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Custom Toll Free® Blog

November 14th, 2014

Small Business, Entrepreneur, Smarketing, Toll Free Numbers, Vanity Toll Free, Dynamic Phone Tracking, 2015 Business PlanningSeveral months ago we talked about “smarketing”. Although we talked particularly about “seniorpreneurs” and how they can better embrace the concept of “smarketing”, there is a great deal that all entrepreneurs—regardless of age and industries—can take away. As 2014 draws to a close, here are some ways “smarketing” can help with 2015 planning.

Data = Better Decision Making. This year we talked a lot about data. In the world of business today, it’s all about data and analytics, and how those contribute to decision-making and performance. By combining marketing and sales efforts, overall success and performance have nowhere to go but up.

For example, sales teams go out and do what they do best: sell, convert, and close. However, it is so often that small business marketing and sales teams aren’t in sync with each other. This often results in outdated marketing materials and copy, incorrect information on new product developments and releases, and so on.

One way to close this gap is by using dynamic phone tracking with toll free numbers. Small businesses that acquire toll free numbers can set up dynamic phone tracking in order to track where calls are coming from and where specifically conversions happening. With marketing teams having access to this data, they can arm sales teams with this knowledge and power to focus on driving sales and conversions in a particular region or geographical area.

Planning for 2015. By being armed with data, and the ability to make better decisions, sales and marketing teams—and small businesses as a whole—can jump into 2015 with a better plan.

In summary, a small business plan for 2015 can include:

- Acquire and market toll free numbers for the first time and learn how they can work for you

- Set up dynamic phone tracking with toll free numbers

- Arm sales teams with exclusive and effective data to drive decision making, sales conversions, and performance metrics and results

- Increase and drive sales and conversions in a particular area

- Make better business decisions related to product and service development, training, and targeting buyer personas (just to name a few)

These are just a few examples of how really grasping the concept of “smarketing” can help small businesses and entrepreneurs with planning their 2015 goals, and how data can lead to better decision making and contribute wholly to business growth.

 

 

© sgursozlu - Fotolia

Toll Free Benefits |
November 13th, 2014

Toll Free Benefits, Toll Free Numbers, Vanity Toll Free, Small BusinessesWith the holiday season quickly approaching, many small businesses are scrambling to prepare for customers to swarm their websites and stores. Small businesses must ensure to bulk up their inventory, hire enough staff, and maybe even beef up their website designs a bit to attract and impress customers. However, small business owners should also consider using toll free numbers to enhance customer experiences.

Here is the quick guide on using toll free numbers this holiday season:

Review Fourth Quarter Goals

Now is the time of year when small businesses are scrambling to make their Q4 numbers. There’s still time to finish the year strong with a toll free number. Furthermore, it’s the perfect time to look ahead at the holiday season and brainstorm ideas on how to market your products or what sales and promotions to offer. There’s still time to acquire a toll free number to make this happen and finish 2014 with a bang.

Make it Memorable

One of the benefits of acquiring toll free numbers is creating awareness for your small business brand. The best way to capture the attention of potential customers is to create memorable toll free numbers that regular customers easily pass on to their friends and family members, especially during the buzz of holiday shopping.

Promote Toll Free Numbers Online

Small business websites that contain helpful content usually see a major uptick in new customers. If you are a growing small business who has designed and marketed a compelling website, leverage your site by promoting your holiday toll free numbers online. Be sure to promote your toll free numbers on every web page in relatively the same location to ensure you reach every customer who visits your website. For example, one way to do this is to place your toll free number in large font in the header of each web page.

Track Your Toll Free Numbers

Acquiring toll free numbers is only half of the marketing battle. You also need to track where your calls originate. Dynamic phone tracking is a service that provides detailed information about the customers who call toll free numbers. By analyzing where most of the calls originate, you can target market customers by placing geo-specific ads in newspapers as well as via Facebook and other social media platforms and mediums.

Navigate the choppy holiday season waters by using enhanced services to acquire your small business toll free numbers. Custom Toll Free’s team of experts can help you find the right toll free number for your small business, as well as provide resources to ensure you get the much needed sales increase that accompanies the holiday season. Contact us online or call us at 1-800-CUSTOMIZE.

 

© karandaev - Fotolia

Toll Free Benefits |
November 11th, 2014

Small business, Small business heroes, Veterans DayNovember 11th represents one of the most sacred days for Americans next to Memorial Day. It is a day when we honor the men and women who made incredible sacrifices to preserve the freedom defining concepts of justice and liberty.

