How to make money with pay-per-call numbers

Written by maggie mccormick
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How to make money with pay-per-call numbers
pay-per-call number (Jupiterimages/ Images)

A pay-per-call number–usually an 800 or 900 number–is a number that people call to receive specific information. The call they make costs either a flat fee or a per-minute fee, which is charged to their credit card or phone bill. These types of numbers are common for adult chat, technical support and psychic advice, along with many other applications. If you have some information that's worth something to people, you can make money with pay-per-call numbers.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    Decide the business model for your pay-per-call number. For example, you'll want to think about what information you will provide, how much you want to charge for it and whether callers will speak to a live person or get a recording. A 900 number will charge the call directly to the caller's phone number, while 800 numbers will prompt callers to enter a credit card number and charge that.

  2. 2

    Set up the pay-per-call number. You'll have to sign up with a company that provides this service, paying a one-time set-up fee and an additional monthly maintenance fee. The company will set up your line to forward to a message or to a specific phone number.

  3. 3

    Hire operators to take the calls. If you want callers to speak to someone live–which gives you the opportunity to earn more money if they're paying per minute–you can hire people to take the calls. Look for people who are trained in the service that you are going to provide. For example, if you are creating a psychic advice line, have a potential worker give you a psychic reading.

  4. 4

    Advertise your number. You can use websites and Internet marketing, or place ads in local newspapers. You can also print the number on matchbooks or flyers that you pass out. Match your advertising method with the type of audience you have–advertise a psychic line in a New Age magazine and advertise an adult phone line on drink coasters at a club.

Tips and warnings

  • Most people understand that 900 numbers cost money to call, but many do not realise that an 800 number can also be a pay-per-call number. By choosing an 800 number, you may get more interested calls. These people may choose to hang up, however, when they learn that there is a fee involved.

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