How to Get Started with Pay-Per-Call Marketing: A Complete Guide for Advertisers

Women working in a call center taking pay-per-call calls

If you have never considered pay-per-call for your company or business, you might be wondering how to get started with pay-per-call marketing. The first is to learn what this type of marketing is and what it entails. Pay-per-call marketing enables businesses to connect with motivated customers directly over the phone. This performance-based advertising model only charges when a lead calls a unique tracking number from an ad. When optimized effectively, pay-per-call can become a powerful channel for lead generation and sales conversion.

However, implementing a successful pay-per-call strategy requires thorough research, planning, and ongoing optimization. Advertisers must understand what this model entails, study their target audience and competitors, set up the proper technical infrastructure and processes, drive call volume through multimedia promotion, and continuously improve campaigns over time.

This guide covers critical steps and considerations across the pay-per-call marketing process. Whether launching initial efforts or looking to improve existing programs, marketers can follow the best practices outlined here to boost leads and return on ad spend. While pay-per-call requires effort to perfect, the long-term rewards merit the investment for many businesses.

How to Get Started with Pay-Per-Call Marketing as an Advertiser

Pay-per-call advertising places clickable phone numbers on ads rather than website URLs. When a prospect sees the ad and calls the number, the call is recorded for analytics and then dynamically routed to the advertiser’s internal sales team. Advertisers only pay the media source when these qualified phone calls occur.

This performance-based billing model ensures advertisers aren’t wasting their budget on impressions or clicks that don’t convert. Pay-per-call also provides transparency through call tracking and aligns well with consultative sales processes conducted over the phone. Additionally, callers have expressed clear intent by actively contacting the company versus simply visiting a website.

These factors make pay-per-call ads ideal for higher consideration of services customers want to discuss live before purchasing. Home services, healthcare, financial services, legal firms, and other verticals tend to see strong lead generation from pay-per-call campaigns. However, the strategy can also work for e-commerce and other industries.

What Exactly is Pay-Per-Call Marketing?

Pay-per-call marketing refers to a form of performance-based advertising where advertisers only pay when a visitor calls a specific phone number listed on an ad. It allows advertisers to connect qualified leads directly with sales teams. 

How Does Pay-Per-Call Advertising Work? 

In pay-per-call advertising, advertisers provide phone numbers on their ads instead of website URLs. When a potential customer calls the number, the call is routed through a call-tracking platform before reaching the advertiser’s internal sales team. The call tracking software records valuable data like caller ID, length of call, and more. Advertisers only pay the media source when these tracked phone calls occur, making it a purely performance-based model.

What Are the Benefits of Pay-Per-Call?

The benefits of pay-per-call advertising include guaranteed connections with motivated customers, greater transparency through call tracking, and alignment with sales processes geared for phone conversations. It provides higher quality leads since callers directly intend to contact the company. The performance-based billing also minimizes potential wasted ad spend by providing the business with qualified and vetted leads.

What Types of Businesses Use Pay-Per-Call Advertising?

Pay-per-call marketing is used heavily by home services like locksmiths, HVAC companies, and plumbers. However, many financial services, healthcare providers, legal firms, and nonprofits also utilize pay-per-call ads. While just about any type of company can benefit from pay-per-call advertising, it is most effective for high-consideration services that customers like to discuss over the phone before purchasing.

What is the Difference Between Pay-Per-Call Vs. Pay-Per-Click?

Pay-per-click (PPC) and pay-per-call are popular digital advertising models, but they function quite differently.

With pay-per-click (PPC), advertisers create text or display ads that appear on search engines and websites. Whenever a user clicks on one of these ads, the advertiser pays the publisher a small fee, usually a few cents to a couple of dollars. PPC is all about generating clicks and driving visitors to your site.

Pay-per-call flips this model. Instead of paying for clicks, advertisers only pay when an actual phone call is generated from their ad. These ads contain a clickable phone number, and when a user calls that number, it triggers a fee for the advertiser.

So why would a business choose pay-per-call over PPC? There are a few key reasons, including:

  • Higher quality leads – With pay-per-call, you know the lead was interested enough to pick up the phone and talk to you – This demonstrates higher intent than merely clicking an ad.
  • Call tracking – You can monitor exactly how many calls came from each ad source, helping optimize your ad spend.
  • Mobile-friendliness – Pay-per-call performs well on mobile, where users are more inclined to call than click a website.
  • Call outcomes – You could track if calls led to sales, signups, or other goals to evaluate ROI.

The bottom line with pay-per-call advertising is that advertisers get qualified, tracked phone leads instead of clicks of unknown value. If speaking directly with customers is essential for conversions, pay-per-call delivers results.

