Call measurement firm Telmetrics has put out a press release this morning reflecting that the company is seeing “explosive growth in customers’ local search pay per call advertising programs in the last six months.” Accordingly the company said it’s “monitoring three times the number of pay per call programs from January 2009 to June 2009.”
Telmetrics identifies three key trends behind the growth of PPCall programs:
- Traditional Media Proving Value: Traditional media has been forced . . .to compete with online, click-driven models . . .
- Trackable Conversions Key for Monetizing Leads: Tracking conversions on phone leads linked to demographic and contact information is easily done and advertisers are willing to pay more for these leads . . .
- Online Advertisers Demand Holistic View of Results: Small and medium-sized businesses that have made the foray into local search engine marketing are looking for online advertising programs that offer results-driven and easily quantifiable solutions.
It added that “Attorneys, Credit & Debt Counseling and Dentists categories demonstrated the highest growth of pay per call adoption.”
We’ve long known that calls are much more valuable than clicks to small businesses in particular, but also to many larger entities with call-center sales operations. However because of the failure of the major search engines to adopt PPCall as an option, it’s taken PPCall much longer to get going than I originally anticipated.
Now PPCall growth may be driven by two somewhat unexpected sources: traditional media and mobile. A couple of years ago I asked “Is Mobile the ‘Sweet Spot’ for PPCall?” PPCall is “organically” suited to mobile advertising on smartphones, where phone numbers turn into links that can immediately initiate a call.
But the first bullet above, about traditional media usage of PPCall, is most interesting to me. PPCall in print is a fascinating story. As the release says:
Traditional media has been forced to adopt pay for performance models, such as pay per call, to compete with online, click-driven models. With the challenging economy, advertisers are more comfortable and willing to spend their limited budgets on advertising programs where they pay only for results generated.
My anecdotal understanding is that PPCall programs are now increasingly being used in print YP directories. But the larger idea is that most traditional media, including print, TV, out of home, will eventually need to track performance with URLs, SMS codes and/or phone numbers.