Upcoming events – Join us!

The event season is kicking off again! It almost feels like during autumn there are only a couple of weeks when you should organize any kind of event… Certainly during the next week it feels like that.
Please join us at the events for a cup of coffee – it will be fun!


 
eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit
Stockholm, Sweden 19-20 September | Running parallel with Search Marketing Expo – SMX Stockholm
15% discount code: INUSEINSIGHTS011
Freespee’s CEO Carl Holmquist will give a speech about Capturing the offline phone conversion on Day 2 (Sep 20th) at 15:30pm.
Meeting contact: daniel.johansson at freespee.com


ad:tech London 2011 [Free Expo!]
London, 21-22 September
Freespee’s Chris Shields will be speaking about CPA Phone Calls on Day 1 at 10:30am.
Meeting contact: chris.shields at freespee.com



dmexco [Free!]
Digital Marketing Exposition & Conference
Cologne, Germany 21-22 September
Meeting contact: tobias.karlsson at freespee.com



EADP Congress 2011
Dublin, Ireland 21-23 September
European Association of Directory and Database Publishers
Meeting contact: carsten.gildum at freespee.com



a4uexpo London 2011
London (Hilton Metropole) 18-19 October 2011
Freespee is once again sponsoring the event. Early Bird rate will end September 19th – 10% discount code FREESPEEVIP
Meeting contact: juhani.polkko at freespee.com
 

Freespee Analytics 1.6 released!

With a lot of updates and exciting new features, the Freespee development team is proud to present Freespee Analytics version 1.6. We have summarized the most important enhancements below. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about this release (info at freespee.com).
Freespee Analytics 1.6 ads new valuable features to our Local Search and Classifieds partners and their SME advertisers:

  • Voicemail and interactive call log
  • Email and SMS notifications
  • Co-branded e-mails with support info
  • Improved reporting
  • Dynamic pie chart
  • Help texts and more

The new features help the advertisers with lead management, so they can be assured to quickly get back to all the potential customers who tried to reach them, and also distribute the leads effectivelty within their sales team.
Please read below more information about the updates.

Voicemail and interactive call log

Voicemail is one of the new useful features in Analytics 1.6. You or your advertiser can easily record a greeting message and activate same or different voicemail for each call source. Incoming voicemail messages will appear in the leads page along with our new interactive call log. Your advertisers can listen to the messages on the web, as well as download or share them by e-mail.
The interactive call log contains a list of calls, voicemails and notes related to each lead (combination of Freespee source and caller). All users with access to the leads page can comment on incoming leads and even individual calls. Please talk to your sales representative to activate voicemail.

Email and SMS notifications

Notifications on missed calls is now a per-source setting that you or your advertisers can administer in the Analytics web. If voicemail is enabled for your account, you will also be able to activate notifications when new voicemail messages arrive.
And hey, there is more, we’ve added SMS notifications! Enter your mobile phone number to get notified by text message. Please talk to your sales representative to activate SMS notifications.

Co-branded e-mails with support info

All e-mails sent from Analytics to end-users are now co-branded with the partner’s logo. Furthermore, we have included support contact details in these e-mails.

Improved reporting

We added several new reports in Analytics 1.6:

  • Customer report – Produces a list of customers and a summary of number of sources.
  • Source report – Lists all sources currently active along with some basic customer info.
  • Sources without traffic – Helps you identify sources which hasn’t received any calls during a given time period.
  • Traffic log report – This one isn’t actually new, it’s the old “Detailed report” with a new name.

Dynamic pie chart

In an effort to make comparison of traffic volume easier, we’ve added a brand new dynamic pie chart on the advertiser’s start page. Choose a variable to group by in the drop down and the pie chart will display a comparison between the different values.

Help texts and more

To make it easier to add new sources we’ve added help texts and suggestion dropdowns. Hover the mouse pointer over any of the input fields to view the help texts. Previously used values will appear as suggestions when you put focus on a textbox.

