Touch Group, which operates online business directories covering 114 UK towns and cities, has expanded into “pay-per-call” online advertising. Campaigns for two major insurance and finance clients will go live this week.
Pay-per-call is effectively results-based advertising, similar to search marketing’s pay-per-click. The advertiser pays only for calls received from potential customers. The concept, already popular in the US, is likely to take off in the UK over the next year.
Touch Group has licensed the UK rights to the system from US company ZiffLeads. In addition to using it itself, it can sell it on to others, the first of which is lycos.co.uk.
When consumers click on a listing for a company that has signed up for the service, they will be asked for their phone number. Touch’s automated systems will then call both the consumer and the service provider and put the two in contact. The call is always free for the consumer.
Ozmen says the system means small businesses can make effective use of online advertising without having to set up and maintain a website themselves.
He adds that it is also a way for businesses to get around curbs on cold calling, which came into force with the launch of the Corporate Telephone Preference Service.