Remember when you were a kid and playing on the playground, and you’d try to make up the most ridiculous vanity “800” numbers you could think of?
“What’s your phone number, 1-800-DUM-FACE?”
“No, it’s 1-800-COOL-GUY!”
While the results were juvenile and would make regrettable vanity numbers for actual businesses, this childhood game is evidence of a truth in advertising: vanity numbers are easy to remember.
But why are vanity numbers so memorable?
Simply put, they don’t seem random. They have cohesion. In other words, they can be branded.
To put this in perspective, consider these statistics: Vanity numbers have a 75% average higher recall rate than standard, non-vanity numbers. Furthermore, 97% of Americans recognize 800 numbers as being toll free. The result is an increased lead response ranging from 25 to 50%! When people hear a vanity 800 number, they remember it, they know the call is free and therefore are more prone to act!
So, if you’ve been asking yourself, “Why should a business use a vanity 800 number?”, we have the answer. , and led countless businesses to experience the success of vanity numbers. Now we want to share the benefits with you. That’s why we’re going to explore the many reasons businesses both large and small should turn to vanity numbers to help drive business and customer engagement.
It All Starts With Neuroscience
Before we dispense some actionable advice concerning vanity numbers, let’s dig a little deeper into what is really going inside the minds of customers.
To start, how do people remember sequences of numbers? In order to remember number sequences, the human brain uses something neuroscientists call “working memory.” Your working memory is that portion of your mind that processes data in from the short-term memory.
Within your working memory, you use what neuroscientists call a “phonological loop” in order to remember sequences of numbers. Simply put, you use your working memory to repeat those sequences of numbers until you remember it.
Eventually, you remember a number and no longer need to use the phonological loop. This is why you don’t need to constantly repeat your own phone number or social security number to remember it. You have those numbers lodged in your brain.
However, many things can get in the way of switching from the phonological loop to more solidified memory.
For example, if a coworker interrupts while you’re working through the phonological loop, you’ll find that the number has completely escaped your memory. Instead, the interruption will occupy your new phonological loop, leaving the number lost.
Now, you will find that some numbers are easy to remember. 1492 for example, is pretty easy to remember because of its association with Christopher Columbus’s voyage to the Americas. Science fiction fans won’t have a hard time remembering the number 2001 either. Because these numbers are already firmly established in a person’s mind, you don’t need to repeat them within the phonological loop. Instead, just remember Stanley Kubrick or “the ocean blue.”
That is why vanity numbers are so much easier to remember. We contextualize them, and have a much easier time remembering them because that context acts as a trigger. Remembering information associated with something else is much easier than trying to pull it out of thin air.
If you’re company sells books, a number likes 1-800-NEW-BOOK will automatically contextualize the service being provided and the way to get in contact with that service. It’s science, and there’s no way around it.
Integrating Branding and Contact Information
However, while vanity numbers are certainly easier to remember, they offer other advantages for a company trying to expand its brand reach.
One of the best features of vanity numbers is the fact that it combines contact information with branding.
Consider one of the best-known vanity numbers, 1-800-FLOWERS. By owning such an important category, making the number easy to remember and then turning that memorable number into its own brand, this company has found a way to rise to the top of the flower industry.
This is an especially good strategy for those working in somewhat humorous markets. Consider 1-800-GOT-JUNK. This branded vanity number is catchy not just because it clearly spells out what service is being provided but because on the face of it, it is a pretty funny business. Hauling junk isn’t a very glamorous job, but the company has found a way to poke a little fun at themselves, thus making the number even more memorable.
This is especially useful considering that junk hauling isn’t a service that people use regularly. After a long day of cleaning out your garage, you might wonder what you’re going to do with all of the scrap wood and deflated basketballs you now have collecting on your driveway. Because 1-800-GOT-JUNK is so memorable, on the rare occasions when you need their service, they have a good chance of being the only junk hauling service you are familiar with off the top of your head.
Maximizing Online Banner Ads
Vanity numbers are also perfectly positioned to get your business noticed in a growing sector of the advertising industry. As more advertising finds its way onto webpages and within free smartphone apps, you will need to work harder to get your business noticed.
The theory behind banner ads online is that they can be clicked through. So when someone is reading a news article and then sees an ad for a shoe store, the hope is that they will then click the add and instead start shopping for shoes.
And that certainly works some of the time. Good ads encourage click-throughs and therefore generate leads and brand engagement.
However, for every person who engages with an appealing ad, there is someone who will not click-through. There are many reasons why a person may choose not to engage with an ad at a given time. It may be for a product or service that simply doesn’t interest them. It may be a poorly designed ad. Or, they might simply be focused on what they’re reading and don’t want to get distracted by clicking through at that time.