How Google is monetizing phone call traffic

Local advertising is booming – in the U.S., the business is expected to grow from $21.7 billion last year to $42.5 billion by 2015, according to BIA/Kelsey – that’s 14.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
The reasons for the growth are the same in Europe: new technologies enable new types of services, which then allow consumers to find, call and visit local merchants easier and faster, compare prices and buy offline services online (i.e. the “daily deals” business). More and more companies are adopting performance based pricing, which lowers the bar for merchants to spend more on advertising, as they can easily control the spending to sustain a positive ROI.
Many people within the industry are asking, what is Google doing about this?

The answer is that they are doing a lot. But what we are interested in is the phone call traffic – as local advertising is all about offline leads and transactions.
Google speaks about two offerings – in addition to Google Voice – which are available only in the U.S. market.
1. Mobile Click-To-Call (CTC)

Mobile Click-To-Call – as opposed to Online CTC (rather, “Call Back”) – is an intuitive and natural way of connecting directly with merchants and stores. The end user simple clicks a link/button and makes a call. From the merchants’ point of view this is great, as they don’t need to have mobile landing pages – Mobile CTC works directly from an ad.
How to measure the amount of call traffic then? While it is possible to register and report the number of clicks, without call tracking you can’t tell how many calls were connected. When you are paying for the advertising, this can make a huge difference.
Google launched CTC for local advertising in January 2010 and expanded it to national advertisers couple of months later.
And the results? They were simply blown away. Early this year Google announced, that their advertisers receive millions of calls per month and 200% higher CTRs.
2. AdWords Call Metrics

Still the majority of people search for local merchants with their computers online – and of course search advertising is a great way to drive call traffic.
In November 2010 Google finally launched call measurements on AdWords – Call Metrics. While it’s still available only to a limited number of advertisers – and only in the U.S. – it proves that Google wants to be where many of our partners already are today.
What’s in it for me?
Whenever you pick up the phone to call a car dealer, real-estate agent, insurance company or a restaurant, think how great it is to get a human being to serve you and gets things done instantly. Think how valuable your business is to the merchant.
Every time you see a phone number ask yourself, does that advertiser know how many calls they receive through the ad? Is the media publisher or the ad network able to prove the media value,  including phone leads?
How much is your call traffic worth?

Freespee reports from Yellow Pages TODAY!

Copenhagen, 2010-11-18
As the revenue from ad sales in the printed editions of the Yellow Pages Directories declines, the challenge to provide new, popular and trusted offerings to the SMEs is more intense than ever before.
Bundling ad products is a popular way of offering the advertiser a suite of exposure in printed- and online Yellow Pages and in New Media; such as Mobile marketing or paid search utilizing sponsored links–areas already subjected to hard competition from other local-level actors. The SME companies are looking for new channels where they can spend their media budgets and the question is now whether the Yellow Pages are the right local-level middle hand for them.

The Sales Force

The Yellow Pages Directories’ most valuable asset is unanimously said to be their powerful sales forces, a fact confirmed during Yellow Pages TODAY! by speakers from both Google and Bing (Microsoft) who themselves do not have this function in-house. However, judging from a review of a recent survey from the berry-company, this sales force is not very highly regarded by the SMEs, the segment that the Yellow Pages has traditionally had good relations with. The lack of skills in new media and little or no understanding of the advertisers’ businesses are the reasons behind this dissatisfaction. A panel debate comprised of top Yellow Pages sales people revealed that the two most important success factors right now involve getting help to understand the needs of the businesses they sell to, and being able to give the advertiser an ROI-feedback based on facts. These are skills and information that they need in order to retain and upgrade existing customers as well as to acquire new ones, who will otherwise look elsewhere to spend their limited media budgets.
Freespee helps the Directories understand their customers’ businesses and enables them to prove to the advertisers the ROI of their Yellow Pages, Internet Yellow Pages, and new media investments.

Strengthen the relationship to the Advertiser

The Directories are able to fully monetize their Internet Yellow Pages Ad networks with Freespee features such as phone number replacement on the Advertiser website, where the Freespee platform swaps out the existing phone number on the advertiser’s Web site with the unique, trackable phone number shown in the Internet Yellow Pages ad. This strengthens the relationship to the Advertiser and ensures that the Internet Yellow Pages get credit for every phone call that is placed through the ad.

