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You’ve probably heard ads with vanity numbers. During the ad, the company always provides a means to contact them via phone. If you’re a potential customer in the market for what the company is advertising, you only have until the end of the spot to remember the number.
A company without a vanity phone number uses an indistinct, patternless local phone number that requires a potential customer to have a rather incredible memory — or at least a nearby pen and paper, assuming they can maintain interest long enough to bother. Even if they had a pen and paper, they need to actually retrieve them first. By the time they do, they’ve already mixed up the digits in their head and their attention is off the ad and onto something else.
On the other hand, a company with a vanity number might not even require the customer to have a pen and paper, because their number is a simple and catchy toll free number. Even if the consumer feels the need to write it down for reference later, it’s unlikely they’ll forget before they retrieve a means of reference. They’re now far more likely to call that business.
In a nutshell, that’s what vanity numbers accomplish.
A vanity number is a custom phone number consisting of 10 or more digits that are designed to be catchy and easy to remember. This makes it so consumers that hear it will be more likely to call the business associated with the number. These can be either a local or toll free vanity number. Examples of toll free vanity numbers include 1-800-GOT-JUNK and 1-800-NEXT-WINDOW. These vanity phone numbers can be rented, typically at a monthly rate, through a provider.
Dialing a vanity number is just like dialing any other phone number. To dial the numbers associated with letters, look at a touchpad phone and note the letters listed below the numbers. The letters correspond to the number above. This means that 1-800-GOT-JUNK would be dialed in all numbers as 1-800-462-5265. The numbers aren’t what the customer remembers, but rather the phrase.
A vanity number works through call forwarding and can lead to any other number. Toll free numbers can be routed to different local numbers depending on where it’s dialed from: If 1-800-NEW-CARS were dialed from a Pennsylvania area code, for example, it would lead to a local number in Pennsylvania. But if the same number were dialed from Vermont, it would lead to a Vermont local number. This means multiple businesses can own the same toll free number.
Vanity numbers are easy to set up, highly customizable, and don’t require making any changes to your phone system. The provider will forward the call to one or many local phone numbers. For example, a provider can make it so the vanity number forwards to different numbers depending on the time of day or to split up calls between contact centers.
The primary benefit of having a vanity number is that you can use them in traditional advertising, such as television, radio, or billboards. Without a vanity phone number, even if your advertisement is stellar, it doesn’t mean anything if the listener isn’t able to recall your local number.
A vanity number solves this problem by being both easier to hear and recall. Imagine a customer who’s only passively listening to the same advertisement on the radio. If they hear a catchy vanity number, they’re more likely to dial it. This means they’re far more likely to call you, leading to more sales and larger profits. If they have a positive experience with your brand, then they can easily advertise your business by word of mouth just by mentioning the vanity phone number.
There are benefits to having both a toll free number and a local vanity number. Some people trust local businesses more than others, so having a local number on your advertisements could help. On the other hand, toll free numbers are even easier to remember because everyone knows the 800 area code. There’s no limit to how many vanity numbers you can have, so you might choose to have a local vanity phone number, an 800 number, or both.
An important factor to consider when choosing a provider is the quality of their technical and customer service. There’s more to a vanity number than simply owning it — you need to be able to deal with potential problems that might come your way, and this means having a solid technical service team that can respond quickly and confidently. A separate customer service team also helps if you want to know how to best utilize your new vanity number. If you have a vanity number, you want as many people as possible to recognize it. A capable customer service unit can help you perfect your marketing strategy so you’re getting the most out of your custom phone number.
To maximize the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, you should also consider a vanity number provider that offers call tracking. This service keeps track of everyone who calls your business and identifies information about them that can help you better understand the demographics of your audience. Armed with this data, you can adjust your marketing strategy to better appeal to the demographics that are most likely to call your business.
There are virtually no limits to what area codes you can use for a vanity number. Wherever you want your small business vanity phone number to go, there’s a great chance you can use any existing area code.
To get a vanity number, you need to contact a provider. You don’t need anything special to get a custom phone number — just a local number (or numbers) you want the vanity number to forward to. A provider will supply you with a list of available numbers.
A good provider makes it so you don’t have to guess which vanity phone number will benefit you most. They should be able to tell you which number would make the best investment based on a data-driven ROI estimate. The provider will work with you to choose precisely which number will work best for your small business.
While the cost of a vanity phone number varies, most vanity numbers cost a few hundred dollars per month. If this sounds like a lot, it’s because you can expect a large ROI in the range of 30-50% more inbound leads. Imagine you’re a roofing business and you want a vanity phone number such as 1-800-NEW-ROOF. For a few hundred dollars a month, you can bring huge amounts of traffic to your business and sell more roofs — a product that typically goes for tens of thousands of dollars each.
After you purchase a vanity phone number and tell the provider where you want the calls routed, the company will activate it for you. Normally, this doesn’t take more than a few days.
You can have all the calls forwarded to a single local number which never changes if you like. Or, you can customize the calls in a variety of ways to suit the needs of your business. Maybe you’d like to split the calls so they route to different call centers. Perhaps you want calls to forward to different numbers depending on the time of day.
A vanity phone number is a nearly effortless and lucrative way to boost your business. With a custom phone number, you can expect 30-50% more inbound leads, meaning more sales and more profits — and you never have to touch your phone system. Combined with a sophisticated tracking system that can help you identify your target demographics and fine-tune your marketing strategy, you can expect an exceptional ROI with minimal effort. Download our eBook and contact us today to get started swiftly turning your business into a household name.