Archive for January 31, 2012

Why do Big and Steady Businesses have Vanity Toll-Free Numbers?

This question had been debated by marketing pundits and analysts for some time now. After all, large corporations have the dollars at their disposal to invest in costly PBX systems and bombard the air waves or invade the Web space with their marketing message. So, what’s great about advertising with an 800 or an 888 and a few words? The resounding answer lies in the myriad marketing benefits of vanity toll-free numbers, some of which are listed below:

Spurt in Response Rates: Put yourself in the shoes of your prospective customers and think why are they more likely to dial your vanity toll-free number than any standard local phone number. It’s because, first, calling you won’t cost them a penny and second, your number is easy to keep in mind compared to any other phone number with a string of digits. A vanity toll-free number, especially if it is the 800 prefix version, is also more likely to be remembered without having to be written down and is therefore easily passed around via the coveted “word-of-mouth” advertising all small businesses seek.

Increase in Perceived Credibility: 800 Vanity toll-free numbers give a business an aura of respectability and credibility. And as all business owners—big, medium, or small— will readily agree, these are impressions that cannot be created by revenues alone. The credibility stems from two aspects. Firstly, a vanity toll-free number assures customers that they are dealing with a reliable company and that they just need to pick up the phone to speak to someone there. Secondly, advertising with a vanity toll-free number confirms  that you are a brick-and-mortar business and you are perceived to be bigger than what you actually are with the ability to handle a lot of calls. These images definitely help your business when you are dealing with customers, potential and existing; vendors; financial institutions; and other businesses.

Projection of Unique Brand Identity: Those words in a vanity toll-free number, when carefully chosen can project a brand identity that is easily recognizable and easier still to remember. A vanity toll-free number within a short space gives you the opportunity to say something about your business—a positive feature or your USP perhaps. Think of vanity toll-free numbers like 1-800-FASTLOANS or 1-888-SMARTLAW. They readily conjure up visions of all that is good about a business, which is the goal of any branding tool.

Increase in ROI: While not apparent, but delve deep into the workings of vanity toll-free numbers and you will realize how you can reap the riches. A unique brand identity and a credible image help your revenue prospects by not only bringing in more customers but also leading to more closure of sales. Your investment in a vanity number also comes back to you 10-fold  when selling off your business. Years of branding it make it a solid, sellable asset of your company that gets listed on the balance sheet right along side “goodwill”.

The afore-mentioned benefits of advertising with vanity toll-free numbers have assumed greater significance during these volatile economic times. In this market, businesses, whether big or small, are in need of marketing tools that will certainly achieve their objectives without making a dent in their treasuries, expense account, wallet, checking account, or bottom line.

An Easy Concept to Understand

Keeping it simple always makes sense. A vanity toll-free number fits the bill and helps a business grow bigger without the owner having to expend large sums of money on a myriad of marketing schemes or become an expert in advertising and branding when you should be focused on running your business. Of course one should always be open to learning new things. This is one step though that can help augment sales and is pretty simple to comprehend.

The Toll Free Number Advantage

Know Your Customer: The Toll Free Number Advantage

 

Many businesses may debate the advantages of toll free vanity custom phone numbers. Is it worth the expense? Will my business grow enough to pay for it? Does the reward justify the risk? The fact is, businesses successfully use vanity numbers to brand themselves, make the business memorable, and increase their customer base. Tremendous advantages are available to the business that chooses the right vanity toll free number advantage.

 

A Custom Toll Free Number Brands You as a Serious Business

 

When you are a local business, you have a local number, right? Not necessarily—800, 888, 877, 866, and now 855 numbers are local. If you look through your local phone book, you will notice that most of the successful businesses in your area further brand themselves with a toll free number. A great vanity number further establishes your business as the go-to company for your product or service, separating you from a category listing full of random digits, and making your business—regardless of size or customer base—look like the number one in your area.

