Direct marketers, take a bow.
According to BusinessWeek, when digital ads lead to a phone call, conversions soar.
Call advertising has been available for several years but has gotten a boost as smartphone sales take off. Less than a year ago, Google reported it was connecting millions of phone calls via click-to-call each month (where smartphone users simply tap their phone to place a call). Now it’s reaching that number every week thanks to 500,000 call advertising customers.
Seattle-based Marchex expects its call advertising business to bring in $111 million this year, more than double last year’s total.
Right now, it’s primarily a mobile platform success story, but Google and Marchex sell similar ads that appear on desktop PCs, where potential customers have to actually pick up the phone and dial instead of clicking. Marchex says it’s working on a way to smooth the process by routing PC-based calls through Internet voice providers so callers speak directly through their computers.