Yelp’s ‘Hidden’ PPCall Opportunity

Pay per call is not something that Yelp currently sells, to my knowledge. However this little bit of data caught my eye in a Yelp blog post last week:

Last month, over half a million calls were made to local businesses directly from our Yelp iPhone App. That’s about 1 call every 5 seconds to a business as a result of Yelp.

Imagine if Yelp were to start to monetize these calls. There are several challenges in doing that of course (e.g., they’d be intercepting calls going to those businesses arguably anyway). But the volume suggests the company has an opportunity with PPCall.

And when other smartphone platforms are included the call volumes could approach a million monthly calls.


Related (though nothing about the data above): Mercury News interview: Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp CEO


5 Responses to “Yelp’s ‘Hidden’ PPCall Opportunity”

  1. Howard Lerman Says:

    Greg, the size of the pay-per-call opportunity in mobile is massive. It is an action that perfectly aligns user behavior with what an advertiser wants. As an interesting point of reference I’ll go on the record and say, Yext drove its customers about half a million phone calls last month. So your estimate about Yelp being able to at least double with a network is spot on. Of course, as we all know, not all phone calls are of equal value – the intent, the type of call, and the category of the call are the key factors in sizing up this market. Hope this is helpful.

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    Thanks Howard.

  3. David Mihm Says:

    This is a form of call tracking that I can get behind! Calling the ACTUAL merchant number from a mobile app. Brilliant.

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  5. Scott Wolfgang Says:

    I don’t think charging businesses for these calls makes sense, but I do think putting a short, relevant ad before connecting the call could make sense. It might annoy users; however, if all applications start using in call ads as a monetization option, it may just end up being the norm and a viable way for apps with a large volume of calls to monetize the service.

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