If you run a local business, chances are you’ve heard of the term vanity phone number. This is a toll-free number for incoming calls from customers. Usually it’s a memorable phone number like “1-800-buy-more”.
I know, you’re saying “so what?” Why would I need a toll-free vanity number when incoming calls are free, all customers have to do is pull out their cell phone search for my business and click to call.
But the whole concept and application of vanity phone numbers has changed with the times. But one thing hasn’t changed, having an easy-to-remember phone number. For a local business, a memorable vanity phone number is still a valuable asset for their marketing campaigns.
A Brief History of Vanity Phone Numbers
Vanity numbers aren’t new. They’ve been around just about as long as the phone. In fact, if you’ve ever watched an old movie and heard people say things like “Pennsylvania 6-5000” that’s really a vanity phone number. (read the details here — so fun)
Why are Vanity Phone Numbers Important?
Every business wants to make it easy for customers to buy from them. That means, eliminating or reducing anything that gets in the way of customers finding them and making a purchase.
Phone numbers are still one of the primary ways that customers connect with businesses. But you might think that vanity numbers are out.
While toll free numbers are not as much of a thing as they used to be. An easy dial phone number will always be a thing. And that’s what makes having a vanity number something to think about. Yes — even a local phone number could be a vanity number.
With the rise of mobile phones, toll free phone numbers and vanity phone numbers have been ignored or forgotten by small business owners.
And again, this isn’t always the case. While toll free numbers aren’t as big a deal as they used to be — easy to remember vanity numbers will always be popular and a toll free number just might do the trick.
Custom phone numbers work.
Next to business cards and web sites, local or toll free telephone numbers are the next best way to promote your product.
Here are 11 reasons why a memorable custom phone number is the game changer you’ve been looking for to reduce marketing risk and improve response rates:
1. Stand Out From the Competition
With so many vanity number options out there, consumers are more overwhelmed than ever and are looking for a reason to choose one provider over another.
An easy to remember phone number sets you apart and draws attention. This increases the chances that the prospect will take the next step with you. If you have a memorable number for your business, it makes it easy for a prospect to recall how to get in touch even when your materials are not right in front of them.
If you really want to stand out from the competition, think about using toll free SMS. Again, most people have unlimited texting, but getting a toll free vanity number or a toll free prefix will still help you stand out more.
2. Be Memorable
When you use a vanity phone number, you can reinforce a message the same way a tagline or an ad headline can. Whether it’s highlighting what you do, such as 719-BUILDER or creating a brand personality such as 1-888-WE-FIGHT, your phone number is another valuable brand asset where you can infuse your uniqueness.
3. Reinforce Your Marketing Message
With any kind of advertising, space is at a premium. If it’s too cluttered, the viewers’ eyes will glaze over and your messages won’t register. Too little content and the reader will miss the message. There is no better way to save space while also building a marketing message than to have your call to action also be the message you are trying to convey.
4. Create a Perception Longevity
A custom number immediately projects a feeling of being long established and having expertise. But if a vanity phrase isn’t right for you, there are other options besides settling for a generic number your carrier picks off the top of a pile. You can look for a patterned number like one ending in -4444, or you can secure a number in an “exhausted” area code rather than a recently created overlay, such as 212 for NYC instead of the latest Manhattan addition of 332. There can be subtle branding messages infused in each part of your number.
5. Connect Your Channels
The most effective campaigns are integrated outreach efforts. A coordinated campaign continually reinforces your message wherever your audience is and implants your brand in your prospect’s mind for when the time is right. Yet, each platform has certain accepted rules about what works and what doesn’t, requiring you to adapt your ad to the medium. A custom phone number serves as a recognizable element that draws a continuous thread throughout your multi-channel efforts.
6. Catchy Vanity Numbers Are More Clickable
Well over half of online traffic in the U.S. comes from mobile users. The world is becoming more and more mobile friendly. But website contact forms are unwieldy and difficult to complete on a smartphone and have higher rates of abandonment than forms completed on a desktop. Click-to-call ads are rising in popularity, underlining the importance of voice. And studies have proven that ads with catchy, memorable numbers are more likely to be clicked than those with generic digits.
7. An Asset that Keeps on Giving
While most marketing campaigns have shelf-lives, your phone number is an enduring asset that you can always depend on. You might need a new theme, new imagery, new copy, but your phone number is an asset you can use over and over without penalty.
8. Gives You a Repeatable Credibility Boost
When you have a custom phone number, it immediately projects a feeling of being long established and having expertise. A custom number is also more likely to be clicked than a generic number, providing a repeatable boost in credibility for your business. Additionally, using a custom phone number helps you to connect your channels and reinforce your marketing message wherever your audience is.
