Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Free 411 is the future.

Here's a little quiz for you...

Most cell calls in the US cost 11 cents per minute. How much does a 411 call cost? Mine costs $1.50 for about three minutes. Your's much better? Didn't think so. And you thought margins were going through the floor!

So, if you haven't heard of it, there's 1-800-free-411. From their site :

1-800-FREE-411 revolutionizes the 411 (directory assistance) marketplace by offering consumers a FREE alternative to the high cost service provided by traditional carriers. In addition, FREE411.COM on the Internet provides consumers with an easy to use Web-based destination for telephone number lookups. National and local merchants sponsor this service with a 12-second audio jingle about their services, which are played to consumers at the point they make a 411 request for a business in their category.

So, you call, it costs 11 cents a minute, and you get connected. You listen to the add, and off your call goes. Now, here's the great part. If you ask for the local pizza shop, they give you a number, but Domino's pays for their add to play before you are connected. Maybe they offer you a free pizza deal or something. If you like what Domino's is selling, you press 1, and the call is sent to Domino's instead. Good deal for Domino's, huh? They have the ultimate targeted add - this person is hungry. Good deal for you too, right? It costs much less, and maybe you'll get a better deal for your pizza. And, most importantly, good for the Free 411. I hear rumours that they get something like a 5-10% take rate on their advertisements. That's better than Google, by a factor of ten.

Here you go - an excellent voice enabled application.

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