What is the Difference Between Pay Per Call and Call-Only Ads

When it comes to generating revenue for a business, phone calls remain a dominant force. Customers can shop and buy online, but there are always going to be niches and situations in which phone calls will always remain the first choice of consumers. For example, think about locksmiths. What consumer wants to fill out a lead form and wait for an email back when they’ve locked themselves out of their car or home? This situation is one of many in which consumers still crave the power to call a business for immediate service.

This leads many businesses to focus on promoting their phone number as a part of an overall marketing strategy. As marketers and advertisers look to market phone numbers, Pay Per Call and call-only ads are going to come up as natural options. While the names might sound the same, there are important differences between Pay Per Call and call-only ads that should be understood. Not sure what those differences are? Here’s a breakdown.

Read More: 3 Reasons You Need to Do Pay Per Call Marketing

What is Pay Per Call?

Pay Per Call marketing is a campaign which focuses on lead generation through phone calls. The brand’s overall content strategy is devised around generating phone calls for the business. As the name suggests, companies are effectively “paying” for each call that comes into the business. In reality, Pay Per Call is a partnership between a publisher and advertiser, with publishers connecting advertisers to callers to generate phone leads for a company.

Pay Per Call marketing campaigns use social media activity, email marketing, search engine ads, and blog posts (to name a few) to increase brand visibility. Included with much of this content are the company’s name and phone number. The overarching goal is to familiarize consumers with the brand and its product/service, and convince them to call the business to schedule an appointment, ask further questions about hours/locations/etc., or even complete a purchase over the phone.

The goal of Pay Per Call is to create a marketing campaign that crosses platforms and marketing channels. Pay Per Call ads can appear on desktop search engine ads, direct a consumer to visit a mobile site and eventually lead to a phone call. Call-only ads are different.

Related: How to Create an Effective Marketing Strategy for Your Pay Per Call Campaign

What is a Call-Only Ad?

Introduced in 2015 by Google AdWords, call-only ads are exactly what they sound like. Brands use these ads simply to promote the company name and phone number. The idea is to get these ads to pop up in front of consumer eyeballs as they conduct other online searches. When the consumer sees the ad, they click on it and call.

What’s the Major Difference?

The primary difference between Pay Per Call and call-only ads is the operation. Pay Per Call is an entire campaign driven to connect consumers with the brand across various marketing funnels and on different platforms (desktop, tablet, mobile). Consumer activity is tracked, lead generation data is collected, and the campaign is adjusted to ensure the brand and its phone number continue to remain visible to consumers.

Call-only ads, by contrast, appear only to mobile users and have a specific purpose. They are low-content ads which simply bear the company name, a short description, and the phone number. The goal is to get consumers to click the phone number link on their mobile device and call the business. While call-only ads could be integrated into a Pay Per Call campaign, they are not a campaign unto themselves.

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