Early this year, Google introduced Click-to-call as a component of its location extensions offering in mobile ads.
Google click-to-call allows advertisers to track online-offline searching and consumer buying patterns across mobile, online and traditional advertising mediums.
If we compare click-to-call to pay-per-click, the latter is based on the idea that a customer visits the website (for which the advertiser is charged), makes an inquiry and then decides whether or not to make a purchase. On the other hand, click-to-call (for which the advertiser is charged) eliminates the first 2 steps and goes directly to the idea that the customer will call to directly inquire about the business, creating a lot better chance of a purchase.
Research from comScore and TMP Directional Marketing shows that more than 83% of customers search online and then contact a business offline, often in the form of a phone call. With click-to-call, Google can successfully eliminate the need for the customer to go offline.
Google recently outlined the success of click-to-call in a case study of San Francisco based auto insurance company, Esurance. The aim of using click-to-call was to enable all customers with a mobile phone to quickly reach an agent live. Esurance ran click-to-call ads and tracked the success of the campaign using unique 800 phone numbers in their ads and the results are quite impressive.
Esurance acquired customers at 30% less than through other marketing channels. Click-to-call mobile ads drove a 30%-35% higher response and a 5-10% lower cost per click on mobile than on online.
Tolithia Kornweibel, Esurance Director of Online Marketing backs up Google’s claim:
With Google mobile ads and click-to-call, our cost per acquisition is 20-to- 30% less when compared with other channels.
The only down side of the click-to-call is that it is still quite new. Once people begin to realize its benefits it could raise the cost as demand increases. But currently this is a hidden treasure for those who got in early.