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Pay-per-call Explained: How it Works

05.20.2021
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Lead generation is one of the toughest challenges for marketers today. Finding quality leads that convert? Even more challenging. For advertisers that provide services such as appliance repair or pest control, reaching the right audience at the right time can be quite difficult. Not to mention that, even if your campaign generates an abundance of leads, there’s no guarantee that those leads will be qualified. The process of filtering out unwanted leads can be painstakingly tedious (no marketer wants to do that) and require a lot of manpower.

The good news is that there’s a solution – pay-per-call. Pay-per-call is a type of performance-based marketing in which an advertiser pays a partner (usually an affiliate or affiliate network) to generate high-quality, inbound call leads. Pay-per-call works best for companies that provide a product or service which requires over-the-phone assistance to book an appointment or make a purchase – like insurance, pest control, or auto repair.

How does it work? We’ve outlined 4 simple steps to explain pay-per-call advertising below:

 

1. Set your campaign parameters

First, you will need to work with an affiliate or affiliate network to determine your campaign parameters. These parameters may include your business category, business hours, serviceable geographies, target audience, and call pacing requirements. You will also be asked to specify your bid price and billable call duration – what price you are willing to pay for a call that lasts a specific duration.

Related: Best Practices for Optimizing Your Bidding Strategy

Additional items that should be discussed prior to launching your campaign include acceptable forms of call generation (online methods, offline methods, or carrier traffic) as well as any required and/or restricted ad copy or creative assets.

It is important that you ensure all campaign requirements and restrictions are covered in full detail with your partner to avoid quality concerns later on. Additionally, be sure to work with a partner you trust who upholds all quality and compliance standards.

Related: Top 10 Things to Look for in a Pay-per-call Network

 

2. Your partner generates calls in your category

Once your campaign launches, your partner will begin to generate calls by using a tracking number that connects calls to your business or contact center line. A tracking number – also known as a CTN (call tracking number), merchant number, or DID – is a unique phone number that is used to measure call duration and identify the source of each call. Your partner(s) will advertise their assigned tracking number when promoting products or services in your business category, and when a consumer calls that number, they will be routed to your business.

There are a variety of methods affiliates may use to promote their tracking number – including online methods, offline methods, and carrier traffic. Online methods include paid and organic search (SEM and SEO), paid and organic social, display ads, online listings, and email marketing. Offline methods include print, radio and television advertising, outdoor advertising, and direct mail. And, finally, there’s carrier traffic, which includes intercepted traffic, directory assistance and voice search.

Read more about common promotional methods in pay-per-call here.

 

3. Qualified calls are routed to you

Each time a user dials or clicks on the tracking number, they will be connected to your business.

Often, affiliates or affiliate networks will add IVR (interactive voice response) functionality to the tracking number to further qualify callers prior to connecting them with your business. This helps weed out unwanted callers, so your business will not need to filter through large number of unqualified leads.

 

4. Only pay for billable calls

For each call you receive that meets your quality and duration requirements, you will pay a fixed amount, which is agreed upon at the start of your campaign. The duration period (which is most commonly 60, 90, or 120 seconds, depending on your industry and competition) gives your business time to qualify the caller on your end to reduce your risk of paying for leads that are unlikely to convert. Inbound callers have a higher intent to purchase than other types of leads, and don’t need as much nurturing.

 

Why Choose Pay-per-call?

The pay-per-call model offers a one-stop solution to the challenge of generating qualified leads that are likely to convert by delivering quality leads straight to your business phone or call centers. Through working with an affiliate partner or network, advertisers can build precisely-targeted campaigns that reach the right people at the right time.

To learn more about how pay-per-call works, download our free eBook below:

Download the eBook

 

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