How Do Toll Free Numbers Work?
Last updated on October 28, 2020
The short answer is nothing. Numbers with any of these prefixes are all free for the caller. The long answer is a bit more complicated, and it has to do with how businesses use these numbers in advertising and marketing.
Toll free numbers are an important marketing tool for any business looking to advertise their brand. Though they are “toll-free,” the business that owns the number must pay for both incoming and outgoing activity, meaning that it’s free to the customer.
Most importantly, these numbers are generally used for lead generation. And that’s why the difference will matter most to marketers.
Customers calling a toll free number more than likely have already spent money with the company, or they are seeking to place an order a product or hire the company for service. It’s a direct way to track the lead the whole way through to the phone call.
Which prefix is the best for business ROI?
Vanity numbers have been around for many decades, and businesses still consider toll free numbers as one of the easiest ways to increase response rates, their client base, and to promote their business. There are countless benefits of activating toll free numbers, but many people don’t know how to choose the most suitable vanity toll free number for their organization.
Along with other considerations like choice of service provider, choosing the right toll-free prefix is also very important. You can also use our free ROI calculator to determine whether a custom 800 number will provide the best value for your business.
Understanding the Difference Between 800, 877, 888, 866, 855, 844, and 833 Numbers
Many people still do not realize the difference between the various prefixes (800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, and 833). Businesses have been using 800 numbers for more than 40 years, and because the popularity of 800 numbers exhausted the options for 800 numbers, the FCC created other prefixes. Over the years, 888, 877, and 866 numbers have also become widespread. Then the FCC rolled out 855 in 2010, 844 in 2013, and finally, 833 came out in 2017.
800response offers all of those prefixes for toll-free and vanity numbers. Choosing the right number depends on your goals and the availability of the number. However, most business owners don’t understand how the choice between 800, 888, and other toll-free numbers can impact their advertisement ROI.
When choosing a number, the vanity number prefix heavily depends on your advertising strategy. 800 numbers are more popular on major advertising media like television, radio, and billboards. Business analysts consider choosing prefixes other than 800 a potentially risky decision. But is it?
Given the rise of digital advertising and an increasing familiarity with newer prefixes, you can have just as much success with other prefixes. Because TV and radio are two of the most popular advertisement platforms, using a number that’s easy to remember for consumers is a wise decision. However, just because most people are familiar with 800 numbers doesn’t mean you should limit your advertising to 800 numbers.
How Various Phone Prefixes Impact Businesses
It is true that toll-free 800 numbers are the most common and most subscribed toll free numbers in the United States. And relatively new prefixes, such as 833, are not yet popular among consumers. Therefore, subscribing to an 877, 866, or other numbers can impact your business’s ROI and ad response. Let’s look at the oldest toll-free prefixes, and how they might impact your business.
What’s the difference between 800, 877, and 888 numbers for your business? It may come down to recognition. Most customers will recognize 800 numbers as toll-free numbers. They have been around for a very long time and most customers have dialed or seen many of them. With 877 and other toll-free numbers, these numbers may work the same way, but customers may not realize they are toll-free. You may need to spend more on advertising to encourage customers to call you, and you may need to remind customers that your less-common prefix is also toll-free and will not cost them anything.
There’s also another risk with nontraditional prefixes — meaning anything other than 800. Customers may simply misremember your vanity number. If you get a vanity number with 855, 877 or any other less-known toll-free prefix, customers may remember the vanity part of your number but may forget the prefix. They may misdial with 1-800 and then your vanity number, meaning you may not be getting all the phone calls you should.
Even worse, if a competitor has the 1-800 version of your toll-free number, your advertising may be sending customers directly to your competitors. If you do choose a nontraditional toll-free number such as 855, 866 or any others, make sure to check who has the 1-800 version. If it’s a competitor, think twice before choosing the same number.
What Do Different 800 Numbers Mean for Your Business?
There is little difference between various phone prefixes when it comes to how these phone numbers work, but in use, 800 numbers are just easier for customers to remember, and most customers will recognize 800 numbers as toll-free. If it’s feasible, an 800 vanity number will make your marketing and advertising strategy simpler.
If you’re having trouble finding an 800 vanity number for your business, contact 800response to look for affordable, easy-to-remember 800 numbers designed to get you more phone calls from prospective clients. With a range of services to help you manage your 800 numbers, 800response makes it easy to get the most from your toll-free number.
Although ‘800’ has become a generic term for representing all toll-free numbers, make sure that the toll free number you are subscribing to has the 800 prefix. If the number is not available in the 800 directory, then choose a combination closest to the desired one. Or, contact us – we have a wide inventory of true vanity ‘800’ numbers that are available across North America.