Some decisions are easy to make (ahem Chipotle vs leftovers). But when it comes to your digital marketing strategy, choosing the right tools for your campaign isn’t always so simple. When deciding between pay per click (PPC) and pay per call, you might find yourself at a crossroads.
After all, both have their pros and cons. Yet, they work well together, too, making the choice even more complicated. Think of them like hot chocolate and marshmallows. Separately they’re both delicious. But when you combine them, you get my favorite holiday dessert.
So, the big question: how to choose? Well, it’s all in your hands, literally.
Is PPC the Beverage for You?
PPC advertising is a tool advertisers use to increase their online visibility on search engines, driving traffic to their site.
Related Post: 7 Questions You Need to Answer If You’re Considering PPC
Let’s say you search the keywords “buy hot chocolate” and up pops a PPC ad for your local Godiva. That’s PPC in action. Now if you clicked on that ad, the advertiser would pay Google for the click, and hopefully score a conversion.
- Plenty of Ad Space. Nowadays, you have several options (e.g. Google, Bing, Yahoo), to place your ad.
- Ability to Control Your Budget. PPC can be expensive, but your budget doesn’t have to be a worry. You can set a cap for how much you’re willing to spend on your campaign daily, weekly, or even monthly.
- Optimize to Target Specific Customers. Depending on your needs, you can tweak your retargeting by keywords, cookies, locations, time and day, devices, and demographics. Optimizing your targeting ensures your ads will reach the right consumers, at the right time.
- Fast Results. Your odds of receiving immediate traffic are greater than an organic campaign, which takes time to grow. By paying to have your advertisement displayed, you’ll be increasing your odds of scoring clicks.
- Irrelevant Clicks. Whether it’s an uninterested lead or ad fraud, irrelevant clicks can be a real pain in the butt. And if you don’t reign them in, you could end up spending more than you’re receiving.
- Keyword Selection. Choosing keywords can be the hardest part of PPC, not to mention the most costly. However, this can easily be remedied by doing keyword research, steering clear of broad keywords, and using long-tail keywords. But this remedy requires investing time.
- Budget Maintenance. Although PPC offers the ability to control your budget, it doesn’t mean you can set it and forget it. Unless you have a replenishment threshold set, as soon as your budget is depleted, so are your campaign ads.
- Unexpected Costs You might be able to get away with running your PPC campaign all by yourself, but a mistake could cost your business a lot of money. Hiring a third party might be a necessary, potential additional cost. So, keep that in mind.
Is Pay per Call Your Favorite Marshmallow?
Pay per call bridges online and offline advertising. Like marshmallows, it can stand on its own as a sweet tool, or complement an existing pay per click campaign (e.g. click to call).
Most businesses see pay per call as the closer and converter, whereas PPC can be used to increase brand awareness. If you’re on the fence about pay per call, here are its pros and cons.
- It Has a High Rate of Closing and Converting. Most callers are further down the sales funnel and ready to make a purchase. Once you have them on the phone, you can almost bet the deal is done. A total 30-50% of callers end in conversions.
- It’s Convenient. Let’s face it, our world has become a little lazy. If consumers need something quick, they’re not going to spend time doing research. Calling is more efficient. Plus, it’s likely they’ll have a mobile device in hand.
- It Qualifies Calls. With PPC, some clicks are irrelevant yet still cost you money. Pay per call works to eliminate irrelevancy from the start. With warm transfers, each lead has to be qualified based on a tailored set of questions before it’s even transferred to a call center. Then the call must complete a minimum call duration for your business to be charged for the call.
- It’s Expensive. Yes, it’s pricey, and your business might not have the budget for it. If you can’t afford it right now, try again down the road. Remember, it could be the better deal in the end. Instead of wasting $5 on three boxes of Swiss Miss Cocoa, spend $5 on a single can of Ghirardelli Premium Hot Chocolate.
- It Works Better for Some Verticals Than Others. Lead generating verticals (e.g. insurance, legal, financial) tend to benefit the most from pay per call. But if you’re a one-man show, or mom and pop shop that lacks a call center to handle volume, pay per call might not be for you.
What Good Is Hot Chocolate Without Marshmallows?
There’s no doubt that separately PPC, pay per call, hot chocolate, and marshmallows are good. But together, they can be absolutely scrumptious.
Think of warm, hot chocolate topped with sweet, melting marshmallows. A dream come true. Now imagine your PPC campaign topped with pay per call... A winning combo, right?
Imagine all the ways PPC and pay per call could benefit each other. For instance, mobile PPC ads with click to call buttons, or a PPC ad with a CTA that takes the consumer to a lead gathering form.
PPC and pay per call: it’s the best of both worlds. So, grab your marshmallow-stuffed hot chocolate and get to campaigning.
This article was originally posted in December 2016 and has been republished with new information.