Why Pay per Call Is the Most Powerful Tool for Small Businesses

By Alexa Matia, April 01, 2016

If you’re a small or mid-sized business, stretching every penny of your advertising and marketing budget to the max is essential. Pay per call can help you do that.

This year, mobile search will dominate all other search sources and drive an estimated 65 billion calls to businesses. Even though the upfront costs of pay per call may be intimidating at first, its overall value can no longer be overlooked.

With that in mind, you need to make sure that customers can easily call your business.

Why You Need It

Most modern consumers rely on their mobile devices for anything and everything. Now 67% of the buyer’s journey occurs digitally.

More people are relying on their smartphones to not only find local businesses, but also to research them. In fact, people searching for businesses or services “near me” on Google are up by 130% over last year.

A lot of small and local companies are already taking advantage of click to call or pay per call advertising. With a simple search for a plumber or dentist near me (which is at eZanga’s headquarters in Middletown, Delaware), I can see a few different options and the ability to just hit a button and call.

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Businesses that satisfy an immediate need (like a plumber) or run based on appointments and inquiries (such as a dental office) are benefiting the most from pay per call. However, plenty of other small businesses can partake in the various methods of pay per call as well, such as lawn care services or a local restaurant setting up a placement on an abandoned, out-of-business phone line.

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Think about all the magnets you’ve collected over the years for goods and services. What if one of those numbers is out of service, but you really need landscaping done before your yard is overgrown? Another landscaper could set up a pay per call campaign to redirect customers calling the out-of-service line to their business.

Ultimately, the success of pay per call advertising comes from the fact that customers want better and faster service, especially when they’re ready to buy. And what’s the fastest way to answer those questions and bring delight to your customers? Phone calls.

The Benefits of Pay per Call

While the cost upfront may be more than pay per click (PPC), pay per call generates more qualified leads and a higher ROI because it can be hyper-targeted. Plus, it attracts consumers who are at a later stage in the buying process and ready to make a decision.

According to Google, ads that contain local phone numbers are engaged with 8% more often than those without phone numbers. Basically, calls are the new clicks (click to tweet). Take a look at the results page of a search for a towing company.

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Only one ad has the option to call directly. Now, if I’m looking for a tow truck, I might be stranded by the side of a road, so I probably need their services immediately. Chances are I’m going to hit the convenient call button and contact that towing company over the others because it’s the easiest and fastest one to contact.

Related Post: Why Pay per Call Is Better at Closing and Converting

Along with local services, small retail stores can also benefit from pay per call. For a clothing boutique or small jewelry store, in-store visits are generally more valuable than website traffic, since that’s where most of the purchases are made. And PPC doesn’t always help you with that.

If your goal is to drive more visits to your store, it’s calls (not clicks) that’ll drive more customers to your business.

The Costs of Pay per Call

Typically, SMBs have small advertising budgets, which causes them to stick with more familiar forms of advertising. However, pay per call not only converts 30-50% of the time (whereas PPC only converts 2-3% of the time), but the returns are also immediate.

Pay per call also allows for more personalization than PPC. Having the reassurance of a real person makes your brand more trustworthy, and consumers are more willing to complete large purchases over the phone with a direct conversation, rather than online.

Related Post: How to Figure out the Cost of Pay per Call Advertising

The cost of pay per call is flexible, and there are several different types of calls you can choose from. There are options for you to customize and figure out what will work best for your company and budget.

Can It Work for Your Business?

Most likely, yes. Even if you don’t have a product that requires a lot of explaining (maybe you’re a clothing store), it’s always good to have clear and inviting lines of communication available. However, there are some instances where pay per call is especially helpful.

Your Business Competes in a Crowded Niche

If the competition is already high in your niche, then you need to take advantage of every opportunity to stay ahead of your competition. Adding call buttons to your ads can make contacting you seem more appealing and easier than contacting your competitor.

Examples: Computer repair service, insurance companies

Your Customers Are Mostly Local

The best methods for pay per call involve keeping a narrow focus with geotargeting and dayparting. This means your leads are already hyper-targeted, usually resulting in immediate local lead conversions. Examples: Pizza shop, hair dresser

Your Business Is Seasonal

You can use pay per call or click to call advertising as a push to bring in more calls when it’s relevant for your business.

Examples: Landscaping, pool repair

Your Buying Cycle Is Short

Customers who engage with pay per call campaigns usually have an immediate need and willingness to purchase. Calls are the fastest way for those customers to get the information they need.

Examples: Towing company, doctor’s office

Your Consumers Are On-The-Go

If your customers are mobile, then what better way to reach them than through mobile? Maybe you’re a restaurant that wants to make it easy for your customers to call for a reservation straight from their search. A mobile click to call ad makes this even more likely to occur.

Examples: Restaurants, movie theaters

You Have a Large Social Following

Facebook and Twitter have recently updated their advertising so that you can place CTA’s in your ads, including a call now button. Consider using social media advertising if you have a large social following you want to engage with.

Examples: Clothing boutique, jewelry store

The Bottom Line

Pay per call can help your small or mid-sized business advertise and drive in quality leads without breaking the bank. The upfront costs are higher, but the risk is lower and the high ROI outweighs the risks.

With some strategizing with dayparting, geotargeting, and selecting the right type of calls to implement, pay per call can help you not only identify and convert potential leads, but also close leads that are at the bottom of the sales funnel. 

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Alexa Matia

Alexa Matia

Alexa Matia is eZanga's former Content Writer and Digital Specialist. She's a native of Central Pennsylvania and a graduate of Shippensburg University, where she majored in English. When she's not writing, Alexa is either watching Star Wars (again), reading, running, or cuddling her overly spoiled dachshund, Chewbacca. More Articles by Alexa Matia