Researching Your Pay-Per-Call Strategy

Colleagues discussing their pay-per-call strategy

Thorough research lays the foundation for an effective pay-per-call marketing strategy tailored to your unique business. Assess your ideal customer demographics, psychographics, needs, behaviors, and motivations, and build detailed buyer personas. Key areas to study include:

  • Your target audience – Assess your ideal customer demographics, psychographics, needs, behaviors, and motivations. Build detailed buyer personas.
  • Customer intent – Research the search terms and questions your audience uses around your services. Learn how to address their pain points.
  • Competitor approaches – Study what pay-per-call tactics your competitors use across media, ads, landing pages, and call handling.
  • Internal capabilities – Audit your existing marketing, sales, and technical infrastructure to identify gaps pay-per-call advertising may require.

These insights dictate everything from where and how you should advertise, what messaging resonates, how calls are handled, and what optimizations to prioritize going forward. Invest time upfront to research appropriately to develop an informed pay-per-call strategy. 

Here are some tips for how to get started with pay-per-call marketing and creating a pay-per-call strategy that will work for you and your company as an advertiser: 

Define your Target Audience 

The first step in a pay-per-call strategy is defining your ideal customer profile. Assess past high-quality customers and identify typical demographics, psychographics, needs, motivations, and behaviors. Build buyer personas based on these target audience insights. This will dictate how and where you advertise.

Understand Your Customers’ Intent 

Research the search terms and phrases your target audience uses around your services. This informs keyword selection for search and display ads. Look at questions they commonly ask to optimize your ad messaging and landing pages. Identify motivators and pain points in their buyer’s journey to determine how to guide them from consideration to conversion.

Research Successful Pay-Per-Call Offers 

Study competitors and top performers in your industry to uncover proven pay-per-call tactics. First, take a look at their ad creatives. What compelling offers and concise messaging do they use? What types of media placements work for lead gen in your market? Next, examine their call flow. Does a receptionist or automated system greet callers? How long before reaching a sales rep? Finding patterns in high-performing pay-per-call campaigns can inform your own.

Study Competitors’ Pay-Per-Call Approaches 

Analyze what your top competitors are doing with pay-per-call advertising. Look at the media they buy, ad messages used, tracking numbers displayed, and landing pages they drive traffic to. This competitive intelligence can reveal gaps or opportunities to outshine their efforts. That being said, always make sure to comply with terms and conditions when researching competitors.

Assess Your Internal Capabilities

Before jumping on the pay-per-call bandwagon, take time to audit your marketing, sales, and tech stack to ensure you have the resources and capabilities needed to capitalize on this unique advertising model. 

Make sure to examine your team’s expertise in managing these campaigns across channels and identify any knowledge gaps to fill through training or outside support. Conducting this thorough self-assessment will reveal potential gaps in your pay-per-call machinery, allowing you to proactively address them and set your company up for optimized performance.

Setting Up Your Pay-Per-Call Campaign 

Colleagues discussing how to launch a pay-per-call campaign

Once you’ve conducted thorough research, the next critical step is implementing the proper technical infrastructure and processes to manage pay-per-call campaigns successfully. This includes installing call tracking software to record calls, provide unique numbers, dynamically route leads, and generate optimization analytics. You’ll also need to create highly targeted ad creative and landing pages with compelling offers and prominent phone numbers that align with your sales process. 

Additionally, sales reps will require training on handling these phone-driven leads, from following proper routing procedures to employing conversational best practices to ensure positive experiences for callers. 

With the right call-tracking tools, optimized assets, and an equipped team in place, you’ll have the foundation to efficiently execute and measure data-driven pay-per-call advertising across media channels and campaigns. This infrastructure is essential for maximizing returns.

Select a Call Tracking Provider 

Choose an industrial-grade call tracking provider like CallRail, Invoca, or DialogTech. Ensure the platform offers full analytics on call attributes, recordings, lead quality, real-time call routing, keyword attribution, and flexible integrations. Most also provide inbound call numbers.

Set Up Call Routing and Analytics 

Configure your call-tracking solution to assign unique phone numbers across campaigns, ads, and other parameters. Use this to route and record calls accordingly for accurate tracking. It is helpful to Integrate the platform with your CRM, lead gen systems, and other technology to collect caller information and call analytics automatically during and after conversations. This enables in-depth reporting.

Create Optimized Ad Creatives 

Before you begin running ads, make sure to develop text, display, and video ads with compelling headlines, concise ad copy, and prominent phone numbers. Align creatives with high-intent keywords. Emphasize your unique value proposition in the ad, offer free quotes, drive urgency, build credibility, and reduce friction to call. It may also help to use dynamic number insertion to serve specific tracking numbers.

Build Dedicated Landing Pages 

Send ads to dedicated landing pages that enable visitors to call you immediately. Pages should focus on one specific offer or ad theme. Ensure your tracking number, offer details, and call to action are evident. You can also use lead gen forms as a secondary path if needed. 

