Vanity Phone Numbers

David Bosley
David Bosley
March 25, 2016

It’s no wonder why vanity phone numbers are still a proven marketing winner.

They are still a tired and true path to marketing success after decades of use. It’s hard to believe that anything that’s been around for more than a decade could still be relevant in the marketing field, but it’s true. So, let’s examine some success stories to see what we can learn to make our best call when choosing the best vanity phone number for our business.

If you go back in time about ten to fifteen years, you’d find that phones were on the wane as a key marketing tool. The main focus was the internet, before the cell phone and smartphone explosion. In fact, websites were thought to be the thing that was going to drive marketing success for years to come and nothing else mattered.

In short, cell phone usage in combination with search marketing (SEO and PPC) and company websites are generating more calls to businesses than ever before. BIA/Kelsey predicts that there will be 162 billion calls to businesses in 2019. These are the kind of numbers that people take notice of.

Google, Facebook, Bing and others are developing and refining the “click-to-call” programs, because that’s what consumers want. These abilities in search and on websites have customers reaching for their cell phones to connect with you.

These new connections between digital advertising, websites, and phones are causing marketers to return to an old friend, the vanity phone number. So, let’s take a look some well-known, and a few lesser known, vanity numbers to discover why they have been so successful.

Background

In one very big way, vanity phone numbers are easier to get than ever before. In the past, if you were a national company, it was important to have an 800 number. This was before other toll-free suffixes, such as 877 or 866. If you were a local business, it was imperative to have your local prefix or maybe an 800 number, then multiple prefixes were added to the local registry and it became a tad bit easier.

It’s a different atmosphere now since the explosion of cell phones, and so, prefixes don’t matter as much. In fact, since are no more long distance (within the country) charges with a cell phone, a business can have any prefix and customers are not afraid to use it, because it costs the same as any other phone call.

The Best of the Best: Choosing a Number 

  • Start Big: What are your dream numbers? If they are available, what will they cost? Phonexa has the ability to search and secure phone numbers for you
  • M&M’s: Memorable & Marketable
  • More Letters, Fewer Numbers: 800-BEST RIBS, for instance, is better than 800-452-RIBS
  • No Misspellings: Your number shouldn’t have any misspellings, unless that’s your business name, but even then be aware that people will misdial.
  • You Get What You Pay For: You should be prepared to fork over some cash for a great number, but you have to look at it a different way. $50,000 for a phone number sounds like a lot, but think of it a marketing expense. This could pay big dividends a year from now.

Show Me the Vanity! 

The savviest of companies don’t stop with the vanity phone number. Their websites correspond to the numbers too. Their logos also reflect the number. In short, if you want to get the most out of your vanity number, build your marketing campaigns and, in fact, almost your entire business, around the number. You also look professional. It’s subtle, but when you have a vanity phone number, it shows prospective customers that you pay attention to the details.

  • 1-800-CONTACTS (www.1800Contacts.com)
  • 1-800-GOTJUNK (www.1800GotJunk.com)
  • 1-800-FLOWERS (www.1800Flowers.com)
  • 1-800-LAWYERS (www.1800Lawyers.com)

Local Vanity Numbers 

It’s not just big, national companies that have discovered vanity phone numbers. There are many local businesses who use local exchanges, as well as toll-free numbers, that are getting in on the act too.

1-410-INSURED: This is a Baltimore-based high-risk insurance agency. It’s built for people whose insurance has been cancelled. They are concerned with one thing, getting insured. The number has been massively successful in driving calls. This particular agency has offices in other areas, but this phone number consistently outdraws all others, even in larger markets.

1-800-PAWN-SHOP: This is pretty self-explanatory. Yes, it has more letters than the average phone number, but see we discuss that below. 

Trends for the Future 

The new trend is having more letters than the actual phone number. There is some debate about the effectiveness of these, but as more businesses adopt this strategy, many of the negatives become irrelevant; for example, many people assumed that there was a typo because there were more letters than a normal phone number. The fact that we see more of them in action means that more people are getting used to the practice. They no longer pre-judge the word(s) and know that the phone will connect after the necessary number of digits has been dialed.

There are no statistics that show that the reliance on cell phones is declining, with adoption being highest among teens and young adults. These are your future customers. The use of a vanity phone number doesn’t only improve your marketing performance, it tells your customers that you know that the phone is important to them too.

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