Telmetrics Argues for PPCall for Print YPs

Picture 156Telmetrics President Bill Dinan argued (at the Kelsey show) that yellow pages publishers should shift the print directory to an entirely performance-based model, specifically PPCall.

The call-tracking company released data from its aggregated customer records to argue that the industry needs to adopt a performance-based pricing model for the traditional printed directory to be more competitive with online.

Telmetrics put out a press release that asserts that “yellow pages’ average monthly call volume and duration is still ahead of other mediums indicating higher quality leads”:

  • Print Yellow Pages ads average 20.5 calls per month at 2.7 minutes in length
  • Internet Yellow Pages ads average 20 calls per month at 1.3 minutes in length
  • Direct Mail ads average 8.4 calls per month at 1.7 minutes in length
  • Interactive/SEM ads average 6.4 calls per month at 1.3 minutes in length

Even though there are many PPCall experiments and efforts going on it print, it would be a radical move to go totally PPCall. Do you think that print revenues would hold up? What categories would grow revenues, which ones might fall?

Calls would need to be priced differently by category and territory or geography. An auction would take care of that and be self-regulating, but would probably be too complex for the bulk of YP advertisers.


11 Responses to “Telmetrics Argues for PPCall for Print YPs”

  1. Dave Hucker Says:

    PPC for print is the ‘cure’ for what ails them for the foreseeable future.

    All the major YP publishers are offering it albeit on the national level…and even then, there are caveats. As always Greg, you work too hard. Thanks for keeping all of your readers up on what’s important.

  2. Rich Rosen Says:

    Greg – That’s interesting data, and of course I agree that YPs should be more accountable whether via PPcall or ROI reporting. Advertisers should have a choice. I agree that print YPs deliver leads – and should not be afraid to report them, but why does Telmetrics’ data indicate the IYP leads are 50% in quality (based on their measure?) It looks to me that Telmetrics has an issue with dirty and wrong number calls from their IYP clients.

    Yext demo’d their innovative solution to this problem at TechCrunch – and you posted on it. I also blogged my comments on the FastCall411 blog: Local Search: Enormous Opportunity – Complex Solutions.

    PPCall is a big opportunity – but also brings complexity that requires innovative, fresh thinking. Only tracking calls will not be enough to bring the PPCall solution to the industry.

  3. Bill Dinan Says:


    I am not sure if all your readers are aware, but at Telmetrics, we’ve built our business on quality and it’s one of the biggest reasons the largest local search publishers, have partnered with us to provide proof of performance to over 1 million advertisers.

    Our quality measures including our patented Telemarketer Call Block and monitoring technologies, are the most stringent in the industry to ensure calls placed to advertisers are authentic and to provide quality data reporting for both pay per call and subscription programs.

    While reported average duration stats for IYP are lower than that of PYP, the stats still illustrate the value that IYP delivers with 2-3 times the average monthly volume of leads generated by other non-YP media channels.

  4. Perry Says:

    The notion that print YP calls are “better” because they are longer vs. web calls deserves to be challenged. An alternative explanation is that print YP ads rarely answer (well) referential questions on location/directions, hours of operation etc. I’m betting a big chunk of the time differential is in stuff that is readily accessible online. The “sense” you get of a business from a website or even a landing page is intuitively greater than the “call-to-action” centric copy points of a print YP ad, leading to shorter need to talk when calling.

  5. Rich Rosen Says:

    I agree with Perry: This data raises fundamental questions re IYPs and is worthy of discussion.

    I appreciate that Bill shared these results, it’s a great conversation for the industry and one that I believe does not receive enough attention. I agree 100% with the headline: PYP delivers. The difference in the data – IYP vs PYP struck me as unusually high (without knowing the size of the sample). Wrong numbers are one possibility. Undoubtedly after so many years in the space Telmetrics is over that learning curve. It’s also possible that your clients are recycling numbers on their end – or using dynamic number insertion and that is causing wrong number calls. This would be beyond Telmetrics control and no fault of your own. Another likely explanation is relevancy of the IYP listing. I often say: “if a merchant receives 10 calls and the average call length is 15 seconds, I don’t know what the question was, but the answer was no.” Ten “no answers” means the merchant isn’t relevant to the consumer search. This scenario would skew the average call length of your sample. Print yellow pages are accurately targeted: i.e. Plumber in my neighborhood. Online I may see an ad for a plumber 50 miles away. Or, as Perry suggests, the caller is just better informed.

  6. Gary Campbell Says:

    Great discussion – as we discussed at the Kelsey conference in Orlando –

    AgendiZe Performance Based Solutions provide a complete, turnkey solution that helps publishers and interactive agencies implement effective performance based programs–from initial analysis and strategic planning, to the actual technology implementation, to ongoing training and results analysis. AgendiZe combines our expertise in working with some of the world’s largest publishers and agencies, together with our industry-leading engagement technology platform to provide YP Publishers with a true end-to-end solution customized to their unique needs.

  7. Another Take on Telmetrics’ Call Data « Screenwerk Says:

    […] Take on Telmetrics’ Call Data By Greg Sterling Telmetrics’ Bill Dinan released data a couple of weeks ago about leads and calls coming out of both print yellow pages and online […]

  8. Marchex Becomes YPG Parnter « Screenwerk Says:

    […] the advertiser wants to cancel or reduce its YP spend). Telmetrics President Bill Dinan previously made a big pitch for print to move more aggressively into a performance-based/PPCall business […]

  9. June Peterson Says:

    We’ve dabbled in running per-inquiry ads in yellow page directories. The ads seem to perform nicely, but the only slight caveat is what happens if a campaign is cancelled.

  10. Greg Sterling Says:

    You mean . . . the tracking number is in the print ad but it’s not redirecting to the SMB phone. Yes, that would become a problem.

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