Performance Marketing continued to grow significantly in 2021 and is now larger than display advertising as well as email marketing in driving conversions for brand merchants. Today,...




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Acoustic profiling

technology used to detect and block robocalls by listening for nuances in the human voice to identify automated or robotic message

Ad exchange

a marketplace where publishers and advertisers buy and sell ads and advertising space


a company that buys calls; they purchase call leads that publishers generate


an individual offer defined by the advertiser. The ad includes all the advertiser’s requirements such as category, bid, duration, geography, hours of operation, etc.


a person or company that generates calls on behalf of an advertiser for a commission (see also: publisher)

Affiliate marketing

a type of marketing where an affiliate generates leads on behalf of an advertiser and receives a commission if the leads meet the advertiser’s criteria


a company that creates and manages advertising campaigns, including performance marketing campaigns such as pay-per-call campaigns, on behalf of another company


the price an advertiser is willing to pay for a call that lasts a specified amount of time

Bid strength

a tool to evaluate the competitive value of a bid price compared to other ads competing for the same category of calls; the stronger the bid is, the more likely the campaign is to drive high-quality calls at scale


an advertiser, usually a recognizable business regionally or nationally (see also: advertiser)


the duration of a call

California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

A California State law passed in 2018 that is intended to enhance the privacy rights and consumer protection of residents in California. Under the CCPA, businesses covered by the act must adhere to certain requirements regarding the collection and sale of consumer personal information. Additionally, businesses must respond to consumer requests made by California residents as it relates to any collection, sale, or deletion of consumer personal information related to that resident

Call buyer

the company that purchases calls from a pay-per-call network, publishers, or affiliates (see also: advertiser)

Call center

a workforce that is trained to answer the calls generated by a pay-per-call campaign

Call generation method

the method a publisher uses to generate calls. Examples include online such as SEM, SEO, social media, etc.; offline such as SMS, print, radio, direct mail, etc.; and carrier such as disconnected numbers, directories, etc.

Call pacing

the ability to set daily or hourly caps on total spend or billable calls

Call recording

an audio file of a live phone call taken with consumer permission and created to review later. Call recordings are used to determine the quality of a call or call source and can only be used after informing the consumer that the call will be recorded

Call routing

the method of sending a call to the right call center or queue based on predetermined criteria (see also: IVR)

Call scoring

a quality assurance method used to identify the highest quality call leads; a score is assigned to individual calls based on the call source, transcription, recording, and caller information

Call source

the publisher or medium a specific call originated from

Call tracking

a method of determining the source of a phone call lead

Call transcription

a quality assurance method used to turn the audio version of a call recording into a written copy of the conversation to help determine the quality of a call

Call volume

refers to the amount of calls sent to a campaign at a given point in time


the pay-per-call platform providing access to Soleo’s programmatic pay-per-call network and matching live callers with the businesses they need. CallThread offers solutions for advertisers of all sizes, delivering compliant, high-quality leads from our network of third-party publishers and in-house lead generation team. Through CallThread, advertisers have access to our experienced customer success experts and real time reporting to ensure campaign performance goals are met. In addition to serving advertisers, CallThread offers a robust marketplace for publishers to sell their call


a grouping of ads that are related to each other – often characterized by brand, category, vertical, or so on


limits; primarily related to the daily, weekly, or monthly, budget for an ad or campaign

Carrier / Intercept Calls

when a customer calls a business number that is no longer in service, they have the option to be connected to a business related to the one they were trying to reach


the business vertical the advertiser wants to reach

Clean number

a tracking number that has not been used in the last 90 days

Cold Transfer

when a consumer calls a tracking number and reaches an agent at a call center who qualifies the caller on behalf of the advertiser; when the caller is connected to the advertiser, there is no introduction between the two call agents (also referred to as a blind transfer)

Conversion rate

the percentage of users that complete the desired action after viewing the offer; in pay-per-call, common conversion rates include: percent of users who viewed a publisher’s ad and called the tracking number, percent of calls that converted into billable calls, and percent of calls that turned into scheduled appointments or sales

Daily budget

the amount of money that can be spent during one day of the campaign

Day parting

restricting a campaign to generate calls only during certain times of the day

Demand (Buy) side

consists of anyone who wants to buy calls generated from publishers; this can include advertisers as well as players acting on their behalf

