The Difference Between Toll-Free Numbers, Vanity Numbers, 800 Numbers, and 844 Numbers
As a business owner, you understand the importance of making sound decisions when it comes to investing in new company technology. That’s why it’s critical to comprehend the difference between toll-free numbers, vanity numbers, 800 numbers, and 844 numbers before you purchase one for your business.
While these types of phone numbers are all similar, they have their own unique set of benefits and features for businesses to leverage. Therefore, it’s imperative to select the right type of phone number for your business.
Let’s review your options.
What’s a Toll-Free Number?
By the FCC’s definition, a toll-free number is a telephone number featuring a specific three-digit code that can be dialed with no charge to the person placing the call.
When you hear commercials say, “Dial toll-free now…” this is the type of phone number to which they are referring.
Toll-free numbers use any of the following codes:
Each toll-free number is then typically routed to a company’s call center or office.
On top of equipping customers with the ability to call free of charge, toll-free numbers also offer one major benefit: call tracking.
The versatile call tracking features are among one of the main reasons why companies invest in a toll-free number in the first place. Call tracking enables businesses to learn more about their incoming phone calls, including where the call was placed and what marketing campaign generated the call.
1-800 Numbers: Popular and Credible
1-800 numbers were invented in 1967 and quickly gained popularity. As a result, more three-digit codes were created to address the demand.
However, it’s important to note that these codes are not interchangeable. You cannot dial 1-800-555-5555 and expect to call the same location as 1-844-555-5555. These are two individual phone numbers for different businesses or individuals.
In addition to call tracking, toll-free numbers lend another advantage to companies: credibility. Customers associate these numbers with reliable businesses that offer dependable service.
This is why businesses of all sizes, from solopreneurs to multinational corporations, rely on toll-free numbers to drive business.
What are Vanity Numbers?
Vanity numbers are customized toll-free numbers used for marketing and branding purposes. Popular examples of vanity numbers in action include:
In addition to the myriad of call tracking features, businesses opt to use a vanity number to improve brand recognition and recall.
When deciding which vanity number to choose, keep it simple and brand-specific. The easier it is for customers to remember, the better!
On top of brand recognition, vanity numbers work to improve customer retention, as well. Considering that inbound phone calls convert 10–15 times more than web leads, having an accessible and easy to remember phone number — such as a vanity number — is critical.
4 Easy Ways to Use Toll-Free, 800, 844, and Vanity Numbers
After you’ve selected a toll-free, 800, 844, or vanity number for your business, it’s time to put it to use. While there are hundreds of possibilities for your new number, start with these four tactics.
1. Print Marketing
Think about how much money your business spends on print marketing each year. Between business cards and mailers, do you know how much revenue these efforts are truly generating?
When you buy a vanity number or 800 number, you can use this to track how many phone leads your print marketing efforts produce. Use a specific toll-free number on all of your print marketing campaigns and track the results.
2. Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platforms provide insight into how many online clicks and leads were the results of a specific ad or campaign. But what about the leads that saw your phone number in the ad and decided to call instead of click? Without a toll-free number, these leads are misattributed to other campaigns or advertising efforts.
Add a vanity toll-free number to your PPC campaigns and see how many leads your ads are generating.
3. Traditional Media
Similar to print marketing, traditional media reports only provide a glimpse into the true results of your television or radio ad campaigns. By using a specific toll-free number and analyzing the call tracking data, you can determine how successful are your traditional media campaigns.
4. Social Media
From advertising to specific posts, you can use a unique 800 number or vanity number throughout your social media campaigns to identify which efforts drive the most results. Or, take it a step further and get a toll-free number for each social media profile and see which is the best at converting followers into customers!
So, Which Type of Toll-Free Number is Right for You?
With different types of toll-free numbers available, you’re probably wondering which is right for your business. It all boils down to two factors:
- Your brand
- Your marketing goals
For instance, if you plan to use a toll-free number for branding purposes and as a general customer service number, opt for a vanity number. On the other hand, if you’re securing a toll-free number to track the success of an online campaign, a numerical toll-free number will suit you just fine.