Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Ingenio Pay Per Call

Please click the link below for information on Pay Per Call.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Barron's - Reach Out and Click Someone

Barron's: Reach Out and Click Someone

Is there more to the paid-search story? At a time when very little in Techland is working for investors, the bulls have had their way, at least when it comes to search-engine stocks. And the key to Google's successful IPO and Yahoo!'s resurgence has been the emergence of paid search in which advertisers pay to place those "sponsored links" at the top and to the side of the search results. In the wake of the unequivocal failure and ineffectiveness of banner advertising, there was a time when many skeptics wondered how these cool and useful media companies would ever make money.
But the pay-for-results concept has turned into the Holy Grail. And there could be more from where that came. "We know that Web search was out there in 1995, but there was no business model relevant to the search results," says Marc Barach, chief marketing officer for Ingenio, a privately held Internet company in San Francisco. "Yahoo! walked away from search. It was a financial backwater."
Now, advertisers are increasingly devoting more of their media budgets to online campaigns because they like what they're seeing compared to broadcast or cable television. That's good news for the search-engine stocks, and it could be good news for companies looking to take paid Internet search in new directions.
But the attractiveness of paid search needn't be limited to just the Cokes, Disneys and Fords of this world. At least that's what Barach and his Ingenio backers (Benchmark Partners) think. Ingenio, an extremely well-funded company spawned from the dot-com era, has totally retooled its business model to focus on the "pay-per-call" market, which marries pay-for-click Internet-search technology with the telephone.
Essentially, Ingenio is targeting Yellow Pages advertisers. About 70% of all American businesses don't have Websites. And many that do only have "brochure ware" sites that aren't interactive or very rich in content. Ingenio aims to give small businesses a way to bridge online buyers with offline sellers via the telephone.
Here's how it works: Online advertisers post a toll-free number set up by Ingenio in their ads. Potential customers use search engines to find the merchant's advertisement and, if interested, call the number to be connected to the merchant. Ingenio monitors how many times the number has been called, charges the advertiser, and splits the profit with the search engine.
For example, a local plumber, who currently advertises in the Yellow Pages, can now bid for placement on the Internet, and garner new job leads without having a Website. This brings click technology to the local market. "It's not because they aren't Web-savvy. Pay-per-call just matches the way they do business—over the telephone," Barach says.
The Ingenio executive says that the Yellow Pages market in the U.S. generates more than a $15 billion in annual revenue. He maintains that pay-per-call could grab as much as 6%, or nearly $1 billion of this, by 2008. Just last month, Ingenio announced a partnership with, a search engine that just went live with its telephone-meets-the-Web offering.
At a recent growth-stock conference in San Francisco, FindWhat's CEO, Craig Pisaris-Henderson, was excited about his search engine's new pay-per-click business powered by Ingenio. Says Pisaris-Henderson: "There are a lot of doctors and lawyers out there. They all have telephones, and they are waiting for a call."
And the more than two-thirds of U.S. businesses without Websites now can be reached with the help of the Web.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

ClickZ News: FindWhat Launches Online/Offline Performance-Based Ads

ClickZ News: FindWhat Launches Online/Offline Performance-Based Ads

By Kevin Newcomb September 14, 2004 today added a pay-per-call lead generation service, allowing companies without an online presence to take advantage of its performance-based search offering.
"Pay-per-call is really the first performance-based solution out there that allows offline businesses to participate in the online paid search world," said Rick Szatkowski, senior VP of the network and private label services.
The pay-per-call model is one of the ways online advertising players are trying to attract smaller local businesses. Google offers locally targeted ads through its AdWords program, but there's no offline component. Yahoo!'s Overture division's contribution is its Local Match sponsored search product, which includes individual Web pages for each advertiser. Several online yellow pages providers also offer performance-based ad offerings, but none of them yet offer a similar pay-per-call product.
As with's pay-per-click service, advertisers bid for placement in search results which are displayed on sites in the Network, which includes portals such as Excite, NBCi, and MetaCrawler, along with Yellow Pages directory The placement of the pay-per-call ads on the page will vary on each distribution partner's site, though FindWhat intends that the ads be kept separate from existing pay-per-click ads to avoid confusion.
Instead of bidding on keywords, as in the pay-per-click service, advertisers bid on relevant categories and choose the geographic area where they want their ads to show. Advertisers only pay when someone calls a trackable toll-free number included in the ad copy, as opposed to the pay-per-click service where advertisers pay whenever someone clicks on their ad. The minimum bid for pay-per-call is $2, compared with $0.05 for pay-per-click.
"It's a significantly higher price point per event than pay-per-click, but there's a reason for that," Szatkowski said. "The call occurs later in the buy cycle."
Shoppers are likely to click on several links in the early stages of research, but when they make a call, they're more likely to be closer to making a final selection, he said. Another reason for the higher price for a phone call, he added, is that it is more likely to result in a sale than a click, especially for a non-Internet-savvy business.
"Most businesses know how to convert a phone call. When they get a person on the phone, they know how to close the deal. It's harder to do via e-mail or a Web site. The expectations are that it will be a higher close rate for them," Szatkowski said.
The higher average cost should also make it more attractive to distribution partners, who generally have a 50/50 revenue sharing agreement with FindWhat for the ads appearing on their Web sites. The program has been tested with a small number of distribution partners, but FindWhat is now courting other partners to display the ads, said Karen Yagnesak,'s VP of marketing.
"We expect most of our distribution partners to take up these ads, unless their business model doesn't have any sort of local application. When you look at the attractiveness of the higher bid price, and the added value of the content to their users, we expect they'll want to participate in this," Yagnesak said.
The program, announced in April, is the result of a partnership with Ingenio, a telephony provider that developed and powers the technology behind the application. Since this program is targeted toward offline businesses, the companies wanted to let advertisers manage their campaigns offline. is using Ingenio's technology to provide a telephone-based interface for managing bids, setting up call routing features and accessing some reporting functions.
The program will appeal to some online advertisers as well, especially since the pricing model means that they only pay for a lead when it happens. Using this approach, they have the opportunity to experiment with different creatives and still only pay for the leads that get delivered to them, Szatkowski said.
"This gives them an alternate performance-based channel they didn't have before. It gives them the opportunity to tweak their ad creative, change the call to action," he said.
Another application of the pay-per-call offering would be a completely offline performance-based marketing approach. Since the billable event is a trackable toll-free number, there's no reason that a print ad, billboard, TV or radio ad couldn't have a pay-per-call number associated with it.
This is the first application of Ingenio's pay-per-call technology.