When we talk to small business owners in need of local marketing, we hear this pretty often:
Indeed, for many local businesses, a phone call is far and away the most valuable lead. If this – along with a few other factors – are true for your business, then call-only Google advertising is for you.
What is a call-only campaign?
A call-only campaign is pay-per-click advertising that runs only on mobile phones. The ad’s call-to-action is exclusively a phone call via a click-to-call button. It doesn’t click through to your website or another landing page. The ads look like this:
Your phone number (which is also click-to-call) and website domain appear, along with an area for your ad copy.
You manage click-to-call ads on the Adwords bidding platform the same as text ads with landing pages.
What types of businesses should use call-only campaigns?
As we mentioned, call-only campaigns work best for businesses looking to primarily generate phone call leads. This can be any business that feels their best opportunity to convert a lead into business is by speaking directly on the phone.
For example, an emergency tow-truck service will fare well with mobile call-only ads because the lead needs services immediately and has to search on their phone:
Immediate need, immediate lead.
We’ve seen success on call-only campaigns with auto repair services, plumbers, food-delivery, urgent-care medical, handyman services, veterinary services, locksmiths, bail bonds, landscapers, limousine services, taxi services, and restaurants.
The truth is that for most local businesses, a phone call is almost always a hotter lead. People call when they’re closer to making a buying decision, and the chance for you to interact on a call lets you effectively work your sales pitch.
What are the budgets like for call-only campaigns?
Budgeting works for call-only campaigns the same as text ads in the pay-per-click system. You set these up at the campaign level in your Adwords account.
A big consideration for using call-only campaigns is high costs-per-click with text ads. Businesses in competitive verticals often find that call-only provides a better return for their overall budgets.
For example, there are plumbers, contractors, dentists, and lawyers that may find themselves spending between $30-100 per click to get top placement for their ads. With that CPC, advertising costs can balloon.
When a business in these competitive verticals runs into budget constraints, they can look at running call-only campaigns so conversions are limited to phone call leads.
For example, a plumber offering emergency services gets a lot more value out of a call lead than one that just visits a landing page. As we said, it’s an action that indicates a more active need from a person ready to make a purchase decision. You may get many clicks to your landing page that don’t convert, but a call is – by the nature of the act – a conversion of a new lead. With call-only, you don’t pay for clicks that don’t convert.
If phone call leads are your priority, then call-only campaigns are an effective use of your budget.
What keywords work well with call-only?
Like any campaign, there is room for analysis with your call-campaigns, but there are keywords you’ll want to focus on that indicate both targeted location and immediate intent. For example, the towing service might use:
- towing services near me (keyword + near me)
- towing denver (keyword + location)
- best towing service
- cheapest towing service
- emergency towing service (keyword + modifier)
In some cases, you can also do some guerilla marketing. For example, a plumber might use “Benjamin Franklin plumbing” because often big brands don’t do a good job of creating call-only campaigns for their own brand name.
What about the written copy that goes with the ad?
Because you have no website landing page with call-only campaigns, the brief text you write must be as clear and persuasive as possible. Give a clear reason for the searcher to call you now, with specific value offer and feature that distinguishes you from the competition. For example:
You can split test the ad copy to see if a certain offer or word choice gives you better conversion rates.
What tips do you have for handling the phone calls?
Perhaps the biggest consideration you have when running call-only campaigns is how you’ll handle the incoming calls. Each represents a valuable lead you want to close – if possible – on that initial call.
First, you’ll want to set-up your campaign so the ads only run during time periods you’re available to take phone calls. Voicemail won’t do if you’re paying $30 or more per click.
Obviously, if you have a receptionist or salesperson who can handle calls, that’s ideal.
Again, remember that you don’t have a landing page with details that sell your service, so it’s critical that you be clear and persuasive on the phone. Work on your phone skills and develop scripts for others taking these calls.
The Marketing 360® software platform includes call tracking that captures the incoming caller’s information, records the call, and tracks the conversion in your marketing data. Use the recording feature to listen to calls and pinpoint areas you can improve.
Phone lead generation takes hustle and sales chops. But if you’re in a profession where new customers tend to call first, it’s the best way to generate hot leads.