eStara Ties the Phone to Lead Gen

eStara has introduced a product that generates a phone call from a form online to accelerate response times in the auto vertical. Here’s the release:

eStara, the leading provider of proactive conversion solutions for enhancing online sales and support initiatives, today announced the launch and general availability of eStara Form to Phone. Internet browsers need only to fill out a form, and the online retailer of choice or nearest franchise of that brand is immediately alerted to the customer request, and provided with the information from the form via email and over the phone. The solution has been proven to shorten response times for lead generation marketers and improve customer satisfaction by delivering prompt responses to online inquiries.

VoiceStar also offers this functionality (and it likely will be a commodity service in a very short period). The benefits here are less delay in responding to consumer inquiries (IM would be real-time). However, I recently purchased a new car and found most of the dealers to be pretty responsive (calls in 2-30 minutes) to email/forms. The real problem in the automotive vertical is the lack of intelligence of many of the email campaigns.

The eStara product also could form the basis for PPCall. Here the distinction between traditional lead generation and PPCall really blurs. Indeed, PPCall has always been a form of lead generation because of its greater “immediacy.” PPCall is actually a better form of lead gen than online forms because in traditional lead gen (as with ServiceMagic for example) those leads are being sold to multiple vendors simultaneously — so it’s more like an RFP/RFQ.

Borrell Associates has found in some of its research that lead generation was weakening in the real estate vertical. It appears to be strong in automotive still. And Google, of course, recently introduced a version of lead gen in PPA. By contrast, ValueClick Q2 revenues were negatively affected by overall market lead gen softness.

2 Responses to “eStara Ties the Phone to Lead Gen”

  1. Dan Obregon Says:

    Thanks for the mention Greg. What’s unique to the eStara Form to Phone offering is that intelligence is precisely what sets it apart from a regular phone call. Not only is the context of the online session delivered to the business, but the calls can be routed dynamically to guarantee a quick response from a dealer that can meet the needs of the consumer.

    Leveraging real-time reporting, combined with rules that allow dealers to determine when they would like to receive calls (for example: hours of operation, geographic location of the caller, referring search term, etc.) makes it easy for publishers to track performance and prove ROI to advertisers whether they’re charging on a per-call basis, or bundling the service into existing offerings.

    While we firmly believe that chat/IM can play a role in lead generation, there are certain situations when it’s just not as practical as a telephone call. The reality is that many local business operators are not always close to a computer and do not have the time to monitor online activity (regardless of whether or not they can manage their presence). Solutions need to be easy to manage and deliver leads through form factors that business owners are comfortable with. Oftentimes, for small businesses, that’s still the phone.

  2. eric Says:

    The voicestar service offers all of what has been described, including real-time analytics. The improvement here is that it is self service and private labeled. It takes 5 minutes to turn any native web form into a form to phone call opportunity, and the best part is that we can customize the mesages, the routing, the email notifications to dealers, etc.

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