9. Improves Your Customer Service
When you use a vanity phone number for your customer service line, it makes it easy for customers to remember how to get in touch with you. This can be especially helpful if they need to reach out to you about a problem or complaint. Additionally, using a custom phone number helps to connect your customer service channels. You can make your customer service vanity phone number a
10. Vanity Phone Numbers Broaden Your Market
Think of vanity phone numbers and toll free numbers as a complement to your website because it helps internationals customers get in touch with you easily.
11. Your Vanity Phone Number Goes With You
Today, toll-free vanity numbers are mobile too, just like your business. With call forwarding, you can route calls to your business anywhere at any hour. Have you left the office for the day? Calls to your vanity number can be forwarded to your home office line. Are you out on the road visiting clients? Forward your calls to your mobile phone. With call forwarding, calls to your toll-free line aren’t missed, and your clients can reach you when they want. Call forwarding can even transfer traditional calls to a VOIP line.
What to Look For in Vanity Phone Number Providers
Here are a few things to look for when choosing a vanity phone number provider.
Overall Phone Number Availability
When you’re looking for a vanity phone number provider, it’s important to make sure that they have a wide selection of numbers to choose from.
You want to make sure that your business phone number matches your brand. And if you’re thinking about using custom vanity numbers like “1-800-555-5555” that are easy to dial, or a vanity number that’s using your local 3 digit prefix — you want to make sure that those local vanity requests are available.
Essential Calling Features
The most phone systems are designed to let you set up multiple extensions for one account and route calls accordingly. But there are some important additional features that make the difference between a great solution and a mediocre one. Here are our favorite essentials:
- Take calls from any device.
- Return calls with one click from your online account, or mobile app.
- Track incoming/outgoing calls in call logs.
- Easily set up after hours answering rules.
- Desktop + Mobile Apps
- Voicemail Transcription
- Simultaneous Call Handling
- Custom Greetings:Welcome callers with a custom company greeting.
- Business Texting
- VoIP/Wi-Fi Calling
- Virtual Fax
- Incoming Call Control
- Call Forwarding
- Call Transfers
How to Buy Vanity Phone Numbers
You can get your own vanity phone number from the most popular business phone service provider.
I’ve added a quick list with links for you to explore.
RingBoost is a business phone service provider that offers vanity phone numbers and a wide selection of essential calling features. With RingBoost, you can take calls from any device, return calls with one click, track calls in call logs, and more. Plus, RingBoost’s VoIP/Wi-Fi Calling lets you make and receive calls anywhere in the world.
When you’re looking for a vanity phone number provider, Phone.com is a great option because they have a wide selection of numbers to choose from. They also have essential calling features like call forwarding and voicemail transcription. Additionally, their desktop and mobile apps make it easy to take calls from any device.
RingCentral is a good choice for vanity phone numbers because they have a wide selection of numbers to choose from, and they also have essential calling features like call forwarding and voicemail transcription. Additionally, their desktop and mobile apps make it easy to take calls from any device. This makes it easy for your business to stay connected with customers wherever they
Grasshopper is a virtual phone system that allows you to run your business phone number from your cell phone, home office, or computer. Grasshopper also offers a wide selection of toll-free and local vanity phone numbers.
Avoxi is a voice-over-IP (VoIP) service provider that offers a wide selection of toll-free and local vanity phone numbers.
GoToConnect is a business phone service that provides entrepreneurs and small businesses with a professional phone system. With GoToConnect, you can get a toll-free or local vanity phone number, forward calls to your cell phone or home office line, and set up after hours answering rules. Additionally, GoToConnect offers desktop and mobile apps.
eVoice is a voice-over-IP (VoIP) service provider that offers a wide selection of toll-free and local vanity phone numbers. With eVoice, you can get a toll-free or local vanity phone number, forward calls to your cell phone or home office line, and set up after hours answering rules.
GoDaddy SmartLine is a business phone service that provides entrepreneurs and small businesses with a professional phone system. With GoDaddy SmartLine, you can get a toll-free or local vanity phone number, forward calls to your cell phone or home office line, and set up after hours answering rules.
800.com is a website that provides a wide selection of toll-free and local vanity phone numbers. With 800.com, you can get a toll-free or local vanity phone number, forward calls to your cell phone or home office line, and set up after hours answering rules.
Vanity phone numbers are still a valuable marketing asset for businesses. Here’s the good news, they don’t have to be toll free numbers They provide an easy way to stand out from the competition and make it easy for customers to reach your business. Additionally, they come with a wide range of features that make it easy to manage your calls. If you’re looking for a new business phone service, be sure to explore the options that are available to you.