For many years I have seen value in the pay per call mode, which has available since about 2004 and actively through many of the tier-one networks. Pay-Per-Call enables affiliates to get paid a commission for pushing a lead or caller to a phone number designated by the merchant. Typically, the quality of leads is much better for the merchants and converts at high rates and yields higher average sales.

Recently several of our large clients, including a large software company that relies heavily on a call center for its sales, service and support, have implemented Pay-Per-Call programs. We have some other big clients that are getting into the Pay-Per-Call game as well.

Our partner in this, RingRevenue, has long been providing pay per call services and seen great success.

The key to Pay-Per-Call is the call tracking technology behind it. It must be able to track online and offline calls and pay out affiliate commission for both. One of the benefits of Pay-Per-Call is that merchants don’t need a website to direct callers to their phone bank – it can be used offline in traditional media such as print, TV and outdoor displays.

It’s now relatively commonplace for affiliate networks to offer this type of service to their merchants as Pay-Per-Call is often referred to as the quickest growing areas of affiliate marketing. That might be because the rise of mobile commerce and pay per call are a natural fits.  In August of 2011 Google convert all AdWords ads to include a Pay-Per-Call phone number.

According to a January 2012 article in Search Engine Watch, US mobile ad revenues are expected to reach $4.2 billion in 2013. And then in July 2012, Google reported it is driving 15 million calls a month to US advertisers. Forbes estimated that calls in this model “could explode as more businesses understand the benefits of pay per call versus other forms of advertising” and that “Pay-Per-Call could be 10x bigger than pay per click”.

And Pay-Per-Call generates longer call times than the yellow page or paid search, according to market researcher Telemetrics.

·         Mobile-3.5 mins/call

·         Yellow Pages-2.8 mins/call

·         Internet Yellow Pages-2.7 mins/call

·         Paid search-2.2 mins/call

Pay-Per-Call is not right for every merchant, but those that have call centers or rely on lead generation are great prospects for the success of Pay-Per-Call. I encourage all merchants to evaluate a variety of online marketing methods and make the most of what is appropriate for them.