Overview shows seasonality

Business knowledge comes through accurate intelligence and overview. With Freespee Analytics, the Directories get an overview of the seasonality of the advertisers’ businesses.

The integrated reporting tool shows a monthly or yearly perspective on the amount of leads that are driven to the advertiser’s telephone number. Now it’s easy to identify just the right point in time to contact the advertiser for subscription renewal.

Real-time proof of performance

Sales arguments are best when backed by facts. With Freespee Analytics, the ROI of the ad product is proven to the advertiser right away.

The dashboard shows the amount of telephone leads that the advertisement has driven to the advertiser, in real-time! Should the lead frequency decline – the sales person can take action to increase ad exposure utilizing New Media ad variants.

Credibility and performance is the future

Given these tools, the sales persons of the Yellow Pages Directories can concentrate on the new media and perhaps even more on the emotional part of selling, which obviously is crucial for building a long-lasting relationship with the SME customer.
Google’s local search engine Google Places recently evolved to be very similar to the Internet Yellow Pages in the way that it presents its search results. We at Freespee have seen a threefold increase in the amount of calls driven to advertisers from Google Places since the new structure has been in place. Customers do not click through to a webpage any longer! They simply place their call after having viewed the organic search result.
With re-won credibility, the only thing still missing for the Yellow Pages Directories will be the model for monetizing the phone calls in a way that is aligned with their customer’s scope; paying for performance. And then they can pursue doing exactly what they have done best for half a century. Driving phone call leads to the SMEs.

Every Day, Companies Make Wrong Decisions About Keywords

From the moment the Internet began to emerge as a powerful marketing channel, it became possible to measure impact in ways that had never before been possible.  Today companies devote serious resources to tracking visitors and measuring the number of actual orders or purchases generated by an Online campaign.
Being able to see the specific Click path that ultimately led your customers to complete an order on your site should be an excellent basis for knowing how to allocate your Online advertising budget. It would mean that you can make greater investments in keywords that have proven to be successful and ditch the words that don’t generate any results.

1. Sounds simple?

Think again: For 9 of 10 companies, a large proportion of the visits to their website do not result in a completed order or purchase because the viewer chooses instead to call the company. It might be to book a hotel room, or make an appointment with the chiropractor, or buy an airline ticket that was difficult to purchase Online, etc. Thus, the ability to be able to track incoming sales calls and relate them to the viewers’ Internet search is absolutely crucial.
If you use a search word that, according to your report, attracts a lot of visitors but leads to no completed orders in your Webshop, you will probably stop putting money into that word. But what if you knew that this specific search word was generating 8 of your 10 incoming sales calls – would you still make the same decision? And imagine you’re a dentist who makes all the appointments over the phone? How do you benefit by knowing how many people visited your Website after an SEM campaign?

2. Doesn’t everyone measure their incoming sales calls, just like they measure the number of visitors to their website?

No, almost no one does that!
Why? Because the analysis industry has been revolutionized by Online marketing. And people in the industry tend to think that it’s really painstaking to have to measure calls. The 25-year olds at Media agency X ask themselves, “Who calls these days?”
Freespee has gathered significant statistics over the course of two years, in which we clearly show the correlation between calls and Online search words, just as companies already relate their search words to a finished deal in the Web shop. As a teaser, when Google changed the look and feel of Google Places on October 28th, 300% more calls are placed directly from Google search results. Prior to October 28th, the user clicked though to the web site and then placed the call. Expect dramatic increase in call volume in 2011.
As there are millions of calls per day, the Media Agency should ask themselves if they monetize this?
In five years, the advertising industry will be entirely different from what I describe above. By then, companies that measure visitor traffic should also be able to clearly see the correlation to their call traffic. Otherwise, Freespee will have failed in its mission.

PS. Next time I will tell you a little bit more about the increased number of Voice leads from Google places…

How did that customer find you?

