Nuts & Bolts - Case Study : mTrax Pockets Calls, SalesAugust 2010 By Heather Fletcher
Challenge: Cut costs while acquiring customers.
Solution: Develop mobile capabilities with filtering and "on-the-fly testing."
Results: Reduced useless dial-ins to the call center by more than 8 percent in the first month, with 520 customers converting. Sales continue to scale up each month.
In impolite society, it's known as "butt dialing." However, the more urbane mTrax CEO Dev Bhatia prefers to dub these mistaken mobile connections "pocket calls." And they were awfully expensive.
"Pocket calls can be a death knell for mobile campaigns," says Bhatia, whose Spring Valley Lake, Calif.-based business resells products and services through mobile marketing. "Many marketers spend on mobile development and ad buys, then spend again when calls come in and cost them live agent minutes."
To filter out pocket calls, mTrax created a special landing page for clickthroughs from Dish Network and DirecTV banner and text advertisements. Consumers looking at the mobile landing page could see the "call now" button and click to call a live agent to talk about buying the satellite television service. Callers then had to provide tone-enabled responses to continue.
Those who were, instead, allowing their clothes to do the talking were more likely to enable the links at the top and bottom of the landing page, which would redirect mobile users out of the landing page before they could select the click to call option.
Beginning in July 2009, mTrax saw pocket dials plummet from more than 10 percent of all inbound calls to less than 2 percent of them.
So, of the more than 81 million ad impressions on the mobile Web—appearing as banner and text advertisements on sites including E! Online, msnbc.com and MocoSpace—more than 407,000 cell phone users visited the mTrax landing page in July 2009. Exactly 12,102 of those visitors clicked to call the live agents. And, finally, 520 of them became satellite television customers—for a conversion rate of 4.3 percent of the calls.
Bhatia says his satellite television sales have only continued to scale up each month since he recorded these metrics.
"The goal of the campaign is not to gather e-mail or mobile numbers," he adds. "Our goal is to provide an experience which is a straightforward call center sale. This keeps things simple. Instead of trying to make consumers fill out forms on their handsets or respond to text messages, we just let them do what they are comfortable doing: Call in and get service."
In other words, if a fan of E! Online feels inclined to take time away from the pressing question/headline "Edward vs. Draco: Who's the Bigger Stud?" regarding hunks from the Harry Potter and Twilight movies, she can just glimpse over at a Dish or DirecTV ad on the site. Clicking on it, she can then press the "call now" button and order up a chance to see more of Edward or Draco.
All she has to do is be human.