Pay-Per-Call To Soar To $3.7 Billion By 2010

The pay-per-call market will more than double each year for the next five years, with revenues surging to $3.7 billion by 2010, according to a new forecast by the Kelsey Group.

Greg Sterling, an analyst with the Kelsey Group, said that growth could be even faster, if portals aggressively sell the ads. "It's a mirror of online advertising in general," he said. "If you've got people pushing the product to market, it's going to grow much faster than if it's a purely self-service."

Google late last year began testing a click-to-call service; for that feature, the search giant displays an icon of a phone, then calls users who click on the icon and connects them with marketers.

Some marketing executives are eager to test the service, said Bill Leake, CEO of Austin, Tex.-based agency Leads Customers Growth. "Really, the only limitation at this point is how rapidly the portals roll out pay-per-call," he said.

He added that one of the firm's clients has increased its budget for click-to-call tenfold since April, when the client started running pay-per-call ads through Ingenio in April 2005. Ingenio currently has a deal with AOL, which is the only major Internet portal to carry a non-beta pay-per-click ad product.

The service is especially appealing to small, local businesses that don't have a strong Web presence, Leake said. "It's particularly exciting for the small businesses that don't have Web sites [that are] optimized for collecting leads," he said. "I could be a local plumber or lawyer who could clean up with pay-per-call, even if my Web site would send people screaming to the mountains if they saw it."

Recommend (9) Print RSS
All content published by MediaPost is determined by our editors 100% in the interest of our readers ... independent of advertising, sponsorships or other considerations.