When it comes to marketing online or offline phone numbers may still beat out email addresses for customer response. While I have not conducted a long-term test comparing the two, it appears voice calls are still the preferred method of communication with several small tests I've run and compared.
In my own testing with one site, the use of the displayed phone numbers is used equally when compared to in-bound phone calls vs. contact forms.
In another test conducted by a friend of mine involving an rental property, the use of a phone number in his ad generated 10-20 phone calls per day over a one week period. In a subsequent test, he removed the phone number and subsituted it for an email address. He never received a single inquiry from the ad using only an email address.
Email has become unreliable due to spam and other delivery issues whereas a phone number is a more reliable method of communication.
With more and more of the population utilizing cell phones as a primary means of communication and the use of smart phones increasing, it ony makes sense that it has now become extremely easy and convenient to place a voice call. Some sites have click to talk services with a call back feature that will dial your number back if the person you are trying to reach is not available.
Have you run any tests comparing response rates utilizing a phone number vs. a contact form or email address for marketing purposes? Share your tests or comparisons with our visitors.