Direct connection

when a publisher transfers calls directly to a tracking number instead of selling calls programmatically through CallThread’s LSAPI

Directory Assistance Calls

when a customer calls directory assistance (411) and is connected to an advertiser based on their request

Dynamic number insertion (DNI)

a call tracking feature that assigns a unique tracking number to each ad or call source, allowing you to attribute a call to a specific keyword, online, or offline source and determine what ads and marketing activities drive the most calls


a technological platform that facilitates transactions between advertisers and publishers similar to the way a stock exchange facilitates the buying and selling of stocks. Like an ad network, an exchange gives advertisers access to multiple publishers and gives publishers access to valuable offers, however, an exchange does not take a commission but rather charges players by transaction

Fallback routing

routing calls to a different destination in the event the call is not answered on its original route


a kind of targeting that allows advertisers to specify the geographic locations they receive calls from

Inbound Call

when a consumer calls a business; the call is coming into the business

Interactive Dialog Management

a tool for creating and managing custom call menus or uploading existing ones (see also: IVR)

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

an automated front-end menu that greets new callers and is used to filter and direct the call to the proper destination

Keyword spotting

a quality control method that listens for a specific keyword in a phone call conversation to determine the quality score of the call

LSAPI™ (Local Search API)

Soleo’s local search API allows publishers to sell calls programmatically. Based on the search query and the location of the caller, Soleo’s algorithm will bid on the call with the most competitive advertisers and then seamlessly connect the call to the best offer in real time. Soleo’s LSAPI also offers access to our database of organic listings


the combination of an advertiser’s bid, required duration, geographic requirements, and ad category

Organic Listings

listings on third-party publisher or affiliate websites that are not bought

Outbound Call

when a business or third party calls or sends an SMS to a consumer; the call is going out of the business


a form of performance marketing in which advertisers purchase inbound phone calls that meet specified duration and location requirements

Pay-per-call network

a business that helps advertisers buy inbound calls from multiple publishers by matching advertiser pay-per-call campaigns with reliable sources from its network of publishers. The pay-per-call network manages and vets publishers on behalf of its advertisers, and maintains good relationships with advertisers to bring in high-value offers for its publishers (a pay-per-call network is also referred to as an ad network, affiliate network, or aggregator)

Performance marketing

a type of marketing where advertisers partner with individuals, companies, or networks who deliver qualified leads for a commission; the partners get paid based on their performance, collecting a commission only when they deliver qualified leads

Ping post/tree

an auction-based lead buying process that allows advertisers to adjust their bids based on how much caller information is available, usually to set a higher bid for calls that include caller data that fits the core target profile and are therefore more likely to convert. In a program equipped for ping post, advertisers will receive caller information that is relevant to the campaign such as caller age and/or background in addition to standard caller ID

Programmatic pay-per-call network

a pay-per-call network that utilizes artificial intelligence to dynamically match a call generated by a publisher to the most competitive ad (based on bid price and duration requirements) out of a number of offers in the same category


the business that publishes customer-facing ads and generates leads to sell to the advertiser

Qualified call

a call that meets the duration, category, and geography requirements of the advertiser’s offer

Quality assurance

a system put in place by a pay-per-call network to ensure publishers are delivering high-quality phone calls that come from ethical, legal sources. Methods for quality assurance include call tracking, call recording, and call transcription

Real-time bidding

a method used by programmatic pay-per-call networks to seamlessly connect a publisher’s live call to the advertiser with the most competitive bid out of a pre-existing pool of offers

Real-time reporting

reports generated in real time to show advertisers their current call volume, individual call sources, conversion rates, and real-time trends and opportunities

Robocall blocking

a process of identifying, flagging, and blocking unwanted, suspicious calls

Sponsored listings

listings on third-party publisher or affiliate websites that are given preferential placement in exchange for a commission on conversions

Supply (Sell) side

consists of publishers and sources that are supplying the calls in a pay-per-call campaign

Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)

A Federal statute enacted in 1991 that is designed to safeguard consumer privacy. The legislation restricts certain telemarketing practices using voice calls, SMS, fax, and auto machine dialing, better known as robocalls, when communicating with consumers and prohibits marketers and businesses from calling any consumer who can be found on the national Do-Not-Call Registry

