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1. Missed Branding Opportunities
Whatever type of marketing campaign you are launching, a vanity number offers instant branding. Even if your prospects do not take immediate action, an easy to remember vanity number will stick in their minds until when they do need your product or service. This truth applies to PPC advertising, direct mail, email marketing, and display ads.
2. Increased Response Rates
It has been proven time and time again that toll free vanity numbers consistently provide significantly higher response rates. So, considering the small investment it takes to get a winning vanity number, why anyone would ever dream of running an ad campaign without one is a mystery. Otherwise, you are not just throwing away money but handing those prospects over to your competition.
3. Improved Closing Ratios
Vanity numbers not only help increase the response rates to your advertising, but more importantly, they also improve the actual closing ratios from your campaigns. That is where you really put profits back into your pocket. Ask yourself how much a closed deal is worth, not only now but also in terms of the value of a lifelong customer and the referrals you will receive. Easily in the tens of thousands. So with some shared use, vanity numbers are available for as little at $19 a month. That small amount can provide at least two or three times the closed deals from a campaign. It is really a no brainer.
4. Tracking & Testing
Toll free numbers offer the ability to track and test easily all types of metrics and variables involved in your marketing. Those tools mean the ability to identify easily what is working well and what you can improve on so you can hone your marketing into a well oiled money making machine.
5. Maximizing Marketing ROI
These compounding factors of increased advertising effectiveness through better brand recognition, higher response and closing ratios, and well-tested campaigns means being able to see the maximum return on investment from your marketing budget. What you do with the extra profit is entirely up to you, whether it is expanding your marketing efforts, handing out bonuses, donating it to charity, improving your products or services, or just treating yourself to a well-deserved vacation in the sun. Going to the market without a vanity number is the equivalent of handing over large slices of market share to your competitors. Win or lose - it is all up to you.
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Despite all the new forms of Internet marketing and the plethora of social media networks that have sprouted up in the last couple of years, direct marketing through direct mail and email marketing still remains one of the most effective advertising channels for businesses of all sizes.
However, that does not mean that rushing and just sending out any direct mail or email campaigns is going to guarantee your success, achieve maximum advertising effectiveness, and result in the best ROI for your marketing budget. Throwing all of your resources into one large campaign that flops can not only stall your operation and income but could even cripple your organization.
Fortunately, by using web analytics and blocks of toll free numbers, you can perform affordable tests quickly in order to hone your direct marketing campaigns and maximize your marketing ROI. By acquiring blocks of toll free numbers, you can use different numbers in a split test campaign to improve the various factors that determine optimal advertising effectiveness, such as your lead and data lists, the copy of your direct marketing pieces, email subject lines, mail packaging, and the timing of your delivery.
Some marketers see testing as something that slows them down. However, testing means you can still get out a partial campaign and receive leads now while you will get a lot bigger return for your money when you go all out. Just look at the difference in not only leads but in actual dollars that a great direct marketing campaign offers. For both mail and email direct marketing campaigns, the response rates can range from less than 1 percent on the low end to over 10 percent for those who have honed and tested. Good campaigns will also yield higher closing ratios. So on the same 10,000 piece campaign, without testing you may end up with 100 responses and one closed deal, while those you have tested could be looking at over 1,000 responses and as many as 250 new deals. Which results do you want for your money?
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1. Not Developing a Brand
It doesn’t matter how creative and ingenious your advertising strategy is if you have not made the effort to develop a unified brand. Proper branding includes having a matching business name, web domain name, logo, and an easily recognizable and memorable vanity number. Don’t just have them either; make sure you use them!
2. Failure To Test
Whether your advertising strategy includes direct mail, telemarketing, or Internet marketing, those who do not test and ignore their metrics are asking for failure. You may need to temper the figures with a little common sense and insight into future trends, but the numbers do not lie. Use blocks of toll free numbers for split testing various elements of your campaigns and hone them.
3. Not Maximizing ROI
Many marketing channels and ideas that you can include in your overall advertising strategy may work, may generate leads, and may even bring in money. However, just generating some income is no longer enough to survive. You must strive to seek out those channels that provide maximum advertising effectiveness and the highest possible ROI for your marketing budget.
4. Working Harder Rather Than Smarter
Too many entrepreneurs and managers fail to harness the power of building blocks that can be re-purposed. This strategy means having to do a fraction of the work for much larger results; not only can it improve your advertising strategy profit margins, but it can enable your organization to reach more prospects for less money and grow faster than you ever imagined. This process can mean utilizing content more wisely and re-purposing article content for blogs, videos, and social media, or outsourcing your call center agents and using them to spin off new products and services.
5. Not Seeing The Full Potential
"If you are going to think, you might as well think big." Thinking big certainly doesn’t take any more effort. However, too many business owners and managers still fail to see the full potential of their businesses. With a little wider vision applied to an advertising strategy, and just a little more effort, the exponential rewards can make all the difference in being a one man band or the next Facebook.