 

A Vanity Number Makes Your Business Memorable

 

Phone numbers, especially when you see them listed in the phone book or on Google, look like white noise when they are blocked together. A vanity custom phone number like 1-800-WORK4YOU makes you stand out from the crowd. You can simplify what your business means to your customers, getting inside their minds. Who doesn’t recognize 1-800-FLOWERS as the nationwide flower connection, even in the age of Google? When you build a brand on a vanity phone number, then customer recall is staggering. Marketing is about removing all barriers between you and your customers’ wallets: a vanity custom phone number does that with style.

 

An 800 Number Brings Customers to You

 

An 800 toll free vanity number establishes you as a serious business to your customers. A vanity custom phone number makes your business memorable. The local nature of 8-prefix numbers makes them ideal for small businesses as well as large businesses. But not all the 8-prefixes get the same results. 800 is the .com of the vanity toll-free industry. You want to portray your business as the leader – then get an 800 vanity number rather than an 866 or 855 which are relatively unknown and may have the consumers dialing 800 out of habit. An 800 Vanity number may cost a little more because of high demand, but if you have the opportunity to choose to pay a little more and get the pure “800” version, it will be well worth it in both the short and long run. You can never go wrong by owning the best!

The result is that a properly marketed, properly listed 800 toll free custom number will increase your customer base, build brand awareness, and put your name where it belongs: at the forefront of your customers’ minds. Purchasing a custom phone number, then following it up with proper marketing, is a proven way to move your business forward. Consider a vanity number as you create a marketing machine that will turn your business into a success.

The Song Remains the Same: How Your Telephone’s Keypad Has–and Will–Make Your Business Money

You guessed it: this article is about the history, uses, and function of your telephone’s keypad. Can reading this article help you monetize your business today? You bet! Everyone knows that telephones, for over a hundred years, have been a prime mover in modern business. Can something so simple and out of the way as a telephone keypad help your business make more money? The thing is, you will not know the power the telephone keypad has over your customers’ pocketbooks until you know its history, how businesses worldwide use it, and how you can use that keypad to grow your customer base.

 

History of the Keypad

 

The telephone as we know it has long since left behind the innovation of the Scottish genius Alexander Graham Bell. In the 1960s, a system called Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency (DTMF) Signaling was introduced. This system introduced the dial tone, and the use of tones to dial a phone. These simple tones are broken down over telephone lines, telling the phone line where to connect without the need for an operator. DTMF signaling still drives most modern telephone use, including modern smart phones. When DTMF became prominent, the modern ten digit phone number was born. After so many decades, modern phone lines are still driven by melodic DTMF tones. The song remains the same.

 

How Businesses Strategize the Keypad

 

Using DTMF communications, it was easy even then to implement computer-routed calling. This began the modern day necessary evil of automated telephone communications, which has frustrated customers and saved businesses time and money for decades.

 

When the keypad was introduced, letters were assigned to numbers that helped telephone users interact with the already burgeoning automatic telephone answering service. In addition telephone companies like Ma Bell sold custom phone numbers that interacted with the telephone keypad’s alphanumeric system.

 

Businesses jumped on the trend, seeing an opportunity to provide customers with an easy way to remember a phone number. Isn’t 1-800-PERFUME so much easier to remember than 1-800-737-3863? That trend of offering shared-use marketing plans based on vanity numbers continues to this day. Did you know your small business can own some of the best vanity numbers in the nation just for your market area? I’m talking about top of the line vanity numbers such as 1-800-INSURANCE, 1-800-EYESIGHT, 1-800-PRINTING, 1-800-COLD AIR, 1-800-SKIN CARE, 1-800-YELLOW CAB and hundreds more!

 

Use the Keypad to Grow Your Business

 

So now you know you can use that telephone keypad to grow your business right now. A vanity number allows you to create a memorable phone number that your customers may easily recall. Many small businesses do not realize that vanity numbers aren’t just for national businesses, because of “shared-use” they are affordable and may be used locally. More 8-prefixed area codes exist than most business owners realize as well–800, 866, 888, 877, and the new 855 prefix. But 800 is the best one to own if you can, as most people will dial 800 before they remember if it was 866 888 877 or 855.

