For small businesses, budget constraints can put a damper on marketing efforts. After all, you can only stretch a dollar so far. But while you might not have the cash flow the big brands have, you do have the same access to an untapped, often overlooked option: pay per call advertising.
Pay per call is experiencing a bit of a Renaissance right now, largely due to mobile search driving calls. 70% of consumers have called a business directly from mobile search. And it’s estimated mobile search will have driven 65 billion calls to businesses by the end of 2016.
For those on the fence, consider this: conversions for pay per call are 30-50% compared to pay per click’s 2-3%. Sure, you’ll have to pay a bit upfront, but in the long run, your calls will cost less than clicks, making it a worthwhile investment.
Small businesses looking to generate leads, would be remiss not to use pay per call advertising. Here are four ways call advertising can help you gather qualified leads while still staying within budget.
1. You Can Target Mobile Users With Click to Call
Mobile device users appreciate the convenience click to call offers. Simply by tapping a mobile ad’s call extension, the user can call directly from the ad instead of having to switch to a call screen (or even worse, look up a number).
Local small businesses tend to benefit the most from click to call extensions. Consumers with an urgent need will often click the first local call extension they see.
Here, GEICO offers a handy call button for consumers looking for car insurance.
Now, this example is a national ad, but perhaps a consumer would rather deal with a local agent face-to-face. Consider running a click to call ad for your local franchise (e.g. Bob Smith’s Nationwide).
By appearing in a potential lead’s search, you’re giving the consumer the option to click, call, and schedule an appointment with one of your agents. You’re fulfilling a need that a corporate company can’t provide: local service.
2. It’s Easy to Qualify Leads With Warm Transfers
Warm transfers are an excellent way of separating the wheat from the chaff. They gather lead information, typically via a form, before transferring leads to your call center or sales team.
Let’s say Bob Smith’s Nationwide only wants to ensure low-risk drivers. With warm transfers, they can craft specific questions on the lead form to determine the risk of potential leads. Once the form is submitted, the information will be reviewed by a third party, and if the lead is a quality one, only then will it be transferred to Bob’s team.
Ultimately, the warm transfer call method saves time and money because you’re only talking to qualified leads.
3. TV Commercials Can Reach a Large Audience
Television commercials enable businesses to give a quick pitch to a large audience. If a consumer is interested, they’ll pick up the phone and call you, ensuring you’re getting engaged leads.
How it works, you pay a set amount for calls. Let’s say you pay $100 per call x 20 leads = $2,000 investment. But one new customer equals $12,000. Now the cost per call is less than the return. It’s why the most common TV commercials are for rehab facilities and law firms, like this one from Passages Malibu:
But don’t let that deter you if it makes sense to run one for your insurance company. However, keep in mind TV commercials can be expensive, so you may want to hold off until you beef up your marketing budget.
4. Abandoned Phone Calls Are Ripe for Picking
If TV commercials are too pricey, consider trying abandoned phone calls. Here’s how it works: your favorite pizza parlor went out of business. But instead of hanging up when you hear, “This number is no longer in service,” you’re presented with an alternate list of local pizza restaurants. You really want pizza, so you press 2 for the pizza joint down the street.
Abandoned phone calls are great for targeting end-of-the-funnel customers who are interested in your particular business and are ready to purchase. The next time a consumer hears “Rick’s State Farm location is closed,” they’ll have the option to call “Bob Smith’s Nationwide” instead.
Once you determine which type of call advertising you want to use, don’t forget to optimize your campaign(s). Remember to employ dayparting and geotargeting to customize your targeting, ensuring you’re capturing your audience at the right time and place.