Panelist: Pay-Per-Call Gains Momentum

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NEW YORK -- Pay-per-call may be a more effective way of advertising in the future, a key evangelist in that space claims.

The pay-for-performance system where advertisers pay for calls rather than clicks recently has made headway in direct marketing, said Marc Barach, chief marketing officer of Ingenio Inc., a pay-per-call company in San Francisco. He was a panelist for "Web 2.0 Emerging Technologies" at DM Days New York.

"It arms marketers with the power of voice to convert online prospects," Mr. Barach said.

Companies specializing in mortgage refinancing, mortgage debt collection, car rentals, Web hosting, cable and satellite television, debt management, healthcare, criminal law and travel already use pay-per-call. Search engines, online directories and mobile search are participating, too.

The benefit of this type of advertising is that consumers are in the mood to buy when they are offered the pay-per-call ad, Mr. Barach said.

For example, a consumer calls the new free directory assistance 1-800-FREE411. The caller then asks for the number to the Marriott Hotel. Before the directory service gives the caller the number, a short ad is played offering a deal or discount involving hotels. The caller is then prompted to press 1 to be connected to the company that was advertising.

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