Pay-Per-Call Earns Internet Marketer $500K
Results at a Glance
- Commissions Earned Over $500K in 2010
- Average Conversion Rates above 20%
- Average Payouts between $10 to $30
- ROI of 50% on every dollar spent
Justin Elenburg, owner of JBE Holdings LLC is a performance marketer turned pay-per-call aficionado who, since starting out with his first call performance marketing campaign in February of 2010, has earned more than $500K in commissions promoting call-based campaigns for companies like AllState, ServiceMagic, and DirecTV.
Central to his strategy is mobile search, which represents about 95% of his media buys. And he has recently started branching out into mobile banner and display.
On an average day, he drives several thousand calls to advertisers, with call to conversion rates north of 20% and average payouts per call conversion ranging from $10 to $30.
Through the leading performance marketing networks like Commission Junction and LinkShare, he has access to hundreds of advertiser campaigns.
RingRevenue’s call performance marketing platform gives him real-time access to his call stats, payouts and keyword performance allowing him to make up-to-the-minute optimization and search-term bidding decisions.
Driving Calls Delivers Revenue
When Justin first got started with call performance marketing he was among the early adopters. He spent on average 14-16 hours a day and 6 days a week researching and devising a strategy for promoting call-based campaigns. He learned that he could leverage Google and MSN's ability to include phone numbers in ads, and he started testing mobile search. "As with any kind of marketing, everything you do is a test. Put something out there and test it. If it works, rinse and repeat. If not, tweak it and test again," said Elenburg.
Justin's testing found that certain types of offers work better for mobile search than others. He explained that when people use search on a mobile phone, they aren't necessarily looking to buy a physical product. They are often looking for a directory listing or searching for services. "Say you wake up in the middle of the night to find your house is flooding. You grab your mobile phone and start searching for a plumber," he added.
After a just a few months, that strategy paid off. Each month his income doubled and his success at driving valuable calls grabbed the attention of advertisers. "Advertisers started calling me and asking me to participate in private campaigns with high base payout amounts and opportunities for bonuses," Justin said.
As he dove deeper into promoting pay-per-call campaigns, Justin began to leverage RingRevenue's call performance marketing platform to better optimize his promotional activities. "I can't live without the real-time reports. Having live data on which ad groups are performing and which keywords are driving traffic for a particular campaign is critical. It allows me to make decisions on the fly for all of my campaigns." says Justin. "And the best part is the offers have a long shelf-life. Once the upfront work is done, I can pretty much put the campaigns on auto-pilot and watch the calls and commissions come in."
All this success was not without learning a few things the hard way. "When I first got started, I was looking at the various ways to monetize campaigns on mobile. Mobile ad platforms like AdMob seemed to be getting a lot of air time, so I gave it a try and sank a fair amount of money into testing it out. But because of the accidental clicks, misdials and the way AdMob charges for clicks and not calls, the returns just weren't there," said Justin. "My goal is to hit a 50% return on every dollar I spend. I am definitely hitting those numbers with my mobile search campaigns, but in my experience it's pretty hard to make money with AdMob."
Finding His Calling
"I've learned a lot over the past year about the best ways to manage my business and scale my pay-per-call initiatives," said Justin. He has even started a website to help others interested in call performance marketing benefit from his learning. "PayPerCallProfit.com is my way of helping other publishers get up to speed quickly on how to use call performance marketing. The way I see it, the more high-quality publishers using RingRevenue, the more advertisers will see the benefit of having their campaigns promoted in this way. More advertisers means more high-value campaigns to promote," he added, "I won't give away all of my trade secrets on PayPerCallProfit.com, but certainly enough to help people get started and take advantage some of the long hours I put in."
One of the things he has learned is that having an open dialog and partnership with the networks is a necessary ingredient for success. Working with his account representatives at networks has helped him open up the lines of communication with his advertisers. Dannielle Brantley, Marketing Manager at LinkShare, had this to say, "We believe the most successful publishers and advertisers in our programs are the ones who treat their relationships as a true partnership. When advertisers and publishers are openly communicating about the program, promotional methods, what's working and what's not working, we find they are able to customize and really build out a program that benefits both parties. The end result is more revenue to the advertisers by way of high-quality calls and more commissions to the publisher in the form of bonuses and even private promotions."
Creating an open partnership with advertisers and network representatives like Dannielle has been one of the best and most important parts of Justin's success. "Working with the LinkShare team has been fantastic. While I get great support from the account teams at each of the networks I work with, the LinkShare team's commitment to such an open dialog is unique and very effective," said Elenburg.
"If you build your call performance marketing business focusing on a win-win relationship with your advertisers, they will be much more willing to work with you and will take notice of the valuable leads you are sending them. And in most cases they'll reward your efforts with incentives and additional commissions on top of what you would normally earn," he added.
A couple pointers from Justin to publishers getting started
- Focus on campaigns that pay $10 or more per call or have a 2 minute or less minimum.
- Get to know Google Adwords
- Use key RingRevenue features such as “ROI by Keyword” and real-time reporting.
- Commit to sending high-quality traffic to advertisers.
- Establish a strong partnership with your advertisers.
Justin's success with call performance marketing has definitely had an impact on his lifestyle. "It's completely changed my life. After putting in the upfront time, the process of managing my campaigns is really easy and straightforward. I now work about 2 weeks out of the month and have plenty of time off to travel and spend time with my family. Promoting pay-per-call campaigns is my business now and will remain that way in the foreseeable future," concluded Elenburg.