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Custom Toll Free® Blog

June 5th, 2014

Toll Free Numbers, Vanity Toll Free, Toll Free Number Benefits, Small Business, EntrepreneursEntrepreneurs and small business owners understand how toll free numbers increase customer counts by establishing a brand presence in the community. They learn about the benefits and enhanced services that augment the value of utilizing a toll free vanity number to handle special promotions, customer service queries, and generate small business growth.

When it comes down to deciding on a toll free vanity number, many small business owners still have questions about how it all works. Here are five FAQs about toll free numbers that small business owners are dying to know.

How Do the Minutes Work?

Every small business owner receives 100 minutes per month for each account created. The minutes automatically reset at the first of each month and do not roll over to accumulate the following month. You are notified whenever your small business toll free vanity number account approaches the 100-minute mark. All incoming toll free vanity number calls count towards the 100-minute allocation and you monitor your usage by accessing the free online account manager tool.

Can I Use More Than Seven Digits?

The longer word does not require customers to type every digit. For example, if a customer types in the first seven digits in CUSTOMIZE to contact Custom Toll Free, the toll free vanity number begins to ring on our end. Extra letters in long toll free numbers represent trailing digits and only enhance customer recognition of your small business.

What Does "Just My Area" Mean?

Once you select toll free numbers for your small business, you then must select your service area. Your service area comprises of the area codes from which you receive toll free vanity number calls. Nationwide service means you receive your number throughout the continental United States. You can also choose "Just My Area," which requires you select the area codes that allow customers to access your toll free vanity number.

Do I Own My Toll Free Vanity Number?

When small businesses participate in a shared use platform, they agree to share toll free numbers with other customers. You sign a licensing agreement that declares you do not have exclusive rights to the number. The licensing agreement ensures every user of the toll free vanity number can access the number any time. Portable numbers are also available and allow small business owners and entrepreneurs to move numbers to other carriers.

How Do I Cancel?

We value each of our customers, but we understand the business climate changes and that means you may have to cancel your toll free vanity number. If that is the case, you can send an email to Custom Toll Free’s internal support team to cancel your toll free number service. You have to cancel by the 15th of the month in order to avoid incurring charges for the subsequent month. Toll free number customers receive a confirmation email that verifies the cancellation date.

Toll free numbers really come with a number of benefits for small businesses: they are easy to use, manage, and take along with busy entrepreneurs who are always on-the-go. They are also affordable and have an extremely high return on investment rate. Toll free numbers are no doubt the missing key to a successful marketing strategy a successful small business growth.

 

Toll Free Benefits |
June 3rd, 2014

Toll Free Numbers, Toll Free Benefits, Vanity Toll Free, Toll Free Vanity Numbers, Toll Free Lookup, Reverse Lookup Tool, Small Business, EntrepreneurMost small business owners and entrepreneurs know that acquiring at least one toll free vanity number comes with a myriad of benefits. They realize that adding toll free numbers to their phone lines and marketing strategies can enhance customer recognition, as well as establish a strong brand name. One of the greatest benefits of acquiring a toll free vanity number involves utilizing a toll free number lookup tool.

Why You Need a Reverse Lookup Tool

By using a toll free lookup tool, small business owners and entrepreneurs immediately learn the identities of the customers and businesses that have contacted them via their toll free numbers. You can learn where your toll free vanity number outbound calls have gone, as well as discover which part of the business day your small business receives its highest number of inbound calls. A reverse lookup tool allows you to see if a number you want is available, as well as find out which business has taken your desired vanity number.

Information is Power

Small business owners and entrepreneurs who utilize a reverse lookup tool can also check and monitor the status of toll free numbers and learn the date that each status went into effect. They learn who manages the number, when toll free numbers become available, and the most popular names used for toll free numbers. All small business owners and entrepreneurs have to do is enter the number they want to learn more about into the search box and commence with researching the history and availability of a toll free vanity number. They receive notifications when a preferred vanity name becomes available and gain control of toll free numbers already showing in use.

Acquire Your Toll Free Vanity Number

A reverse lookup tool represents just one of several tools that help you find the right toll free vanity number for your business. Your goal should be to create toll free numbers that roll off the tongues of their customers. Instead of your customers fumbling with a telephone book, the instantly remember your catchy toll free vanity number and contact you with questions that you can turn into repeat business.

