If you’ve attended the most recent Affiliate Summit East in New York (August 15-17, 2010) or Search Engine Strategies in San Francisco (August 16-20, 2010), you have probably already seen the newest August 2010 (issue 5) edition of the Revenue Performance magazine. This issue has published my recent interview with Jason Spievak, the CEO of RingRevenue, a platform widely used by many affiliate networks for the support of their pay-per-call programs.
Here’s just an excerpt from that interview:
Geno: Can you give me any examples of how pay-per-call has opened up new opportunities for either merchants or affiliates?
Jason: Sure. ServiceMagic is an online marketplace that connects homeowners with service professionals. Until recently, they offered no offline opportunities for their affiliates, but in the last few months they have been using the LinkShare pay-per-call service. As the interest of their pay-per-call affiliates in these opportunities has increased, they began to expand the variety of offline marketing channels they were offering. As a result, ServiceMagic affiliates can now drive traffic via flyers, radio and print ads, for example, using unique phone numbers that enable the company to track and then compensate affiliates accordingly.
Mobile is also proving to be strong channel for many merchants. The challenge with many mobile campaigns is that many mobile publishers are able to drive a lot of calls, but they aren’t always well qualified. Historically this has presented a problem for the merchant because they don’t want their call center agents spending time answering calls from unqualified callers. Pay-per-call platforms can allow the merchant to screen, survey and filter these calls before they reach the call center. By doing this, the technology creates a win-win where mobile publishers can run broad based promotions and merchants only accept and pay for the quality calls.
To take my company as an example, just over 50% of calls generated across our partner platforms in the past month have come from offline publishers, including mobile.
Geno: An issue that I have been campaigning about is the danger of “phone leakage”, where if a merchant has their own phone number displayed on their website it may take sales credit away from a referring affiliate. It’s critically important that affiliates are credited with the sales they are entitled to. Can concerns about phone leakage be addressed with your technology?
Jason: Yes, our solution allows the affiliate’s trackable phone number to be injected into the merchant’s website in place of the merchant’s default number. When a potential customer clicks on the affiliate’s ad, the click URL passes a unique identifier that the merchant can use to switch out their main phone number with the publisher’s phone number so that anytime the site visitor is on the merchant’s site, they will see the phone number that was assigned to that specific publisher.
The full interview may be found both in the magazine, and online here.