Allowable Cost Per Lead (ACPL)

‘Allowable Cost per Lead’ is the highest amount an advertiser is willing to pay to generate one phone call. Generally derived from LTV, gross margins and closing ratios. Eg. If lifetime value is $1000 with gross margin of 50%, and closing ratios on new leads is 30%, then an ACPL of $150 results in break even. With pay per call, an advertiser would bid on calls based on some percentage of that, such as 10% (Eg. resulting in a bid of $15.00 per call).

Allowable Cost Per Sale (ACPS)

‘Allowable Cost per Sale’ is the highest amount an advertiser is willing to pay to generate one sale. Generally derived from LTV and gross margins. Advertisers typically use ACPS as a baseline for setting closing ratio and ACPL goals.

Call Tracking

‘Call tracking’ allows marketers, ad agencies and ppcall providers to measure the effectiveness of both online and offline advertising campaigns based on the number of calls they generate and, as a result, make more informed marketing decisions. Related to Call Measurement Services (CMS).

Call Tracking Number (CTN)

A Call Tracking Number (CTN) is a unique phone number that is displayed in pay per call advertisements. The CTN is call-forwarded to the advertisers place of business, allowing callers to connect directly with the business. The CTN is routed through the providers ‘switch’, allowing them to track the call and potentially collect information on the caller, such as caller ID. A CTN may also be referred to as a URN (unique relaying number).

Closing Ratio

The ratio of sales to the number of calls over a specific period time. Used to measure call effectiveness.


The text of an advertisement. Also known as ad copy, body copy or ad text

Cost Per Lead

‘Cost per Lead’ is the advertising cost to generate a phone call from a prospect.

Cost Per Sale

‘Cost per Sale’ is the advertising cost to generate sale from a prospect. Generally reflected by the formula; C x L / S, where C=cost per call L=#leads generated, S=#sales generated.


Defining an acceptable time-of-day to receive calls


Defining a geographic area where desired callers may come from


The first line in the ad that grabs the reader’s attention. Usually a larger font. Read 5x more than body copy.


Refers to calls received from leads

In-Call advertising

Audio ads that are played for people who initiated a call for another reason. E.g. someone on hold with a radio call-in show might be played an ad for a sponsor.

Lead Generation

A marketing term that refers to the generation of prospective customers or consumers with interest about a specific product or service

Lifetime Value

The amount of revenue an average customer customers is expected to be worth over their ‘lifetime’ of transacting business with the company. Abbreviated ‘LTV’. Lifetime Value is sometimes expressed as revenue-COGS (cost of goods sold), or gross profit.

Number Provisioning

The providing of unique numbers that can be placed on ads and tracked individually, thus allowing an advertiser to know precisely where their calls are coming from.


Any marketing strategy to leverage phone calls to numbers that, for one reason or another, do not ring through to the intended party. One example of this is often referred to as ‘fat finger dialing’, where adjacent keys are pressed by mistake. Another version exists where marketers intentionally purchase phone numbers that are published by another company for a period of time, then given up. Consumers still have the number on hand and therefore still dial it. In either case, the call-handling workflow usually involves the caller hitting an IVR that sells and qualifies caller for a new offer, then forwards them to an advertisers call center.


A special, such as a discount, to entice a prospect to call

Pay Per Call Advertising

Definition of Pay Per Call advertising: Advertising which is purchased on a performance basis, which is designed to result in phone calls to the advertiser. Generally utilized to build greater accountability into advertising, and to lower the risk of a failed ad campaign. Although pay per call advertising provides other long term benefits, such as name or brand recognition and image building, advertisers only pay for phone calls that are generated the time the ad is running. Other derived benefits are free. So even if pay per call advertising does not result in immediate phone calls, the image and awareness generated by that advertising comes gratis, making pay per call advertising a doubly attractive option. May also be referred as ppcall or pfc (pay for call)

Pay per Call telephone Services (ppcts)

Not related to pay per call advertising. PPCTS is a service whereby consumers pay for the privilege of calling certain numbers (E.g. adult or psychic lines).

Performance-based advertising

Advertising model in which the advertiser only pays for measurable-results. Examples: pay-per-call, pay-per-click, cost-per-lead, cost-per-click, cost-per-thousand


Potential customer. Also known as a “lead”


The process in which the caller is screened to ensure that the caller is a viable lead

Repeat caller

A caller that has history with the particular advertiser


Electronically transmitting voice and data between parties using systems historically associated with the telephone. Modern application include the use of the Internet to transmit voice

Terminating Number

The number that a CTN forwards to. Typically the advertisers phone number. When a dialer calls a call tracking number, that number ‘terminates’ at the number the CTN is forwarded to.


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