You’ve likely seen billboards and commercials where the advertiser uses a catchy phone number that’s easy for potential customers to remember.
These are called vanity numbers, and you don’t need to be a mega-corporation to get one. In fact, switching to a customized number is affordable for anyone.
A creative phone number may seem unnecessary when many people simply tap a search result to place a call. However, an easy-to-remember number is essential to many businesses that want to increase their customer base.
What Is a Vanity Phone Number?
A vanity phone number lets you pick a combination of seven numbers and letters that are easy to remember. It can be local or toll-free and is a simple way to personalize your brand.
For example, the number can reflect an item you sell, your business name or a bit of humor. While you only have seven digits to play with, there are plenty of possibilities.
You get to choose the seven digits after the area code. It can be numbers or the corresponding letters for each number on the phone pad.
Many small businesses and corporations have a vanity number so customers can easily remember how to call them. They can also build credibility with potential prospects because it’s a unique number that someone intentionally designed.
Some of the most famous customized phone numbers include:
- 1-800-CONTACTS: 1-800-Contacts
- 1-800-FLOWERS 1-800-Flowers
- FedEx: 1-800-GoFedEx
- Gentle Giant Moving Company: 800-Giant-Men
- McAfee Antivirus: 800-Virus-No
- Public Storage: 800-44-Store
While this isn’t a free business phone number, the price is reasonable and can cost as little as $12 per month with an annual plan. This expense can be worth it if you can secure more customers or make it easier to serve your existing clients.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Vanity Number?
Here are some of the ways a vanity number can help grow your business.
Easy to Remember
If your business relies on answering phone calls from potential customers, having an easy-to-remember number can make it simpler to market your brand. Patterns and sequences are easier to retain than randomly assigned digits.
By remembering your number, potential customers are less likely to search online for your contact details. Depending on the search results, it can be challenging to find your business.
What’s worse, other competitors may appear first in the search results, which improves the odds they receive the call instead of you.
Effective advertising can help you convert more customers with fewer interactions. A customized phone number can be the focal point of your marketing campaigns and make it easier to generate to fulfill the requirements to run an ad.
One example is incorporating your number into TV and radio jingles that customers can easily recall from memory. These are the commercials that you keep singing or humming months or years after hearing the commercial.
If you prefer print or online ads, a catchy number can be as important as your business name or an easy-to-remember URL. The phone number is your main point of contact, and customers can easily dial it by glancing at the advertisement or fridge magnet.
Word-of-mouth referrals can be more productive than paid ads, so existing customers are more likely to share your number to loved ones. The referring patron may not remember your website address but might be able to recite your number.
If you run a side hustle, you may use the same smartphone to receive personal and business calls. Handing out a vanity number for business leads provides more flexibility while protecting your privacy by safeguarding your personal number.
After ordering your number, you can download a mobile app that allows you to make and receive business calls and texts. The app will notify you when incoming calls are coming from your work number.
Alternately, you can use call forwarding if your vanity number is a landline.
When you make phone calls, the customer sees your business number. The vanity number can also be easier to recognize if it’s not in their contacts. As a result, they are less likely to dismiss it as a telemarketer or spam call.
Additionally, choosing a toll-free number lets you field phone calls from long-distance customers. A toll-free prefix can also provide a layer of trust because these numbers are only available upon special request.
How to Get a Vanity Phone Number
Following these steps will help you get your personalized phone number.
Come Up With a Phone Number
This first step might be the trickiest part of the process. Coming up with a phone number can be a challenge, especially if you are trying to be creative. It’s also wise to have a few different options to make the next step in the process easier.
Here are some suggestions to help you get started as you figure out what your vanity number will be.
Words and Names
Consider spelling out a word or name such as Jason, flowers, cleaner or repair. Part of your business name may also be available. If it is and you can snag it, your current customers will have an easier time remembering how to reach you.
While it may have nothing to do with your actual business, a pattern like “1234” or “2468” or “ABCD” is unique and memorable.
If you are worried about a pattern being unrelated to your company, try tying it into what your business is about to make the number even easier to remember.
Repeating the same number or letter, like “1111” or “AAAA,” may not seem creative, but it is easy to share with others. Remember, the goal is to make the number as memorable as possible.
You could also use a number or word that customers are familiar with. One example is a college alumni network incorporating “1839” to reflect the year of the school’s founding.
Make Sure Your Number is Available
Next, see if your desired number is available. A phone number provider will let you enter your combination of numbers and letters.
If your first choice is unavailable, you can use your second choice or view similar options. You may need to get creative with your number combination if you want a popular sequence because it could already be taken.
Additionally, you might be able to get one of these toll-free prefixes:
You can work with your local phone company if you want a vanity landline. However, there are several ways to get a toll-free number from an online provider utilizing VoIP and WiFi technology.
Your provider can also help verify your toll-free number with the phone service networks so that your phone calls are less likely to be blocked or flagged as spam.
Choose a Plan
After selecting your number, you will choose a subscription plan with monthly or annual billing. Most vanity phone number providers charge a one-time fee to create your number, but your ongoing plan fee is similar to having a standard number.
In addition to getting a customized phone number, you can get extensions if you have multiple employees. Premium plans let you obtain several vanity numbers, which can be helpful if you want a special number for each person in your company.
Business phone number services also provide additional services that can make it easier to respond to calls and integrate with other software. For example, you may need a conference call service with audio and video sessions.
Typically, you will pay less overall by choosing an annual subscription instead of paying month-to-month. Paying for a 12-month subscription could save you 10% to 40%.
You can start receiving phone calls to your new number within 24 hours after activation. Your internet phone number provider may also require you to download their mobile app to start using your number and other plan features.
Most providers offer a trial period to determine if you like their app and software. Use this time to see if the service and plan fit. If not, it’s possible to port your vanity number to another host that can provide a better plan.
Vanity Phone Number Providers
These providers offer vanity numbers at competitive rates and have many additional options that improve your customer service quality. You can also utilize multiple phone and business features or add multiple employees.
Grasshopper offers three phone plans, and its entry-level plan starts at $28 monthly after a seven-day free trial. This plan offers one number, three extensions and unlimited users. Upgrading to a premium provides multiple numbers or unlimited extensions.
All plans include business texting, call forwarding, instant response and virtual fax. You can receive a professional voice recording as a greeting for an additional one-time fee. Non-profit and tax-exempt organizations might be eligible for discounts.
Learn More: Grasshopper Phone Review: Can It Help Your Business?
You will find some of the most affordable plans through Phone.com. These start at $11.99 per month per user and come with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. A vanity number incurs a one-time charge, and you will need to request a quote.
All plans include phone minutes and video conferencing. However, you will need to upgrade to a higher plan if you want unlimited minutes and features like conversational text messaging, call recording and customer relationship management integration.
RingCentral offers phone, messaging and video capabilities for businesses of any size. Monthly plans start at $19.99, and vanity numbers incur a one-time charge of $30. You can request a free online quote and inquire about a risk-free trial period.
The entry-level plan provides unlimited calls within the U.S. and Canada. It also offers business text messaging, voicemail-to-text and document sharing. Upgrading is necessary to integrate with business software.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions people have about vanity phone numbers.
A vanity phone number is a unique way to expand your brand. Having a catchy and easy-to-remember number can provide many opportunities to reach potential customers through advertising and word-of-mouth referrals.
Like any business decision, you must compare the potential costs and benefits to determine if the added expense is worth it. Plus, the transition process can require extra effort.
However, the rewards can be huge if you want to make it as easy as possible for potential customers to call you so your business will grow.