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What is Cost-Per-Phone-Call (CPP) Advertising?

**Definition:**Cost-Per-Phone Call (CPP or "Pay-Per-Call"), is a digital cost-per-lead advertising model similar to PPC. Introduced by Google AdWords in 2012, CPP offers a more robust and trackable alternative to traditional phone-in lines which works side-by-side with a business's digital marketing initiatives.

CPP can be especially effective for online retailers who lack brick-and-mortar locations but seek greater direct contact with their customer base — particularly those who prefer traditional channels over online communication.

How Cost-Per-Phone Call Advertising Works

The setup process for CPP advertising is very similar to that of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) systems. The business creates an online advertisement to be displayed anywhere a PPC ad might be, then defines a number of keywords which the advertisement is tied to. They also include details such as demographics or geographic information which dictate to whom the ad is shown. CPP numbers could also be paired with PPC ads.

This ad also includes a custom phone number which is tracked by the ad space provider, such as Google AdWords. This number is then redirected to a phone or call center of the advertiser's choosing. As with PPC, the advertiser is charged for each phone call to the number. Generally calls under 1 minute are excluded to screen out wrong numbers and prank calls.

In the case of advertisements or apps for mobile devices, the phone number can be tied to a "click here to call" button which activates the device's cell phone services without the user having to dial manually.

The Costs And Benefits Of CPP Advertising

While specific rates will vary greatly depending on the keywords, product, and target market, CPP is generally more expensive than Pay-Per-Click. However, it offers several benefits to offset this higher price:

  • People calling a phone number are showing greater commitment and interest in a product than simple web-browsing.

  • Per-call conversion rates are significantly higher than those of PPC ads, around 10-15% as of 2014.

  • Call tracking data is more robust, accurate, and actionable.

  • Call summaries provide a better look at customer attitudes and intentions.

Additionally, CPP can be used with almost any outreach effort, even offline campaigns. Because pricing for CPP is solely based on the number of calls, the tracked telephone number can be included in other marketing materials such as emails, direct mail, printed ads, blogs, videos, or social media posts.

When tracked over time, this can yield insights into the effectiveness of each form of outreach, offline or online, as well as the customers attracted to them.

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