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Affiliate marketing is a staple line in any marketer’s budget and has been for years; but as budgets get tighter the sector is innovating and introducing more services to boost ROI and really prove its worth. 

The good thing about the affiliate sector is that performance marketing is based on one principle, the conversion of traffic to leads or sales, meaning a marketer only pays for what is achieved, it’s a no-risk investment. 

However, it does have its limitations. Previously all sales had to be tracked online to ensure the sale was attributed to the affiliate channel, but things are changing.

We purchase products in many ways and performance marketing has developed to reflect this. For example, a phone sale.

While online purchases are now part of normal life, there are still ample occasions where you as the consumer needs or simply prefers, to be able to speak to someone to talk through your purchase decision.  

This may be to do with the product, be it a bespoke travel holiday, signing up to an educational course, buying a new laptop or making a financial investment.

Let’s give an example to explain the principle, say, a mortgage. It’s a huge financial investment for anyone, something that a consumer wants to research to ensure they get the best deal.  They need to make sure it’s tailored to their specific requirements, and consequently isn’t a purchase you would usually make online. 

A 2009 survey by Harris Interactive showed that 54% of online consumers want human interaction when making a substantial investment, like the aforementioned mortgage. 

If you could research a mortgage online, looking into the different options that you want, you might then pick up the phone to get some professional advice on your decision. This discussion might then lead to a purchase.

Now, imagine if an affiliate can publish and track this sale through a unique telephone number, it opens up a world of opportunities for new brands and services which were previously unattainable in the affiliate space. This is the reality of PayPerCall.

Marketers often work with call centres, looking to increase customer consultation and build personal relationships with their audience. Pairing this with the affiliate channel, a powerful way to drive traffic and entice consumers, has the potential to offer huge rewards. It provides the link between the online space and offline sales.
If you think about it, there are a few logical conclusions to be made as to why PayPerCall can deliver, as well as a few statistics to support the case. 

Let’s think about a consumer journey. If we go back  to our mortgage customer, the customer has done their research, they know the difference between variable and fixed rate mortgages and which one they want. 

They definitely know their budget and possibly even know the house they want to buy, so they are well on their way to making a purchase. The last step is to call someone, the final hurdle before purchase.

Now for the statistic to support these sweeping conclusions; the average conversion rate per call is between 30% - 50%, substantially more than for clicks, the average cost for a call is  about £6 as merchants realise the higher conversion to sale. 

The performance marketing model is reliable, it’s a low risk investment for marketers and offers high returns. Audiences can be targeted, tracked and rewarded with this model. 

Publishers will no longer miss out on the commission for an offline phone lead or sale. The sector is expanding to accommodate new business models and target new audiences. 

There has been plenty of interest from advertisers and publishers for our solution, pay per call is definitely a hot technology and one that's being adopted across many vertical markets.  

Florian Gramshammer

Published 28 October, 2011 by Florian Gramshammer

Florian Gramshammer is Country Manager at Commission Junction UK /Valueclick and a contributor to Econsultancy.

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