 

As you see more calls generated from your now memorable advertising and grow your customer base, consider how that simple telephone’s keypad helped you provide your customers a simple, memorable way to get in contact with you.

How Vanity Numbers Boost Small Businesses Nationwide

Odds are you can summarize your business in seven to eleven letters—and this is why you need a vanity number. Whether you sell insurance, chocolate, flowers, cold air, heating, or groceries, summarizing what you do in a word is the first step toward building the customer base of your small business.

 

This is especially vital as “super stores” and online services threaten to wipe out the American dream. There are certain businesses—plumbing, food, lawn care—that are likely never to outgrow a pure local need. However, as Amazon destroyed the great American book store, every business faces an imminent threat from the Internet.

 

However, hope is out there. If small businesses choose to innovate with simple but powerful marketing ideas like memorable vanity phone numbers, then there is hope for the nation’s self-employed individuals. Read on to learn about custom numbers, how a custom vanity number can grow your small business, and how those numbers may grow your industry in favor of small business.

 

What is a Vanity Number?

 

A vanity phone number is a custom phone number, commonly with a toll free prefix like 800, 888, 866, or 855. That custom number is most often designed around a word that may be typed into the phone’s keypad: 1-800-WEDDINGS, 1-866-LAWN-CARE, 1-855-CASH-NOW, etc. It provides your customers with a simple way to remember your phone number. 800 is the cream of the crop as it has been the standard for 40 years as the tollfree prefix. 888 is close but still 10% of people will dial the 800 version just out of habit. Using 877, and 866 should only be a last resort. Still 1-877-LIMOS USA is better than a non vanity number and you will get more calls, but some people will still try 800, get a wrong number and then dial you at correct 877 version.

 

How Will a Custom Number Grow My Small Business?

 

Whether your business operates in Los Angeles, CA or Webster, SD, your customer base will increase when you purchase a vanity custom phone number. In the same way the simple, melodic commercial jingles of old stuck product names in consumers’ minds, a vanity 800 number makes your customers remember you. Who can’t recall the Roto-Rooter jingle from the 1960’s and 70’s? “Roto-Rooter, that’s the name, and away go your troubles right down the drain” Or the Alka-Seltzer “Plop-plop, fizz-fizz oh what a relief it is”

 

How Will a Custom Number Grow My Industry?

 

There is one benefit provided by these numbers that most small business owners are unaware of: vanity 800 numbers are local. You do not need to own a nationwide business to purchase 1-855-PIZZA-GUY. It can be done regionally.

 

Let’s say you own a dog walking service in Clarkfield, MN. You purchase the vanity number 1-800-DOG-WALK. You grow a massive customer base, as everyone in the small town of Clarkfield can remember your number. Now let’s say one of your customers moves to Bauxite, Arkansas. If some other small business owner has purchased 1-800-DOG-WALK, then your former customer is instantly connected with a local dog walking service. In this manner, local businesses can compete with big businesses without competing with each other. These numbers are an ideal way to grow small businesses on a national scale because with shared-use, you are not alone. Hundreds of small businesses are advertising the same great vanity number in their market area at the same time.

 

An original phone number is an ideal way to grow your business locally while growing your industry nationally. But remember that only one company can own the rights to a vanity number in any one market area. Do you want to be that company? Or do you want to see your competitors trucks or signs with 1-800-YOUR NUMBER on them?

Phone Words gain momentum in Australia

 

Australia has had a fantastic year with a record number of businesses realising the value of Phone Words.   The concept was officially introduced into Australia following the standardisation of the telephone keypad in 2003. The Phone Word Industry in Australia is now at an all-time high, following in the footsteps of USA, who have been using them for over 35 years.

 

Many Australian businesses use Phone Words to promote their brand and make their business more accessible.  A well-chosen Phone Word will help build a positive impression. They fuel word of mouth advertising and make each marketing dollar spent more effective.

