Telmetrics 2010 PPCall Trends

Here are Telmetrics’ top pay-per-call trends for 2010 (verbatim):

  1. Agencies buy ads and bill per call: With so many different media options available, advertisers are challenging agency media plans and demanding more pay for performance ad models. In 2010, agencies will buy ads via subscription and bill back to customers on a pay per call basis.
  2. Online media continue to adopt pay per call: Recognizing that calls are a cross media metric and a metric that small advertisers quickly understand, digital players will continue to add pay per call to complement existing pay per click campaigns.
  3. Quality of calls closely evaluated: As pay per call moves from infancy to mainstream, advertisers will want a more clear definition of call quality.  Publishers and agencies will have to carefully consider what defines a billable call, evaluating call duration by media type and category and looking at repeat callers over variable time intervals.  Also, there will be a continued emphasis on call recordings for assessing leads.
  4. No shift to pay per conversion: Pay per conversion – in which advertisers only pay for advertising if a sale is completed – will not take off this year. While calls make it easier to track conversions, the model presents too much risk for publishers and agencies as it relies on advertisers to convert calls to sales after the lead has been delivered.

I agree with #2-#4.

There are a number of interesting conversion-based experiments going on the local space: booking, RedBeacon, HelpHive’s model and a few others. But conversion-based billing shifts the risk to the publisher from the advertiser and so there’s resistance to going that way. True PPCall is a hybrid approach: calls sell for more but they don’t always turn into sales; many are purely informational. Recoginizing that, Yext has moved to focus on call quality and thus beyond strict PPCall.

What do you think about the above?


5 Responses to “Telmetrics 2010 PPCall Trends”

  1. Amanda Bailey Says:

    You wrote, “conversion-based billing shifts the risk to the publisher from the advertiser and so there’s resistance to going that way.” But Redbeacon’s model, who is the publisher and who is the advertiser? They just have consumers and service providers on their own website.

  2. Greg Sterling Says:


    You’re right. A bit different. Here’s the deal: CPMs pay off for publishers regards of whether the consumer acts. PPC requires a click and CPA requires an email, call, etc. The numbers go down but the prices go up accordingly.

    RedBeacon is the publisher. But if the fees they can get from SMBs are sufficient, it can offset the fact that only a small number will be taking action.

  3. Greg Sterling Says:

    Meant to say “regardless of whether . . .”

  4. Karim Meghji Says:

    It seems the dialog noted discusses the measuring of call quality but doesn’t address one of the fundamental issues – the delivery of quality calls. I would posit that publishers who can deliver quality customer calls (thus increasing the probability of conversion for the small business) have a reasonable shot at connecting their business model to the transaction.

  5. Amanda Bailey Says:

    This discussion reminds me a lot of the one that took place 10 years ago when everyone said that Cost per Click would never make as much money as CPM. I would bet that whoever offers the superior user experience (for consumers and service providers) will win in the end. That said, I agree with you that in the short-term, the CPC or strict pay-for-leads models might generate more cash.

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