Thursday, August 5, 2010

Psychology Today Directory's New Call Feature

Hi, if you're listed in the PT directory (I still am, though rather ambivalently), you have probably seen this email (here's the heart of it):

The phone number on your profile is replaced by a unique local number
that connects seamlessly to your existing line. Each time you receive a
phone call from a client who found your details in the Therapy
Directory, we'll send you an email that tells you who called and when.
The details are stored in your account member area.

This is an interesting move. I can guess some of the motivations of it. I've often brainstormed how I would run a different kind of therapist directory - one that ONLY charged per lead generated or per client who successfully comes in. This is in many ways a great idea, but the main problem is TRACKING where the lead comes from, that it comes from a certain directory.

I'd guess that 5 years ago, a majority of PT therapists did not have websites, so people would mainly be going off the PT listing, and using the PT form to contact the therapist. (You'll notice the stats they email you list searches, views of your profile, and emails to you.)

Now, I would guess that most potential clients who actually use PT go off to the therapist's website, from the link in the profile, before contacting the therapist directly. This can hide the true source of the referral.

From hearing other therapists complain that PT doesn't drive as much traffic as it used to, I think this is a way to prove their worth to the therapists in the directory. I once did some "napkin math" about the directory - $29.95/month x 10,000 members (guesstimate) = $300,000/month = $3,600,000 a year. The directory may make more $ than the magazine does! So, they have a pretty darn vested interest in keeping it up to date.

I'll be interested in hearing people's experiences with the new call feature (oh yes, you can opt out of it, too).

Best, Peter


Lisa A. Riley said...

I can understand your ambivalence around PT. I finally canceled my account with them after it was apparent that my profile wasn't even getting a hit for two months. New clients no longer come from PT, but other means of marketing I've done online.
In terms of the call feature. I've been using Google voice for the last six months and it's worked out great. I'm currently trying out since they seem to have a lot more criteria for clients to search therapists under and other great features.

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