 

The most common Phone Words are 1300 numbers but there are 1800 and 13 variants as well. 1300 numbers are a great option for small businesses as the cost of the call, if made from a fixed line, is borne by the caller, which helps keep costs down.

 

Recent research in Australia shows a spike in the uptake of Phone Words by smaller businesses particularly in the solar energy sector, due to consumers showing a great demand for renewable energy solutions in a very competitive environment.  Many businesses are recognising the trend and reserving their Phone Words now to avoid losing them to a competitor.

 

The Australian public are exposed to Phone Words daily and are now accepted as part of day to day life.  According to official Roy Morgan research, Phone Word awareness in Australia has now reached an all-time high of 95% amongst the populous of 14-49 year olds.

 

A key element in any marketing strategy is gaining market recognition.  Phone Words are the perfect tool to help generate such recognition.  It is reported that nine out of the top ten Australian advertisers are using Phone Words and over 35,000 Australian businesses are generating up to 5 times more inbound sales enquiries from their advertising when incorporating a Phone Word.  We are seeing hundreds more making the move every month. The popularity and demand for PhoneWords in Australia is certainly on the rise.  No business can afford to be left behind.

So why would you use a vanity tollfree number?

How would you feel about giving your company’s website the domain name www.twaqonvmj.com? Hopefully you can immediately see that this business plan would actually make it as difficult as possible for customers to find you. Instead of simply remembering your website’s name when they hear it, they would have to scramble for a pen and paper, jot down the name, and probably get a few letters wrong in the process. Basically, forcing customers to work hard to get to you isn’t the best way to do business.

 

In today’s marketing landscape, toll-free phone numbers carry similar advantages and disadvantages for companies. Having a tool to make your phone number instantly stick in the mind of each potential customer you advertise to is invaluable. Oddly enough, it’s also inexpensive. Here are a few reasons it is worth your time to seek out and stake out a vanity 1-800 number that perfectly fits your business and its marketing goals.

 

Memorability

 

The genius behind vanity toll-free numbers is the fact that we language-speaking humans find it far easier to remember a sequence of letters than a random sequence of numbers. When businesses realized this, an avalanche of requests for the most obvious seven-letter combinations began. The result of this marketing idea has been unquestioned success. By making your phone number as simple and memorable as possible, you place in your audience members’ minds a “virtual business card” that they will later pull out and use when they have a need for your product or service.

 

Branding

 

Many companies choose to take their use of a vanity number even further by making it the visible aspect of their industry. Just the number alone conveys exactly what business the company is in. For example do you think anyone is ever confused what business 1-800-FLOWERS, 1-800-CONTACTS, 1-800-DIRECTV, 1-800-DENTIST or 1-800-INSURANCE is in? This solidifies the number in the mind of a possible customer, making it more likely that yours is the number he will call when he needs your service but doesn’t have immediate access to all the competitors’ contact information.

 

Shared Use

 

You might think that there’s no point in trying to get an easily memorable vanity number that hasn’t been claimed yet. However, the new idea of shared use of a great vanity number has expanded the number of different companies that can use a single toll-free number. Instead of claiming a nation-wide 1-800 number such as 1-800-LANDSCAPE, a company can buy the rights to that number only within a specific geographical area. When people within that area call the 1-800-LANDSCAPE number off of an ad or sign, they are routed to the landscape company that owns the rights to the number for that market area. While callers from a different market area would be connected to a different landscape company. This arrangement is fantastic for local businesses, which would not benefit from calls originating outside their areas anyway.

 

The cost for this powerful marketing tool is lower than you might anticipate—in fact, the monthly fee is probably less than your cable bill or your hardly ever used fax line. When compared to other marketing strategies like television advertising, billboard rental, and even online banner ads, the cost-to-benefit ratio of vanity toll-free numbers is unbelievable. Just as a multitude of companies have before you, you’re sure to be surprised at the level of memorability, brand identification, and sales conversion your new contact number provides.