That last type of person is the one that you can grab with a good vanity number.
If a person is interested in your product but too focused to engage with your online, you can still hook them by making your ad memorable. If that memorable ad also features a memorable vanity number, you have increased the likelihood that they will reach out to you in the future, perhaps when they aren’t so focused on what they’re reading.
Additionally, banner ads have given small businesses the means to take local, targeted advertising online. Because many banner adds are geolocated, they allow users of global online products to see advertising targeted to the region in which they reside. For example, you may be using Spotify, a product based in Sweden, but the ads you see are often specific to where you live.
A vanity number service does much of the same thing. There are only so many numbers available in the standard toll-free format. However, providers are able to license numbers regionally. That means you have access to numbers that might already be in use by a local business halfway across the country.
If you are trying to reach a local market, both banner ads and vanity numbers are a perfect way to give your brand a big but local presence.
So as you think about your mobile and online ad presence, think beyond the click-through. A good banner ad that includes a memorable vanity number is the easiest and most effective way to make sure that it is generating leads and providing you with a good return on investment.
Being Memorable Both Visually and Audibly
There’s another reason why vanity numbers are so powerful in multimedia ad campaigns: they’re memorable, whether the ad is visual or audio driven.
As fewer people listen to the radio, it would seem that audio advertising is becoming less relevant. Nevertheless, keep in mind that many people who are leaving radio are instead turning to free streaming services like Pandora and Spotify. Moreover, how are these services providing songs free of charge? By embedding audio advertising.
So it would seem that audio-only ads are experiencing a bit of a renaissance.
The nice thing about a vanity number is its retentiveness, especially audibly, as a full concept as opposed to a sequence of numbers.
Let’s return to 1-800-FLOWERS. The phone number, without using assigned letters, is 1-800-356-9377. If you were to hear that during an online ad, you would struggle to remember that string of numbers. If you get even one number wrong, you won’t be able to reach them using the toll-free number.
However, when you hear the word “flowers,” you remember it as a whole, not as a sequence. As long as you know how to spell the word “flowers,” you don’t need to worry about remembering the individual letters. You can recall it later.
However, the same is true for visual ads. Again, sequences of numbers require visual study, and then you need to translate it in order to add it to your phonological loop. But words don’t require that, especially if they’re simple phrases that are directly related to your product or service.
However, this leads up to a word of warning: You want to be careful about using vanity numbers in the same way you might use vanity plates on a car.
With vanity plates, a fun pun or mnemonic, like “4UN GUYS,” is memorable and likely to get the reaction you hope for. However, if you use a vanity number like 1-800-4UN-GUYS, you are negating the benefits. Vanity numbers work not just because they’re creative, but also because they’re easy to remember and hard to mess up. A person might easily remember that your number is some variation on “fun guys” or “fungi,” but they still have to remember specific details in order to ensure that they don’t call the wrong number later on.
You also want to make sure that a clear and concise call to action accompanies your vanity number. One of the benefits of a vanity number is its very existence as a type of call to action. Because people associate 800 numbers with businesses, they’re likely to recognize just the presence of a number as a call. However, if you can combine a vanity number with a catchy and memorable call to action, your ad campaign will be even more effective. Just think about the catchy jingles that accompany so many toll-free numbers. These kinds of calls to action don’t just make the number memorable — they make the context associated with that number meaningful as well.
So while vanity numbers are effective in both visual and audio ads, their efficacy is contingent upon a good advertising strategy and creative implementation. However, if you pick an advantageous vanity number and combine it with a powerful and media-appropriate campaign, you will find that you will be generating those valuable leads at higher and higher rates.
The Easiest Way to Get Your Vanity Number
Now that you’ve clearly seen how vanity numbers can maximize advertising return on investment, drive leads and drum up business in new and creative ways, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to go about getting that perfect vanity number.
That’s where 800response comes in. The problem is vanity numbers have been around for a while. It can be hard to figure out which number is available and how to go about securing a good one if it is.
Luckily, at 800response, we take the pain out of finding the number best suited for your business.
Start by contacting our team for any available vanity phone numbers. One of our sales representatives will reach out to you quickly and get your vanity number activated within two business days.
However, if you are having trouble, you can call us at 1-800-NEW-SALE or contact us online, and one of our reps will work with you to find the best fit for your business.
So why waste any more time? A vanity number is proven to increase leads while building your brand presence. And 800response is proven as the best vanity number service in the nation. 800response. More Calls. More Sales. More Profits.