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Click-To-Call is the Next Great CPA Model

Digital advertising continues to evolve fast. When we founded Freespee back in 2008, the world was different: the affiliate marketing business was a fraction of what it is today, and mobile advertising was mostly about ringtones and entertainment. Even social media wasn’t considered a serious marketing channel.

The trend was clear though: brand advertisers were increasingly aware of performance, analytics and optimization – and continuously looking for new, more effective channels to get their message across to their target audiences.

However, there can be no performance without measurement. What we discovered was that this pursuit of performance was based only on online measurement and analytics – leaving out everything that was bought offline, like from a store or through a phone call.

Based on the technology we had developed, we decided to go after the phone calls. GroupOn and CityDeal guys went after the store visits. We believe that we are essentially after the same problem – the huge gap between digital advertising and offline commerce – and we have been able to overcome the hurdles over the years.

The biggest problem has been trying to change consumers’ behaviour too fast. When an advertiser planned an affiliate marketing program, they had to remove their phone numbers from the landing pages – otherwise they could not measure the total amount of conversions, and the ad network and publishers didn’t get the attribution and commissions they deserved.

The consumer was left with no choice: they had to fill out a form and purchase online, or walk away. Yet 65% of businesses say calls are their highest quality lead source.

Essentially, there are two issues with this: firstly, many products and services are so complicated, that it is hard to fully understand them in order to make a purchasing decision without talking to a representative for more information. Secondly, there are many important segments of consumers who still don’t buy online, or at least prefer the personal touch of an appointment or a phone call.

Today, the phone calls are back. Advertisers can use their existing call centre resources to drive customers through affiliate and mobile advertising – and only pay for qualified calls. Freespee, together with our peers and partners, we have brought a new type of advertising currency to the market: phone calls, in addition to impressions, clicks and online conversions.

And we are seeing that the results are great: calls have very high sales conversion rates, on average 20-60% depending on the vertical. This makes complete sense as people who pick up their phone are ready to buy. At the same time, there’s a possibility to do more business, and it is easier than online. The  average order values over the phone tend to be significantly higher than in online-only commerce.

Call advertising works great in retail (“mail order”), but also the results from banking, finance, insurance, utilities, education, travel and many local services provided by small and medium sized businesses have been incredibly good.

The next thing that needs fixing is mobile advertising. Mobile internet usage is still growing much faster than advertising on mobile devices, and there is a clear reason for it: as long as people don’t do purchases on their phones, big advertisers will still consider it as an awareness-only channel, without the possibility to attribute the advertising directly to sales.

The answer is mobile Click-to-Call with Cost-Per-Action pricing – a button that connects you directly to the merchant, even directly from a banner. This means the advertisers can buy calls from mobile advertising, instead of just clicks. It’s that simple.

About Carl Holmquist

Carl brings over 10 years of entrepreneurial telco & software leadership experience to Freespee. Carl launched cloud services for the Nordic Next Gen telco, IP-Only.se. As a senior consultant at Ascade.com, he spent a couple of months at each of the telco Giants as Swisscom, Belgacom, Telenor, Allstream, One, Telecom New Zealand.

10 comments

  1. That’s why we are creating a push for more click to call at ReactionAds.com

  2. This is great news. I am actually launching in the next couple of days in anticipation of this. I have partnered with Bluesurf Marketing who has a technology called adRinger that will be able to track and provide a system that will allow multiple publishers to run campaigns with a simple solution for the advertiser.

    I am super excited for this sector and see great opportunity..

  3. Mobile PayPerCall works great! We’ve been specializing in PPCall for 8 years utilizing every available technique and find mobile to work best of all. Easier & cheaper to identify and reach targeted audiences & advertisers are much happier.

  4. Well i think buyers will use mobile phones to purchase products in the future. It would be best to take action on this so that advertisers will be prepared with this technological evolution.

  5. I agree with that some people now when they are buying they use their phone that why you can see whoo is buying so what are the best way for that thing..

  6. Reduced prices of telephony services over the past 24 months has really allowed us an opportunity to explore the call advertising avenue and I am excited at what it presents.

    We use Twilio currently for a variety of phone directory and customer enhancement services that have already shown an increase in sales and we have a few projects going under the hood that we will be announcing soon that should do much the same.

  7. Click 2 Call is hitting business by storm! If you have not got on board with it then what are you doing? To get you business growing cutting corners to save time is imperative. Click 2 Call software does just this.

  8. Fortunately, they use a “click to call” system. I clicked on the “Call me” button, and a new window popped up. I entered my phone number and chose when I wanted them to call (in this case, “right now”).

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