The Importance and Value of 1-800 Vanity Numbers in Business

If you’ve ever thought about the advantages of a vanity 1-800 number for your business but weren’t sure just how much it would benefit your company, consider this:  Vanity toll-free numbers are a great way to generate sales because of a unique advantage: the number itself is advertising your business and what’s at the core of it. It is easy to remember and therefore easily passed on to others as a referral.

 

As we all know, word of mouth is everything.  It can make or break you and often times be the kiss of death.  Never underestimate the power of memory and words when it comes to the consumer at large.  Use the tools that are available to you to your advantage and make it easy for your customers to get in touch with you and generate new leads for you by passing the good word on, i.e., your easily remembered vanity number.  Plus by allowing customers to call your business without having to “Google search” for your number, you are helping make your competitors websites nearly obsolete.

 

And there are other distinct advantages to having a vanity 1-800 number for your business.  Consider the fact that they’re permanent.  A move to a new location, (within the same market area) will not affect the number nor will ever-changing area codes, as we’ve all seen over the years with area codes splitting into new ones.  This way your businesses “front door” always stays the same, lessening the chance of your established customers losing contact with you.  Continuity is key.  People don’t like change. It’s human nature and should not be taken for granted when considering your valued customers.

 

The demand for continuity and ease of access is on the rise these days as more and more businesses learn that a memorable vanity number can keep prospective customers off the search engines and therefore have less of a chance to be exposed to the competitions websites. When customers become frustrated with a business for whatever reason, they move on to the next service provider or available business leaving the old one far behind like a distant memory.  Convenience is paramount to consumers.  Don’t become that memory.  Become the present day now and forever by providing your customers with what they want and keeping it that way.  You’re working hard to get your business to where you want it to be.  Make the most of it with ease and convenience that equals continued customer loyalty and satisfaction with the potential for exponential growth.

 

So, to recap, a vanity Tollfree number is an inexpensive method to always be remembered by potential customers. It helps brand your business by stating exactly what you do. It is exclusive to just one company in each market area. So what are you waiting for?  It’s a no brainer. Become that one company to own a great vanity number in your market area. Start thinking outside of the box and get ahead of the pack by giving yourself the advantage you and your business needs to succeed in today’s hyper-competitive world with a toll free vanity number.

The Benefits of Vanity Toll-Free Numbers

How do you blow your own trumpet, or for that matter, your business’s, without using as many words? One way is you use a great vanity toll-free number, one that is easy to remember and gets across a crisp word about your business in the shortest possible space. Businesses using vanity toll-free number consistently report a spurt in responses to their advertisements by more than 30%. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Vanity Toll-Free Numbers for Marketing

The results of a survey published in Consumer Recall Rates of Phone Numbers in Advertising have perked up marketers who had been debating investing in vanity toll-free numbers. A whopping 72% of those who took part in the survey said that they could easily remember a vanity toll-free number with a word in it, from a 30-second radio ad, than a toll-free one with just numbers. There are more pieces of evidence in support of better recall rates of vanity toll-free numbers. A study conducted by 800Response has shown that these numbers have a staggering 84% more recall rates than numerical phone numbers displayed on billboards and that aired on television.

Easy recall also serves other marketing purposes. When it is easy to remember your number, your customers will readily reach out for you when they have repeat orders, without having to Google you to find your number. They are also more likely to pass along your phone number to other people because you have made it simple for them to do so.

Vanity Toll-Free Numbers for Branding

Vanity toll-free numbers such as 1-800-CONTACTS and 1-800-DENTIST have achieved as much recognition for the companies as all the billboards that these companies have put up and the ads that they have splashed in magazines, newspapers, and on the television. A vanity number, by incorporating an industry-related term that is widely recognized, immediately conjures up associations with the marketers, thereby prompting countless hundreds to pick up the receiver and dial the number. This ready recognition cannot be achieved by a hard to remember numeric toll-free number.

