If you are a web marketer in the business of selling non-tangibles such as Ebooks, information, software, games, website subscriptions and so forth, then phone billing is a option worth considering, not least since the phone is so ubiquitous and effectively powers the internet.
Phone Billing for web content works as follows : The surfer sees an on-screen command inviting him or her to call a premium rate number which as the name suggests is charged at a higher rate that for most regular phone calls.
The ordering process creates revenue at the end of which the surfer is given a password which they then enter into the webpage in order to be granted access to the underlying content. Once they receive your product, the billing clock is no longer ticking.
Such billing is popular with surfers not least since they do not need to part with any personal information. To them, this is of growing importance in an era of increasing online identity theft and credit card fraud.
Since the tariffs and payouts for such pay-per-call numbers varies from country to country, so do the payouts.
Therefore, a surfer from Austria will therefore pay more for his password than his counterpart from Afghanistan, but you will receive more.
In all those countries that do not support domestic premium billing, the surfer is invited to make a regular IDD (International Direct Dial) call in order to receive their password.
The phone companies to whom this phone traffic is sent understand that these are calls that they would not normally receive and are therefore prepared to pay a proportion of the so-called settlement rate which phone companies worldwide use amongst themselves to calculate payment for international telephony.
Such billing is therefore not suitable if you wish to charge, say, $20 for a product in all countries. Another factor to bear in mind is that for every dollar billed, the phone companies and your processor will keep their share and this will be reflected in the payouts to you.
This having been said, the telephone remains a truly global billing mechanism enabling you to monetise traffic from all markets, including the huge growth markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China – all of which have relative negligible credit card penetration, the absence of which rendering Paypal and other online payment mechanisms on which the credit card is based irrelevant.
Finally, the on-screen call-to-action and corresponding pre-recorded voicefiles that the surfer hears upon calling to get his password should be in a language they understand – theirs! Thanks to IP and browser geo-targeting, your phone processor should be able to provide you with the tools needed to accomplish this.
This way, the implementation of such technology will help take your Brand(s) global and, more importantly, will enable you turn your pixels into profits from a worldwide audience.
After all, do you know anyone that does not have access to a phone or cell? Probably not…