Toll Free Benefits |
May 30th, 2014

Toll Free Numbers, Toll Free Trends, Technology, Small Business, EntrepreneurWith 2014 approaching the halfway point, five technology trends have emerged to change the small business game. One important technology trend—the increasing prominence of a toll free vanity number—is the most critical component to any small business marketing and branding strategy.

Advanced Cloud Computing

Initially marketed to large corporations, cloud computing services are also incredibly valuable for small business owners and entrepreneurs. The technology allows small businesses to better organize and maintain software and hardware capacity. As a toll free vanity number does for enhancing customer service, cloud computing enhances the collection, sharing, and storage of vital small business data.

On Demand Services

Hardware as a Service (HaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) allow small business owners to implement new technology services, without having to invest in costly infrastructure. The on demand services reduce the costs small business owners face in an economy riddled with inflation. Small business owners and entrepreneurs have access to potent business software applications that do not require hiring information technology staffs or the need for costly technical installations, licensing, or upgrades.

Going Mobile

Smartphones may have revolutionized the concept of going mobile, but small business owners can expect tablets to have more impact on the computer communication paradigm. Entrepreneurs no longer have to share data, media files, and content marketing ideas via desktop computers exclusively. Tablets have quickly emerged as the computing choice of small business owners on the go. The mobile computers provide more portability than laptop computers, with the same level of performance.

In addition, every small business marketing strategy should format their websites, contact forms, calls-to-action, and all other content for mobile usage. At the close of 2013, 51% of individuals open their emails and surf the web on Smartphones and mobile devices. Jump with both your small business feet into the digital world, if you haven’t already. This is key to the success of any content marketing plan today.

Toll Free Vanity Number

Although acquiring a toll free vanity number may not be a new technology trend, per se, how small business owners utilize toll free vanity numbers has changed the marketing game. Savvy small business owners and entrepreneurs have transformed a toll free vanity number from a single line that takes incoming calls to designated numbers that handle a wide variety of small business tasks, from customer service to managing a short-lived promotional campaign, and even incorporate toll free texting. The expansion of how entrepreneurs use toll free numbers has increased the number of benefits associated with establishing a toll free vanity number.
 

 

© Gstudio Group - Fotolia.com

Toll Free Benefits, Vanity and Branding |
May 27th, 2014

Toll Free Vanity Numbers; Toll Free Numbers; Small Business; Branding; Entrepreneur`Two potential customers, both new to town, leave their downtown office building during the height of a bustling lunch hour. Although they have many dining options, they heard about one delicious pizzeria in particular from a few co-workers. They especially took a craving to one specialty, Italian sausage pizza, with freshly grated Mozzarella. It appears this small business has a sale…but not quite.

What is the one missing element needed here to ensure this sale? The likelihood of the two potential customers remembering the pizzeria’s numeric phone number is slim. What do you think would have happened if this pizzeria had a memorable toll free vanity number, such as 1-800-SAUSAGE?

Brand Recognition

Some small businesses can incorporate part or all of their names into toll free numbers, but a vast majority of small businesses need to create a catchy term that best describes the nature of their small business. With the pizzeria, the business name did not matter as much as coming up with a term that formed instant brand recognition. In this case, the brand recognition derived from the pizzeria's specialty, Italian sausage pizza.

Small business owners love toll free numbers because they produce instant brand recognition. A catchy toll free vanity number eliminates the need for potential customers to try to look up your phone number via online directories. In our busy world, your customers want to access and contact your small business easily, and with little or no delay.

Dollars and Sense

Increasing and ensuring customer recognition represents one benefit of establishing a toll free vanity number. Customer recognition translates into increased response rates. What number do you think receives more calls: the one with all numbers or the one that customers associate with your business? Toll free numbers can increase your customer response rates by up to 50 percent. Combined with a better return on your marketing investment, more customer response equals higher small business profits. A toll free vanity number is an invaluable asset to have in our hyper-competitive economic environment.

Experts at Work

When a customer sees or calls a toll free vanity number, they think one thing: You are the expert in what you do. In our Pizzeria example, the vanity number 1-800-SAUSAGE lets customers think this Pizzeria is an expert in making their Italian sausage pizza.

You do not have to do all of the heavy lifting to establish a toll free vanity number. The team of experts at Custom Toll Free can help you create the perfect phone number for your small business, and even help match it with a web domain name.

