Pay-Per-Call Advertising: Your Best Source of Pay-Per-Call Leads

Oleksandr Rohovnin
Content Marketer
11 minute read
Oleksandr Rohovnin
Content Marketer
11 minute read

This article is a part of our pay-per-call marketing series, where we explore pay-per-call affiliate marketing, pay-per-call lead generation, and pay-per-call phone numbers. Check out these guides to step up your marketing game.

With phone calls granting 30% to 50% conversions versus only around 3% for web leads, pay-per-call advertising has long been a golden ticket into the world of six figures. The right set of pay-per-call ads can generate a stream of high-intent leads that you can sell as an affiliate or convert as an advertiser, drawing sustainable profits campaign after campaign.

Pay-per-call advertising has a low entry barrier, is safe, and makes it possible to predict your ROI based on previous campaigns and historical data. A well-executed pay-per-call campaign benefits everyone involved: brokers, affiliate networks, call centers, pay-per-call networks, and clients.


Whether you’re an affiliate, merchant, or broker, read on to learn more about pay-per-call advertising and how to maximize the performance of your pay-per-call leads and campaigns.

What Is Pay-Per-Call Advertising?

Pay-per-call advertising is a popular marketing model where merchants buy phone calls from affiliates and publishers who generate them on their traffic channels and sell directly or through a pay-per-call network.

Pay-per-call belongs to affiliate marketing, but merchants can also run call campaigns independently through search engines or social media advertising. Likewise, brands can promote their phone numbers directly to clients without involving affiliates.

How Pay-Per-Call Advertising Works

Here’s how pay-per-call advertising works in a nutshell:

As you can see, the only variable in the pay-per-call equation is a pay-per-call network. This means you should figure out whether you want to partner with advertisers directly or include a middleman who streamlines your campaigns.

Any pay-per-call network will charge for their work, but the rest are advantages: a large pool of partners, ironclad security, pay-per-call tracking software, and impartial dispute resolution if needed.

Here’s what pay-per-call marketing boils down to for advertisers and affiliates:

How Pay-Per-Call Advertising Benefits Affiliates

Here’s how pay-per-call advertising benefits affiliates:

Unlimited Marketing Potential Pay-per-call advertising covers almost all industries, including high-ticket niches like finance, insurance, or solar. For affiliates, this means more marketing opportunities and a higher average check.
Ready-Made Marketing Materials Most pay-per-call affiliate programs provide creative materials and call tracking software so affiliates can maximize their performance and receive due remuneration on time.
Higher Revenue Per Lead Phone calls usually cost up to twenty times more than web leads, allowing affiliates to focus on the quality of their pay-per-call lead generation.

How Pay-Per-Call Advertising Benefits Advertisers

Driving High-Intent, High-Value Clients at Scale A well-thought-out affiliate program almost guarantees an influx of purchase-prone clients who might only need a little nudge before they make a purchase. Likewise, motivated callers bring a significantly bigger check.
Tapping into Complex Products Complex products like, for example, insurance are much easier to sell through a phone conversation than non-verbal interactions. Pay-per-call ads can effectively generate high-ticket customers who seek a reliable solution to complex problems.
Predictable ROI Pay-per-call advertising gives you a fairly accurate estimate of future earnings, especially if you partner with a pay-per-call network that knows its affiliates.

Pro tip: advertisers and affiliates usually don’t know each other’s customer acquisition cost, giving you extra room for maneuvering. Affiliates can use free pay-per-call advertising channels to minimize spending while selling their leads at a high price, whereas advertisers and pay-per-call networks can try to minimize the price per call.

Where Do You Get Leads for Pay-Per-Call Marketing?

Pay-per-call marketing embraces all available traffic sources, from social media advertising to email marketing to offline marketing. At the same time, advertisers have slightly more freedom since they establish the rules for their pay-per-call campaigns and might exclude specific traffic sources (for example, adult & gambling sites), promotional methods, or even affiliates.

As an affiliate, you should peruse the affiliate agreement to ensure the advertiser allows your promotion methods and traffic channels. For example, some advertisers may restrict social media traffic or traffic from non-compliant affiliates.

Are you ready to maximize the results from your pay-per-call efforts? Choose your subscription plan or book a demo to learn more about Phonexa’s inbound call management platform.

Crafting a Pay-Per-Call Advertising Campaign in 5 Steps

Whether you’re an affiliate or advertiser, there’s a lot of work to do before you can safely launch your pay-per-call campaign. At the very least, you must define your target audience, choose your pay-per-call service provider & pay-per-call ads, optimize your traffic sources, and make sure you can analyze your leads effectively with pay-per-call tracking software.

