Using A Vanity Phone Number Is Not In Vain

As a business owner, you’ve taken all of the necessary steps to attract customers and do what, as business owners, we all set out to do: Make money. Immediately after that tax ID number arrives, you start checking things off the list — Web site, Facebook, Twitter, SEO….

Your Web site is mobile-optimized and social media-enabled. Visitors even have a way to contact you directly without leaving the site. You’re third on Google and fourth on Bing. Check!

Facebook? Check. Not only are you on Facebook, but everyone from your grandmother to your eighth-grade boyfriend or girlfriend “Likes” you. That’s good. Your grandmother should like you.

Twitter handle? Check. You’ve set up HootSuite and TweetDeck and your following is growing by the day. In addition to a continuous stream of updates letting your followers know that you read an interesting article today in Women’s Wear Daily or Car & Driver Magazine, you are dialed in to the online conversation with laser focus. Nowhere in the Twittersphere will there be a conversation about your industry that you won’t be aware of or instantly be able to add your two cents. <

It’s only a matter of time before your Outlook inbox will be flooded with messages from potential customers and the phone starts ringing off the … that’s right — you forgot about the phone! What’s the number again?

No one is denying social media’s impact on the way our society communicates, but the jury is still out on its effectiveness as a sales and marketing tool. And while marketers debate the verdict, they continue to remain faithful to an old-school tactic that is proven to attain the Holy Grail that is consumer engagement.

1-800-FLOWERS, 1-800CABLETV, 1-800-PROGRESSIVE, 1-800-GOTJUNK, 1-800-MATTRES (leave off the last S for savings) are all examples of businesses that have successfully leveraged a vanity telephone number to do what every business sets out to do — make money. Whatever you decide to call it — consumer engagement or lead generation — the end result of those efforts should be increased sales.

The direct, brand-to-consumer engagement that a vanity telephone number provides creates more valuable and actionable opportunities for businesses to connect with potential customers than relationships forged through any social media platform. There are numerous competitive advantages to having an easy-to-remember phone number.

  • Higher Consumer Recall: Consumers are more likely to recall a vanity phone number as opposed to a numeric phone number or URL. In fact, any type of advertising featuring a 1-800 vanity number generates a higher response rate — 30% or more by modest estimates — and higher lead-to-sales conversion rates.
  • Don’t call me, I’ll call you: Consumers today are visually and audibly assaulted by myriad marketing and advertising campaigns spanning every possible media platform. The ability to leverage vanity telephone numbers is a trusted and proven method of driving voluntary engagement with consumers who have opted-in.
  • Eliminates Exposure to Competitors: A vanity telephone number will ensure that consumers need to only dial a few digitals or type in an easily remembered Web address, virtually eliminating the exposure to competitors that comes with manual searching.
  • Seriously, who doesn’t have a smartphone?: Mobile phone technology has made leaps and bounds over the past decade. Nielsen estimates that by December 2011, half of all Americans will own and operate a smartphone. Mobile devices equipped with full keypads convert vanity numbers for consumers, and SMS and email technology allows them to instantly opt-in to a brand’s marketing and CRM campaign with a simple phone call. The right number combined with the right marketing support has the ability to significantly build a meaningful consumer database and open a direct line of communication with a consumer who has already expressed interest in your brand’s message.