All is vanity: Why vanity numbers beat memorable numbers for small biz

benefits of vanity numbers for small businesses:
by: Custom Toll Free , April 18, 2017

As a small-business owner, you may wonder if vanity toll-free numbers purchased from a professional provider are significantly different from the so-called “memorable” numbers you get from your phone company.

That was the topic of a recent conversation on Quora, which concluded service providers have access to a much wider range of viable selections — allowing for many more creative word and number combinations than would otherwise be available.

Further, strategically chosen vanity numbers can go a long way toward making a small business larger and more recognizable, especially when it’s competing with nationally known businesses. Because they can be nearly effortlessly transferred to cell phones, they’re also highly advantageous for time-starved entrepreneurs who are frequently on the go and in and out of their storefronts or offices.

“In terms of local numbers … you can certainly first try speaking with your own phone company,” advises one contributor. “(But) most (phone companies) don’t really have any great numbers. There are also many good toll-free vanity numbers that may appear to be unavailable, but if you work with a professional in the industry you may be able to get access to some.”

All that is true. If you’re lucky, you may find an unused number through your phone company that’s easier to remember than most, and it may even include the highly recognizable 1-800 prefix so frequently associated with the toll-free category, though many phone companies have now turned to the less traditional (and less easily identifiable) prefixes 888, 877, 866, 855 and 844.

In comparison, however, providers like Dial800 and Custom Toll Free have access to tens of thousands of 1-800 numbers that can be strategically customized with clever and easy-to-remember words that represent your business.

That’s a competitive advantage, since research shows consumers are much more likely to remember vanity 1-800 numbers than regular, all-numeric toll-free numbers. Why? According to neuroscientists, even abstract short-term memories become long term when we link them to something meaningful or recognizable (like a word or memorable number series). In Dial800 case studies, vanity numbers have accordingly led to 25 percent sales increases. Conversely, numbers without context are too abstract to remember for very long.

Other benefits of vanity numbers for small businesses:

– They promote incoming calls from interested parties, which drive some of the highest conversion rates available when used strategically. In fact, a phone call can be worth five to 10 times the revenue of leads from online forms, notes Brian Massey on

– They work effectively with mobile marketing when combined with “click to call” buttons, on Google ads equipped with call extensions and other vehicles.

– They don’t require a change from your existing number.

– They can act as a marketing tool by succinctly describing who or what you are.

– They can be optimized in conjunction with nimble cutting-edge software that tracks and records calls, provides data about incoming callers and offers other insight into your marketing campaigns.

– They can easily be rerouted to different calling centers or other locations where your calls are likely to be answered.

– Costs of obtaining them are at a near-historic low.

– They establish trust by reinforcing your wish to hear from customers.

– Because they’re memorable, they keep customers from searching directories for assistance and possibly being distracted by your competitors.

Finally, as Massey summarizes it, vanity numbers drive the calls you want. And phone calls don’t get cold like other leads.

“There is no CRM icebox where your contacts can be sent to chill while everyone updates their lead reports,” he advises. “Even if you have highly sophisticated marketing automation campaigns that move people through the sales funnel, none is as efficient and successful as a human being — listening, answering questions and handling objections.”

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