Understanding Different Types of Calls


Whether you’re new to pay-per-call or have been running campaigns for years, it’s important that you know how your call-based leads are ­­generated to ensure you receive the kinds of leads you want, and your campaigns are compliant with common laws and regulations. In the pay-per-call space, there are typically four types of calls that advertisers can opt to receive: inbound and outbound, warm and cold transfers, carrier or intercept, and directory assistance. If you’re unsure of which types of calls will work best for you, we’ve outlined each below.

Inbound and Outbound Calls

An inbound call occurs when a consumer calls a business (the call is coming into the business). Because the consumer has chosen to call a business in this scenario, it usually means they are pretty far in their consumer journey and either need a few questions answered before they buy or are already looking to schedule service or make a purchase. These leads usually have the highest intent and conversion rate.

Most conversions happen when a strong lead is sent to a trained agent. For that reason, it’s important to ensure you work with a network that can help you qualify and distribute calls and analyze the performance of your inbound sales agents.

Related: What Can Pay-Per-Call Do to Help Your Inbound Sales Agents?

A call is considered outbound when a business or third party calls a consumer (the call is going out of the business). In pay-per-call, outbound calls usually occur when a publisher’s call center calls potential consumers, gathers info, and then connects interested consumers with the advertiser’s call center to close the deal.

Warm and Cold Transfers

In a pay-per-call campaign that accepts transfers, consumers call a tracking number to reach an agent at the publisher’s call center. The agent then qualifies the caller on behalf of the advertiser before transferring the call. If the publisher’s agent does not introduce the caller to the advertiser’s agent, the call is considered a cold transfer (also known as a “blind transfer”). If the publisher’s agent stays on the line to introduce the caller to the advertiser, the call is considered a warm transfer. Transfers can be either an inbound or outbound dial.

Carrier or Intercept Calls

When a customer calls a business number that is no longer available, they may reach a menu that gives them the option to be connected to an operational business that provides similar goods or services. This is referred to as an intercepted call and is usually handled by a pay-per-call network (in partnership with the telecom carrier) via automated information services.

In this scenario, the intercepted caller is automatically connected to an interactive voice recording (IVR) that provides them with suggestions of alternative local businesses, and the caller can choose to be re-routed by pressing a number on their keypad. In some cases, the network’s IVR will follow-up with qualifying questions to determine the caller’s needs and the best way route their call. Then, the call will be connected to an advertiser in their network whose campaign matches the caller’s needs and location. This helps to ensure both the caller and the advertiser are satisfied with the quality of the call.

Directory Assistance Calls

Customers who call directory assistance (411) may request to be connected to a particular business or business category. Telecom carriers are required to provide this service and work with a vendor to give their directory assitance (DA) callers listings for local businesses.

If that vendor also has a pay-per-call network, the network will sometimes sponsor listings based on their inventory of advertiser offers. Then, if the DA caller chooses the listing that matches the advertiser offer, they will be routed to the advertiser’s call center. In some cases, the pay-per-call network will work with a carrier to customize DA call handling practices on behalf of an advertiser. For advertisers, this means they will receive a high-intent, qualified lead and satisfied caller.

Why CallThread

Our team of pay-per-call experts is dedicated to making sure you receive the quality calls you want for less cost. For each call type, we have specific measures in place to connect quality callers with the right advertisers, and we offer our advertisers the flexibility to choose what types of calls they want. Our network restrictions and quality assurance methods ensure that our publisher network only delivers leads through your approved methods. The net result is a highly satisfied caller and a valuable lead for the advertiser. To find out how pay-per-call can improve your lead acquisition process, don’t hesitate to contact us.