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Custom Toll Free® Blog

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.

 

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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 |
May 8th, 2014

Business, Communication, Vanity Toll Free, Toll Free Vanity NumbersSmall business owners receive dozens of pitches for marketing ideas. Unfortunately, most of the ideas waste their time and worse, waste their limited marketing budgets. However, once in awhile, a marketing idea comes along that makes small business owners fall head over heels. The idea requires little planning and it returns a significant amount of money on the original investment. Well, love should be in the air again, as small business owners fall for the many benefits of toll free numbers.

Love at First Call

What are the two most important elements of a relationship? Some might say trust and communication. A toll free vanity number does both. Your customers trust your small business when it becomes more accessible. With an easy to remember vanity toll free small business number, your customers are more likely to pick up the phone and call about one of your products and services. Building customer rapport often takes years of diligent customer friendly service, but with toll free numbers, you can establish the rapport within minutes of providing the number.

Money Can Buy Love

Easy to remember toll free numbers present your small business as an established part of the community. The instant prestige gained by acquiring toll free numbers boosts your small business brand to the top of the customer recognition list. Your enhanced brand image creates a word of mouth frenzy that produces something that all small business owners love: more money!

Give Your Small Business a RING

Did you know that toll free numbers increase customer response rates by over 40 percent? The increased response rates often leads to more revenue that you can invest in a number of small business enhancement projects and improvements, not to mention improve your bottom line. Strong customer recognition also bolsters your small business net worth and it provides you with the best return on your marketing investment.

Happily Ever After

They say love at first sight is all that matters and that may be true for toll free numbers. However, how do small business owners acquire the inexpensive, yet highly profitable vanity numbers? By working with a vanity toll free number provider that gives small businesses all of the benefits without any of the hassles. Live happily ever after with a small business toll free number.

 

© yossarian6 - Fotolia.com

Toll Free Benefits |
May 6th, 2014

Small Business, Entrepreneur, Communication, Tools, Toll Free Vanity NumberEntrepreneurs possess a unique skill set for implementing their small business visions. They typically possess high energy and out of the box thinking that separates their small businesses from the competition. Entrepreneurs exude leadership skills that include accountability and mentoring. Entrepreneurs can have everything it takes to operate a small business and make it successful. However, here are five tools every entrepreneur should use to make sure they stead ahead of the competition.

Evernote

Entrepreneurs are renowned for developing cutting edge ideas, but after some time, they might hit information overload. So where do they quickly store all of their innovative thoughts and ideas? Entrepreneurs can create and store revelations by using a cloud-based platform and app called Evernote. This provides entrepreneurs with a quick and accurate way to communicate their visions clearly. They can download a note, revise the thought, and then send the idea to a team member or potential investor. See a billboard or something that sparks an idea? Evernote allows you to take a snapshot and save it within your notes.

Social Media

Social media and small business communication go hand in hand today. However, entrepreneurs have little time to ensure that they reap the productivity benefits of establishing their small business presence on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Buffer consolidates social media tasks by allowing entrepreneurs to schedule updates at specified times. The free software allows you to perfrom two tasks simultaneously by pre programming one of the tasks.

Wrike

Content management projects can drain the time and energy out of them most resourceful entrepreneurs. They have to spend time and energy managing a team project, which entails conducting group meetings and one-on-one brainstorming sessions. Wrike is just one project management software that provides a content management program that encourages team members to collaborate on projects online. The content management platform has all of the communication tools necessary to ensure prompt and accurate exchanges of files, project updates, and reports.

YouTube

Nothing promotes the energy and enthusiasm of an entrepreneur better than a short, yet compelling “How to…” YouTube video. Entrepreneurs leverage the video marketing tool to introduce themselves to potential customers, as well as build trust by teaching viewers how to solve problems. YouTube has morphed into one of the best communication tools and a great way to reach a large audience, with just one video. How's that for increased productivity?

Toll Free Vanity Number

The best communication tool that enhances any small business is a toll free vanity number. Entrepreneurs may temporarily stand out in a crowded small business field, but they quickly blend into the crowd when potential customers cannot remember small business phone numbers. Acquiring one or more toll free vanity numbers allows entrepreneurs to create brand recognition. As opposed to a string of digits, an entrepreneur can select a catchy phrase that potential and loyal customers easily remember.

 

 

© Gstudio Group - Fotolia.com

Uncategorized |
May 1st, 2014

Small Business; EntepreneurDid you know that small business owners generate nearly two-thirds of all new jobs in America, as well as contribute over 70 percent to the country's gross domestic product (GDP)? Entrepreneurs and small business owners provide the impetus for American economic growth, but you rarely hear the term "Hero" applied to the small business community. A closer look at American small businesses reveals several common traits that define small business heroes. Do you have any of these traits, and do you actually know how to be the small business hero?

Mentoring

The concept of mentoring has lost its way in the small business lexicon. Entrepreneurs do not have the time or energy to lead like-minded, yet inexperienced employees down the path of business leadership. Yet, mentoring represents the best way to ensure organizational continuity and establish small business owners and entrepreneurs as heroes in their communities. Mentoring involves much more than developing professional skills, such as enhancing customer experiences.

“Buy Local”

Small business heroes step up during the most difficult times faced by communities. From helping survivors clean up after a vicious storm or organizing a food drive to assist desperately hungry families, or even supporting “buy local” campaigns, small business owners have become role models that people in the community place in high regard. Whenever the going gets tough, the community looks for its small business heroes to step up and support.

Community Presence

Many of the activities pursued by community members often depend on the generosity displayed by small business owners and entrepreneurs. Little league baseball teams receive support in terms of uniforms and league membership fees. Scouting organizations receive donated goods to for camping outings and other special events. Small business operators help local groups get their financial footing and hence, become heroes in the eyes of the beneficiaries.

Leadership

By demonstrating the resolve it takes to run a small business, entrepreneurs provide younger members of the community with examples on how to succeed through hard work, dedication, and ingenuity. Small business owners can also host career days that allow young members of the community to experience what it takes to run a small business. As role models, small business owners achieve hero status among impressionable youth that need guidance to start their professional journeys.

All in all, when we think of a “hero”, a few professions come to mind. Our society attaches the label "hero" to several professions, including those who provide comfort and aid during a crisis. Although the label loses its luster through overuse, it never loses its luster when applied to entrepreneurs and small business owners.

 

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Uncategorized |
 
 
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