“Somewhere along the way, I stumbled onto Pay Per call. At the time, Pay Per Call was just on Commission Junction. That’s all it was. So I started messing around with that, and I found a way to arbitrage Google call back in the day when click to call was pretty much unknown to people.” — Eric Evans, CEO of HyperTarget Marketing
Eric Evans (LinkedIn: @ericevans1, Website: HyperTargetMarketing.com) is an industry leader in the Pay Per Call marketing space. An early adopter and evangelist of call generation advertising, Eric has undeniably left his mark on the Pay Per Call space. Based out of Santa Monica, California and founded in 2009, HyperTarget Marketing has set the standard for call performance marketing.
HyperTarget works with brands and publishers in traditional and online media to identify ways to improve call-generation marketing. They work with their clients every step of the way, creating specific goals, and setting the right path to achieve those goals. If you are a business that values phone calls or processes sales through a call center, they will increase your call volume – leading to more sales!
Toughest Lesson: Don’t Assume Everyone Will Pay You
“Naively, I assumed that everybody would pay me [laughter]. I’m trying to do things the right way. I’m building these websites and its traffic. Everybody’s going to pay me. There’s no way someone would just not pay me.”
Not unusual in this sphere, Eric Evans learned that one the hard way. Fortunately, this is one of those mistakes that we typically only allow to happen once. Eric was quick to adjust; he began to dial in to all accounting and a better understanding of payment terms thereafter. He describes this experience as the shift from “an employee mindset to a business owner mindset.”
Traffic Source Diversity is Vital
“The other thing was probably not putting all your eggs in one basket, especially if that basket is Google, because they’re not in it for the long haul with you if you’re a performance marketer.”
You’ve got to stay on your toes, remain vigilant, and most importantly, be innovative. In the early days for Eric, sure, there were a couple of tricks, but Google was always quick to make those tricks go away. That is one of the reasons that Eric attributes diversified traffic sources to his most early successes. A willingness to constantly reinvent yourself, and to make sure you’re always facing new opportunities, or at least trying to get some new things off the ground, is key.
Building a Team and Growing a Company Culture
“I would say, for me, more than anything building our team. It sounds old-school, but the first couple of people I hired we were working out of my apartment, but we kind of got to know each other, and then eventually we got an office, and we’ve really built a company culture here with an awesome team most of whom’s been working here with me for years now. And everyone’s happy. We have a good time. And I think our vibe, our culture, kind of rubs off on our clients.”
When asked about his biggest wins, this is what Eric considered to be the greatest, most rewarding win of all. Besides the indescribable sense of accomplishment that comes with building a business from the ground up, there are many perks to crafting a strong team and nourishing your company culture. A big perk for Eric and the HyperTarget team has been the almost contagious effect that his awesome team has on prospective clients – they see the team, they sense the vibe, they feel the culture, and they immediately find themselves attracted to HyperTarget’s gravity. A strong, well-calibrated team and culture, can work wonders when it comes to attracting new clients to your orbit.
Know the Flow
“In addition to driving traffic and generating the phone calls, getting your head around the call routing and concurrency limits and dynamic numbers and things like that. Just getting your head around how all that works is definitely going to help for Pay Per Call because it is unique.”
Eric, and many of the experts we interview, are quick to highlight this. He continues, “[Pay Per Call] is different than any kind of CPA marketing out there.” Demystifying the complicated web of budgets, concurrency caps, states, call center hours, etc. are paramount to successfully launching and managing any campaign.
Facebook Ads is Less Saturated than Google Advertising
“I wouldn’t recommend someone jump into doing Google Ads or mobile search right now. It’s just competitive and it’s saturated … I mean, Facebook is obviously saturated too, but I think there’s still more opportunity there”
Evan is reticent to state this as an objective reality; but he does encourage beginners to avoid starting off with Google Advertising. He admits that avoiding the Google’s, Facebook’s, Amazon’s, etc. of the world is likely an unreasonable expectation to hold onto, but does urge those just starting off to choose their path wisely. As with any new skills, leveraging what you already know and are passionate about will be key to setting yourself on the right path towards continued growth and development.
On the Importance of Call Tracking
“There’s a lot on the inbound side that you kind of have to understand how all the call tracking works to be successful.”
Being a reader of the Ringba blog, it is fairly likely that the importance of call tracking is not lost on you. In our conversation with Eric, he was sure to reiterate this. Without a firm understanding of call tracking, and your own call tracking software, you may as well be going into Pay Per Call blind. Lack of call tracking leaves for little-to-no room to optimize or sustain the campaigns you have launched or plan to launch. Do not do yourself the disservice of going in blind!
Big Opportunity: Bridging Data with Pay Per Call – Learn About TCPA Laws
“As boring as this sounds, learning about the TCPA laws so you don’t get yourself in trouble. But basically getting leads, and getting them on the phone, and transferring those calls all through automated processes is really a big trend right now.”
This is one of those “you’re not in CPA marketing anymore,” insights. You’ve got to step forward with a robust, diligent process; or else don’t bother showing up at all. As nascent as this space may be, with all of that room to evolve and innovate, we still need to stay honed in on rules and regulations which must always be navigated dilligently.
“I see a lot of growth in the senior space. The Baby Boomers are all turning 65 now. And there’s a lot to be done with various Medicare-related offers, which can span a number of different things. Everything from a reverse mortgage, to supplement insurance. and everything that would go with that. And those people make phone calls still”
Saving the best insights for last? Perhaps! Don’t let once-in-a-generation opportunities like this slip through your fingers. Staying on the pulse of generational shifts, and aligning your campaigns in accordance with those shifts will always be a massive opportunity. Right now, the way industry expert Eric Evans sees it, that opportunity is our beloved Baby Boomer generation. Who could a Pay Per Call marketer love more than this reliably-on-the-phone generation? While we always try to highlight the many avenues and opportunities for pursuit in Pay Per Call, we tend to agree with Eric that this aging generation presents a wide range of options that make them ideal for Pay Per Call campaigns.