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Direct Response Marketing

Going Mobile: Analysis, Testing Improve Mobile Click-to-Call Quality

1 Jul, 2014 By: Peter Feinstein Response


Technology is an amazing thing, but it’s best adopted strategically. Here’s what I’ve learned about using testing and analysis to improve quality responses in mobile click-to-call campaigns.

Applying technology simply for the sake of doing so can get you into trouble. The fact that you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Technology is advancing faster than our ability to keep pace with it — or manage it effectively. We need to take a breath, step back and really analyze it.

Don’t worry: you can afford to take that breath. As a matter of fact, you can’t afford not to. Case in point: mobile click-to-call as a means for driving qualified, inbound lead-generation or sales calls. On the surface, it sounds like a winner. Put up eye-grabbing banner ads; sync them with killer audio; and — bam — your phones ring off the hook! Who wouldn’t want that?

As it turns out, the answer is almost no one. Because just below the surface lurks the three-headed monster of pocket dials, “bot” calls and misdials. They make up 63 percent to 72 percent of calls originating from an unprotected mobile click-to-call campaign. This isn’t just theory or guessing. I know this from firsthand experience in the earliest days of mobile click-to-call.

I’ve always believed in being an early adopter of technology — not just raw technology, but refinement of application that comes from testing. I’m willing to test theories on what will or won’t work, either on my own or with clients willing to walk the plank.

More adventurous marketers who are up to test a mobile click-to-call campaign often find disastrous results early on. It feels good to admit that! Even when you think you’ve prepared yourself and your client for the potential pitfalls of a test campaign, you can be horrified by what happens. But that’s the time to pause and take stock of the situation.

Unfiltered mobile click-to-call campaigns are guaranteed losers. But, often, mobile media partners will balk — quickly — at filtering. With persistence, though, they are likely to (grudgingly) put up the now-ubiquitous, “If you’d like to get connected, please press ‘1’ now” interactive voice response (IVR).

That’s nice, but the “press 1” approach is about as effective as trying to stop a charging bull with a red flag. The keys 1, 3, *, 0 and # are the most commonly pressed buttons on a mobile phone in a pocket-dial situation, and they are the keys that “bots” are programmed to press.

In our situation, we decided to get creative in order to be effective, so we invented a process we call “Press-5.” Simply put, it is a strategic use of technology to stop virtually all bogus calls coming from a mobile click-to-call campaign.

By integrating an additional sales message into the “Press-5” IVR message, the caller gets another quality advertising impression before being prompted to “press 5” to confirm that he or she really wants to make the call. We use the number 5 because it is the least commonly pressed button on mobile phones. Being in the center of the keypad, it’s hard to press by accident, and it isn’t one of the keys “bots” are programmed to press or signal.

Using “Press-5” has eliminated virtually all pocket dials, “bot” connections and misdials. Yes, call volumes will drop dramatically, but the calls that get through are of nearly the same quality as those generated by radio or TV!

“Press-5” has become a standard for mobile or interactive click-to-call campaigns for our clients. It’s so effective that I’m willing to share it, for free, with any advertiser or mobile-media provider who reaches out to me. I simply believe that sharing this will be good for the direct response industry.

Mobile click-to-call is too important a technology to be compromised by poor call screening, especially when there is an application in place to help it mature into the productive medium it can become. ■


About the Author: Peter Feinstein


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