Vanity 800 Numbers have 45% Higher Recall Rate over URLs

Toll-free Vanity 800 Numbers & URLs in Advertising – Consumer Recall and Response Behaviors

Survey results test consumer recall of direct-response tools when used in advertising, and measures research and purchase patterns for products and services.


An independent survey of 1,000 consumers tested recall of vanity 800 numbers and URLs in advertising, and uncovered consumers’ intended actions when visiting an advertisers’ web site.

Key Finding 1: 45% Higher Recall Rate of Vanity 800 Numbers over URLs
After viewing and listening to sample ads, consumers have significantly higher recall of vanity 800 numbers versus web addresses.

Key Finding 2: As Many as 40% Cite “Research the Competition” as their First Step After Visiting an Advertiser’s Web Site
An examination of multiple industries reveals that 17 – 40% of consumers will research the competition as their first step once they move on from an advertiser’s web site. Of those who visit the web, less than 10% would communicate with the advertiser as their first step.

Key Finding 3: Advertisers Will Benefit by Providing Both a URL and a Vanity 800 Number in Their Ads
Based on recall rates and online research behaviors, it is essential for companies to include a vanity phone number in addition to their URL in advertising campaigns for optimal lead generation.


Based on the 45% average higher recall rate of toll-free vanity 800 numbers, and consumers’ online research behaviors, it is essential for companies to include a vanity phone number in addition to their Web site addresses in advertising campaigns for optimal lead generation.

Study data suggest that companies who use their Web sites as the exclusive consumer response tool risk losing potential customers right from the start, with 17% to 40% of consumers citing ‘research the competition’ as their first step.

The results also suggest that if companies do not include a phone number in their ads, they are losing the valuable direct communication with consumers who are already beyond the research phase and ready to buy.  With fewer than 10% of survey respondents stating that they would “communicate with the advertiser” as their first step, this leaves a significant portion of consumers conducting further research online and not converting into a lead for the company.

Companies should also take notice of the Web site address recall rates as they relate to the different age groups.  While it is not surprising that overall recall rates decline as consumers age, the older demographic segments clearly have a better chance of remembering vanity 800 numbers than they do Web site addresses.  The 50 – 64 and 65+ age groups showed the lowest recall rates of Web addresses of all the age categories.  Perhaps this is simply due to Web site addresses being less familiar than phone numbers for this older set of consumers.  Whatever the reason, advertisers should consider their older prospects and customers when listing a contact method in their ads.  Not only is the 50+ age group the largest, accounting for nearly 30% of the U.S. population, this generation is also important to target and accommodate because it represents the wealthiest generation in the U.S., with an estimated annual spending power of over $2 trillion7.