Three years ago we started Freespee. We were then a bunch of telecom geeks with a vision to give small businesses an insight into internet advertising on their own terms. What does that mean?
My neighbour at the time was a dentist, who took patient bookings over the telephone. But he could not buy internet advertising and make it pay for the number of telephone bookings received as a result of the advertisement. Hence, Cost-Per-Call. As a matter of fact, he did not even receive a report on how many calls resulted from the advertisement, even though it was the only way for customers to do business with him. At best he could buy a ‘Click Package’. He always found this difficult since he had no idea as to what it would give him.
Consequently, he continued to buy advertisements in the printed Yellow Pages. There, customers could only call him, so it felt right even if he did not know if he was getting any new customer calls that way either.
Now things are different for small business owners like him, and the Freespee team is on its way towards realising the vision. Lately, we have also reshaped the vision a little and made it easier to grasp.
Today Freespee introduces Calls as a Currency within internet advertising, as a compliment to Impressions and Clicks. In the space ofthree years we have managed to introduce this currency for internet advertising in 14 markets. In these times of financial unrest the Call currency is proving to be very strong. A price comparison site in the US that introduced calls as a currency for their advertisers saw a call price increase of 160% within the first ten days, right in the midst of the financial crisis.
In parallel, desktop browsing is moving to mobile browsing. For the last 12 months we are seeing extremely strong growth in the number of calls from internet advertising. In local mobile searches, according to Freespee’s statistics from 30,000 advertisers in 14 countries, there is one call for every two searches. On account of this, Google also joined the bandwagon a few weeks ago by beginning to offer Call bidding in AdWords. However, to begin with, this only works for advertisers in the US and the UK.
We are seeing a renaissance when it comes to inbound calls. It is now one of the strongest sales channels that previously had not been associated with internet advertising. Many companies have long been excluded from performance-based internet advertising (Cost-Per-Sales), due to their products being too complex for consumers to carry out their purchases online.
The travel industry is a typical example. Simple business trips are booked online, but how many family holidays with two adults, three children, hire-car, etc. are being booked online? Freespee is working with a number of affiliate networks that have been able to broaden their client base through introducing calls as a recognized currency, to the advantage of everybody.
Recently, a US price comparison site built its own Call bidding solution driven by the Freespee API. It took them two (2) days.
Learn more about benefits for Local Search, Affiliate Networks,Classified Publishers and Mobile Ad networks and contact us to include Calls in your business model!