Today, small businesses throughout the United States plan to honor their small business heroes by running special promotions from free breakfasts to complimentary stays at local hotels. The question is not whether small businesses plan to honor our veterans, but how small business heroes strive to emulate our nations’ heroes.

Dedication

Small business owners and American veterans share several traits, with unbridled dedication landing near the top of the list. Veterans demonstrated unwavering dedication not only to their country, but also to their fellow soldiers and company commanders. Small business owners must also dedicate their lives and make sacrifices in the pursuit of their lifetime dreams.

Discipline

Veterans developed the type of discipline required to operate as cohesive units. They followed directions provided by more experienced members of their outfits and then passed along the same directions to less experienced members of their teams. Small business owners must possess the discipline to set clear goals, create action plans to achieve the goals, and develop ways to measure the success of their action plans.

Resilience

Members of the United States military do not cower when the going gets tough. American veterans separated themselves by bouncing back from setbacks and embracing challenges and danger. Instead of retreat, American veterans charged full steam ahead to complete their missions. Small business owners honor the spirit of veteran resiliency by never giving up hope for achieving their small business dreams. Both veterans and small business owners know how to conquer their fears.

Passionate

Talk to any veteran of the United States military today and you can only marvel at the passion they exude about their devotion to country. That high level of passion is what small business owners must have to run successful businesses. The passion stems from the meaningful purpose of protecting American citizens from foreign threats. Small business owners exude the same type of passion that creates a meaningful purpose for the team of small business employees. Veterans and small business owners promote strong spirits.

Reach for the Stars

American veterans promote the attitude of reaching for the stars. The mindset of "There is nothing I cannot do" distinguishes American veterans from veterans of other countries. Small business owners pay homage to their small business heroes by exhibiting the same reaching for the stars mindset. They set lofty, achievable goals that push them and their teams to achieve thriving success.

Thank a Veteran Today

American veterans and small business owners share many of the same attributes, which is why many veterans transition into public life by starting their own enterprises. Remember that when you thank a veteran on November 11th.

 

 

© 14ktgold - Fotolia

Uncategorized |
November 7th, 2014

Online Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Small Business, Toll Free Benefits, Advertising, Toll Free NumbersSocial media marketing remains a viable online marketing strategy that attracts new customers to small businesses. Unfortunately, many small business owners do not understand how to leverage social media marketing tools to promote business growth. In fact, many small business owners have found that all things social media are just downright frustrating. But you don't have to be an online marketing expert to understand the power of toll free numbers and how they can help with social media marketing.

Benefits of Merging Toll Free Number and Social Media Marketing

The cost of acquiring toll free numbers for your small business social media marketing plan pales in comparison to the return on your online marketing investment. Acquired individually or in bundles, toll free numbers barely dent your online marketing budget. Another benefit of acquiring one or more toll free numbers is the increased visibility of your business due to the catchy vanity number that customers remember. Memorable toll free numbers also create instant credibility, which small business owners know builds the level of trust required to change passive potential customers into active, dedicated, and lifelong patrons.

The Truth about Social Media

Small businesses could spend all day and blow their marketing budgets on social media ads, “boosting” Facebook posts, and paying LinkedIn to advertise small business company pages. Most often small businesses are frustrated at the amount of money they are spending on social media advertising, yet seeing little to no return on investment, little leads, and even smaller conversions. The truth is small businesses don’t have to use every social media platform in existence. Small businesses should find the one that works for them and that makes sense for their target audience and industry.

Many small businesses have seen a great deal of success by “boosting” ads and posts on Facebook. However, some small businesses feel like their marketing budgets are better spent elsewhere. Again, it’s all in what a small business makes of it, and ultimately, where their target audiences “hang out” on social media.

Additionally, small businesses can use various social media platforms for different purposes. For example, Twitter is like a 24-hour alert system for your small business. This could be used to instantly alert potential customers to special promotions that you have set up toll free numbers to handle promotional inquiries.

LinkedIn is great for business to business and promoting professional services and solutions. Instead on relying on email or small business website interaction, why not publish a dedicated toll free number that exclusively handles professional peer communications?

Maximize Potential with a Toll Free Number

Regardless of the social media platform a small business chooses to integrate into their online marketing strategy, toll free numbers are the icing on the cake that can help seal any deal, not to mention save small businesses hundreds on their marketing and advertising budgets, and help them see a remarkable return on investment. Maximize the benefits of combining toll free numbers and social media marketing to grow your business.

