Businesses need to do anything they can to be memorable in a crowded market. Having a vanity phone number is a great way to be memorable.
When you think of ordering flowers, odds are good you think of 1-800-FLOWERS. If you’ve had junk in your house that you want to get rid of, odds are good you’re more likely to remember 1-800-GOT-JUNK than the number to your local junk hauling place.
Being memorable is just one reason why you should have a vanity phone number. We’ll tell you more reasons why it’s a good idea to get one, as well as what you need to have one, who to get one from, and how to get a vanity phone number.
Why You Should Have A Vanity Phone Number
In addition to it being much easier to remember, there are four other reasons why it’s a good idea to have a vanity phone number.
Higher Call Rate
Here are two powerful statistics about the call rates of businesses with vanity phone numbers vs. those without them.
Customers are 58% more likely to remember a business with a vanity phone number. Anything you can do to make your business the preferred one to call over similar businesses is a good thing.
72% of people recalled vanity phone numbers after seeing a 30-second advertisement where one was used. In contrast, only 5% remembered a phone number with standard numbers after seeing it in a 30-second ad. That’s an increase of 67%, which means 67 more people out of 100 remember your vanity number.
Increased Brand Visibility
Because you generally choose a vanity number that relates to your business, you’re increasing your brand visibility. If you think back to our example of 1-800-FLOWERS, you’re not just engraining digits in someone’s head with your phone number. You’re also reminding them of what you do or provide for them.
This makes your business easy to promote. If you tie it in with your website you’re promoting a brand that can really stand out among the competition.
Many vanity phone numbers are toll-free (1-800-GO-FEDEX, 1-800-PET-MEDS, etc.). The bonus is that it’s much easier to remember toll-free numbers.
The drawback is the potential additional cost. When a number’s toll-free, it means that the cost of any landline call placed to your business number is absorbed by your company when you receive the call.
While the 800 code is the most recognizable toll-free number, there are also six other codes that are toll-free: 833, 844, 855, 866, 877, and 888. Because 800 is the most popular and has been around the longest, fewer open numbers are left so vanity phone numbers with that code can be much harder to claim. Make sure you check the other six codes if you’re set on a specific vanity number.
Generate More Business Leads
When you remember a phone number, it’s easier to pass it on to others without having a business card or any other information with you. This makes it more likely that you’ll generate more business leads through simple methods like word-of-mouth advertising and referrals.
What You Need To Have In Order To Get A Vanity Number
It’s pretty easy to get a vanity phone number. You just need to have internet access and a VoIP for your business. Then your vanity number runs through the VoIP system. So what’s a VoIP?
VoIP is the technology used to make calls over the internet, rather than traditional phone lines. You send and receive all calls through the VoIP. When you get a VoIP, you also usually get access to call management features your service provides.
One added bonus of having a VoIP is it allows you to add a “click to call” button on your website. This allows potential customers to call you from their phone or computer. You’ll need to install the WP Call plugin for your site, and then set up is a few clicks away.
Here’s more information on VoIP from Nextiva if you want to learn more about VoIP.
Factors To Look For In Vanity Phone Number Providers
Not all vanity phone number providers are created equal. Look for these features when you’re choosing which provider is right for you.
Features: Check for what’s included in each monthly price and what might be an additional fee. You’ll also want to know what features are important to you. If you run your business out of your home with employees in different locations, you’ll especially want to pay attention to how much each user or extension costs.
Pricing: Vanity phone number fees can vary wildly from about $20/user/month to almost $50/user/month and even higher. It depends on how many employees you have and what features you need.
Number of minutes per month: The phones that run through a VoIP are often billed by the minute, much like cell phones once did. Have a good idea of how many minutes you use on your business phone per month so you don’t rack up fees for lots of additional minutes.
Who Are The Top Vanity Phone Number Providers
There are many companies from which you can get a vanity phone number. Here are five of the best. All pricing charts are assuming an annual payment. Choosing the monthly payment option will cost more per month.
We like 800.com if your business is fairly new and you’re still building it up. This service is great if you’re looking for a basic phone service that gets you the vanity number you want but doesn’t offer (and therefore charge for) fancier features that you might not need yet.
