The Basics, and Basic Strategy, of Using a Vanity Phone Number

The Basics, and Basic Strategy, of Using a Vanity Phone Number

Should your business be using a local or toll-free vanity phone number in your marketing campaigns and interactions with customers? Many businesses have found such a number to be valuable as they help establish customer relationships.

That’s why we wrote this post, to explain what is a vanity phone number, and how you can use yours to increase phone call volume and generate additional revenue.

Let’s start with the basics.

What is a Vanity Phone Number?

It’s a phone number that’s not assigned to you by your phone provider and does not consist of random numbers. You select your own vanity phone number, one which could consist of all numbers, all letters, or a combination.

If you’re selecting letters, they correspond to the numbers those letters are assigned to on a telephone keypad. Whether your customers are using a landline or a smartphone, that number-letter alignment is the same. So the number “4” on any phone pad corresponds to the letters G-H-I, no matter where or how you dial in America.

What’s a Good Strategy for Choosing a Vanity Phone Number?

The logic for obtaining a vanity phone number can be summed up in one word: memorability. For example, which do you think would make a better phone number for a hair restoration clinic: 800-639-4247 or 800-NEW-HAIR?

The answer is obvious. If a prospective client was driving down a highway at 65 miles an hour and they saw a brief billboard with one of those two phone number choices, which do you think they’d actually notice and remember?

Keep in mind, the hair restoration clinic’s 1-800 vanity phone number could also be 800-GROW-HAIR. It doesn’t matter that you have one more letter than the digits needed for making the call. It will still go through after the first seven letters are dialed. That final letter is just for the sake of forming a relevant word.

And that’s the key to your vanity number selection strategy: relevance. If the number and/or letter sequence makes a point that you’d like to stress about your business, or it otherwise identifies with what it is your business does, it’s another way of increasing memorability.

By the way, our own vanity phone number at 800.com is (201) 800-0000. It doesn’t make up a word, but it doesn’t have to. Its memorability and connection with our company name make it relevant to our target audience.

Consider also the following well-known past or present toll-free vanity phone number users: 1-800-TAXICAB, 1-800-GOFEDEX, and perhaps the most famous of all: 1-800-FLOWERS. Who’s going to forget that one on Valentine’s Day?

How Does a Business Use a Vanity Phone Number?

If you’ve gone to the effort of getting a local or 1-800 vanity phone number, our first tip is to … use it. That sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But we mean doing more than simply placing it at the bottom of all of your ads (though that’s important, too).

If a phone call is a key way your company snags business — or virtually the only way — that local or toll-free vanity phone number has to be prominently displayed. In fact, it might be the most dominant element of your next marketing campaign.

Let’s consider our hair restoration clinic example again. Can you imagine a billboard or a bus sign consisting only of the words 800-NEW-HAIR and a logo for the company? We can, as long as the name of the company reflects what the business does. If it doesn’t, you need to add a few descriptive words.

Some very successful companies have made jingles of their vanity phone numbers. Or they repeat the number several times in TV or radio commercials to enhance memorability.

Imagine trying to gain any response from people driving or otherwise engaged if your radio commercial uses the phone number 800-639-4247. It doesn’t matter how many annoying times the announcer repeats that number; no one who can’t immediately pick up the phone or write down the number will remember it.

Now imagine announcers telling their on-air audience to “Call 800-NEW HAIR…that’s 800 NEW-HAIR.” Think that’s a bit more memorable?

In online or print ads, where the customer has a chance to read and think about your call to action, you might print your vanity phone number first, then repeat it by number sequence. That’s for those customers who prefer placing a call that way.

How Does a Business Get a Vanity Phone Number?

Just call 800.com at, again, (210) 800-0000 (if you haven’t already remembered it from reading about our vanity phone number earlier). We’ll help you select a memorable local or toll-free vanity phone number that fits your business strategy and will deliver responses.

We’ll also explain such features as call routing, text messaging, and your help desk support.

Call us today, and let us help you get those phones ringing.

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