Train Your Sales Team 

Educate your sales reps on pay-per-call procedures such as proper call handling, lead qualification and routing, compliance, conversational skills and objections, documentation, and usage of call tracking data. This will help ensure everyone is on the same page and their primary goals are all aligned, avoiding any confusion down the road. 

Optimizing and Scaling Your Efforts 

With a pay-per-call program implemented, marketers must continue optimizing and scaling efforts over time.

Use call analytics and recordings to uncover optimization opportunities regarding messaging, targeting, placements, or call handling processes, which can improve your campaign and determine the highest converting configurations. Make sure to expand media placements and partnerships to extend reach, investing more in top-performing platforms.

Through relentless testing and investment into refining and expanding the program, advertisers can maximize quality lead flow, conversions, and, ultimately, long-term ROI from their pay-per-call campaigns.

Track Call Quality KPIs 

Take detailed records of call logs, call length, recordings, lead quality categorization, rep handling times, transfers, on-hold duration, and outcomes in the call tracking software database. By doing so, you can listen to call recordings and document potential issues. 

Tracking KPIs like CPL, 1st call resolution rate, contact rate, calls per opportunity, and ultimate conversions driven will help provide more insight into the strength of your campaign. Remember that optimization relies on in-depth analytics.

Continuously Test and Optimize Campaigns

Running A/B tests on various elements within your campaign will help you optimize your ads and ad spend budget. Examine your ad copy, display formats, landing pages, keywords, targeting methods, call routing menus, etc. Then, you can redistribute media spending towards better-performing ads, keywords, placements, and platforms. Overall, optimization requires ongoing small tests.

Expand Media Placements and Partnerships 

Bolster efforts by purchasing additional media types and expanding reach through new publishers, native ad networks, podcast ads, OTT/CTV videos, influencers, and affiliate networking opportunities. 

By diversifying ad placements across multiple channels and vendors to scale audiences, you will likely experience a higher converting campaign. It may also help to consider call center partnerships to handle overflow calls or large campaigns that require extensive management and optimization.

How to Get Started with Pay Per Call and Boost Your Business with Aragon Advertising

Person looking at a pay-per-call ad on their mobile phone

If you are wondering how to get started with pay-per-call advertising, partnering with Aragon Advertising can help set you up for long-term success and optimized performance. As part of our extensive affiliate network, we take a consultative approach to understanding your business goals and constraints to match you with relevant pay-per-call opportunities and partners you can trust. 

Leveraging our 6+ years of performance marketing experience across verticals, including insurance, finance, and home services, we employ a multi-channel, multi-touch strategy to deliver high-intent, high-quality leads at scale without breaking the bank. 

From owned media properties to expansive affiliate sources and an in-house media team, we filter through options to find the right fit. Through state-of-the-art tracking and transparent reporting, we monitor campaign performance and make ongoing optimizations so you can expand user acquisition on a budget. 

As an advertiser, if generating more tracked phone calls from interested customers is your goal, partner with Aragon Advertising to maximize your pay-per-call return on investment.

FAQs for How to Get Started with Pay Per Call Advertising as an Advertiser

What is pay-per-call marketing?

Pay-per-call marketing is a form of performance-based advertising where advertisers only pay when a visitor calls a specific phone number listed on an ad. This allows advertisers to connect with qualified, high-intent leads directly via phone.

How does pay-per-call advertising work?

In pay-per-call ads, advertisers provide a unique phone number instead of a website URL. When a potential customer calls that number, the call is tracked and routed to the advertiser’s sales team. The advertiser pays the ad platform or publisher only when these calls occur.

What types of businesses use pay-per-call ads?

Pay-per-call works well for service-based businesses that consult with customers before purchases, like home services, healthcare, legal services, insurance, and more. However, any business can potentially benefit from connecting with leads directly via phone.

How is pay-per-call different from pay-per-click?

With pay-per-click (PPC), advertisers pay when users click their ads. Pay-per-call only charges advertisers when an ad generates a phone call, delivering higher-quality leads.

What should I research before starting pay-per-call campaigns?

Key research areas include your target audience, their intent and motivations, competitor approaches, and an audit of your internal capabilities to handle phone leads. These insights inform your strategy.

What tools and assets are needed to execute pay-per-call campaigns?

You need call-tracking software, unique phone numbers, optimized ad creatives and landing pages, sales team training, and the ability to monitor quality KPIs and continuously optimize efforts.

How can I scale and improve my pay-per-call campaigns?

Test different elements of your campaigns, expand media placements and partnerships, redistribute the budget to better-performing platforms, and make ongoing optimizations based on in-depth call analytics and tracking.