800.com charges $35 for an 800-number activation fee, which is fairly standard. It’s slightly cheaper ($25) to activate one of the other toll-free codes. They do offer an auto attendant, which is a nice element at a low price.
The biggest drawback to 800.com is their pricing structure. Their basic service, called “Personal Variety,” is $19/month/user. That’s in line with other services, but they only offer 1,000 minutes per month for that price. If you go over that (and it’s only an average of 33 minutes of talking per day), it will cost you $.06 for every additional minute.
Their customer service hours aren’t 24/7 like most of the others on our list, but they’re still generous (8 AM – 12 AM on weekdays and 10 AM – 12 AM on weekends and holidays).
FreedomVoice is our choice for businesses run by one person with an assistant. This service has a lot of features that come with each plan. So even at the basic-level price of $9.99, you get a lot of features. They include auto attendant, call forwarding, dial-by-name, and simultaneous ring.
There’s an activation fee of $30 for FreedomVoice. You also get unlimited extensions, which is a fantastic feature not in any other basic plan on our list. However, unlimited extensions on 400 monthly minutes is difficult to manage. That breaks down to just over 13 minutes a day. That’s remarkably low for one person, let alone more than one.
Along with that, the overage rate is $0.039 cents for every additional minute. You don’t have to be a math whiz to figure out that can add up to a huge chunk of change each month if you’re not carefully monitoring your minutes.
FreedomVoice allows you to switch plans at any time, which could potentially keep you from overspending on overages. If you’re really diligent in monitoring your call log, FreedomVoice is a good choice for you.
Of all the plans we researched, Grasshopper gives you the most for your money when it comes to their basic plan, which they call “Solo.” Although at $26 it costs a little more than other basic plans we reviewed, you get three extensions for that number. So you and two of your employees can all have access to the number and answer calls.
Every other plan on our list charges by the user. So if the average cost per user is $20, it would cost $60 for three employees to have access to your business number. That’s a huge savings per month.
Grasshopper also doesn’t charge by the minute, which is something else that sets them apart. You have unlimited minutes even with their basic plan.
The things we don’t care for as much with Grasshopper, like they only have one set of basic features and don’t give you more with the pricier plans, are easily overlooked for the cost savings.
Phone.com is our pick for businesses that are rapidly growing. We love their unique mix-and-match pricing. It allows you to put certain employees that may use more minutes per month on one plan, while employees who use fewer minutes are on a less expensive plan. There’s a real potential for savings there.
We also love that they tier their pricing based on how many employees you have using the phones. The more users you have, the more of a discount you receive.
While the pricing is certainly a pro, it can also be a con. The reason is the time it takes you to manage that. In order to continuously ensure that you’re getting the most service for the least amount of money, you’ll need to carefully monitor your phone usage.
RingCentral is a solid choice for any business. While we found other services to be better bang for your buck, RingCentral is a reputable service with solid pricing plans. Their prices are similar to other services on our list, and their feature list is even a bit more robust than others are.
RingCentral has automatic bundles available for you to purchase if you’re going over your allotted monthly minutes. Buying in bulk will keep you from having huge overage fees and give you time to assess if you need to bump up your plan.
We don’t like the $4.99/month/vanity number fee that RingCentral charges. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but that’s $60/year that no other service on our list charges. They also take a little longer initially to set up your service, generally 5-7 days. Almost every other company on our list averages 3-5 days.
How Do You Get A Vanity Phone Number
Getting a vanity phone number is a fairly easy process after you do your research on the different services.
Choose which service you want to use. That service is where you will actually get your number from.
Get your number. Each phone service has a place for you to enter in your desired number. Remember that if your preferred number isn’t available with the 800 code, you should try it with the other toll-free codes.
Select your plan. The larger your business, obviously the larger the plan you’ll need. In addition to the number of employees you have, you should also consider the factors we previously listed.
Set it up. Depending on which service you use, this takes different amounts of time. Most services on our list have good reviews for customer service and assistance in setting up your phone.
That’s it! You’re all set with your vanity phone number.
When you’re starting your business, you need to do everything you can to stand out and get ahead. A vanity phone number is a simple way of separating yourself from other companies and immediately making a name for your business. You already need to have a phone number. Why not make it a memorable one that works for you?