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.

Freespee@EADP

I am happy to announce that Freespee will bring our next generation Call Analytics solution to European directory publishers at the EADP conference in Palma de Mallorca.
We have successfully expanded our reach in Europe and we are currently working with four of the leading directory groups, in eight!! different countries.
Being at Palma de Mallorca (lovely conditions for Swedes…) enables us to meet with our European customers and introduce our next generation Call Analytics solution. Freespee Analytics 1.5 is the result of our experience in running large scale traffic visualization solutions for some of the biggest directory publishers for two years, with 0 minutes downtime.
We plan to launch in at least two additional European countries over the next two months, offering Call Analytics solutions to directory publishers, B2C classifieds and media agencies that all work with phone savvy business.

Pay Per Lead (PPC) in the UK

After a 3 hours meeting with one of the most successful search engines for real estate in the UK, I realize that UK is the European answer to US in terms of performance based marketing.
The performance based business model is not just a word everyone is talking about, it is also implemented in daily business transactions. In addition, the UK market has already tried advertising setups with no phone numbers, hence 100% focus in driving traffic from the Advert to the advertiser web site or on online form for requesting a proposal. The reason behind this setup has been the inability to trace phone calls.
What happened?
Consumers didn’t appreciate it. Our statistics  show that up to 50% of the visitors of a vertical search engine service wants to contact the advertiser for a voice conversation. All efforts to make this complicated, drives down the value of the service.
Ironically, the average sales conversion rate for an inbound call is 60-70% in most industries. Average sales conversion rate for a click through is 1-2% in most industries. Hence, the value of the call is up to 30 times higher than the value of a click.
In UK, online business has understood this and are now looking for the best tech companies that can help them monetize on generated voice contact leads.
For this reason they contacted Freespee. With traditional display numbers, there is no business case in tracing traffic for an Advert with less than 5-10 calls per month. The Freespee number algorithms enable our customers to trace phone calls for all Adverts, even those with 1 call per year.

How a Freespee number helped a car rental service

A week ago one of our customers, a nation wide car rental service, were looking at their call stats from their market spending in Yellow pages. They were very satisfied with the volume of received calls, but the number of missed calls was also too high.
We showed them how too drill down into detailed call analytics in Freespee Advertiser. Now they could see a pattern in the missed calls. It was an easy fix by better resource planning and now all calls are answered.
If a typical order is worth 250 EUR, I guess they are satisfied.