Click to Call: Do People Really Use It?

Both Google Maps and Windows Live Local have “click to call” (not yet PPCall) embedded now in their products. And several Internet yellow pages are using it. But there’s some debate and confusion about whether it’s a truly meaningful feature. Not surprisingly, eStara (a click to call vendor), has put out a press release showing the benefits of the service, according to a recently conducted survey among 1,400 IYP click to call users:

Among the chief findings were that 84 percent of users said they were “more likely” to contact a business with click to call than one without the service, while 80 percent indicated the service enhanced their IYP experience. IYP visitors are using click to call for a number of reasons:

14 percent used it to make a purchase;

28 percent to schedule an appointment or reservation;

33 percent used click to call to get more information about a product or service.

These are persusaive numbers. But I’ve heard many times from click to call critics that it requires “a change in consumer behavior” and is thus awkward and not widely used.

I have not directly conducted any research and so I’m often in the middle of these “he said, she said” discussions about its efficacy. I’m curious about others’ opinions, data and experiences.

___

I got two comments (one below and one more detailed comment in email) that essentially said people aren’t using click to call. Of course these are isolated, anecdotal pieces of information. But they were detailed and directly contradicted the survey results summarized above.

I’m not biased one way or another I’m just interested in what the reality is.

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4 Responses to “Click to Call: Do People Really Use It?”

  1. greenindustry Says:

    Greg,

    I ran a test on my Lawn and Garden vertical last year and paid for all the calls to the merchants. W

    When I reviewed the reporting, I called the merchant to find out the quality of the call.

    The merchant told me that 50% of the calls were someone trying to sell him something and the none of the remaining 50% turned into sales in the short term.

    My conclusion is skip the paid call in my LGYP.com directory, but instead hide the merchant phone number from the user and measure the impression of the phone number when the user requested it.

    The “phone number impression” metric has proved to be meaningful to the vendor.

    Steve

  2. Niki Scevak Says:

    Greg, on a panel yesterday at the Kelsey conference Callsourced said they had conducted several tests whereby they would show a naked phone number alongside a click to call button. 8-9 times out of 10 the consumer simply used the naked phone number.

    One caveat eStara CEO said was in Europe (and rest of world for that matter) where people don’t pay for incoming mobile calls, a lot more people were using it to save a little money.

  3. RogerS Says:

    Am I the only one who finds this type of data suspect?

    “…recently conducted survey among 1,400 IYP click to call users:
    Among the chief findings were that 84 percent of users said they were “more likely” to contact a business with click to call than one without the service…”

    Isn’t this like saying, “We asked 100 automobile drivers and found that 84% used their cars to travel?”

    The only valuable point I can see out of that data is that 16% of the IYP CtC users DON’T make use of the option when given the choice. In an admittedly captive audience they can’t get close to a 100% response? That speaks volumes to the value of this service.

    Or did I miss something?

  4. Skype & YP for CtoCall and SEO? « Screenwerk Says:

    [...] an SEO twist. Notwitstanding Federman’s comments, there has always been a debate about the efficacy of click to call on the PC (mobile is a very different story because the device is a phone). I have been told [...]

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