Do you want phone calls?
This is a serious question because not everyone wants their phone to ring.
When you visit a website without a phone number or the number is buried somewhere, that’s an insight into how much they value phone calls.
As with everything in advertising, developing your mobile-call strategy starts with a goal. Let’s come up with a mobile strategy that fits your marketing plan and review in depth the specifics of mobile versus land-lines.
WHERE DO PHONE CALLS FIT IN YOUR MARKETING PLAN?
As discussed above, not everyone wants phone calls. However, most companies fall into a mixed/hybrid category.
For example, an auto company selling parts and services likely wants specific marketing campaigns for each. For the parts, you’re looking for an online purchase. In this case, focus on the ecommerce shopping site and include a help line in case someone gets stuck.
However, for service, direct phone calls to a representative are necessary. For that, you’d want a mobile and/or call-only campaign.
This example illustrates the importance of goal setting and how different strategies work together. In this example, selling parts and services require two different approaches:
Parts: No need to push prospects to call. An ecommerce strategy that focuses on online shopping is perfect. The phone number on the site is only if they get stuck and need help.
Service: Phone calls are critical! Likely, you’ll want a trained sales rep on the other end of the line answering questions and booking a follow up call.
One company, two different strategies on the same web site.
BE READY FOR CALLS
Many industries need phone calls. Above, I mentioned that you can see who doesn’t value phone calls from their website.
Long wait times, poor attitude and lack of process make it clear to the caller that you’re not ready for them.
Law firms need a solid intake process. Dentists, specialty surgeons, veterinarians and chiropractors need a receptionist who knows what questions to ask.
I know it’s repetitive, but decide if you even want calls. If you do, be ready.
MOBILE CALLS ARE COMPETITIVE ON GOOGLE BUT FOR GOOD REASON
My mother recently bought a home out in the country in New Hampshire. She sent me pictures and detailed the square footage. What surprised me was the price. A home that size in the metro-Boston area costs much more…But that’s real estate.
The same principles of scarcity apply on mobile devices. There’s just less space. And that space is coveted.
In the past few years, mobile devices beat desk top in terms of the number of searches. For these reasons, mobile is a much more competitive space than desktop.
What do I mean by competitive?
The competition refers to Google AdWords for mobile searchers. For example, when someone on a mobile device searches for “oil change near me,” their device will have less space to show ads for competing mechanics.
The two dangers in this situation is that your ad might not get shown or you might spend a lot more than on desk top.
Do not avoid mobile advertising because there’s less room. But monitor your clicks, ads, budgets and make frequent optimizations.
And there’s another reason to monitor your mobile campaign.
ANOTHER REASON MOBILE IS HARDER THAN DESKTOP
The next time you search on Google using your cell phone, look at the top ads.
As you move down from the first ad to the second and down, the clicks drop significantly.
WHY NOT HAVE A LANDLINE STRATEGY?
Because it’s harder to track.
I’ll provide more details below, but tracking phone calls back to the ad that generated them is harder for landlines.
Who cares? If the phone rings, I don’t care what ad caused it.
Because you need to know what ads are working and which ones aren’t. You have to know where to put your budgets, which keywords to bid on and how to write better ads to make the phone ring.
And doing that on a landline is harder. You can have a second phone line reserved just for your ads or you can use call forwarding numbers. Whenever I explain this option to clients, they’re usually hesitant because companies like their phone number. They don’t want unique numbers appearing on their site.
However, tracking from mobile is easier. Here’s two options.
You can use a call-only campaigns that display your phone number in the headline. These ads only get displayed on mobile devices. The call is tracked instantly.
For most text based ads on Google, there is a headline. When you set up a campaign and designate it as call-only, the headline becomes your phone number. You are losing the opportunity to write compelling headlines but hopefully getting calls from potential buyers.
You can also use call extensions. They work in a similar way to call-only ads. Both of these options allow you to keep your own number without having to set up a second line or use call forwarding which might not have a local area code.
Basically, a link appears with the ad. Clicking this link allows you to call directly from your cell phone. Extensions in general are a great idea for your ads. Call extensions lead to calls from mobile and can easily be tracked. From this data, you can improve your campaigns.
IT’S NOT ALL BLACK AND WHITE
Don’t feel that you must abandon your land-line.
Also, don’t think that desk top is a bad option. These are all great sources of new business. Consider using a combination and tracking your results. Like almost everything in marketing, it can be refined over time to meet your needs.