Today Telmetrics released data showing that combining a URL displayed within a print Yellow Pages ad increased the overall leads driven by print Yellow Pages by 78 percent. On average, the company reports, URL visits represented 44 percent of leads while calls generated 56 percent of leads. The data highlight the new extended offering Telmetrics now provides to traditional media players in which it incorporates URL tracking with its standard call measurement solutions.
The data were collected from November 2008 to April 2009 among 1,200 unique advertisers in a variety of headings and market sizes in both the U.S. and Canada. Telmetrics President Bill Dinan told me that the percentage of calls vs. clicks was pretty consistent in both large and small markets, but there were some differences by headings. Service categories, for instance, were much more likely to have a higher percentage of phone calls than clicks. Meanwhile, auto headings such as tires and car dealers had many more clicks. One can assume that car purchases and larger ticket items are likely to require a higher spend and more research, hence, more leads via clicks than calls.
Another interesting data point is that unique URLs had a higher conversion rate than domains that essentially are landing pages from a publisher’s Web site — for instance, iyppublisher.com/joespizza. Dinan said that in interviews, consumers seemed a bit suspicious of the latter mentioned URL and typically preferred the simplified direct domain. Just as the phone numbers are unique for the call tracking program, the URLs are unique to the URL tracking program and all URLs resolve back to the advertisers main phone line or Web site. The incremental cost for adding URL tracking, Dinan said, is nominal and the biggest cost factor is acquiring the URL.
Perhaps what’s most interesting about these data is that they give some real insight into how consumers are using and combining local media to make shopping decisions. Telmetrics data confirm the variety of data in the marketplace, including data from The Kelsey Group’s User View research, that show that many consumers still use traditional media as a starting point and that print and online media are complementary.