Here’s how you can create a pay-per-call campaign as an affiliate or advertiser in 5 steps:

Step 1 – Define Your Target Audience

Understanding callers is crucial for cost-effective pay-per-call lead generation. Segment your customers first and gradually adjust your campaigns to reflect the objective market changes and caller insights you gained from your pay-per-call network or via call tracking.


Here’s an example:

Imagine launching a call campaign for kitchen renovation and realizing that most callers are only interested in general information about home improvement. This usually happens when you miscalculate the demographics or misinterpret client interaction patterns.

To fix the problem, you need to reevaluate your call campaign data. It may be that you should shift focus to high-ticket callers, callers who have previously asked for a quote, or those actively searching for kitchen remodeling contractors.

Step 2 – Choose the Right Pay-Per-Call Tracking Software

How you track and analyze callers makes a difference between a successful and failed pay-per-call campaign, so you need a stellar pay-per-call tracking software suite. From the first ad display until the end of the call, there are tons of marketable data to capitalize on.

Phonexa offers the unique Call Logic product to uncover caller insights:

Comprehensive call intelligence systems like Call Logic improve the caller’s journey while collecting every bit of caller data within legal boundaries. You get a fully compliant system that routes callers to the optimal buyer – internal or external – and synergizes with other marketing avenues like, for example, email marketing within Phonexa’s all-in-one lead management suite.

Step 3 – Craft Compelling Pay-Per-Call Ads

When it comes to pay-per-call ads, the world’s your oyster. You can use Google pay-per-call ads (AdWords), Bing ads, social media ads (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), native advertising (for example, Taboola), and even email and push and SEO to drive traffic to landing pages, website, and blogs where your click-to-call ads are placed. You can even use traditional pay-per-call advertising channels like radio, TV, and print media if they resonate with your expertise and business capabilities.

However, it’s worth noting that you might be losing money until you test it all out and find the right pay-per-call programs, traffic channels, and marketing techniques for your audience. For example, what works for B2B might not work for retail.

Step 4 – Optimize Your Traffic Sources for Conversions

Here’s how to entice your visitors to make a call:

  • Structure the content properly. Your pay-per-call campaign’s CTAs must be visible, memorable, and contextualized so users know your intent and can make a call when your unique selling proposition (UPS) does its job.
  • Appeal to the lead’s emotions. It’s well-known that any purchase is an emotional decision that might (or might not) be justified on a logical level afterward. Good old FOMO, loss aversion, reciprocity, and other marketing psychology tricks can bring you additional pay-per-call leads.


Step 5 – Track and Analyze Your Pay-Per-Call Campaigns

Once your pay-per-call campaign is up and running, it’s time to analyze the callers you generate so you can decide on the optimal call timing, duration, and other nuances.

From the empirical evidence, the best day for making a business call is Wednesday – with up to 50% bigger conversion potential – while the best time is between 4 and 5 p.m. Likewise, recalling unengaging leads several times over can grow your conversion rates by up to 70%.

Here are some important metrics to gauge your pay-per-call advertisement campaigns:

Call Duration With the average client calls lasting around 5 minutes, you can analyze your call lengths versus conversion rate to reveal profitable sales patterns. Pay-per-call tracking software can record all inbound calls or only calls that meet specific criteria.
Call Abandonment Rate Make sure the majority of your callers successfully connect to advertisers. The average call abandonment rate is 5% to 8%, with higher rates indicating problems in call routing.
Caller Data Demographics and psychographics of your callers – age, gender, location, budget, and more – will help analyze who your most profitable callers are, where they belong, and what triggered and contributed to the purchase.

The good news is that with live calls, you always connect to high-quality leads at the peak of their interest. Even a 5-minute delay reduces the lead response rate by 10%, so the contact timing is absolutely critical.

Did you miss the latest version of the lead response management study? Check it out here to not just see rough numbers but rather explore the impact of timing and a key sales metric — speed to lead.

Pay-Per-Call Marketing Toolkit To Generate Leads and Sales

Real-Time Bidding Software

As an affiliate, you want to sell your calls to the most relevant or the highest-bidding advertiser, which may be the same or different merchants. Real-time bidding software makes it happen.

  • Real-time bidding software, powered by ping tree technology, routes callers to the optimal buyer based on the call duration, bid, demographics, and other factors. As a result, affiliates can sell their leads at the highest price.

Most pay-per-call service providers and networks present real-time bidding as their unique selling point. The distribution process takes less than a second, not affecting user experience in any meaningful way while enabling the best possible match for the affiliate, advertiser, and usually also the caller.

Pay-Per-Call Networks

Pay-per-call networks provide call distribution and tracking technologies and a pool of partners unavailable to individual advertisers or affiliates. Besides providing pay-per-call software, a pay-per-call network usually enables global coverage, reduces financial risks, and saves time you would otherwise spend on marketing.

