Sinch the first web page was launched in 1991, the way we use the web has constantly evolved. Phone calls and the web used to be separated, one for research and one for communication and then Google changed the game with call tracking in AdWords. Over the past 9 years, click to call has grown in popularity as businesses and users take calling technology to the next level and integrate it with the modern mobile and web experience.
Phone books and operators have more place in a museum than a modern home and big names like Twitter are experimenting with how click to call can offer value to them.
All of these companies are heading for the classic advertising model, using click to call as a way for users to interact with an advert and contact the advertiser directly. In Twitter’s case, users can promote a tweet and add a call feature to let users get in touch directly. Read a case study about how Twitter used click to call in a recent campaign. Twitter are still testing this feature, but the feedback and results suggest that click to call is a feature users like.
Year on year, the speed of change and the speed we need to complete our tasks is getting quicker. Users no longer have the time to sit and research anymore and so instead, instant answers are what people demand, and with this comes tens of billions of calls to businesses every year. Demand is high. Google reported earlier this year that click to call is used by more than 40% of mobile searchers with 40 million calls a month, as users simple want answers “more quickly”, and Google even place click to call as a important part of the customer journey.
Google has a unique perspective on much of the mobile customer journey with search, Maps, Chrome, Places, click-to-call, Wallet, to name a few.
The business speaker Michael Jackson sums up the pace of change over the last 50 years quite well in this video:
And for businesses, Jason Wells suggests that inbound calls convert around 30-50% of customers, so this opportunity is huge for e-commerce and other businesses using inbound marketing. Google suggest that these are long calls, with over 72% of click to call conversations lasting over 30 seconds with a 6 minute average. Rather than guessing the offline value or just ignoring these numbers in the marketing funnel, businesses can now fully understand how mobile and phone calls contribute to their marketing. With some small changes, businesses could implement a simple click to call tracking campaign to track how different phone numbers in different media generate phone calls and convert customers.
Click to call is not difficult to implement anymore. With some simple code, any developer can add a simple call button which points to a regular phone number. Users either call through the browser or an app and the call is connected. Click to call has so many possibilities that the next few years will be interesting to see how people use and interact with this feature.
So how has click to call has changed how we think about mobile? I believe it has bridged the gap between phone and the mobile/web experience in a digital age. The two are no longer separate. The days of finding a phone number and getting your smartphone from your pocket to manually dial the number are coming to and end and I think that click to call will soon become standard technology, just like 4G and wearable gadgets.
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