What to Look for in a Pay Per Call Campaign


Pay per call marketing continues to grow and more publishers are starting to test and try pay per call marketing. Pay per call campaigns are different from traditional affiliate campaigns, and there are a few key components of a campaign to pay attention to.

Promotion Methods

Publishers will need to be aware of the online, mobile and offline methods that are allowed or disallowed by the advertiser. Also, publishers want to be careful to note which search terms are allowed or not allowed. Most advertisers are looking to control their brand keywords or ensure that publishers do not advertise on trademarks.

Some pay per call campaigns do allow for offline methods, like call center, print ads, direct mail, in-call ads, etc. Advertisers will be concerned with the creative and messaging for print ads and quality control on call center ads. If a publisher is using offline methods it's recommended that they use a call promotion, just in case the offer goes down and they've printed their tracking phone number on an ad.


This is probably the most important component of any campaign to a publisher. Most pay per call campaigns convert on a duration, so if a caller stays on the line for a set amount of time the advertiser will pay for that call. On average, most campaigns payout on a 1 minute to 3 minute duration. There are some offers that payout based on a sale, but these are currently pretty rare in the pay per call business.

Publishers will also want to take note of any required key presses, some offers require the user to press a certain key within the campaign IVR (Interactive Voice Response) before the campaign will convert. This is in addition to the duration.

There are also bonus payouts, where a campaign will payout an amount for each duration reached. For example, if the caller stays on the line for 1 minute the campaign pays out $5, if they stay on for 2 minutes the campaign will payout an additional $2.

Call Center Hours

It's very important to take note of the campaign's call center hours. Not all pay per call campaigns are open 24/7, like traditional affiliate marketing campaigns. Publishers will want to daypart their campaigns based on the hours and days the campaign is active. It's also really important to note the timezone used for the call center hours, is it Eastern, Central, Pacific, etc.? The last thing publishers want to do is send callers to a call center that is closed, as they will not be able to be paid for those calls.

Call Treatment

Since many pay per call campaigns do not have landing pages, the best way to learn about the offers is to make a test call within the system. This will allow publishers to get an idea of how the offer works and what the product or service is. Also, by calling the offer a publisher can learn if the campaign uses an IVR to filter callers, ask a question, or pre-sell the callers before they are sent to the call center. This is important to know when a publisher is setting up a campaign to help them decide if they want or need an IVR of their own in place. Callers are not going to want to listen to too many IVR's before speaking with a call center agent, which could increase the chance of a caller dropping off.

What else to look for?

Here are some other things to look for in a pay per call campaign:

  • Web integrated - Will the landing page pre-pop the publisher tracking number on the page?
  • Repeat callers - Do they payout for repeat callers?
  • Creatives - What creatives are available for the campaign?
  • Expiration - When will the campaign be expired on the network?
  • Target regions - What locations can I target the campaign to?

Mike Williams

Image source: Creative Commons License Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel via Compfight

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