Build Your Brand with the Right Custom Phone Number
Brand strategy guides you when naming a company or its products, when designing the logo, and even when selecting the website domain that will be used. That same strategic mentality should guide you when picking another critical element of your brand: your phone number.
More than just a functional tool, the right number can reinforce your brand personality with customers and prospects while improving advertising response rates. Don’t accept the generic number your phone carrier picks off the top of the pile; be thoughtful about how you select a great number for your business - because it matters to your success.
Read on for some practical (and tactical) advice on how to determine what the right phone number is for your brand and your business.
Questions to ask when picking a business phone number
A great phone number isn't chosen by instinct or intuition. It should be governed by what will resonate best and help you stand out from the crowd (the competition). Ask yourself these questions to start building a list of criteria for a memorable business number.
- What industry do you operate in?
- How would your target audience describe what you do? Are there key phrases or words they associate with you?
- How well-known is your brand?
- Do your competitors use custom phone numbers? How can you differentiate from them?
- Do you operate primarily locally or are you building a nationwide brand?
- How important is connecting with the local community?
- What messages do you want to convey about your company?
- Where will the phone number be used/seen?
- What is your budget?
Additional points to consider when exploring phone number options for your business or brand
Local or Toll-Free
Local phone numbers can be purchased for a one-time fee and ported to your carrier of choice. They make an instant connection with the local community with a recognizable area code that makes it easier to remember the 7 digits of the phone number. However, there is limited availability of 7-digit phrases and even with 4-digit words, you will need to be open minded and flexible to find a perfect fit.
Toll-free numbers allow for greater creativity because they can extend longer than 7 digits. They are great for national brands and can have complex routing to help the calls to go where they need to be. However, due to FCC regulation, toll-free numbers are not currently available for purchase and can only be licensed.
Vanity or Easy-dial
Vanity numbers allow you to spell a word or phrase that is brand reinforcing. It can be a brand name, explain what you do, name who your target audience is, or even describe your brand personality. Vanity numbers can be playful and bring life to your marketing materials.
Looking for some examples of these custom phone numbers in use today? Check out how several satisfied RingBoost customers are using these assets to accelerate their sucess on our vanity phone number page.
Easy dial numbers that use numeric patterns are a nice option for businesses that want to project a professional brand presence, while maintaining memorability. In some cases, a pattern can be extremely easy to convey verbally when a vanity number might require some spelling.
Exhausted area codes and pure 800s
A different approach to focusing on the last four or seven digits of a phone number is to focus, instead, on the first three.
Exhausted area codes are the original set of numbers for metropolitan areas – for example: 212 phone numbers for New York City, 713 for Houston, 310 for Los Angeles and 415 for San Francisco. All of these cities now have overlay area codes that you’ll be offered if you call a carrier for new service. Getting an original area code conveys a sense of longevity and being well established.
This holds true for pure 800 numbers as well. Having a true 800 number is a great option for a small business who wants to build their reputation and project the feeling of being classic, trustworthy and reliable. While there are some available 800 vanity numbers (especially those under the shared-use model), you will have a tough time getting one from your carrier. A true 800 can have a lot of brand-boosting benefits at a budget-friendly price.
Advice for picking a great phone number for your business
All of our advice about picking a custom phone number boils down to one thing: keep it simple. A lot of business owners overdo it and try to be so clever that it negates the some of the added value of having a great number.
Here are some other branding guidelines to follow when considering a custom phone number for your business:
- Always consider what is most meaningful to your audience, not your ego.
- Choose an option that says what you do over your brand name.
- Make it easy to spell and easy to say.
- Make it easy to convey over the phone.
- Consider securing multiple numbers if you run different marketing campaigns or have different lines of business.
- Be open minded to options. The number you really want may not be available, but something equally as good might be. Keep the end goal in mind.
- Consider a 4-digit phrase. 7-digit phrases are rarer and more costly. You'll have more options to choose from if you include 4-digit vanity numbers with easy-dial exchanges.
- Listen to the experts. We’ve sold a lot of numbers over the years, and we can guide you to a number that will produce results.
Custom phone numbers provide your business an opportunity to stand out from the competition, improve brand recall among consumers, and close more business as a result.
Get started on your search for an outstanding custom number; contact us today!
So, What Are You Waiting For?
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