 

© fotoscool - Fotolia.com

Vanity and Branding |
May 23rd, 2014

Small Business, Entrepreneur, Memorial DayAs the unofficial start to summer, Memorial Day traditionally has represented a time for friends and family members to relax at informal gatherings or travel for the long weekend. Many small business owners also promote discounts and other sales to boost foot traffic. Yet we shouldn’t forget why Memorial Day was originally established: to remember the brave heroes who lost their lives in pursuit of preserving our freedom. Small business owners and entrepreneurs can become heroes by joining the profound commemoration of the nation's military in three ways.

Offer Steeper Discounts for Military Personnel

Let the current members of the military in your community know how much you appreciate their service and hard work. The best way to say 'Thank You' is to offer steeper discounts to military personnel who shop or visit your location or buy from your online store. Entrepreneurs and small business owners can offer a 50 percent discount on products and services. Many restaurant owners provide free meals for military personnel and their families on Memorial Day.

Participate in the Memorial Day Parade

Outside of Independence Day, no other American holiday inspires more patriotism than Memorial Day. Communities across the nation host festive parades that honor those who protect, serve, and have given their lives for the United States. Small business owners can sponsor floats to support the parade or donate products to help cash strapped communities save money on parade costs. Bakeries can donate baked goods, home improvement stores can offer lawn chairs, and landscaping companies can provide maintenance services.

Honor the Fallen

Publishing a blog and sending email newsletters comprise part of a small business content marketing plan. However, when Memorial Day arrives, small business owners and entrepreneurs should consider sending out an email or uploading a blog post that honors those who have sacrificed their lives to allow Americans to enjoy unabated liberty. The personal touch of a blog post or electronic newsletter has a significant positive impact on communities.

While Memorial Day means a long weekend for many, cook outs, the start of a vacation, or family gatherings, it’s also a time of remembering. Perhaps the best way for a small business owner or entrepreneur to honor the American military on Memorial Day is to recognize the meaning of one of America's venerated holidays. Most small business owners and entrepreneurs demonstrate charitable giving or offering their products or services to benefit communities.

 

© georgemuresan - Fotolia.com

Uncategorized |
May 22nd, 2014

Small Business, Advertising, Content Marketing, Vanity, Toll Free Vanity Numbers, Toll Free TrendsDo you remember at the beginning of the year we posted an article on business marketing trends for 2014? We talked about jumpstarting your business for the new year, getting on board with a solid content marketing strategy, and tying it all together with a toll free vanity number, of course. So now that the first quarter is over and we are well into the second, most businesses are taking the time now to review their performance (leads, sales, conversions, etc.) data to determine if their strategies really are making a difference.

Here is an Update

As mentioned in our previous article, businesses saw a huge push for content marketing in the last quarter of 2013. This trend pushed into 2014 and started out strong. Now that the first quarter is over, the content marketing landscape is changing yet again. What can businesses expect to see this summer in terms of content marketing trends? Things are about to get bigger.

Big Brand. The frame of content marketing now will focus on a huge push on branding. It’s all about how to get your small business brand in the faces of your customers…and hard. The goal here is to win customer’s trust and loyalty to your brand, and doing whatever means necessary to make this happen.

Big Biz Data. We also discussed in our previous article that 2014 would mean big data…and those predictions were right. For those small businesses who have been doing it right thus far know that they’ve already spent countless hours analyzing and interpreting data. Have their content marketing strategies been paying off? Have they shown an increase in conversions? Have their sales and marketing teams been working more together and generating more leads? Have those leads turned into customers? While reviewing and interpreting all that data has been a big goal for most small businesses, now the focus is literally the bottom line: dollar signs.  

Vanity. For the small businesses who feel like they’ve got a good handle on their content marketing strategy and their resources and ability to analyze and interpret data, and making all of it work for them, what else do they need to tie it all together? A toll free vanity number.

Regardless of how much bigger content marketing and publishing is going to get, one crucial marketing element is still always there, and that’s a toll free number. Even though technology is always changing, toll free numbers have the flexibility to change too. For example, now small businesses can incorporate texting with their toll free numbers to keep up with business and societal trends.

Is bigger always better? Maybe in some cases…But for those small businesses who may feel like they are behind or struggling to catch up with those bigger brands while being tied to smaller budgets, start small before worrying about taking a “big” jump. Start with setting goals to reach each one of these elements, and incorporate them into your strategy. You’ve got to start small before you can grow big.

