What to Do When Your Vanity Number is Taken

Vanity phone number
Vanity phone number

You’ve heard all about how an 800 vanity number can increase sales, and you’re excited to get started with a vanity number right away. The problem? That perfect number you came up with was taken! What now?

Fortunately, there are few things you and your marketing team can do if your vanity number is taken, so get your business ready to experience more conversions and better customer retention with a vanity number!

Who Owns a Vanity Number?

When people sign up for an 800 vanity number, they tend to think that they’re buying the number itself. But this isn’t quite true. In the US, all phone numbers are considered to be a public resource, and there’s no way to permanently own a phone number. Instead, phone numbers are issued by a phone company or phone number provider, and they technically have the right to re-assign your number at any time (though this rarely happens).

What this means for you and your business is that vanity numbers can’t be bought and sold like property, and no single person can claim exclusive, permanent ownership of a number. Now, if you’ve discovered that your dream vanity number is already in use, this is actually good news. Here are a few things you can do when your vanity number is taken.

Keep Checking for Number Availability

Just like with internet domains, businesses drop vanity phone numbers all the time. A company might go out of business, decide that another vanity number is better, or even forget to renew its contract with the vanity number provider.

Whatever the reason, once a vanity number is no longer active, it becomes publicly available again. Anyone is free to take it, and that lucky person could be you if you keep checking if it’s available.

On a related note, once you have your dream vanity 800 number, make sure to always pay your vanity phone number provider on time. If you let your subscription lapse, your vanity number is vulnerable to anyone taking it before you renew your service. Once someone else takes your number, there’s very little you can do to get it back, no matter how long you’ve had the number before.

Tip: Don’t just stick with 800 vanity numbers. Other toll-free prefixes like 866, 877, or 888 might have the vanity number you’re looking for!

Have a Few Alternate Vanity Numbers

As you brainstorm for the best vanity number for your business, don’t just settle on one option. Have a few ideas ready to go. That way, if your first choice is taken, you can quickly see if your alternates are available.

If you brainstorm vanity numbers one at a time, the risk is that someone else might take your second or third choices while you’re back at the drawing board.

Also, keep in mind that the 800 vanity number you advertise to customers can be longer than seven digits. For example, suppose you have an auto parts business and want a vanity toll-free number. One potential vanity number could be 1 (800) AUTOPARTS, which corresponds to the number 1 (800) 288 6717.

Since phone systems don’t register inputs past the seventh digit, you can make your vanity number as long as you like if it’ll help your customers remember your number. Companies take advantage of this all the time, which is why you commonly see vanity numbers that seem too long to make sense.

Consider Other Types of Memorable Numbers

An 800 vanity number is an excellent way to build your brand and jump-start a marketing campaign. But always remember that the key isn’t necessary to have a vanity number that you can spell, but rather a number that’s easy to remember.

Besides spelled-out vanity numbers, toll-free numbers that have repeating digits can be just as effective. You can even incorporate a combination of repeating digits and a vanity phrase. For example, the number 777-FILM may not be a “full” vanity number, but it’s still easy to remember even decades later.

At the end of the day, your primary motivation behind a toll-free vanity number is to help customers remember how to easily reach you. As long as you can achieve that goal—whether through a vanity number, a number with repeating digits, or some combination of the two—then you’re sure to see more customer engagement and more conversions.

Remember, all phone numbers are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Check if your preferred number is available, and get started with a toll-free vanity number with call tracking today!