“Advertising” is usually confused with marketing, promotions, sales, and public relations. But what exactly is it? Basically, advertising is about bringing a product or service to target market's attention. It is focused on getting customers' attention in order to increase awareness of the brand (or product, service, or idea) in question. Advertising comes in different forms: brochures, television commercials, online ads, signs, direct mails, and even personal contact.
To get a better understanding of what is advertising, it may be best to look into the definition of other terms with which it is usually interchanged:
Promotion: After gaining brand awareness through advertising, promotion acts as a stimulus for further demand. It involves ongoing advertising, sales, and public relations activities.
Marketing: When you think about marketing, keep the 4P’s in mind: product, place, promotions, and price. These are essentially all the aspects involved in marketing. Loosely, marketing involves analyzing customer data and competition. It positions the product in the market through “price” and “place” distribution.
Public Relations: Public Relations is all about creating a public image for the company. It usually involves building a relationship with the media to get newspaper mention, magazine recommendations, and television slots.
Sales: Cultivating prospective buyers (referred to as leads) is the focus of sales. It conveys the features and benefits of a product and service. The sales plan for one product may be different from another even within the same company.
Many new start-ups put off investing in their branding in favor of doing more direct marketing in the belief sheer numbers will pay off. Of course, it really doesn’t matter how terrible your product, service, or business marketing is because you will probably find someone who will part with money for it. However, in order to survive and grow in the current economy, you must operate on higher profit margins and maximize your business marketing ROI. Starting from day one with a great brand, including an easily recognizable vanity number, will not only ensure you see higher closing ratios and be able to charge high premiums for your products, but you can generate thousands in referrals and residual revenues.
No matter what industry you are in, there are many forms of business marketing that can produce revenues. However, unless you are making sure you are getting the maximum business marketing ROI, you will lose ground to your competitors. How do you determine your maximum ROI? When you make sure your business marketing brings your product to those who need and want it the most at the exact moment they need it or are looking for it, it will mean higher conversions and the highest returns on your business marketing budget.
As an entrepreneur or manager these days, you have no doubt already been told that you need or should try out all types of business marketing channels from Twitter and Facebook to direct mail and radio. However, despite all the advice in the world and regardless of your personal hunches and experiences marketing, without testing, you may as well just be gambling. By using toll free numbers for testing, you can now guarantee that you are putting all of your business marketing dollars to their highest and best use.
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Get The Tools You Need
Make sure you have all the right and best tools for the job including high quality lead lists, batches of toll free numbers, and high quality content. Without all three of these tools, you cannot expect to run consistently profitable and successful direct mail campaigns. It doesn’t matter whether you have a great list of prospects, if the message isn’t right. And it doesn’t matter how great your mail piece looks if your business phone number doesn’t close the deal and enable you to track results.
Ensure Correct Mailing
Unfortunately, as with any other industry, any type of marketing mistake can be made or your requests may just not be completed competently. You must keep a close eye on your direct mail, ensure that you receive the lead lists you requested, oversee that your mail is sent out at the right time, and make certain everything goes out. Check all the way through your mailing lists to doublecheck that everything is in order - not just the first sheet. A reputable mailing firm should not only be able to offer toll free numbers as a part of its package but also provide you with proof that your campaign was sent out on time and in its entirety.
Using toll free numbers on your direct mail pieces not only increases response rates and closing ratios but also enables you to capture the number of prospects who have called in but not left numbers or who got disconnected.
Before you launch a full campaign, you must test. Testing in smaller batches allows you to compare the advertising effectiveness of the content of your mail piece, the quality of your mailing list, and whether you are sending at the right times. However, do not be too cautious; you must use tests that are big enough to assess results accurately. Any small batch of a few hundred pieces can either be a huge hit or miss. You should be testing at least 2,500 pieces per run in order to determine future profitability in a realistic manner.
Monitor Call Metrics
Do not judge the success of your direct mail campaign based solely upon how much you think your phone is ringing or what your phone reps are saying. Closely monitor your call metrics to determine the real results and where improvements can be made. Monitoring goes beyond just counting calls. Your toll free number provider ought to give you online access to call details. This information will enable you to see how long your agents spoke with prospects so you can tell whether there are issues with your script and which of your team members are performing the best.
After reviewing your toll free number statistics and actually closing numbers, adjust and hone your direct mail campaigns for maximum ROI. Then continue to test new factors in order to improve constantly your revenues and profit margins.
Using your vanity number on your website is critical. Some people try to get by with just an email contact form, but failing to deliver credibility with full contact information can drastically reduce the advertising effectiveness of all your online marketing campaigns. In fact, it has been proven that providing your toll free number on your website not only increases conversions but helps prevent charge-backs.