Here’s how a pay-per-call network works:

Advanced pay-per-call networks support multiple routing combinations: ROI-based, location-based, demographic-based, and agent availability-based distribution, among other options. Likewise, pay-per-call networks can reroute unanswered calls, dial multiple buyers simultaneously to sell the call to the quickest, and employ other tricks within their pay-per-lead affiliate marketing model.

Programmatic Advertising

Did you know different people launching the same website at the same time from the same location may see different pay-per-call ads? This granular segmentation within pay-per-call campaigns is called programmatic advertising.

Here’s how programmatic advertising works:

  • Advertisers and affiliates use a demand-side platform (DSP) to define targeting criteria for their pay-per-call ads: demographics, location, bid, and more. Publishers offer traffic channels for these ads, and when the match is found – the user fits the publisher’s and advertiser’s criteria – the real-time auction starts, with the winning ad being served to the user.

Such auctions within pay-per-call campaigns take milliseconds while enabling full automation and unlimited reach. For advertisers, programmatic advertising grants visibility into ad placement and performance metrics, allowing for accurate ROI forecasts.

Interactive Voice Response

Interactive Voice Response is a technology that walks callers through their journey before they connect to a sales agent (push “1” to connect to a sales agent, push “2” to connect to a customer support agent).

Even though connecting all paid calls to a sales department looks natural, you might want to qualify callers better, including routing some to customer support reps. In a similar fashion, IVR is used by pay-per-call networks and pay-per-call service providers to qualify callers for different advertisers (push “1” to connect to a local store, push “2” to connect to a global store).

Here’s How You Can Grow Pay-Per-Call Profits Overnight

One of the most undervalued ways to maximize your pay-per-call performance is to…ask your partner for better conditions, including an increase in the price per call.

Here’s how you can get a better price for your calls:

Research as many networks as you can The starting price you get from a pay-per-call network is your minimum price, so make sure to research the market and ask slightly more than the best offer you’ve found.
Emphasize your advantages A solid ground for negotiating a better price might be a higher call quality, higher conversion rates, or unique caller demographics you provide.
Have your own call tracking software Make sure to have your own call tracking software in case you have to abandon your pay-per-call service provider or network.

Supercharge Your Pay-Per-Call Campaigns With Phonexa

Phonexa is one of the very few pay-per-call service providers that not only automates but also synergizes call and web lead acquisition. LMS Sync, Call Logic, and six other performance marketing products exchange data in real-time to cover your marketing from top to bottom.

Your pay-per-call lead acquisition Promised Land has never been closer:

Order your performance marketing software suite now, or schedule a free consultation to learn more about how Phonexa can transform your pay-per-call advertising.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the pros and cons of pay-per-call advertising?

Pay-per-call advertising targets the most high-intent leads on the market, converting 30% to 50% of callers, or 10 to 20 times more than non-verbal touchpoints like web forms. Pay-per-call advertising benefits both advertisers and affiliates: the former get high-intent customers, while the latter receive high commissions per call.

That said, pay-per-call advertising only covers phone calls, may be quite expensive to run, complex to set up, and makes affiliates dependent on the advertiser’s call center, especially if the minimum call duration is too long.

What businesses can benefit from pay-per-call advertising?

Pay-per-call advertising can be successfully used across the widest range of businesses: financial services, insurance, home services, affiliate marketing, solar, and more. Long story short, you can run pay-per-call campaigns in any industry and niche as long as the advertiser accepts phone calls.

What are the do’s and don’ts of pay-per-call advertising?

What you should and shouldn’t do within your pay-per-call advertising campaigns depends on the type of the campaign, your target market, and whether you partner with a pay-per-call network to streamline the process.

The most important nuances include selecting pay-per-call numbers, pay-per-call platform, pay-per-call tracking software, and compliance. Read the following guides to learn more: pay-per-call lead generation , pay-per-call phone numbers, and pay-per-call affiliate marketing.

Got Questions?

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Oleksandr Rohovnin avatar
Oleksandr Rohovnin
Content Marketer

Oleksandr Rohovnin is a Content Marketer at Phonexa. His passion is digital marketing, innovative technologies, and – above all – distilling vast amounts of complex information into engrossing narratives anyone can relate to. At Phonexa, Oleksandr stokes passion for marketing automation and lead generation in every story he curates.

Education: Zaporizhzhya National Technical University

Expertise: Digital marketing, affiliate marketing, call tracking, lead tracking, insurance


  • 8+ years of writing and editing experience in B2B and B2C

  • Unconventional synergy of writing talent and technical knack

  • Avid proponent of sports, gaming, and reading

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