Vanity numbers aren’t really “vanity” at all! They’re a proven memory aid for customers — both existing and potential — and can really add value to your business. Some 90% of Americans use toll-free numbers, with 58% preferring to use vanity numbers over a local number or a numeric toll-free number. Services such as taxis, food delivery, handymen, hotels and restaurants… You name it, you can dial it! And it’s not hard to see why: people often use these spontaneously, and may not have the number handy. A vanity number is much easier to recall and use when you need it. Choosing the right wording is important, and once you have your vanity number, you should really ramp up the promotion of it — literally trade on it! Read more about how to get the most out of your vanity number here.
You don’t have to be a great marketing specialist to understand the advantages of vanity numbers. They’re easy to remember, make your business stand out, boost your reputation and help you earn some extra points in the customer service race. Yep, that’s about it. And if your phone is a prime means of communication with your clients, that’s surely a big “IT.” A study shows that 90% of Americans use toll free numbers and 58% consumers prefer to “reach a local business by dialing a vanity number rather than a local number or a numeric toll free number.” The reason? Well, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to remember something like the legendary 1-800-FLOWERS. Having an easy-to-remember phone number may not be crucial if your client base mainly consists of an internet audience. An e–commerce business, for example. But if your phone is the main channel your clients use to contact you, having a slick number that doesn’t require an entry in an address book is an absolute must.
Here is the list of industries where having a vanity number can greatly increase the call-in response rate, whether it’s a static visual ad, TV or radio commercial people have seen it or heard it from:
Vanity numbers are extremely popular among taxi companies. The reason is people don’t usually prepare for taking a cab. They don’t research for taxi numbers when they’re leaving for a party, but when the party’s over they’re usually asking around for it. That’s why the easiest number to remember always wins here.
- Delivery services
My neighborhood is full of printed ads from every local delivery service. I see them on the street; I get tons of them in my mail. Guess what, they don’t even make it to my apartment, because they are regarded as trash as soon as I lay my eyes on them. Just like taking a cab, I don’t prepare to order a meal during the week, knowing that I won’t have any Saturday night plans (I always hope I will.) If you deliver something and advertise the number right, be sure that people will call you at the moment of need.
- Service providers
Local services such as a laundry, repair shop or window cleaning, usually face a lot of competition. If you pick a good vanity number, and again, advertise it right, like 1-800-PLUMBING did, guess who people will call in a rush when their apartment is flooded…
- Hotels and restaurants
It’s probably a good thing to go with the name of your restaurant when choosing a vanity number. Your visitors had dinner at your place and they loved it. Make it easy for them to remember your phone number so they can order a delivery or book a table for another Saturday dinner.
- Beauty Salons
Another example of the importance of helping your clients to reach you easily. I personally had a situation when I had to get my nails done ASAP, didn’t have the number at hand and my salon just didn’t want to come up in the Google search. Yep, I called another one.
- Clinics or private medical practitioners
In an emergency there’s not so much time to think and consider who to call if you’re in a different part of town, or out of town altogether. A well-known name also adds credibility to the clinic.
If you are in the business of law, the first thing you need is a professional and trustworthy image. Free toll and vanity numbers are known to present one. Just try to come up with a number that speaks to the needs of your audience, like 1-800-FASTCLOSER did.
- Travel agencies
I guess I don’t even need to remind you about that 1-800-BEACHES commercial. The number just sticks the very first time you see it.
Thousands of people need get their taxes filed every month, as well as there is a lot of competition on the market from one-person offices to big companies. A good vanity number is a great way not to get lost and stand out.
While the idea of vanity numbers is plain simple, it is important to come up with a number that’s easily memorable (ideally — hard to forget) and conveys a clear message about your business. And although numbers like 1-800-FLOWERS or 1-800-LAWERS may be long taken, there is still a way to make your number work.
First of all, make your number speak for your business. Unless you have a well-known brand like FedEx (1-800-GOFedEx) or your name is not associated with your business directly, it’s better to pick a number that says what your business is about.
Secondly, the number should be catchy. Some say that numbers that include GO or Make are preferred, because they promote action. I think vanity numbers should grasp the idea you want to convey to your customers and tell people how your business is different. For example, numbers like 1-800-QUICKLOAN or 1-800-FASTCLOSER. You don’t have to second-guess here.
A good vanity number is a powerful marketing tool by itself. Once you’ve selected the perfect vanity number for your business, spread the word. Make it a cornerstone for your ad campaigns, make sure people will see it and be sure it will do the right thing by your business.