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Pay per call is seen by some as the natural successor to pay per click, where phone numbers are displayed on search results and content pages instead of web links. The advertiser pays per call instead of per click. But how is it being used in the UK, what is the potential and what are the pitfalls?

Pay per call was officially announced by Miva in the UK back in September 2005. However, the product wasn’t ready to go for a while after that. Receptional has been running test campaigns and at the moment there is not a good take up, either by the web publishers nor, more importantly, by the web users. Either here was some fundamentally flawed research into the business model or it just hasn’t caught on yet. I think it is a little of both.

Our largest trial has been in the travel arena. We advertised competitively priced short breaks from the UK outbound to Western Europe, through a mid sized brand. The campaign was not without its backing. We bid top price in five travel categories (there were only 8 to choose from, so we are pretty well dominating travel). We asked for the campaign to go national throughout the UK and we aimed to leverage the advert by using the brand and only having the adverts showing at the times of day when the call centre was open (8:30AM to 8:30 PM). You would think this is a fairly significant campaign in terms of spend. Sadly, we are currently generating a call a day of varying quality. It may take a while at this rate to spend the cash.

Related: Pay per click telephone tracking