'Guaranteed Clicks' Marketing Penetrating Below Top Tier YPs
The fact that a smaller Yellow Pages publisher such as New York's Ambassador has adopted a fixed fee/guaranteed clicks program shows that momentum is building around this product concept. There are now multiple players ("small business aggregators") in the market offering this type of product (BellSouth, DexMedia, Interland, Vista, Lawyers.com, HomeGain, etc.).
In the near term, this product is the key to local search growth on the advertiser side. I believe we will see more and more companies that touch small businesses€"including newspapers€"offer simplified online/search marketing.
One other interesting note regarding Ambassador's offering:
"The research Ambassador conducted over the last year indicates that local businesses receive both phone calls as well as click-through's from their online marketing efforts. Ambassador measured click-thru rates and phone calls originating from advertisers' internet yellow pages (IYP) programs and found phone calls account for as much as 15% of the response."
Two things: most users of the IYP were clicking and call tracking will be critical for print publishers going forward. On the online front, pay-per-call, will also settle in as a standard offering much in the same way these guaranteed clicks products are starting to. And pay-per-call goes both ways (online and off).
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Agree. Fulfillment is THE issue with these products.
The challenge with selling bundled clicks, is knowing where the market is going. Most sales organizations that are selling fixed priced click or call bundles, to SME's, have realized they can sell it; what about the fulfillment?
With limited inventory the risk of substantial ppc increase is real. How many sellers have built this risk into their models?
Of all independent publishers in the US, Ambassador has been pushing harder than anyone on the clicks and calls. This is a sharp, competitive company that understands that you can not help an SME market their business online unless you've packaged the products making it easy for them to buy.
I've been watching Ambassador operate, and they are very quick to tweak the product offering in order to find the proper balance.
This current iteration is another step along the progress of moving this forward.