Ring Me When You’re Seriously Interested

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.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. After working for seven agencies in five states and freelancing for several more, I ventured out on my own in 2009. Today, as head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon, I'm focused on providing effective integrated marketing solutions to mid-market clients.