Newspaper Adds Click-to-Call to Classifieds

The Palm Beach Post says it’s become the first newspaper to offer click-to-call service to all its online classified advertisers.

eStara provides the technology, which the daily paper is passing on free of charge to advertisers. By clicking a “Talk to Seller” link, interested buyers can request a phone call with whoever took out an ad. eStara’s automated system can put the call through immediately by auto-dialing both parties on the same line, or at a later time specified by the shopper.

The deal is particularly unique because of the peer-to-peer connections it sets up, regardless of whether the ad is for a pick-up truck, duplex, plumbing service or garden gnome collection.

“[Vendors] connecting calls to their own call center is one thing, but to connect buyers and sellers through classifieds, that’s another thing,” said Cid Jenkins, eStara’s VP of business development. “The challenging part with newspapers has to do with the segregated vendor base they have. They’ll have a distinct third party servicing their real estate ads, automotive, etc. Bringing this together was as if we were doing five different implementations.”

The Palm Beach Post believes the offering will increase advertiser loyalty, since it lets sellers know exactly which incoming calls originate with the paper.

“By enhancing our classified technology, we’re reminding them that their leads are being generated by the Palm Beach Post, and that helps us stand above other classified listings,” said Dan Shorter, general manager of PalmBeachPost.com, in a statement.

eStara’s other clients include Verizon SuperPages, ThomasNet and Amazon’s A9 search engine.

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