Pay-per-call is a type of performance marketing in which businesses buy inbound phone-based leads from publishers and affiliates. The advertisers only pay for calls that meet their specific geographic and duration requirements as well as any other previously specified conditions such as call category. For each qualified call an advertiser receives, they will pay a predetermined, fixed amount to the pay-per-call network or publisher that generated the call.
2. Pay-Per-Call Network
A pay-per-call network connects advertisers with a large pool of qualified publishers and helps facilitate the relationship between the two. Often, the pay-per-call network will help handle incoming call traffic and ensure there are no compliance or QA issues. This helps simplify the process of buying and selling calls for advertisers and publishers.
In a pay-per-call campaign, the advertiser is the company who buys calls. The most common types of pay-per-call advertisers include companies that provide insurance, pest control, lawn care, home or automotive services, mortgage, debt or financial services, or dental care.
A publisher (also called an “affiliate”) is the individual or company that generates and sells calls in a pay-per-call campaign. The publisher will either work directly with an advertiser or through a pay-per-call network to generate calls on behalf of the advertiser. For each call that meets the specific requirements of the advertiser (and/or network), the publisher will be paid a fixed amount.
There are several different types of publishers. These include pay-per-call networks, online publishers, offline publishers, affiliates, agencies, and independent contractors.
Related: 4 Steps for Selling Calls
A bid is the price an advertiser is willing to pay for a call that lasts a specific duration. Your bid determines how competitively your campaign will perform against other advertisers’ campaigns in your industry. You want your bid to be attractive to publishers, so they send their call traffic to your campaign.
Competitive bids depend on a few factors, including how much competition your campaign has in the pay-per-call marketplace and the value associated with a new customer in your industry.
An offer is the combination of the advertiser’s bid price, required duration, geographic requirements, ad category, and caller restrictions. If the offer is created with a network, publishers can apply to the offer and, once approved by the network, send call traffic to that offer.
7. Tracking Number
A tracking number (also known as a call tracking number, merchant number, or DID) is a unique number assigned to an ad or publisher used to identify the source of incoming call traffic. When someone sees the ad or publisher’s promotion and calls the tracking number, they will be connected to the advertiser directly. In the advertiser’s reports, however, they will see the tracking number and determine which publisher or ad generated the call.
Tracking numbers can be used to determine the ads and call sources that generate the most calls, thus enabling publishers to optimize their pay-per-call campaigns.
8. Qualified Call
A qualified call is a call that meets the duration, category, and geographic requirements specified by the advertiser in the offer. A call becomes billable when it reaches the agreed-upon duration. For each qualified call the advertiser receives, the advertiser will pay a fixed amount (either directly to the publisher or to the network). For each qualified call the publisher generates, the publisher will be paid a fixed amount (either by the network or by the advertiser).
9. Call Source
The call source is the publisher or channel from which a call is generated. Some of the most common types of call sources include online sources (SEM, SEO, social media), offline sources (print, display ads, TV, radio), directory assistance callers, and calls intercepted and transferred by the carrier.
10. Conversion Rate
A conversion rate is generally defined as the percentage of consumers who complete the desired action after viewing a company’s ad or offer. In pay-per-call, the most common conversion rates include: the percentage of users who viewed a publisher’s ad and called the tracking number, the percentage of calls that became billable (met the advertiser’s specified duration), and the percentage of calls that turned into scheduled appointments or sales for the advertiser.
Why Choose Pay-Per-Call
Pay-per-call is a low-risk, high-reward option for businesses that want qualified customers on the phone. It’s low risk because you only pay for the calls that meet your requirements. This gives you better insight as to where your marketing dollars are going and your cost per conversion (CPC). And, it’s high-reward because callers have the highest intent of making a purchase when they dial your number – thus, increasing the likelihood that your calls will convert, and you’ll make a sale.
To learn more about pay-per-call and how it can help your business, download the free eBook below!