Money Talks – By Robert Duva

by FeedFront Staff on April 1, 2010


 “In most cases, when a prospect calls the merchant’s phone number, the affiliate will not get credit if there is a sale.  So when a merchant puts their phone number on the landing page, especially in a prominent location, that can serve to ‘siphon’ legitimate commissions away from the affiliate.”
– Dan Murray, Ravenwood Marketing June 2008 issue of FeedFront

 I got involved in affiliate marketing over a decade ago. I’ve been a publisher and an advertiser and have leveraged affiliate marketing and other performance marketing channels to generate over $100 million in revenue.

 I’ve experienced the benefits this industry has to offer when you put the time and effort into building strong long-term win-win relationships, and I believe that affiliate marking is just getting started.

 A couple of years ago, I pulled together a team of the most talented people I knew in the software development and telecommunications space to start RingRevenue. Our goal was to build a platform for affiliate marketing that would allow advertisers, publishers, and affiliate networks to track calls like clicks.

 Let’s start by talking about the problem. For years, affiliate marketing has faced a simple challenge:  what happens when people shop online but then buy offline? Many of us live online and are comfortable purchasing online.

 But often, when it comes to those more expensive or complex purchases, we want to speak with someone to get our questions answered. “Will it ship it by Tuesday? What colors do you have it in? What’s the return policy?”

 Advertisers want these calls because they convert into sales at an average rate 30-50% and at an average sale price of 1.5 to 2 times that of online sales, but publishers don’t want calls going to advertisers because they aren’t able to get credit for them.

 As a result, publishers won’t aggressively promote offers that include phone numbers.

 This issue has limited the success affiliate marketing can have when promoting higher-end more consultative products and services. This is also one of the main reasons you don’t see many successful business-to-business or local business sales transacting through affiliate networks today.

 Did you know that U.S. consumers make millions of purchases over the phone every day and advertisers spend over $200 billion dollars a year in offline marketing?

 Now, with pay-per-call, we as an industry are starting to get access to those offline advertising dollars.

 For advertisers, call tracking isn’t new. But the way that pay-per-call is now being implemented for affiliate marketing is. Affiliate networks have now made it easy for advertisers to integrate and scale their call-based campaigns alongside their online campaigns.

 The intuitive campaign creation, call pricing, and management tools provided ensure that advertisers are able to offer generous per-call commissions and achieve their target ROI objectives.

 For publishers, pay-per-call represents an opportunity to expand promotions online and venture into offline media: mobile, TV, radio, print, etc.

 With pay-per-call, when consumers want to talk, advertisers, publishers, and affiliate networks are now all making money.

 Robert Duva is the co-founder and CMO of RingRevenue, and you can learn more about their pay-per-call services at

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