 

Image credit: © SSilver

Toll Free Benefits |
November 5th, 2014

Small Business, Management, Toll Free Benefits, Toll Free NumbersThis week's hump day takes on more significance for small business owners who wrestle with high stress levels. On Wednesday, November 5, National Stress Awareness Day is not a day to recognize stress. We all know stress takes a bite out of the stoutest small business owner. No, National Stress Awareness Day is all about learning ways to mitigate the stress caused by running a small business and using the right small business management tools.

Set Goals and Prioritize. You may be surprised to learn about the large number of small business owners who do not set concrete goals. How can they get to where they want to be, when they don't know where they're going? Setting achievable goals, prioritizing tasks and responsibilities, implementing an action plan to achieve the goals helps lower management stress.

Organize. Whenever chaos rules small business management, you can expect stress to poison the workplace. Organization ensures a certain level of productivity as well as the sense of calm required to operate your small business efficiently.

Leave it All Behind. Small business management is a road replete with opportunities for mistakes. Small business owners who cannot shake the impact of making mistakes are ripe for stress to creep into their minds and bodies. Small business owners who hold themselves accountable for mistakes, but don't slowly burn because of the mistakes, tend to have less stress than small business owners who don't leave it all behind.

Exercise Removes Stress. Several research studies conclude that exercise alleviates the stress caused by the ups and downs of running a small business. Exercise comprises a few walks around the block to regular workouts at the nearest fitness center. Many management professionals encourage team members to join health clubs and fitness centers to prevent stress from becoming an impediment in the workplace.

Why Does the Phone Keep Ringing? One of the biggest contributors to small business stress is the feeling that you are losing control of business management. The main phone line rings all day and you have to answer each call to appease regular customers and answer questions from potential customers. Why not acquire a toll free number and enjoy the benefits from using the number as a dedicated customer service line? You free up your main line for inquiries from purveyors and other small business owners who want to trade with you.

Let an Expert Handle the Things that You Can't. Most small business owners unsuccessfully try to be the jack-of-all-trades. Unfortunately, instead of getting one thing right, they get multiple things wrong. To enjoy the benefits of toll free numbers, you should consider hiring an expert team of experienced professionals who can walk you through all the enhanced services that get your small business noticed. Take a big step on National Stress Awareness Day and do one thing for your small business today that alleviates stress.

 

© Marek

Toll Free Benefits |
October 31st, 2014

Toll Free Benefits, Toll Free Numbers, Vanity Numbers, Small Business, HauntingSmall business owners don't need Halloween to understand that myriad factors can haunt their small businesses. From unexpected supply disruptions to leading teams to balancing the books each month, small business owners have things that scare them more than the most evil haunted house. Even the acquisition of a toll free number can come back to haunt small business owners who don't properly use the numbers to gain more customers. So this begs the question: Is your toll free number helping or haunting you?

Toll Free Benefits Help You

Acquiring memorable toll free numbers provide you with several small business benefits. You create a memorable toll free number that regular customers easily remember to refer your business to friends, family, and coworkers. Toll free numbers give your small business credibility, which leads to the difficult to earn trust that keeps customers coming back for more of your products and services.

Perhaps the greatest toll free benefit of all comes from the incredible return on your marketing investment. The affordable numbers barely put a dent in your budget, while producing a considerable amount of new business. Granted your toll free number is properly advertised through all appropriate marketing channels.

Make Your Toll Free Number Do the Work

You simply cannot roll the dice with naming a toll free number. You need to create catchy names that stick with your customers. For example, an organic produce vendor creates instant recognition by acquiring the number 1-800-ORGANIC.

Toll free numbers help by providing you with tracking tools, such as dynamic phone tracking, which allows you to determine where most of your customers live and what age range they represent. The information collected via dynamic phone tracking gives you the tools to target market effectively and really make a toll free number work for you.

How Toll Free Numbers Can Haunt You

Your toll free number can haunt you, if you don't take advantage of its huge potential. Don’t choose any number that you think might work for your business. Think and plan strategically to not only brainstorm and acquire a winning vanity number, but also further develop and establish your brand. See a toll free number for the great opportunity it can be for your business.

While small businesses are mostly successful completing step one, it’s important for them to carry through the efforts to step two, which is advertising your number. How are your customers and audience going to call you if they don’t know your number? Be sure to have your number splashed across the home page of your website, your social media business pages, your business cards, ads, flyers, you name it. Really make your toll free number work for you instead of haunting you.

 

 

© Avel Krieg - Fotolia.com

Toll Free Benefits |
October 29th, 2014

Internet, Technology, Small Business, Vanity Numbers, Toll Free NumbersShortly after Neil Armstrong took the "Giant leap for mankind," another giant leap occurred deep inside the computer department at UCLA. Funded by the Department of Defense, the ARPANET project produced the first Internet transmission that has not only altered every way in which we communicate, and function as a society, but also transformed the way small businesses sell products and services.

