Add 'click to call' to your website, blog, or email

With eVoice, small businesses can now make it simpler for customers or prospects to initiate a phone conversation.

Have you ever run across one of those businesses that seems to be hiding behind its website, hiding phone numbers so carefully that visitors can't call to speak with someone live?

Then you know how annoyed customers — and customer prospects — are when this happens.

This may not always be intentional, of course. Short of publishing phone numbers in an obvious place, one way your company can get around this is to add so-called "click to call" features. When the visitor pushes a button or selects a widget, they are escalated to a phone agent who might be able to help.

Yes, I know you're thinking, "But that is something only large companies can afford."

Not if IP phone service provider j2 Global, developer of eVoice, has its way. It has just added a new feature that lets buttons add this capability to a website, blog, or even your email communications. If someone clicks on the link, they are prompted for their phone number, and a call is initiated.

The service is already being used by entrepreneur Keith Lorren, CEO of a New York-based spice company. "Most people may not want to pick up the phone or search for the phone number to dial," Lorren said. "So the eVoice click-to-call feature makes it very comfortable and easy for a customer to reach us."

The capability has also been integrated with CampaignerCRM, a customer relationship management application also offered by J2 Global separately from the eVoice service. The feature works in reverse: If a salesperson clicks on the number in a contact record, an outbound call is initiated.

Other features bundled with core eVoice service include a local or toll-free number that you can use to build presence for your business in a specific area code; an auto attendant that lets you route inbound calls wherever you'd like to receive them (mobile or landline); call recording; and companion mobile apps for Android and Apple iOS.

Pricing for eVoice starts at $9.94 per month for two extensions and up to 300 monthly minutes (each minute beyond that is 5.9 cents).