Telmetrics: Local Telephone Numbers Outperform Toll Free 3.5x to 4x

Telmetrics logoThis morning Telmetrics put out a “momentum” press release touting the growth of its call-tracking solutions. I used it as an occasion to catch up with company president Bill Dinan.

We discussed a wide range of issues associated with online advertising and attribution challenges in a multiscreen environment. Dinan argued that calls were becoming the de-facto common metric for multi-screen campaigns.

He remarked that in the campaigns Telmetrics was seeing marketers were not differentiating between tablets and smartphones in their use of call tracking — in essence treating them all as “mobile devices.” That’s the opposite of Google, which treats PCs and tablets as one platform and smartphones as another for AdWords purposes.

I asked how many of the same campaigns were using different tracking numbers for different platforms: PCs, tablets and smartphone ads. He indicated that the figure was about 16%. Interestingly he also explained that the growth in demand for call tracking numbers was outpacing the growth of mobile advertising itself.

Another point Dinan made is that there’s much more growth in local phone numbers vs. toll-free. He said that local numbers outperform toll free by 3.5X to 4X. I asked about “inventory” (availability of local numbers). He said that some vendors do have difficulty gaining access to local numbers but that Telmetrics did not have that problem.

We also spoke about call spam. Dinan told me that Telmetrics is blocking about 22 million calls a month in North America. A telemarketing shift from B2C to B2B came in the wake of the do not call list a number of years ago. He said that in Europe there’s much stricter regulation so nowhere near the call spam seen in the US.

Finally I asked Dinan, based on demand for call tracking numbers, whether there was more growth in search or display advertising. He said that growth in demand for call tracking was definitely higher in search.

That may be in part because search is regarded as more of a direct response medium and — especially in a mobile context. Data show that a call is most often the action that follows a local search query. And 61% of those callers are ready to convert.

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