Today we celebrate one of the greatest discoveries since putting a man on the moon. October 29th is Internet Day.

Online Marketing

Back in 1969, few small business owners envisioned the Internet emerging as the best way to market their products and services. Now, online marketing is about the only way you can expect to reach out to potential customers and keep loyal customers coming back for more. A rapidly increasing number of consumers prefer not only to research small businesses online, but also to make purchases conveniently from their desktop computers and mobile electronic devices. What Internet Day means for your small business foremost is that effective online marketing campaigns enhance the productivity of your small business.

Content is King for Small Businesses

Content marketing has become the best way for small businesses to market their products and service online. By writing and publishing helpful blogs and articles, small business owners develop the level of credibility that attracts new customers to their small businesses. The regularly published blogs and articles help potential customers solve problems, which builds the type of trust that prompts potential customers to take action. Content marketing involves knowing how to produce fresh, relevant content that search engines reward by ranking your small business website near or at the top of the list.

How Toll Free Numbers Fit Into Internet Day

Small businesses that acquire toll free numbers to enhance operations have several ways to leverage the amazing phone numbers online. You should prominently display your toll free numbers on every web page that comprises your small business website. Your Google small business listing should feature each toll free number near the top of the listing. Clearly explain the purpose of each toll free number, such as designating one number for customer service and a second number for ordering products offered during special promotions. You can even add a toll free number that customers exclusively use for texting your small business.

Internet Day celebrates technology that has radically altered the way customers and small business owners interact, especially when it comes to toll free numbers. Long gone are the days of time-consuming sales pitches done in person. Small business owners now make their sales pitches online via content marketing and product description pages. Internet Day comes along once a year, but online marketing is a 24/7 obligation that small business owners need to get ahead of the competition.

 

© bloomua - Fotolia

Uncategorized |
October 28th, 2014

Toll Free Numbers, Vanity Numbers, Toll Free BenefitsYou have done your homework and you understand the benefits associated with acquiring toll free numbers. Vanity numbers increase exposure for your small business brand by creating the type of credibility that builds customer trust. The inexpensive small business phone numbers provide the greatest return on your marketing investment.

All in all, you're sold on acquiring toll free numbers, but do you know that acquiring toll free numbers can create chaos for your small business if you aren’t careful? Let's review three tips for avoiding toll free number chaos.

Not Just Any Vanity Number. Acquiring the right toll free numbers requires small business owners to consider their small business identities carefully. Memorable vanity numbers that stick in the minds of customers lead to word-of-mouth advertising that can create more revenue for your small business. Every industry has at least one catchy word that helps them establish memorable toll free numbers. For example, pastry shops can use vanity numbers such as 1-800-COOKIE to create memorable small business numbers.

Misspellings. Small business chaos often erupts because of customer service issues, especially when it comes to handling complaints and disputes. Furthermore, toll free number troubles can also arise due to common misspellings. While creative misspellings—when carefully marketed and branded—can really create a marketing edge for some businesses, misspellings can also lead to disasters. Incorrectly dialing one digit could lead customers to a number that isn’t in use, or worse, lead customers to your competitors instead.

Track Your Vanity Numbers. Acquiring toll free numbers is a great idea, but only if you track where your vanity number phone calls originate. Dynamic phone tracking is a tool that provides small business owners with data that explains the origination of vanity number phone calls. This vital chaos-reducing tool allows small business owners to better target their advertising towards the potential customers most likely to convert into lifelong patrons. Dynamic phone tracking includes several metrics to help small business owners attract new customers.

Where to Find Help? Working with a reputable and established marketing crew of experts can help small businesses establish highly credible toll free numbers that roll off the tongues of potential and lifelong customers. To learn more about vanity numbers, contact us online or call our memorable toll free number at 1-800-CUSTOMIZE.

 

© Pekchar - Fotolia

Toll Free Benefits |
October 24th, 2014

Small Business, Toll Free Numbers, Customer Journey, Toll Free Journey, Vanity Numbers, Toll Free BenefitsInitially, the process of acquiring a toll free number might seem like a lengthy or expensive process. However, acquiring a toll free number can be completed in four easy steps. Once you’ve taken the steps in the toll free journey, you are also simultaneously securing the steps in the customer journey.

The customer journey relates to your target audience’s buying process. What are the crucial steps a customer takes before he or she makes a purchase decision? Regardless of business size or industry, the customer journey and buying process is all the same:

How does the customer journey tie into the toll free journey?

