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What is Pay Per Call and How does it work

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Category: Webmaster Resources: Articles
Advertisers create an ad similar to a Pay-Per-Click (PP-Click) ad. Advertisers choose key terms in which they would like to appear under. They also choose their geographical location (local, regional or national) Pricing starts at $2 and can exceed $20. The ad itself consists of a headline and 2 additional lines of text, (including a URL if the company has one). Surfers then call the toll free number shown in the ad. After the surfer calls the number, the call is forwarded to the actual business phone. Seems pretty basic doesn’t it? But, I had a few questions I needed answered so I contacted Ingenio and spoke to them about their service.

My first question regarded calls placed after business hours. If my business phones are manned Monday – Friday, 9 to 5, will calls still come in after 5pm on Friday? The answer is that currently there is no automated scheduling that will turn your ads on or off at a specified time. However, you can go in manually and pause your account so that your ads are not shown during non-business hours. The automated scheduling is in the process of being implemented but there is currently no set date for this to take effect. Of course, you can place your business hours in the ad as well but this may take up valuable space that could be better utilized describing products or services. Businesses that have a call center for after hours calls are effectively 24 hour businesses, so this should not be an issue for them.

My next question concerned wrong numbers and short calls. We have all done it. We see one number and dial another. Or, we see something and on impulse we reach for the phone, and then change our mind ten seconds after dialing. So, does the advertiser pay for these types of calls? Is there a time limit a person needs to be on the phone for? There answer is yes. The calls need to last at least ten seconds. This should be more than enough time to establish that a wrong number as been dialed. I also wondered about people trying to beat the system. The trouble with PP-Click is that people may dial and occupy a salesperson with no intent other than to try and boost their revenue off the ads placed on their site. Ingenio has taken this into account. They can track calls that come in through their system. Any numbers seen abusing it can be blocked. Hopefully, this will discourage any type of scam to boost profits on sites that sponsors these ads.

I was also interested to know about ads that did provide a URL. Was there an additional charge levied when someone clicked on the ad? Fortunately, there is not. If a business sells over the net as well, they could certainly use this to their advantage. Of course, one of the main advantages to this type of advertising is that it caters to potential customers that do not, for whatever reason, like to make purchases online. Overall PP-Call may be worth its weight in gold. At least the potential is there. Will it surpass PP-Click as far as the preferred method of advertising? Probably, not. It does however give advertises who couldn’t advertise on the net before a reason to start. Maybe then they will see the importance of having a web presence on the Internet.
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