Many intelligent marketers use words in the vanity number that speak more about what their business stands for rather than just specifying an industry category. Vanity toll-free numbers such as 1-800-QUICKLOANS are dual-edged swords. They are not only easy to remember and recall but are also like brand ambassadors for businesses.

Besides this, vanity toll-free numbers add to the brand value by creating credibility especially amongst online customers. An established vanity number is also a powerful pointer of your market presence.

The Benefits of Shared Use Vanity Toll-Free Numbers

With so many potent benefits of using vanity toll-free numbers, it is only natural that businesses would make a beeline for these. Imagine the widespread disappointment when businesses can’t lay their hands on one of the scanty 1-800 or 1-888 numbers. But thankfully, advances in telecommunications technology have found a way to address this problem.

Novel ways of routing have made it possible for even unrelated businesses to share a single phone number. So, two heating repair companies in Cleveland and Rhode Island can share the 1-888-HEATING vanity number. This means that even with countless competitors in the market, a business can hope to reap the benefits of a vanity number that uses a popular and readily-recognized word.

You are probably not feeling iffy about investing in vanity toll-free numbers any more, right? So, go ahead, and stake your claim on those magic numbers. Contact our office at 1-800-TEL-NAME to begin the process of obtaining your own memorable vanity number today.

5 Marketing Strategy Steps to Take After You Create a Vanity Number

So you’ve decided to improve your marketing strategy, and you’ve chosen a vanity number for your business. Now what? The steps you take after you’ve secured an 800 number matter just as much as the number itself – after all, if you’re the only one who knows how to reach your business, you can’t expect to see a big boost in sales. That’s exactly why you’re going to have to market your new vanity phone number. Thankfully, there are five steps you can take right now to make the most of your new branding tool and see a substantial return on your investment.

  1. Don’t delete your old number. Your customers won’t know your new number right away, and past advertisements and listings will still display your old phone number. The last thing you want is for interested customers to call for services only to find that your number has been disconnected. That’s why it’s important to retain your previous number for several months. You can let this number ring through to a separate business line, or you can have it play a recording to inform your customers of your new number. Whichever option you choose, remember to tell any customer who calls your old line about your updated vanity number.
  2. Revamp your phone services. Creating a new phone number provides you with the opportunity to rethink your existing phone system. How streamlined is your service? Are callers presented with easily understood options? Does the information that you’re sharing through recorded messages give an accurate picture of your brand and your services? Now is the time to really polish your dial-in experience. To see the biggest return on investment, try to view that user experience as a core part of your marketing strategy.
  3. Update your information. Business cards, company newsletters and telephone directories – these are just a few examples of the places your company’s phone number can appear. Remember, your vanity number is a key part of your brand advertising, and the more visible it is, the better. That’s why you should take the time to replace your old number with your new vanity number wherever possible. The more often customers see your number, the stronger your brand will be.
  4. Create a new campaign. Integrate your vanity number into your marketing strategy by introducing it with a new advertising campaign. Build your campaign around brand awareness, and make sure your new number is prominently featured. Use this opportunity to explore new advertising options as well. From vehicle graphics to viral videos, creating a unified message that grabs your customers’ attention will help you make the most of brand advertising. A great campaign will help your 800 number leave a lasting impression too.
  5. Analyze your statistics. To identify best practices for your new vanity number, track and analyze your calls and sales. You may want to include a short survey at the end of calls or simply ask your call-in customer: “How did you find our number?” In addition to tracking your conversion rate, it’s a good idea to identify the impact of your brand advertising by creating a breakdown of sales by area, age of customer and other relevant details. This research will do more than just give you a picture of your return on investment – it will help you to pinpoint your most effective advertisements.

Your new vanity number is a valuable resource in and of itself, but making the most of that resource requires some extra effort on your part. Follow these steps to seamlessly integrate your 800 number into an effective marketing strategy. When you utilize your number to make the most of your brand advertising, you’ll optimize profits and see an even bigger return on investment. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!