1. Look up a Toll Free Number. You can’t take the first steps in any journey without first tying your sneakers or putting gas in the car. The same is true for a toll free number. Small businesses acquiring a toll free number need to first brainstorm toll free number variations, spellings, and ideas and how those ideas play into their small business or brand and how they can make toll free numbers work for them.

Customers who are looking for a small business, whether it’s a florist, pizza place, roofing contractor, or a car mechanic, are first going to recall toll free numbers or ads they’ve seen or heard. Become part of the customer journey and ensure that your toll free number is one of the first numbers they recall.

2. Choose Your Favorite Number. Once small businesses have decided on their brand and name, and have brainstormed a few great ideas for toll free numbers, it is now time to select your first choice. Small businesses can easily look up and secure their toll free numbers online.

The next step in the customer journey is easy. Once customers have recalled your small business number, all they have to do is call it and get in touch with you to inquire about your products or services or place an order. This stage in the customer journey is the step customers take to find out what you’re all about, and if you really plan to deliver what you promise them.

3. Select Your Coverage. As a business, once you’ve decided and acquired your desired toll free number, the next step is to select your coverage. Where do you plan on operating? Do you operate within a local area or nationwide? The flexibility of premium toll free services allows businesses to only select and pay for the areas in which they operate.

By this point, customers have remembered your number, called your number and spoke to you or a staff member, and they are ready to make a purchase decision. Having a toll free number for them to easily recall not only made it easy for them to call you, but it also established a level of credibility in their minds. It shows that your business takes business and the needs of customers seriously.

4. Congratulations! Your Toll Free Number is Now in Service. The hard work is over. You now have a toll free number. You’ve not only just boosted your reputation and credibility, you’ve also secured the steps for your customers in their journey.

Even as customers have reached out to you and made a purchase decision, business teaches us that the sale doesn’t end here. The implementation process is just as important as closing the deal. As a small business, you need to follow through and ensure that your customer receives their product or service and you meet their expectations and deliver on what your small business promises.

Finally, before your customers embark on their journeys, you first need to define and learn who your customers are. What do they look like? What is their buyer persona? Small businesses armed with this information will have an easier time generating a loyal audience and really reaching their customers. Only then can you clearly define your small business toll free number…and begin the journey.

 

© Maksym Yemelyanov - Fotolia

Toll Free Benefits |
October 23rd, 2014

Small Business, Toll Free Number, Vanity Numbers, Business GrowthYou spent countless hours wringing your hands over the acquisition of a toll free number for your small business. After realizing the benefits of adding at least one vanity phone number, you have gone all in on acquiring the proven marketing tool. However, you need help deciding on how to best use the unique marketing tool. This means learning how to rock a toll free number to grow your small business.

Your Claim to Fame.You can't expect to attract new customers with a bland toll free number. The key to growing your business by acquiring a toll free number requires you to create a memorable vanity name that best defines your small business. For example, an independent grocery store can create the vanity number 1-800-GROCERY to establish the level of credibility that builds customers trust.

Toll Free Tip: Remember that you aren’t limited to only seven letters and numbers. You can choose vanity strings and spellings that are longer. Customers only dial the first seven letters to reach your small business.

Toll Free Fanfare.Far too many small business owners spend their working days running around in place. The hustle and bustle of operating a small business often leads to the Cardinal sin of neglecting the most important element of your operation: customer service. You can lighten the load of your primary phone number by establishing at least one toll free number that is dedicated to handling customer service issues.

Toll Free Tip: From answering questions about a new product to resolving customer complaints, creating toll free numbers exclusively for customer service is one of the best ways to rock a toll free number.

Become a Promotional Star.Small business owners often run promotions that give them the advantage over competitors. Yet, many of the promotions never get off the ground due to mismanagement or disorganization. The best way to ensure your product and service promotions gain momentum is to acquire at least one toll free number used for running each promotion.

Toll Free Tip: One of your most talented service professionals can staff the line to handle customer inquiries about the promotion, as well as finalize transactions during the limited time offer.

Take it on the Road. Acquiring a toll free number is one thing, but just having a vanity number does not guarantee small business success. Set up call forwarding and take your toll free number on tour with you. You can set your vanity number to ring to any phone number whether it’s a mobile phone or a landline.

Toll Free Tip: Acquiring premium vanity number services enables you to track the number of responses and adjusts your toll free number campaign accordingly. The more efficient campaign saves you money and attracts a larger base of new customers. Find out more about how toll free vanity number services can enhance the quality of your sales leads and converts more of the leads into loyal, regular customers.

 

© Gstudio Group - Fotolia

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