2. Social Media
You should not only be including your vanity number on your company’s social media profiles but on your personal ones as well. This listing will make it easy for those who want to refer you business to pass on your business phone number.
3. Business Cards
Although the power of business cards may have become underestimated in the last couple of years due to all the other marketing channels available, you should have them, and you must have your vanity number on them. In fact, you should have a system that provides and requires all of your employees to have your toll free number on their business cards. This consistency not only improves effectiveness but makes sure you don’t lose clients when employees leave.
4. Email Signature
Many Internet marketing gurus are now insisting that you include links to your social media in your email signature, but doing so isn’t a substitute for including your vanity numbers. You don’t want prospects to get lost surfing Facebook; you want them either to email you or to pick up the phone and make a deal now!
5. Display Advertising
This tip should not even need to be mentioned; however, some companies still, surprisingly, attempt to use local numbers. You only have seconds for your number to be remembered, and using toll free numbers on your display advertising also provides easy capture of callers who do not leave a message and enables you to track performance better.
While you probably already have your vanity number on your website, you will probably find that your blog may receive more visits and that your traffic is spending more time on your blog each visit, so you must not overlook your blog as a crucial place for your vanity number to be prominently displayed.
7. Direct Mail
Direct mail has recently seen a resurgence in success, but without using your 800 numbers for testing and tracking, you are giving the edge to your competition.
If your customers can’t find you, they won’t be able to acquire your products or services even if they so desire. This problem applies equally to potential prospects and existing or past customers. Without an easy-to-remember phone number, it is also much more difficult to generate word-of-mouth advertising and referrals.
Sure you can list your business in the Yellow Pages and various online directories, but what we are talking about is an easy-to-remember number that can be memorized in a few seconds and is easily recognized as being yours. Smart business owners know how important it is to lock in winning vanity phone numbers that unify their branding and tie together their web domain names and company names from the start.
Just having a great toll free phone number is no use if no one knows about it, so make sure to include your vanity number on all of your marketing pieces as well as all communications with the public. Take a minute and think about your own shopping and referral habits. No doubt you have seen thousands of infomercials on TV, hundreds of billboards and display ads, and have received countless direct mail pieces. Often even may have been interested in what was being offered, but if you didn’t have the time to write down the phone number, you likely ended up going with another company for your needs, one that was easier to call. When it comes to referrals, you may often enjoy helping others by giving them contact numbers for companies and services that can help them. However, if you don’t remember the number off the top of your head and you can’t find it in your wallet or phone within a couple of seconds, the opportunity usually ends there. Referrals and word-of-mouth advertising are the most profitable forms of marketing; plan ahead for them. Isn’t it worth making sure you have a phone number that promotes for you?
Without a doubt, the current economic environment requires businesses to be more careful with and more demanding of their marketing budgets than ever before. If you want your company to survive and prosper, you must maximize your business marketing return-on-investment. So how do you calculate your business marketing ROI? What factors are the most important?
Most forms of advertising and lead generation are invested in terms of how many pieces or leads you receive for your money. For direct mail, it is how many pieces you send out; for pay-per-click, it is the number of prospects that click through to your site, and for Internet leads, it is how many actual leads you receive. When calculating expected business marketing ROI from an advertising campaign, it is important to recognize the difference between leads and revenues. It really does not matter how many leads or calls you get on your toll free numbers if none of them are converting into actual customers. In fact, too many contacts not following through will actually begin to cost you more money. While most lead generation companies will shy away from giving you any hard figures on what you can expect in actual closing ratios, the prospective close ratio is still the most important figure when calculating business marketing ROI. However, smart marketing companies and lead generators, who offer direct marketing like direct mail and use toll free numbers for tracking, should be able to show you real numbers from what similar campaigns have generated in actual prospects and incoming calls. These historic results help close the gap between your marketing pieces and actual business marketing ROI, but in the end, it still comes down to your staff to ensure conversion.
When calculating business marketing ROI, what you really need to look at is cost-per-action. In other words, what is it really costing for each new client and each dollar in revenues? Compare these numbers to your other advertising options; then strive to achieve the lowest cost-per-action possible and hone your campaigns to maximize business marketing ROI. This strategy includes doing a better job of targeting your ideal customers and improving the conversion capability of your phone staff or website.
It is no secret that to survive and succeed in the business world today you must become efficient at testing marketing strategy. Split testing is the best way to compare quickly the advertising effectiveness of different factors of your campaigns. Direct marketing via direct mail and print advertising is one way to achieve split testing and can be incredibly effective and accurate using blocks of toll free numbers to pinpoint the successes and issues with your marketing campaigns. Now with most businesses extensively marketing online, it is also essential to test your Internet advertising campaigns before committing to one channel or strategy.