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According to the latest figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), seven per cent of all retail spending in the UK is now online, which makes the Internet a marketplace that businesses simply cannot ignore. However, of the four million small businesses in the UK, 2.7 million still have no website. The good news is that pay-per-click (PPClick) advertising - which has become commonplace online - is now being joined by pay-per-call (PPCall), offering businesses that do not have a presence on the web the ability to use the online marketing medium for the first time. It also has other benefits for different audiences.

PPClick as a marketing model is now well understood. Advertising placed on strategic partner's websites generates a click-through to a site in order to view marketing messages. Calculating ROI for PPClick advertising is increasingly accurate and forms an essential component of many companies' marketing mix. The 'Achilles heel'of PPClick is that the advertising business must maintain a website for PPClick to operate effectively. PPCall, on the other hand, offers an additional channel for PPClick users, but more importantly, gives millions of SMEs the ability to use the web as a marketing channel without needing their own site.

To click or to call?
Many businesses will not make an either/or decision when using PPClick or PPCall. Chrysi Philalithes, VP of global marketing and communications at Miva points out, "We don't believe PPCall leads are of a higher value than PPClick leads. Rather, we see PPCall as a complement to PPClick campaigns. The key is to give your customers the choice of how they interact with your brand, via clicks or calls. Across Miva's UK network, PPClick bid prices start at 10p, while PPCall bid prices start at £2. The reason for this higher opening bid price relates to the ability PPCall gives advertisers to close business over the phone as well as cross-sell and up-sell to prospects who have called in responses to ads."