Word wizardry: Tips for choosing the best vanity number for your brand

by: Custom Toll Free , May 2, 2017

Often, the simplest marketing messages are the most memorable.

After all, in this age of digital cacophony, the average human attention span is now 8 seconds — less than that of the humble goldfish.

“If you can’t make your message simple … then the consumer’s not going to pay attention to you,” advises author Robin Koval on MSN.com. “Things that are incredibly interesting to us as marketers are just not that interesting to consumers. We have to look at one little thing that will get you to look up, click, and say ‘Hey, I might want to pass that along to someone else.’”

That’s why advertising gurus work long hours to brainstorm slogans that boil down the essence of a brand to a few words. And that’s why, research shows, vanity toll-free numbers are so much more effective than all-numeric numbers in reminding customers to call you when they need a certain product or service.

Neuroscientists say our short-term memories switch to long-term when linked in our brains to something meaningful, like something we already know. This helps explain why words tend to stick with us mentally longer than numbers. That can save customers the inconvenience of having to write down or search for your phone number, which differentiates you from your competitors. In case studies, companies investing in vanity numbers have boosted sales 25 percent.

How can you go about choosing an effective word to incorporate? Here are some suggestions:

– Choose words that clearly communicate your business function or advertising message, such as 1-800-HAIRCUT or 1-800-TOPCUTS for a hair salon. Repeating words is another option (e.g., 1-800-1-POPPOP for a popcorn vendor), as is incorporating both words and numbers (e.g., 1-800-50KINDS for an ice cream company famous for its 50 flavors). You can also add extra letters/digits that don’t actually dial but reinforce your message (e.g., 1-800-RUNSHOES for an athletic shoe vendor).

– Consider whether your chosen words(s) convey the correct message. They should be highly relevant to your target audience.

– Think about whether the word(s) will continue to fit your business as it grows and evolves.

– Avoid the letters Q and Z, since they don’t exist on some older phones.

– Ward off confusion by avoiding abbreviations and alternate spellings.

– Consider different numbers for different departments or call marketing campaigns; that can help you compare campaign variables.

– Think ahead to how memorable imagery and/or music might be incorporated into your number for future advertising. For example, the zeroes could represent faces in print ads if you own a daycare facility, while catchy phrases could be used cleverly for jingles.

– Consider whether you might match your vanity number with a domain name for cross-media marketing.

Once you settle on a great vanity number that effectively sums up your business, you can optimize it by repeating it in your advertising, on your website and in your social media.  A well-chosen number will create the appearance of a nationwide presence for your company, fostering trust across the board. It will also linger in customers’ minds, promoting positive word-of-mouth that pays off when it comes to your bottom line.

Custom Toll Free can help you choose a vanity number tailored toward your brand. Call us at 1-800-CUSTOMIZE.

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