Have you ever filled out security questions for a bank or online website and seen the prompt:
What’s the phone number you remember most from your childhood?
There’s a reason they only make you pick the one you’re sure to know: phone numbers arehard to remember.
If you’re trying to use a phone number for a business, having a sequence of random numbers to hand out to your customers can seriously hinder your chances of getting a call.
In this article, we’ll review what vanity numbers are, how you can get one, how to use them successfully for business, and answer some frequently asked questions.
Walk up to someone on the street and say “1-800...” then ask them to fill in the blanks – chances are they’ll respond with 1-800-CALLSAM, 1-800-FLOWERS, 1-800-MATTRESS, or another of a handful of famous phone numbers. These are all examples of “vanity numbers.”
If you’ve ever seen a “vanity” license plate, a similar practice applies to phone numbers.
What is a vanity number/vanity phone number?
In simple terms, a vanity number is any number that someone specifically requests; normally this is done for marketing purposes. Vanity numbers are often used for business because they’re easy for an audience to remember and call later.
Vanity 1 800/800 numbers (aka. Toll-Free Numbers)
Otherwise known as “toll-free” numbers, these are often the best vanity numbers to use for business, because they’re easily recognizable and easy to remember. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who can’t easily call up a 1-800 number from the top of their head. Why are they called toll-free? While not as relevant today, anyone who picks up a landline will be able to dial the number, free of charge.
The Benefit of Using a Vanity Phone Number for Business
If someone told a 10-digit phone number right now, would you remember it in 5-minutes? What about tomorrow? It’s unlikely. That’s why, for a business owner or operator, a vanity number can have a huge impact on successful marketing campaigns. The simple memorability of a 1-800-BUSINESS number means instead of remembering a sequence of up to 10 random digits in order, your customers only need to remember 3 things. “One” “Eight-Hundred” “WORD”.
Most people already have 1-800 memorized, which means whenever they’re in need of your product or service, they only need to remember your business name, or whatever you’ve chosen for a 7-digit vanity.
How to Get a Vanity Number
You can start using a vanity phone number right now in 3 quick steps.
- Sign into Telzio (or get started for free)
- Search our vast inventory of localand toll free numbers
- Instantly register the phone number online
Need some help finding a custom phone number? Our specialists are ready to help you set up your new vanity number.
In addition to the traditional benefits of a vanity number, Telzio offers a full suite of phone systems solutions.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of your new vanity number.
1. Can I track ROI on vanity numbers for marketing campaigns?
Building relationships is a lot of work, and you want to make sure you set yourself up for proper tracking to make sure you get a return on your investment.
If you’re looking for a way to track the ROI of specific campaigns, you can set up vanity phone numbers that correspond with each marketing channel or campaign. For instance, you might use different numbers to segment campaigns by medium – print versus radio versus TV.
Whether you’re using a vanity number, a toll-free number, or a local number, Telzio Call Analytics provides an easy and powerful way to make sure you understand which channels drive the most traffic.
Related: Netflix’ ‘Stranger Things’ Marketing Hotline Powered by Telzio
2. Can I text with a vanity number?
Yes! Providing SMS text messaging as a communication channel for customers is a great way to broaden the reach of marketing and customer service. Today, most toll-free numbers can be used with SMS messaging. Telzio allows for SMS with your vanity number. If you’re using another service, ask your service provider
3. Can I customize the caller ID name on my vanity number?
You can take your vanity phone number a step further by registering your business name as your caller ID. This is known as a CNAM, or Caller ID name. Your CNAM consists of the phone number and name that appears when calls are made from your phone numbers.
4. Should I get a local or toll-free vanity number?
Toll-free phone numbers are instantly recognized as business numbers and imply that you have a national presence.
While it’s possible to get a vanity number from your local area code, toll-free numbers are more instantly memorable and recognizable. On top of that, local numbers can be more limited, and thus finding the exact vanity number you want might not be possible.
What you choose will come down to your presence and your brand. Either way, a vanity number will go a long way to establish your business.
5. What makes a good vanity number?
One word: memorability. Prime examples of valuable vanity numbers include 1-800-Flowers or 800-ALLSTATE.
1-800-FLOWERS is an interesting example here, as they’re not using a brand name but a product. This strategy turned out to be extremely successful; today, they’ve built their entire business around their phone number. It might not be the right strategy for everyone, but everyone remembers what telephone number to dial to order flowers.
Another idea is embracing repetition. Repeating digits might not spell anything out, but they are extremely easy to remember. Think of those Cellino and Barnes commercials —800-888-8888— the number doesn’t spell an actual word, but it’s certainly easy to remember, and reinforced further by their signature jingle.
Related: Toll-Free Numbers - How They Work & How to Get an 800 Number
6. Can I keep my vanity number if I switch phone service providers?
Phone numbers are proprietary business assets.
As per the FCC’s number portability rules, when you invest in a phone number, that number is yours as long as you want to hang on to it. You're not bound to any one phone company and can port it to a different provider anytime you'd like. Number porting is the process of moving your phone number from one carrier to another. Even if you have an outstanding bill, providers are obligated to port out your number.
Like real property, equipment, and website domains - phone numbers are assets to your business.
When legal partners Cellino & Barnes split up, they were faced with the difficult decision: who would get to keep the coveted 800-888-8888 phone number? Cellino did, and the new Barnes firm spent a whopping $900,000 for a new "high-value" telephone number – 800-800-0000.
7. How can a vanity number enhance lead generation?
Because vanity numbers are so memorable, your advertising or marketing campaign will sear your phone number into the mind of any audience it reaches.
That means if they walk away from your ad, you are much more likely to come to mind if and when they need your service in the future.
This has an added benefit: you know these leads are going to have a much higher intention to buy. “Buyer’s intent” is the term marketers use to gauge how close a prospect is to buying. This isn’t an ad that pops up on Facebook or Google. We’re talking about prospects that remember your phone number, pick up the phone, and dial.
While you’ll likely see less activity compared to social and search ads, leads generated from a vanity number stand to be more qualified. Think about it this way--would you rather have someone fill out a form or call you directly? Inbound calling eliminates several steps in the sales process, setting up a direct line between you and the customer.
8. How do I route incoming calls on my vanity number?
Telzio provides virtual phone features that can be easily customized online. You can create auto attendants with a professional phone menu and routing options through an intuitive dashboard, and route your incoming calls directly to the auto attendant.
Related: How to Set up a Phone Menu in 3 Steps
Telzio offers additional features for managing incoming calls including:
» Hold Music » Call recording » Business hours / scheduling » Call recording
9. Can I receive calls on my cell phone?
Vanity numbers can be routed to desk phones, cell phones, and even computers. With the Telzio Mobile App, users can make and receive calls from the company phone number, separate from their personal line.
10. Can I pick my own phone number?
With Telzio, you can browse for vanity numbers across all toll-free prefixes and local area codes. If you change your mind, you can always swap out the number later.
Vanity phone numbers make it simple to launch large-scale marketing campaigns for businesses because they give your audience a simple-to-remember mnemonic. Vanity numbers could be toll-free 1-800 numbers, or they can be selected by local area code. What’s more, with the right provider, you can even text with them, track ROI, customize caller ID, and more.
Get Started with Telzio
If you want a local area code or a toll-free 1 800 number, Telzio has a nearly limitless number of options. Plus, you’ll be able to manage your numbers through a dashboard, track ROI and Metrics, and route calls to desk phones, cell, or even computers.
That’s not all Telzio has to offer: we’re a full-suite phone systems solution.» Read more and start a free trial today