Before you consider PayPerCall think about how your customers interact with you. Not all companies are suited to PayPerCall, but if your call centre conversions are higher than your web conversions, you run an affiliate programme and you have a cheeky phone number on your landing page why aren’t you doing it?

When you do set-up PayPerCall don’t forget to look at the metrics as you would for online, think about number type and consider all the feedback that can be fed into campaign optimisation.

Number choice – encouraging customers to call

When thinking about how best to optimise for PayPerCall, it’s natural to automatically reach out for a Freephone display number for your visitors to call. Freephone numbers, the 0800s and 0808s, are more likely to convert, right? Well, actually it depends. Consider the profile of your traffic and the devices visitors tend to access your website through.

Freephone numbers, whilst always free from a landline phone, can be subject to charges by a mobile phone company. We’ve all heard the lady proclaiming “You may be charged for dialling this number, how much depends on your tariff”, so if your traffic is mobile driven and converts via click to call, or your site is aimed at a younger crowd, chances are customers will be calling from their mobile phone.

Instead, consider using an 03 number. These are charged at the same rate as geographic numbers, like an 01223 or 0208 number and so tend to be included within bundled minutes both for mobiles and landlines. They cost your visitors less to dial than a Freephone number without adding a geographical bias, thereby encouraging use and conversion from web to phone.

Should you decide to opt for a Freephone number it is worth noting that most of the old 0800 number formats have now been allocated. The new format is 0808, but not all consumers are aware of this. It is therefore worth highlighting this in your copy, a brief addition to your call to action should suffice; “Call free on 0808 1234 567”.

Don’t Forget the Qualitative Feedback

Sometimes the stats alone are only half the picture, listen to what the contact centre can tell you. If visitors are calling with general queries before they are ready to become customers, look at your copy and that of your publishers. Perhaps it needs a little more detail in order to better qualify your callers. Call recordings will give an indication to any omission in content. For some large retailers the converting page alone is enough, but it’s wise to check your reasoning with actual customer conversations. For example, if the Delivery page is one of your highest converting web-to-phone pages either the content needs more detail; or, it’s perfect and customers are double-checking you can deliver to them prior to a purchase. Track variables within a page, especially if there is a data collection point, to see if people are dropping out of an unwieldy webform and calling when it is only partially completed. Where that is the case, look at shortening the webform and removing unnecessary fields. If it is a quote form, shorten the click-journey from first field to outcome. You may find that visitors call anyway – they’ve checked the price, now they want to address any other complexities and purchase over the phone.

Use The Data

A website without web analytics is virtually unheard of these days. Most webmasters will at least use Google Analytics even if they don’t wish to invest in a paid for platform. Where phone numbers are featured it makes sense to track response and feed the details back into measurement of return and optimisation. Sounds like common sense, but we still speak to surprising numbers of Advertisers, who either don’t know that web-to-phone call tracking can be done or simply haven’t looked at it, often ignoring a large (and unknown) quantity of conversions. As TUI’s case study shows it may be an entirely different set of keywords driving web-to-phone customers as to those that drive web-only conversions, so you should be taking calls into account.

At the minimum, call conversions should be taken into account alongside online conversions. Look at the patterns, the latency to call, converting pages, popular products, which campaigns drive leads, which drive sales, truly explore value and return on investment across a range of conversion points, not just online actions. Are the pages which convert by phone different to those converting online, if so why? Are there webpages in the mix where the online path breaks, or are visitors converting to phone at the most opportune point in their journey?

Give consideration to how you want visitors to convert – fast to phone or slow to phone. Fast tends to suit Advertisers where the call centres are quick closers, double glazing for example. Slow tends to suit bespoke holiday companies, where the finer details in the purchase need to be just right, where it helps is if the customer is a fairly well researched and has an idea of what they wants from their trip before they call. Adjust your copy and your calls to action accordingly. TUI has also used call metrics to refine the copy on the website after analysing when customers call to ensure it is more relevant to visitors and their point in the buying process.

Use call information to look at your ad copy too. In addition to adjusting their print copy and email templates, Truly Travel used call tracking to A/B test PPC Ad copy combinations, looking beyond keyword to messaging, changing their copy to reflect top offers over generic statements.

Treat your PayPerCall data as you would that from online actions. Don’t optimise just once for installation, keep tweaking, keep sharing data with your publishers, and use the channel to keep growing revenues.