“It all kind of started with a sales job I had with a company called HouseValues … I started there as a sales rep and didn’t know anything about the lead gen industry and kind of fell in love with it immediately. I think the thing that I fell in love with was just kind of the intangible, selling the dream and an opportunity for someone to– back then, to be able to connect to a consumer that’s selling their house or buying a house” — Alex Elperin, CEO and Co-Founder of Avenge Digital
Alex Elperin (LinkedIn: @alexelperin, Website: AvengeDigital.com) is a lead generation expert with over a decade of experience, and the CEO and Co-Founder of Avenge Digital. Avenge Digital is a rapidly growing company with a serious focus on marrying lead generation with Pay Per Call. With over 20 years of combined online marketing, insurance, and media industry experience and contacts, Avenge Digital works hard to drive the highest quality calls to your offer. Additionally, Avenge Digital provides buyer connections for high volume online marketers or affiliates – they are already one of the top buyers of auto insurance calls in the United States.
Marketing Means Learning from Your Mistakes
“… the early days like that, they were cold. We made a lot of mistakes. We learned from those mistakes. We’re still making mistakes.”
We all make mistakes, but an ability to learn from our mistakes can be what separates the amateurs from the pros. One of Alex’s most painful lessons learned includes prepaying someone $5,000 for months of call traffic, only to receive zero calls. Do you believe he’ll repeat that mistake in the future?
When Starting Out in Pay Per Call, Every Dollar Counts
“That was definitely a pain point, especially when you’re first starting out and every dollar counts. Losing five grand off the top was tough. It was a tough pill to swallow for sure.”
While spending smart tends to be universal advice across all businesses, this is especially true for Pay Per Call. When you’re just starting off do your best to remember that every dollar counts. Work on building up solid networks of people you can really trust. This can pay off in a big way, and will help steer you clear of shady partners early on.
Auto Insurance Customer Journey
– “A consumer would go online on Google on their phone, right, and they would type in auto-insurance. They would see a click-to-call ad, they would click on that ad, and, essentially, go through our phone tree”
– “On our phone tree, they would be triaged, essentially, so they would answer a few questions, validating intent, essentially. We also want to make sure that we get their zip code because area code’s kind of a tough thing since most people are on their cell phone right now, so we get that information. Then we also want to see, if they are insured, what company are they currently insured with because we don’t want to send the person to the same carrier they’re currently insured with since price are the same.”
– “Once they type in all that information, we, essentially, send them over to the carrier or the individual agent. And then the individual agent, essentially, takes it from there. ”
When First Buying Ads, You Will Lose Money. Be Patient!
“I think the first thing is when you’re doing anything on Google, is, right away, you’re probably going to lose money. We call it kind of the cook time, right? And I think anyone that’s doing this knows that when you fire up an ad, you’re going to lose money. There’s no doubt about it.”
Face it, unless you’ve been doing this for 20 years you’re going to lose money on advertising at first. Once you give things time to heat up, this will turn around. Patience is key, and something all too uncommon among newer affiliates. Be tenacious, be patient, and wait for things to kick into gear – this alone will leave you ahead of the curve.
Transparency Is Critical
“I think having full transparency’s super important and just kind of working through the flow, right, of what’s working for you and what’s not working for you. And our account managers, that’s their job, that’s what– they live and breathe that kind of stuff. So if there’s something that you need to change, if it’s something with the IDR process, if it’s– God, you want to run different hours, anything like that, communication is crucial. Because, ultimately, this stuff comes out.”
Transparency is an essential quality in the Pay Per Call space; from the information you disclose upon applying to a network, to the problems you may encounter at a later stage in the process. You’ve got to be ready and willing to discuss things transparently, and from the get-go. Transparency is expected of you if you even want to get your foot through the door, and in return you should expect that same transparency to be reciprocated. Consider transparency to be the lifeblood of the Pay Per Call space.
Alex’s Biggest Opportunities in Pay Per Call Right Now
“I mean, auto-insurance is still absolutely huge. I mean, right at this second, obviously, with open enrollment, health is big. I think a lot of people are coming to us and starting to talk about some additional ways to drive traffic. Text seems like that’s coming up quite a bit. So I think that’s a big opportunity there as well. I think, ultimately, it doesn’t matter what vertical you’re jumping into. Some have a high payout. Some have a low payout.”
While auto insurance is still a massive opportunity in Pay Per Call, Alex also mentions open enrollment health insurance, as well as SMS/text traffic. Here at Ringba, we like to think there’s never a bad time to get started in Pay Per Call, but each of these present MASSIVE and unique opportunities which shouldn’t be slept on.
Final Thoughts: Advice for Affiliates
“I think it’s something that you need to be passionate about, and it’s something that you enjoy doing, and something you want to do for the long-term because of the flexibility that being a pay per call marketer allows you, then that’s something that you should probably get hooked up with a good network and start out with them.”
Alex leaves us with a great piece of simple advice for any interested or would-be affiliates. Pursue verticals which you are or can be passionate about. Some traditional affiliate marketers may have a hands-off approach when tackling new verticals, but that’s not really an option when it comes to Pay Per Call. Whichever vertical you settle on, you will be in the thick of it; so do yourself a favor and make sure it’s something you are enthusiastic about. Not only does this help motivate you, but your passion will be sensed by networks and partners whom you work with, as well!