Case: IGIA
Search engine marketing, both paid and organic search, is obviously one of the most important areas in digital marketing today, and as such a focus area for developing the Freespee Analytics platform as well.
Together with Guava (part of the French Netbooster Group) we are testing a simple tracking code for an advertiser’s site to show a different Freespee Number (local, trackable number) depending of from where the user comes to the site. This enables networks, agencies and the advertisers see the call traffic by source on Freespee Analytics.

As an example, we take a local small business in our hometown Uppsala, a company called IGIA. They offer naprapathy therapy treatment, and their marketing is based on both word-of-mouth and people coming to their website from various online sources.
IGIA has been using Google Analytics to see online traffic, but haven’t been able to tell, if for example the person who called them and booked an appointment clicked on AdWords ad before, or used a local search engine. They also don’t want to go through the trouble of creating separate landing pages for each visitor source.
So, what they did instead is that they put a Freespee Analytics tracking code on their site. This code displays a different phone number to the web visitor, depending on which source they come from. You can try it yourself, by first clicking on the search links, and then clicking on the igia.se link on the results.
Direct traffic – phone number: 018- 843 40 40
bing.com organic search: 018-843 40 41
hitta.se local search: 018-843 40 42
maps.google.se local search (a.k.a. Google Places): 018-843 40 45
google.com organic search: 018-843 40 47
eniro.se local search: 018-843 40 48
Google AdWords: 018-843 40 49
You can have as many Freespee Numbers as you want, the cost increase is very small. When you get a lot of traffic in one of the channels, such as Google AdWords, you may want to dig in deeper and start tracking different keywords and ad copies. Freespee Analytics scales from a very small business to hundreds of thousands of tracking numbers.
Call tracking and analysis also answers many other questions: If you want to maximize the numbers of calls, is your number easy to find? Is the call-to-action on your ad good? Does offering a 15% discount make people call much more? Is your paid-for campaign targeted to the right people, at the right place, on the right time?

Simple A/B testing will tell you, however online advertising optimization can sometimes get quite complicated, that’s why we have agency partners to do the work for the advertisers.
Just ask, if they can already do phone call analysis for you!

Freespee found on Hitta.se

Why are new marketing tools and techniques spreading like wildfire? Because if they are truly revolutionary, they provide companies a strong competitive edge which anyone simply cannot afford to miss.

Today we are announcing our latest major deal in Sweden – with a Schibsted company Hitta.se, a local search engine or business directory service, if you will. This means, that in addition to Eniro, Lokaldelen and DinDel, also Hitta.se advertisers can benefit from our call tracking solution Freespee Analytics.
For more information, please read our Hitta.se announcement. If you’d like to know how to get started with call tracking, register here and we will get back to you soon!

Track Local Listing for all advertisers!

Freespee is currently implementing Freespee Numbers to all Local Listing Advertisers in a selected European country. This is done for the largest Local Search engine in the specific country.
And yes, a Freespee Number to every advertiser in the entire directory inventory means n x 100 000 Freespee Numbers. No problem for us.
Who is the client and which is the country? We can’t tell you.  But we are happy to show you how it works.

Local business wants calls, not clicks

What is an inbound call from a prospect worth in terms of money for a Mover? A first page listing in a local search engine for one keyword is priced in the area of €5 000 for a yearly subscription. How many new customers would you like to receive for that market spending? Moving all your stuff from one house to another normally costs you about €1500 inc VAT. If the gross margin is 50%, a new customer is worth €750. Is 20 new customers enough, generating gross revenue of €15 000? Three times the market spending.
A regular broadcast Ad in a local morning paper would cost you the same. What do you get for that? Branding?
Let’s say this Mover has a bad answering ratio, and he is not that service minded either. He closes 5 out of 10 inbound calls. Hence, he would need 40 (20*10/5) calls in total to be happy about the spending in local search advertising.
If I say that a first page listing in a small Swedish town for the keyword “Mover” generates 10 times as many calls during a year, would you believe me? Hence, for those who only believe in Adwords, you don’t know your figures!