Mobile’s Hot. Don’t Forget it’s a Phone. – By Rob Duva

by Colleen on November 25, 2011

We all have mobile phones. In fact, more people own cell phones than own a toothbrush, according to the Mobile Marketing Association. And, did you know it takes 26 hours for the average person to report their wallet missing, but only take 68 minutes to report a lost phone (Unisys).

Clearly, we’re attached to our phones, and that’s not likely to change. So, one of the biggest opportunities marketers have right now is capturing the attention and purchasing power of the mobile consumer.

But, the challenge for consumers is that most traditional calls-to-action don’t work on mobile. Completing lengthy forms and typing in 16-digit credit card numbers aren’t particularly appealing to do with your thumbs. It’s hard enough to type text messages and have them appear the way you want them (see

So most people will shop on their mobile but will defer their action until later, when they are in front of their laptop or tablet, making it even more difficult for publishers to get credit for the traffic they drive.

So what is the best way to get mobile traffic to convert? Well, sometimes we forget mobile phones are still phones. According to Jon Jackson, Founder and CEO of Mobile Posse, “Click-to-call is a compelling call to action for one simple reason: when it comes to mobile advertising, people are more inclined to do what comes naturally on a phone — place a phone call.”

Driving phone calls isn’t just good business for publishers wanting to earn more commissions. Advertisers want phone calls. They convert at a higher rate than clicks (30-50% compared with 1-3%), people spend on average 1.5-2 times more when they buy over the phone. In fact, nearly one in every 25 Americans is employed just to answer phone calls (American Teleservices Association).

You might be thinking all of this sounds great, but I don’t have time to start anything new right now. Well, the beauty is you don’t have to invest much or change your marketing strategy to get started with mobile marketing.

You’re already doing it. Think about it. You’re already sending email; you already have websites people are accessing on their phones; and you’re already doing SEM. Just optimize your ad placements to include a phone number so consumers can more easily respond the way they want to.

Right now, you’re losing sales and commissions if you aren’t marketing with phone numbers. A recent case study revealed performance SEM agency, imwave, Inc. sees a 250% increase in click-through rates over the same ads with no phone numbers. That’s not a typo.

Pay-per-call programs are available on the leading performance marketing networks and make it simple for advertisers to create call-based campaigns and set up quality filters. Publishers can easily find new advertiser pay-per-call campaigns to promote and start getting paid for calls. If your mobile strategy doesn’t include phone numbers, you’re missing the boat.

Do what you are already doing (better). Add campaign-specific phone numbers. It’s easy!

Robert Duva is co-founder and COO of and never goes anywhere without his phone.

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