How to Do Pay Per Call Affiliate Marketing

Aug. 22 2019

Most people know what pay per click marketing is, but many are unaware that a similar model is available to generate calls. That model is called Pay Per Call Affiliate Marketing and it comes with a wide array of benefits for both publishers and advertisers. Learn about its history, benefits, and what you came here for…

The History of Pay Per Call Marketing

Pay per call marketing is not entirely new. Individual companies have historically spent considerable amounts of money on late-night infomercials, radio ads, and traditional television ads explaining how a product or service works while urging consumers to call the provided number. Unfortunately, while the phone number listed may have been unique for the advertising slot, it wasn’t easily scalable.

However, this method can be thought of as a prototype for pay per call affiliate marketing. Marketers are still offering information and a telephone number to make it easy for consumers to access an offer, but now they can track their ROI.

The Modern Pay Per Call Model

Modern pay per call marketing seems intimidating at first glance, but it can be a powerful method of lead generation. Using this form of performance marketing allows calls to be tracked in the same way clicks are tracked in other affiliate programs.

Let’s start with an example. Company A wants to generate calls for a new or existing service. Its marketing manager then creates a pay per call campaign and looks for publishers who want to help spread the word. Interested publishers apply to the campaign and if they are a good match, receive phone numbers to publish on their landing page. The way in which the publishers set up their pay per call offers tends to be up to them since they know their audience the best.

When someone from the publisher’s audience calls the number associated with the new campaign, they are connected to the advertiser’s call center or response team. The call tracking software tracks the call and the publisher receives a commission for any qualified calls. The requirements for what is considered a qualified call and the exact commission vary by campaign.

Some leads are qualified as soon as a consumer places a call. However, these are generally less profitable. More sophisticated systems will look at a variety of factors which could include the location of the lead, the duration of the call, the resulting sale, and a number of other factors which may be customized based on the needs of the advertiser.

Benefits for Advertisers

The most obvious benefit for companies sourcing leads via a pay per call affiliate is the ability to grow their business. While pay per call affiliate marketing is both quick and effective, it isn’t something most businesses will want to try on their own. Setting up the infrastructure and processes necessary to support and track affiliate information can be prohibitive for individual businesses. However, when companies work with experienced lead generation authorities, the benefits can be impressive.

Outsourcing lead generation to a diverse network can result in higher quality leads from populations which might have otherwise been overlooked by an internal marketing team. Since the leads are being prequalified and self-selected, interest in the service has already been established and sales teams will be working directly with warm leads.

Of course, the benefits of utilizing a pay per call affiliate system ultimately come down to what is offered with the company providing the leads. Consumer data should be collected through a variety of sources, verified, ranked, evaluated, and audited by experts to ensure only the highest quality of leads are passed on to the sales team.

It’s also important to look for a company that will provide advertisers with high-quality customer support that is dedicated to matching its needs with those of the consumers who want their services.

Benefits for Publishers

Publishing pay per call affiliate links is one of the most lucrative affiliate opportunities available and is also one of the least utilized because so few people understand what it really is and how it works. As a result, there are more opportunities for scalable growth for publishers who are willing to jump on the opportunity.

It’s important for both new and experienced publishers to partner with companies that will give you access to a dedicated affiliate manager to help them get the most out of the arrangement. It’s essential to have the dedicated support of someone who wants you to be successful and who can help you navigate the options, so you generate leads and commissions more effectively.

A few more things publishers should look for when deciding who to partner with are weekly payouts, responsive email templates, mobile 1st compatibility, templates, JavaScript forms, and training materials with current best practices on SEO and marketing.

If you’ve been looking for affiliate opportunities to increase revenue but thought the market was oversaturated, it can pay to take a second look at the pay per call affiliate model.

Benefits for Customers

It’s imperative to note that there are also benefits for customers who are reached via a pay per call affiliate. Often, consumers don’t realize a service or product is available even if it is something they would happily use. Publishers with extensive experience with a particular niche audience know the interests and needs of the people they communicate with and can help bridge the gap between the advertiser and the consumer. 

Not all publishers are providing information to a warm audience. Some are simply good storytellers and marketers who are experts at crafting effective landing pages with high-quality information that provides a resource for the potential consumer. This type of free information can offer a solution the consumer was actively looking for as well as provide a convenient way to contact the advertiser. When the consumer places the call with a click from their phone browser, they are connected directly to the resource seamlessly. While the call tracking is going on behind the scenes to calculate commissions for the publisher, the consumer experience is one of finding the resource they were looking for and making a call.  

The Best Marketing Channels for Pay Per Call

Most traditional forms of marketing can be leveraged for pay per call affiliate marketing. Traditional marketing that targets print, display, radio, or video content can be effectively implemented. Publishers have had equal success with online marketing that delivers content via mobile search, paid search, display ads, and search engine optimization (SEO). The marketing channel that will work best is the one with which the publisher has the most familiarity, or that is easiest for them to understand and master with adequate training.

Let’s look at another example. If you are generating leads for auto loans, there are many niche markets a publisher could target. One option is expecting mothers who are interested in upgrading their vehicle before the baby arrives. One publisher might write a guest blog post that discussed the best cars for growing families and includes a section on how to get a loan. This would utilize SEO and possibly paid search channels. Another publisher might mention needing a new loan for a car on their parenting podcast or pay for a radio spot in strategic markets popular with new parents. The possibilities are limited only by the creativity of the publisher.

The Power of Pay Per Call

Consumers today are more aware of marketing tactics than ever before. They see banner ads as background noise that has been put there by an algorithm that’s tracking them like a big brother. Social media ads are infiltrating their feeds with prompts to click over to read or sign up for various services, freebies, and trials. The thing most other types of marketing has in common is the lack of personalization. The consumer reads copy that could have been written for anyone vaguely resembling them, an automated form to fill out, or a generic email. In many cases, advertisers are paying for clicks that occurred accidentally as a result of intentionally poor placement by the publisher in an effort to garner higher commissions.

Pay per call puts the consumer in touch with a real person quickly and with the only tap if they’ve been browsing on a mobile device; this makes the experience feel more personalized and valuable to the consumer who is taking the leap to talk to a live person when they initiate the call. Not only does a consumer have to manually dial or click through on their smartphone to make the connection, but they also have to be invested enough to speak to the person on the other end. This level of interest has the potential to result in a much higher ROI for the advertiser and a more lucrative commission for the publisher.

Whether you want to generate more high-quality leads or you want to earn a commission helping to match consumers with companies, pay per call is on the leading edge of the growing field of affiliate marketing.

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