Calls are the highest rated source of leads by SMBs according to BIA/Kelsey’s Local Commerce Monitor™, with 66.4% of respondents considering calls a good or excellent lead source. As a result of such high lead generation, businesses are trying to get their phone to ring as much as possible.
Click-to-call is quickly becoming a staple in online ads. Marketing Charts noted that “Google has touted the benefits of including click-to-call functions in search results, noting that search ads experience an eight percent increase in click-through rate when call extensions are enabled.” However, click-to-call success varies by industry, with the most successful click-to-call industries being restaurants, food and grocery, auto, telecom, and travel.
Red Lion Hotels is a prime example of the success of click-to-call in the travel industry. According to an article on HotelExecutives.com, “the addition of click-to-call technology to the Red Lion website has been a key factor in driving a 68% growth in the company’s online revenues.”
Red Lion’s customers also benefited from click-to-call. When Red Lion sent out its post-call survey to gather additional feedback about the click-to-call program, the company found that “13% of customers surveyed would have abandoned their transaction without the availability of click-to-call, 62% said click-to-call drastically improved their website experience and 70% said click-to-call was easier to use than alternative contact methods.”
In the consumer population as a whole, 17.3% of consumers have used click-to-call occasionally or often in the last six months according to BIA/Kelsey’s Consumer Commerce Monitor survey. Despite the relatively low percentage, the future for click-to-call looks bright. In Oracle‘s study,Consumer Views of Live Help Online, Live Help (which includes click-to-call and click-to-chat) is among the top three choices for customer support. Specifically in North America, 84% of consumers find Live Help an important feature of a website.
These data points combined with recent industry happenings suggest call monetization is hitting an inflection point. For example, Ifbyphone and Invoca recently received funding, Marchex continues to innovate in call tracking and analytics, and mobile leaders like Bandwidth are moving into the space. Much of this was covered at our December conference session. BIA/Kelsey analyst Mike Boland is currently working on an Insight Paper examining the latest trends in call monetization. Stay tuned.