PPC_ROI_2As we preach to our clients constantly, the highest quality and highest PPC ROI form of leads are phone calls from search engines, such as Google or Bing.  As we have shifted, as a business culture, increasingly towards contact forms and social media leads, we see, statistically, that “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Successful campaigns (as far as PPC ROI is concerned) will not only lead to online transactions, but also result in numerous phone calls and offline store visits that lead to sales.

Typically, for every contact form lead a business receives, they will receive 2 to 3 phone call leads.  If not run properly, you are hurting your PPC ROI by leaving 66% to 75% of your sales on the table.

By the time the client picks up the phone, they have already done their homework or are in immediate need of your products and services.  They are now in they buying phase, or at least fast approaching it.

Unfortunately, leads via online forms often are not contacted back in a fast enough fashion.  According to the Harvard Business Review, research showed that less than 40% of businesses got back to online leads within one hour.  Further, over 20% of companies took more than 24 hours to respond.  23% never got back in touch with them at all.

Our Statistics show that if a prospect is not reached back within 18 minutes during business hours, the chance of converting to an appointment or sale drops dramatically.  Over an hour…you could as well kiss it good bye.  After hour leads need to be called back the next morning as they will typically have reached out to multiple businesses.

Every minute counts in the online world!

Almost always overlooked, a phone call is generally the easiest and most efficient way to drive connection/contact & high PPC ROI.

With a landing page, prospects need to fill out a form and wait for a salesperson to call back. With mobile devices, it’s even more difficult to type on a small screen and provide info requested.  The more fields a business requires, the lower the chances are of that contact phone call being filled out in the first place.

How can you increase your PPC ROI with more phone sales? Here are several ideas:

1.  Connect your prospect directly to the phone.

An example of this is to include phone numbers right in ad copy.  While Google and Bing do not currently allow this, you can set your ads to always display your call button, which makes your clients just the click of a button away from reaching you.

2.  Use Local Phone Numbers.

Local numbers usually have a higher conversion rate than an 800 #.  Call tracking companies, such as Callfire & Callsource, make it easy for you to set up local numbers that can track all of your calling results.  This will increase the prospect’s comfort level in calling a number that is local, even if the business is not.

3.  KISS:  Keep It Simple Stupid!

The simpler your answering machine system is, the higher the conversions.  It’s that simple.  Don’t have a long message with lots of options.  In addition, the lead has to be able to leave a message quickly.

In the hundreds of campaigns that we administer, we see the highest PPC ROI success when a client hears a voicemail message within 15 seconds of the phone ringing and they have the ability to leave a message within 11 seconds of the start of your message.  In other words, they need to be able to leave a voicemail within 26 seconds of connecting with your telephone number.

4.  Run Your Ads when someone can answer the phone.

Have your ads running when someone is in your office to answer the phone. Believe it or not, this is often overlooked — and so, the phone rings and rings, with nobody in the office to take the call.  This is a waste of your marketing dollars.  It also will not allow you to maximize your PPC ROI, which is what we are all here for in the first place.