Verizon is catching up with other players in the pay-per-click space, launching a self-service application Monday enabling marketers to start and manage their pay-per-click ad campaigns on Superpages.com. Until now, advertisers had to call or meet with a representative.
Verizon had said it planned to launch a self-service application when it launched pay-per-click advertising in partnership with FindWhat.com earlier this year.
Though Verizon has a 2,600-member sales force, "we don't talk to everyone in every state. This increases our reach to a broader market we may not talk to. Advertisers and companies that manage online campaigns for their companies or other businesses can do it online now," said Darrin Rayner, VP of e-commerce sales for SuperPages.com.
With local search touted as one of the next big growth areas in search marketing, it makes sense for SuperPages.com to streamline its process for advertisers and marketers. The Kelsey Group expects U.S. local paid search to grow to $2.5 billion by 2008.
The tool makes it possible for marketers to adjust and monitor pay-per-click bids, update their SuperPages.com business profiles, analyze clickthrough rates and review reports. The new service helps SuperPages.com catch up with major players Google and Yahoo's Overture. Both offer self-service campaign setup and management.
Clients can elect to continue with the telephone-assisted or in-person meetings to sign up or manage their campaigns. Or they can switch to the self-service approach. SuperPages' pay-per-click program launched March 1.
Verizon is initially promoting the launch through banner ads on its site, through its directories and via communications with customers such as billing notices, Raymer said.
A "significant" integrated offline and online ad campaign for the new service will launch in early June, Rayner said. He did not have details on the cost of the campaign or the creative, but said the advertising would focus on different verticals for pay-per-click such as hotels, florists and service industries. "That's a great audience because it's already doing pay-per-click," Rayner said.
The self-service tool soft-launched a week ago and feedback has been good, he said. "A number" of new advertisers have signed up via the tool, though Rayner would not give specific figures.
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