Tracking number

a unique phone number assigned to an ad or publisher used to identify the source of any calls the campaign generates; a tracking number is also known as a CTN (call tracking number), merchant number, or DID

Vanity number

a special tracking number that is relevant to your specific business by city, state, zip or area code

Warm Transfer

when a call center qualifies a caller and, when the caller is connected to the advertiser, the call agent stays on the line to introduce a caller to the advertiser’s agent; the call can be inbound or an outbound dial

Frequently Asked Questions

Performance marketing is a form of marketing where advertisers pay third-party individuals, companies, or networks for specific qualified leads. It’s called “performance marketing” because the advertisers only pay their partners when a consumer performs a desired action. Some common types of performance marketing leads include pay-per-click pageviews, affiliate link views, closed sales, and – you guessed it – calls.

Pay-per-call marketing is a form of marketing where advertisers partner with affiliates or pay-per-call networks to receive calls that meet their duration, location, and category requirements.

Different mediums of performance marketing yield different results. This is because the consumer is at a
different stage in their buying journey when they use different mediums, making them more or less likely
to convert into a sale based on the medium of the lead. When thinking about choosing a performance
marketing medium, it’s important to note that the lead becomes more valuable the more likely it is to
convert, but high-value leads come at a higher cost per lead (CPL).

When considering different forms of performance marketing, imagine a scale where the left-most point
represents the lowest CPL and lowest conversion rate, and the right-most point represents the highest
CPL and conversion rate. Cost-per-click marketing would be at the lower end of the scale whereas buying
closed sales would be at the top. Pay-per-call gives you a good balance between CPL and high conversion
rate, and also gives you a higher ROAS.

CallThread makes it easy to buy qualified, compliant call-based leads. Here’s how it works:

1. Your dedicated account manager will help you build your campaign and set your business hours, call pacing, geographies, category, and bid price. Your account manager will know what a competitive offer in your category looks like and will make sure your offer will perform against your competition.

2. Calls in your category are generated by our network of approved publishers, in-house digital marketing team, and carrier traffic.

3. Soleo matching algorithms and IVR filters will identify the time of day, search intent, and geography of the call and connect it to the offer in our network that matches the call best in real time.

4. The consumer is seamlessly connected directly to you.

5. You only pay if the call reaches your duration requirement and becomes billable.

When you partner with CallThread, your calls come from three main sources: our network of approved publishers, Soleo’s in-house digital marketing team, and carrier traffic. We assign each call source a tracking number for each campaign category, so we can determine where specific calls originate and conduct regular quality assurance checks across all call sources. Call sources then advertise the tracking number through a variety of channels to reach your target consumers and persuade them to call.

Publishers use a variety of channels to advertise the campaign tracking number including online channels such as SEM, social media, display, and SEO as well as offline channels such as print, radio, TV, billboard, and direct mail.

Soleo’s experienced in-house digital marketing team uses paid search and other online channels to generate call traffic to our advertiser campaigns.

Carrier traffic comes from disconnected numbers of related businesses, directory assistance calls, and voice search.

When you create a pay-per-call offer, you set your bid price, required call duration, and desired category, hours, and geography. Your bid price is the price you are willing to pay for a call that lasts your specified duration (a typical call duration bid is usually between 90-120 seconds but varies by category).

When a call comes into our network, Soleo’s API and IVR filters identify the time of day, category, and geography of the call and will connect you with the calls that match your offer.

A call is considered qualified once it fulfills its duration requirement, and then the advertiser is billed their bid price for that call.

Using our carrier-grade platform for call tracking and compliance, the CallThread team regularly conducts quality assurance checks across all call sources. We use call tracking, call recording (if the consumer is first notified the call will be recorded), and call scoring to monitor the call traffic our publishers send.

All publishers in our network go through a rigorous vetting process to ensure they comply to consumer protection laws. To ensure your pay-per-call campaign complements your internal lead-gen efforts, all CallThread publishers must also adhere to our strict network restrictions that include:

• No branded bidding or common misspellings

• No use of advertiser trademarks

• No outbound traffic – all traffic must be inbound (transfers are available on request only)