 

© macknimal - Fotolia.com

Vanity and Branding |
May 20th, 2014

Small Business, Communication, Toll Free Number, Toll Free TrendsIt’s no secret that texting has gone mainstream today. Texting originally began as a method of social correspondence among teenagers that has now cultivated the way we communicate and the way we do business.

Take emergency services, for example. The nation's largest wireless communication carriers recently agreed to support text messages to 911 emergency services. Subscribers of wireless communication companies, such as Verizon and Sprint, can direct emergency texts to the nearest 911 emergency call centers. The FCC needs to coordinate carrier infrastructure support with emergency call center technology, which falls under county and state jurisdictions.

What does all this mean for your small business? It means the ever-expanding toll free trends now include the capability of your small business to receive text messages to your toll free number.

Text on the Run

The capability to text a toll free number means small business owners do not have to dedicate resources to take customer phone calls. You can text on the run, from when you receive a large shipment on the dock to when you rearrange merchandise in the front window. Just be sure to respond promptly to customer text inquiries or your small business can expect to miss the benefits of toll free numbers.

Save Money

By adding the small business toll free number to designated employee phones, you eliminate the need to invest in a costly phone system. The designated employees already subscribe to a wireless carrier service and all you need to do is program the phones to receive toll free vanity number calls. Small business owners also do not have to pay for the costs of recruiting, training, and retaining employees to operate toll free number call centers.

Text Marketing Campaign

Text marketing strategies are the new marketing strategies that are catching up as a close second to email marketing. By tying your vanity number to your mobile number, you can receive responses from potential customers via your text marketing campaign. Here’s a chance to get creative. You can offer promotions, coupons, or even contests that involve texting your toll free vanity number.

Accurate Communication

How much of a phone conversation do you retain? With Custom Toll Free, you have an online account manager that stores a full call history, but wouldn't it be great to have texting storage too? Text messages enhance communication accuracy because you save the message and refer to it later. With texting, there is no 'I wonder what he meant by that" or "I forgot whether she wants extra mayo or no pickles on her sandwich."

It was only a matter of time before texting morphed into something more than a quick way to contact family and friends. Texting has changed the way we operate as a society, and even by the way we ask for help in an emergency. But from a small business perspective, you text on the run, save money on communications infrastructure, incorporate texting into your marketing strategy, and enhance small business communication accuracy with your customers by bringing one of the biggest toll free trends into your small business.

Toll Free Benefits |
May 15th, 2014

Entrepreneur, Small Business, Toll Free Vanity NumberMany small business owners ask about the limitations of acquiring a toll free vanity number. The only limitations small business owners need to be concerned about is the extent of their imaginations. Toll free vanity numbers have countless applications for promoting small businesses. One creative entrepreneur recently acquired a toll free number to answer questions from interested callers.

An Example to Emulate

Sophia Amoruso has created a vibrant business niche by helping women take control of their careers by assuming positions of business leadership. She recently released a book titled Girl Boss that combines work and life advice for women seeking to enhance their careers. Amoruso pre-recorded advice on the toll free vanity number 1-844-GirlBoss, as part of the promotional strategy for her new book. The novel approach to book promotion did not come out of a standard marketing textbook, but from Amoruso's creative thought process.

What Amoruso has accomplished is one of the greatest benefits of acquiring a toll free vanity number. Not only did she work her book's title into the vanity number, she also leveraged the number to build the level of trust that prompts her fans to take action and order the book. Toll free vanity numbers establish customer recognition for more than simply creating a catchy vanity number, such as 1-844-Girlboss. Recognition develops when customers remember the sage advice imparted by author Amoruso over the toll free number, which translates into customers remembering the vanity phrase, “Girlboss”.

Bold is the New Marketing Mantra

The heightened competition faced by small business owners means they need to devise creative ways to get the message out about their small businesses. Small business owners and entrepreneurs can no longer take the chance and hope that customers will find them. Moreover, as the content marketing landscape continues to change, many online marketing tactics have lost effectiveness. Entrepreneurs need to think outside of the box by acquiring a toll free vanity number that represents the first bold step in differentiating your small business from the competition.

