In an announcement yesterday, Verizon superpages.com revealed that they will be offering a robust pay for call system of paid search listings within its online and print directories. In a conversation with Wesley Lones at an event held by Verizon last night, I was able to get some more details about the exciting news.
Advertisers will purchase a listing in the directory that provides a link to a landing page which furnishes a phone number to the prospective client. Only visitors that actually follow-through to make a call will be considered a billable "conversion." As with pay per click, the highest bidder will receive top listing for a particular term.
One interesting twist is that Verizon will also provide these platforms within its print directories. They will create a special advertisement that will be more generic but geared towards a popular service, such as "massages in San Jose," for example. This page will lead to a number to find the "Verizon preferred massage specialist in San Jose." I was unclear if that number would be automatically forwarded to the high bidder or if a recording would lead the prospect to a provider. Lones said that the system would allow for a different advertiser, based on a higher bid or the depleted budget of the current provider, to be "inserted" into the "preferred" position nearly instantly.
Information from the press release available at PRnewswire.com indicates that the product will become available to advertisers in September 2005. Business owners will not need to have a website in order to use this, enabling them to capture online leads without even having an official Internet presence. "SuperPages.com Pay For Calls advertising will have minimums ranging from $2 to $6 per call, depending on the business category. Advertisers can increase their prominence and drive more calls by raising their bids." This is a price range below the top current pay per call models. The method is being patented. Other organizations currently providing a similar type of system are Miva, which was providing pay PER call listings to Verizon, and Ingenio, which partnered with AOL to offer the advertising method.
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