Selling Calls 101: How to Maximize Your Earnings


Selling calls is a quick and easy way for publishers (also called “affiliates”) to earn money. If you’re new to pay-per-call, your first step in getting started is to apply to an offer. Usually, the offer will include details related to the advertiser’s geographic location(s), hours of operation, approved advertising methods, duration requirements, restrictions, and payout. Once you’ve been approved for an offer, you can add a tracking number and start driving call traffic to the offer. For each call you generate that meets the advertiser’s requirements, you will be paid a fixed amount.


But the most successful publishers in pay-per-call don’t stop there – they will also find ways to optimize their ad performance to increase their earnings. If you’re willing to put in the effort, there are a few key ways to do this:


Research your competitors – and your audience – to choose the right channel

Today, advertising channels are saturated with marketing content 24/7. As an affiliate marketer, it’s your job to stand out against your competitors to be successful. Do your research to answer these questions:

  • Which marketing channels drive the most call traffic, both in general and for which verticals?


  • What channels do your competitors use to advertise, and in which channels do they appear to have the most success?


  • Are there methods of advertising your competitors aren’t using that might be an opportunity for you?

To be successful as a publisher in the pay-per-call space (or in any sect of performance marketing, for that matter) it’s important that you out-research and out-smart your competitors. In doing so, you will have the tools to increase your call traffic and maximize your earnings.

In addition to researching your competition, it is critical that you know the audience you are trying to reach. Each offer you apply to will require advertising for a different target audience. Again, do your research. Make sure you understand the target demographics – and what channels have the most success in reaching them.

Helpful hint: Prior to creating an ad, make sure you review all marketing channel restrictions specified in the offer.


Understand the value propositions of each advertiser

It seems simple to advertise for an offer – select a marketing channel, create an ad, and watch the call traffic come in. However, the most successful publishers in pay-per-call will examine the value propositions of each advertiser – or vertical, in the case that the advertiser was not specified in the offer. Understand and include specific value props in your ads so that callers know the value they will receive by calling your tracking number.

This not only helps persuade consumers to call, but it also helps qualify the callers upfront. For example, if your pest control ad shares value props centered around termite inspection services, you’re less likely to receive calls from people looking for rodent removal. This helps ensure that callers match the target consumer profiles the advertiser wants– thus, increasing the likelihood that they convert, and you get paid.

Helpful hint: Though some advertisers leave the ad creation process open to the publisher, some will provide specific details on how they want their ads to look and sound. Be sure to review the offer’s creative approval process, ad copy provisions and/or restrictions, and any other details on ad creation provided by the advertiser.


Monitor and optimize ad performance

Consistently monitoring the performance of your ads will give you a better understanding of which ads generate traffic – and which don’t. If you use multiple types of ads to generate call traffic (i.e. paid search, organic search, social media, print ads, etc.), it’s important to create a tracking number for each. Be sure to give each tracking number a name that reflects its specific ad or campaign. That way, you can track each call back to its original source.

As you monitor your ads, you can optimize performance by increasing ad spend on the channels, campaigns, or individual ads that drive the most traffic. For example, if paid search ads generate the most call traffic for your offers, you may want to increase your marketing budget for paid search. Additionally, you can pause or decrease ad spend on channels that aren’t performing to ensure you get the most out of your marketing dollars.

Another way to optimize performance is to test different variations of your top-performing ads. Once you determine an ad that is working, try to improve it by setting up and A/B test that uses different headline or description copy, different imagery or media, or a different CTA. Track which variation performs better over time to determine the winning ad, then pause the losing variation and test a different element. This will help you continuously strengthen your ads and ensure they are generating the most calls with your target audience.

Helpful hint: While it’s tempting to focus solely on optimizing the campaigns with the highest payouts, remember to keep an eye on all your campaigns. Even though an offer might have a lower fixed payout per call, it can still be a valuable source of revenue if your campaign is optimized correctly.


The steps to selling calls are simple – apply to an offer, generate calls, and get paid – however, your success is dependent on you and the amount of effort you are willing to put in. To maximize your earnings as a publisher, be sure to research your competitors and target audience, know the value propositions of each advertiser, and continually monitor and optimize each ad campaign.

If you’re just getting started, find out how CallThread can help you optimize your call traffic and earn money.