Here are some examples:

  • A bar can unveil the secrets to its mysterious drink recipes
  • A dentist can promote a new product or service by describing it in a pre-recorded toll free vanity number message
  • An attorney can answer prospective client questions
  • A sporting goods store can carry a live broadcast of a sporting event via a toll free vanity number
  • A grocer can provide tips on how to care for organic fruits and vegetables

As you can see, the possibilities are endless. No one has written a template for coming up with creative ways to use a toll free vanity number. Sophia Amoruso pioneered the approach that provides more exposure for her book. You do not have to be an author to benefit from creatively using a toll free vanity number. All you have to be is someone who does not let the unknown intimidate him or her.

 

 

© idspopd - Fotolia.com

Toll Free Benefits |
May 14th, 2014

Entrepreneurs, Small Business, Toll Free Vanity NumbersSmall business owners represent the backbone of many communities. Between organizing charitable events to providing services during emergencies, entrepreneurs make indelible impacts that help them create unyielding relationships with residents of the communities where they operate. For all of the goodwill demonstrated by small business owners, one charity event often escapes their attention.

Donate a Day's Wages to Charity Day

Celebrated on the second Wednesday of each May, Donate a Day's Wages to Charity Day has morphed into one of the most popular ways for small business owners and entrepreneurs to give back to the community. You can make financial donations that match your daily wage and include donations provided by the loyal team members who make your business a success.

Some small business owners prefer to donate in-kind, whether that represents volunteering time or donating tangible goods. Entrepreneurs can offer their professional expertise, especially as it pertains to creating and operating a thriving small business. You can even promote the annual charity event by mentioning it to all of the customers who call one of your toll free vanity numbers.

Benefits

Donating a day’s pay to a charity improves the standard of living for one or more of your fellow community members. Your donation could boost the inventory at the local food bank or allow the library to fund the acquisitions of new books or technological resources. Other charities that benefit from Donate a Day's Wages to Charity Day include veteran's organizations, animal shelters, health care clinics, and school districts.

Although a small business owner's goal is to enhance the lives of those in need, the result of the munificence is an increase in recognition by community members. People remember when small businesses and entrepreneurs give back to the community and many times, the generosity reciprocates by visits from prospective customers. Goodwill goes a long way towards cementing your solid reputation within the community.

Make an Impact

The first thing you should do is calculate your average daily pay. A good formula includes five workdays, for 52 weeks per year, which comes out to 260 days. Take your annual earnings and divide by 260 to calculate your average daily pay. Then, write down the list of charities that you currently donate to or charitable organizations that pique your interest. Research the organizations that pique your interest, whittle the list down to five candidates, and choose one of the organizations to receive your financial donation or contribution in kind.

The current economic malaise has placed millions of families under severe financial duress. Charitable organizations across the country try to fill the rapidly growing financial gaps, but the organizations need help to stem the tide. Small business owners and entrepreneurs can do their part by participating in Donate a Day's Wages to Charity Day.

 

 

© carlosgardel - Fotolia.com

Uncategorized |
May 9th, 2014

Business; Entrepreneur; Female Entrepreneur; Mothers' DayToday female entrepreneurs are running global Internet market campaigns, working as CEOs of organizations and firms in various industries, pushing their own startups, and mastering it all. But when we look at female entrepreneurs, we often forget that many of them also have one of the most important and difficult jobs in the world: being a mom.

Female entrepreneurs that also balance being a mom know that it is no picnic. Depending on the ages, or number of children a mother has, or whether she’s single, married, or in a relationship, it may seem nearly impossible to schedule meetings, conference calls, and appointments around feeding schedules, soccer or dance practice, doctor’s appointments, homework, and bed time. How does she do it all?

Being a mom and an entrepreneur means that a woman has at least two important personality characteristics: passionate and nurturing. Both of these play huge roles in being a female entrepreneur and a mother. And both jobs combined make for one happy woman.

Did you know that female entrepreneurs are generally happier? This is because they are able to surround themselves with the children and families they love, being the innate nurturer and caretaker, all while feeling fulfilled, confident, accomplished, and like they are really and truly making a difference. Being a female entrepreneur also allows a woman to be creative, which stems from compassion.

This weekend is Mothers’ Day. What are you plans for Mom, or how do you plan on recognizing that special female entrepreneur in your life? Thank a female entrepreneur, thank your own mother, and/or thank any mothers you know. Women are incredible beings; they work hard, they are tough, and they have what it takes to nurture and give life to a child, a family, a creative business idea, and truly make a difference.

 

 

© Iurii Sokolov - Fotolia.com

Uncategorized |
 
 
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What is a Shared Number?
 
 
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