Sensis and eStara launch click to call

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Sensis and eStara launch click to call

Sensis, known as "Australia's Google" launched a pay-per-call pilot on its search engine, sensis.com.au, powered by eStara's click to call technology. Users of sensis.com.au can initiate a phone conversation with advertisers with a simple click of the mouse. The partnership was announced at this week's Kelsey Group Interactive Local Media 2005 (ILM:05) conference. This follows the recent news last week on Google entering the click-to-call fray, though in this case I think it's true "VoIP" calling where as Google was a PSTN call between the advertiser and the customer. I know eStara does VoIP, but I know they also have infrastructure for PSTN dialing as well. I'll have to look into this further.

"Sensis is very excited to offer Australia's first 'Click to Call' solution, a leading edge technology," said Alex Parsons, Group Manager sensis.com.au. "We're committed to delivering innovative advertising solutions and encourage advertisers to participate in the trial to help grow their business, by driving direct phone leads from search results."

The service will be offered by Sensis at flat-rate pricing through the pilot. The company plans on migrating to auction-based pricing in 2006 and expects advertisers to pay a higher rate due to the increased value of phone leads in comparison to clicks to a website. Calls are free to the end-user.

Further expansion of the service will include deployment of call tracking numbers in addition to the click to call buttons. Built on eStara's VoIP (Voice over the Internet Protocol) platform, the service tracks inbound phone activity for toll-free numbers and provides real-time reporting and number provisioning.

Analysts predict pay per call advertising to become a $4 to $5 billion industry by 2009. "We're seeing rapid acceptance of pay per call in the local search market," said John Federman, CEO of eStara. "By providing this service to its advertisers, Sensis is showing that they are thought-leaders in the industry."
To measure customer satisfaction, Sensis is offering post-call surveys to end-users. eStara surveys of directory customers have found over 92 percent of click to call users said that they would be more likely to contact an advertiser that offers click to call over one that does not, and 95 percent of users said a click to call option made it more likely that they would visit again in the future.

Plus, nearly 90 percent of users said that click to call "greatly" or "significantly" enhanced their experience using online directories.


Update (4:57pm): (screenshot captured of the click to call search on Sensis).

simply search on "hosting" to see some click to search examples



And when you click you get this screen. It's a PSTN call not VoIP, but as I mentioned, eStara has the capability of doing VoIP and adding it as an option very easily. (also see the comment to this post)



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