Call tracking and PPCall firm Telmetrics put out a release that indicated telemarketers are calling business lines (published on the Internet) more often partly because of the consumer “do not call” registry:
Telmetrics’ call analysis showed a 61 percent increase in telemarketer activity from January-February 2009 when compared to January-February 2010.
I’m guessing that telemarketers are scraping the Web as well as probably using traditional media (phone books) to build lists that they’re now using to spam businesses with telemarketing calls. That inevitably means some numbers participating in call/leads-based ad programs (call-tracking/PPCall) are getting these calls. In fact Telmetrics says that “up to 40 percent of all call volume” could be coming from telemarketers. Yikes.
To address such “call quality” issues, Telmetrics released some best practices advice:
- Local advertisers, including national brands with a local presence, should use local phone numbers in ad campaigns rather than toll-free lines. Consumers are four times more likely to call an advertiser with a local phone number.
- Apply a quarantine period to all phone numbers published as a pay per call line, so that advertisers do not receive calls from legacy owners.
- Use an automated tool to filter and block invalid calls so that advertisers receive real and valid leads and aren’t bothered by nuisance calls. Automation is more efficient and accurate than report filtering and significantly reduces administration and customer service costs.
- Once a phone number is used in an ad campaign, continue ongoing quality assurance testing.
As an aside about the above, Telmetrics says “Consumers are four times more likely to call an advertiser with a local phone number.” I’m going out on a limb here but I would argue this data is also a proxy for the general effectiveness of local ads vs. national ads in many categories.
Back to calls. The problem that Telmetrics is raising is a fundamental one and threatens the integrity of PPCall programs. Yext uses an algorithm to only bill for calls it deems valid leads. Telmetrics has a “auto-blocking” system that it says prevents most telemarketers from getting through on these numbers.
Has anyone out there used PPCall and found that a large percentage of calls are telemarketing oriented?