One of the big topics in online marketing these days is Pay Per Call. Sure, it’s been around for over a decade, but it’s just now grabbing the attention of online marketers everywhere, who realize that while a web form is good, a live phone call is even better.
For home improvement companies, Pay Per Call seems like a no brainer. Instead of driving all of the marketing and creative and media yourself, why not pay a provider to simply provide you want at the end? Simple phone calls from homeowners. Unfortunately, what home improvement companies consider to be valuable phone calls can turn out to be much different than what Pay Per Call companies provide. The numbers may sound good during the sales pitch. But reality if often very different.
Let’s start with how Pay Per Call Providers charge. Most providers set some kind of minimum duration for a call to be charged the $2-$50 per call to you. Sometimes that threshold is 30 seconds. Sometimes its 45. Other times its a minute. It varies from provider to provider. But this is where it gets more complicated.
Now, we all know that calls are huge for the home improvement industry. Prospects who are serious about major home renovations are going to want to talk about the details.Setting an appointment often takes several minutes. And all is generally right with the world.
But we also know that only a small percentage of all calls to home improvement companies come from actual prospects. In our experience, 7 out of 10 calls aren’t from new prospects. They come from a host of other folks, existing customers looking for service, job seekers, advertising salesmen, family, friends, and a dozen other sources. And many of those calls are going to qualify under the duration standards of Pay Per Call.
Those calls can really pile up – and they get expensive. The number of raw calls you get doesn’t matter – it’s the number of those calls that turn into sales leads that’s important. Look at the number of leads you book into your CRM , and the number of those leads that turn into appointments. That’s how you’re going to determine if your pay per call service is cost effective.
What are your benchmarks? Well, that depends on what you’re selling and where the leads are coming from. But if you track how many leads you get from pay per call, and track the outcome of those leads, you can then do some number crunching of your own. How many calls are you paying for before you get a sale? Is that sale enough to offset the cost of the calls? Pay per call is a great source of home improvement leads, but you’re paying top dollar compared to pay per click on the basis that every caller is serious.
The whole goal of pay per call is to convert calls into leads and sales, and the raw numbers provided by pay per call services don’t tell you if you’re succeeding at that or not. That’s not a knock against these services. They don’t know what’s happening once you pick up the phone, and it’s your job to keep track of the outcomes.
Pay per call is a great marketing tool that can result in quality leads and produce some big sales, but you need to be willing to put some work in and crunch your own numbers to make it worth your time and money.