How many times have you visited a company's Web site, needed to call someone for a deeper discussion or to ask a question, and failed to find any kind of phone number to do so?
My reaction: FAIL.
This is one of my biggest best peeves, and it is a guaranteed way to send people who are visiting your Web site right into the open arms of your competitors.
So, if your company is looking for a better way to tie together its Web presence and basic phone calls, you might want to check out Ifbyphone.
The company is selling a service that allows small businesses to create custom phone numbers that help make a better connection between your "real world" marketing efforts, such as word of mouth, and the traffic you might be generating on the Web and through social media.
The service lets SMBs create custom phone numbers that can be linked with certain marketing campaigns, that can be solely associated with your Web site or used randomly in print media to track leads. It lets your sales and marketing team track all this activity via a Web dashboard, providing much more visibility into the impact that different advertising efforts might be having. Or, for that matter, helping close deals that needed just a little extra nudge from a human on a telephone.
"For the past 15 years, there has been a rush to the Web, which has been well justified. The challenge is that there are many types of businesses that can't close deals over the Internet. ... But people will buy things if you put someone on the phone and have someone talk to them," said Irv Shapiro, CEO of Ifbyphone, based in Chicago.
Various research statistics cited by Ifbyphone suggests that 43 percent of all search-related "conversions" require a phone call to get them closed. (The full infographic is at the end of this post.)
By using Ifbyphone numbers linked to specific keywords, SMBs can get a better sense of which ones work -- and which don't. Your company can direct incoming calls in whatever fashion makes most sense for your company.
The typical Ifbyphone customer generates annual revenue of between $1 million and $100 million, Shapiro estimates. It costs $50 per month to establish an account, and then each number costs $2 per month to rent. The company will also direct incoming calls to a virtual call center for a higher fee, if your company doesn't have the resources to support incoming calls.
For more on the most impactful lead generation efforts: