Looking for a new way to increase customer engagement? How about a new marketing tool in your business that will boost your visibility and can increase sales? That’s where vanity numbers come in.
In this guide, you’ll learn what they are, why they might become your biggest asset, how they work and how to get your very own number.
How Do Vanity Numbers Work
Vanity numbers are custom phone numbers that use repeating patterns of numbers and spell out words (by matching the numbers on the keypad). They are free, easy to remember, and can use any combination of numbers or words you want, including your company name, a popular product, or any keyword that’s part of your industry.
Popular examples are 1800-FLOWERS (flower delivery), 1800-GoFedEx, 1800-MATTRESS, 1-800-BEACHES (beach resorts) and 1-800-HURT-NOW (accident and injury lawyers).
Vanity Numbers vs Toll-Free Numbers
Toll-free numbers, also known as 1-800 numbers, are used by businesses and usually begin with 800, 833, 844, 855, 866, 877, or 888. The company that owns the number pays for the call and there’s no extra charge for the caller even if it’s long distance, which makes customers more likely to reach out to a business.
They are used for marketing purposes and customer service.
To take it a step further, though, you can customize your number with a word or phrase that makes it easily recognizable. That makes it a vanity number.
Now, let’s talk about the benefits.
You might assume this is a practice only physical businesses have, but you’d be surprised to know how valuable that can be for your online business too.
The first thing we notice about toll-free numbers is how memorable they are. People recognize them easily and are more likely to pick up and engage in a conversation, which ultimately leads to more sales.
Words are easier to remember than numbers so that makes vanity numbers even more powerful. They outperform standard numbers every time.
Ads with a vanity number perform many times better than those with generic numbers. And billboards, TV and radio ads have been going for toll-free numbers since we can remember.
Numbers with patterns are easier to remember, add to that a word and you’d be stuck in your potential customer’s mind. This also costs less effort as they don’t even need to write it down but can just quickly recall it later. Their brain already made the association with known patterns and has stored it.
In fact, a study found that vanity 800 numbers are remembered 84% of the time vs. general numbers in visual media (that includes TV, billboards and print). People also remember vanity numbers 9 times more in the form of audio (on the radio, for example).
58% of people prefer to dial a vanity 800 number when contacting a local business, and 94% of the surveyed knew 800 was a toll-free number.
Professionalism and trust
Thanks to a number like that, you also appear more professional. It builds trust and your brand image improves.
In a world where everyone’s fighting for your customer’s attention (and their attention span is short), it’s more important than ever to be memorable and easily recognizable. Toll-free numbers can change the game for you and lead to conversions much quicker than any other marketing techniques you’ve tried.
Once you get a number like that, you can put in anywhere. Add it to your website, in emails, on socials, in any print ads, on packaging, etc. But also use it in video ads, audio content (such as a podcast, for example) and wherever else you see fit.
Who doesn’t like free stuff? When the customer knows the call is free, they are more likely to pick up the phone and stay on the call longer.
As a business owner, you should always be looking for ways to enhance the customer experience. A vanity number can help you do that in multiple ways.
Customers are more likely to reach out themselves as they recognize, remember and trust the number. And they are more likely to pick up the phone when they see that number on their screen.
More calls mean more conversions.
Did you know that you can also redirect business calls to your personal number so you don’t miss out on a potential customer or the chance to build stronger relationships with them?
That’s one of the features vanity numbers are known for and it comes in handy when you aren’t available on the business phone. You can also redirect the call to any other device.
Choosing a Vanity Number for Your Business
Learn how to get a 800 number. That can happen easily by a company like 800.com. You can head to their website and see if the number you want is available, then buy it.
Choosing the actual number can go in different directions. You can combine numbers and words or use repetitive numbers. What these are will depend on your industry and business goals.
To keep it simple, a 800 number is often the go-to option for people as it’s been around the longest, since 1967 to be exact. And while vanity numbers can have more numbers than the standard limit, still try to keep it short and sweet.
If the number you want is taken, think of something else that does the job but also isn’t in direct competition with the number that exists as people might find it confusing and accidentally call your competitor.
When choosing words, go for the ones that are easy to spell. You don’t want any confusion about this either. The word is usually the business name, the product, or the benefit it offers.
Don’t forget to also consider how the toll-free number sounds when said out loud. Words that have more than one spelling aren’t a good idea. Possessive pronouns don’t work well either.
Now that you know what vanity numbers are and how they work exactly, you can decide whether that’s a marketing tool you’d like to utilize for your business and get started with it.