How Does Pay Per Call Lead Generation Work?

As performance marketers at Visiqua, we spend a lot of time testing: new technologies,  campaign types, and lead generation methods for clients. As an off-shoot of this, we get questions.  Lots of questions. With the continued evolution and growth of the performance call space, a recent one we have been hearing a lot is: “How does pay per call lead generation work?”

The Concepts themselves can seem both very foreign and very familiar.  We all understand the concept of a defined action on the web, and that is what an advertiser pays for.  Be it clicks, leads, or sales.  At the base of it, pay per call lead generation works in much the same fashion as lead generation and cost per action campaigns work.  There is a defined action taking place.  A consumer is initiating contact with a brand, the brand is responding to that inquiry.  That response creates the payable action and triggers a pixel fire.  In this case, though the pixel fire is swapped for an amount of time, or “call duration.”

Early Pay Per Call Evolution:

Ordering food online and over the phone is the most commonly experienced overlap of the digital and call worlds.  Years ago when you couldn’t order pizza online you picked up the phone.  You spoke to a guy at a shop and it was delivered. One of the first cross overs that laid the ground for pay per call campaigns was ironically pizza ordering successfully going online. That early example combined with the explosion of mobile phone usage started us down the road of combining phone and web.  Once that was done it was not long until the ad campaigns started. 


With the above evolution, we well and truly kicked off the early pay per call campaigns.  At the time they worked a lot like cost per acquisition campaigns.  Instead of a tracking link, a unique dial-in phone number is used for attribution.  With technology in place, now media could be bought and users driven to the unique dial-in number via ads. Early on it was basically click-to-0call campaigns but as that space has matured the variety of options has expanded.  Today there are numerous approaches to generate calls in performance marketing.  They include warm transfers, cold transfers, and inbound calls. If you’d like to learn more or have other questions about how pay per call lead generation works give us a shout.