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Mobile Internet going mainstream, but where’s the click-to-call?


Here’s news to make online marketers salivate: A majority of mobile Internet users (three in five) “are more inclined” to buy in response to relevant opt-in ads on their phones, according to a 2008 study conducted by UK-based mobile ad agency Aerodeon. And it’s not just impulse shopping like songs from iTunes. Almost half of regular mobile Internet users reported using the mobile Web to research big ticket purchases like vacations and cars.

Aerodeon reports that slightly more than half of all people who use the Internet on their PCs also use the mobile Internet. When you look at 18 to 24 year-olds, mobile Internet use rises to nearly 80 percent. And two-thirds of all mobile Web users use it to search. All of this presents a huge, unfolding marketing opportunity.

Now, you might assume that the most common interaction between mobile Web visitors and advertisers would be a click-to-call you are, after all, on a phone. The mobile Internet would seem to be the single most ideal medium for click-to-call.

However, Internet marketers don’t appear to have gotten the message. My brief and admittedly unscientific research comparing Google hits indicates that the preferred call to action for a mobile Web ad is a text message. A search on “mobile campaign” and “text messaging” lands 5,470 hits, while “mobile campaign” and “click-to-call” gets a measly 622 hits.

I guess when all you can see is a keyboard, every problem looks like text.

However, there are some voices crying out in the mobile Web marketing wilderness. Joe Whyte of Search Marketing Standard recommends click-to-call for mobile landing pages right after a “clear and precise call to action.”

Here’s what Whyte has to say:

“The great thing about mobile marketing is that the users are more apt to take advantage of this medium. They are already on the phone so, by providing a click to call option on your mobile site, you’re increasing the odds of that user turning into a lead for your business.”