Selling Calls 101: Using Real-Time Call Data to Monitor Quality & Improve Performance

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Any affiliate knows that the key to success lies in their ability to continuously optimize and scale campaign performance. Whether that involves changing your ad copy, adding captioning to your video, or focusing on certain media channels, the end-goal is the same: increase consumer engagement and drive consumer action in the form of clicks, views, opens, calls, or conversions.

In the pay-per-call space, conversions happen when calls that align with the advertiser’s geographic and quality requirements meet the duration requirement. When a call converts, the affiliate who generated the call gets paid a commission.

Related: 4 Steps for Selling Calls

To maximize their earnings, affiliates need to increase the number of calls that convert while maintaining the amount of money they spend to generate calls. The most successful affiliates in pay-per-call utilize real-time call data to monitor quality and continuously improve their performance. To access call-by-call data, the affiliate will need to have a call tracking system in place. Many affiliates choose to partner with a third-party company or pay-per-call network, like CallThread, to track call data.

Once the affiliate has access to call-by-call data, there a few key areas they can focus on to improve call quality and increase conversions.


Call duration, payout conditions and earnings

Keep track of which calls are making you money – and which are not. If a call meets geographic requirements, but is not reaching the duration period, there is likely a quality issue.

The duration period is set up to give advertisers the time they need to qualify the call on their end before they are charged for the call. For example, imagine you’re working on the following offer:

U65 Health Insurance Calls

Payout: $35 fixed payout

Duration: 120 seconds

Advertiser Requirements: Callers must be less than 65 years of age to be qualified


For this offer, the advertiser will presumably ask for a person’s age early in the call, well before 120 seconds pass. If, for some reason, a caller who is 65 years or older reaches their call center, the advertiser will end the call before the 120 second billable call duration period expires.

If you notice that a number of your calls are not reaching the required duration, it’s likely because the advertiser is quickly discovering that the calls are not qualified.

In this scenario, understanding what went wrong can help you avoid quality issues and improve call performance in the future. To do this, revisit the original offer and review the advertiser’s quality requirements and restrictions, and then listen to the call recordings of calls that do not become billable to uncover specific quality issues. Use your findings to refine your targeting, so your paid promotions are reaching the right, qualified targets. Once you know you’re reaching the right audience, your calls should be better qualified and meeting the duration requirements.


Disputed calls, dispute reason and resolution

Although the duration period is supposed to give the advertiser plenty of time to qualify the call themselves before they are charged for it, advertisers aren’t always able to catch an unqualified call before the duration is met. In this case, advertisers sometimes submit a dispute claim to be refunded the amount of the unqualified call. Now, most advertisers won’t submit dispute claims for one unwanted call, but if they notice a serious offense, advertisers usually have a right to a refund.

The most common reasons for disputed calls include:

  • A pattern of unqualified calls – when advertisers review their call sources and notice that one call source delivers numerous leads that meet the duration but are not qualified leads
  • Incentivized traffic – when advertisers receive calls from callers that are expecting a promotion, discount, or contest that they did not approve
  • Calls generated using techniques that violate advertising restrictions – when affiliates use advertising techniques that go against the advertiser’s channel restrictions or the network’s restrictions to generate calls
  • Calls generated using ‘black hat’ techniques – when advertisers receive calls from automated traffic, traffic from people who are not real customers, or traffic that was paid to stay on the line for the duration. This is the most serious offense

If your calls are being disputed by the advertiser, investigate the dispute reason by listening to call recordings and ensuring your calls are being generated in a way that is in-line with the advertiser’s restrictions. Once you uncover the issue causing the dispute, put an end to it and focus your efforts on generating calls that meet the offer requirements.

Tracking numbers

Tracking numbers help you identify the source of each call – whether that be online (social media, email, landing pages, etc.) or offline (print, TV, radio, etc.). Assign a different tracking number to each channel or ad you use. Once calls start coming in, look at the tracking number of calls that convert – is there a pattern? By understanding which sources generate quality call traffic (and which don’t), you can increase or decrease your ad spend as needed to improve performance.

Related: Optimize Performance by Tracking Calls


Why CallThread

CallThread provides affiliates with the tools they need to continuously monitor call quality and improve campaign performance. Our team of pay-per-call experts has tailored CallThread to meet the specific needs of affiliates in the space. Access detailed call-by-call reports, view campaign results, and make critical adjustments in real time. To learn more, visit

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