you need a plumber fast. You call the number written on a sticky note that your friend gave you last winter. A robotic voice says, “We’re sorry this number is no longer in service.” Before the customer can hang up, he hears four other options for local plumbers. He presses 4 for Steve’s Plumbing and is immediately connected to a customer service rep. Crisis averted.

  • Warm Transfers: You’re shopping around for car insurance and fill out a quote online. Instead of getting an email back, someone calls you back five minutes later to confirm you are looking for car insurance and then connects you to a car insurance company.
In each example above, pay per call fulfilled specific ready-to-buy customer needs in a way that pay per click couldn’t.

5. Cost Effective Results

Unlike clicks (click fraud), call recordings can’t be faked. 1 call = 1 lead = $x in spend. So you know where your money is going. And although some may think it’s expensive, pay per click is an investment worth making.

$7,000 and that’s just one patient! Imagine the ROI if the doctor had 10 patients. Although people love pay per click, pay per call can generate leads more cost effectively with calls.

Pay per Call Makes Sense

Pay per call’s ability to mitigate risk, qualify leads, target ready-to-buy, and cost effectiveness make it a valuable marketing tool. It’s wise to use a variety of different marketing efforts (PPC, direct mail, billboard), and you would be remiss not to add pay per call to your marketing arsenal for maximum exposure. After all, a mix of both are ideal in most verticals.

Laura Burkhardt

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