How the Biggest Brand Names Leverage Custom 800 Numbers

When new businesses begin to synthesize their brand strategy, they think about choosing the right business name, acquiring a matching domain name, and creating a logo that conveys both originality and consistency.

What asset do many fail to include?Custom 800 numbers.

This makes little sense. Branded 800 numbers have been among the most impactful tools available for almost three decades. Internet marketing is important, but brands seeking to stand out from their competition in the modern marketplace need to leverage every tool available.

One of the ways we know these numbers work is by looking at the companies who use them. Large brands are analytics-driven, which means they would not use a tool if it did not improve their ROI. Today, we'll look at how some big brands leverage custom 800 numbers

big-brands-custom-800-numbersBig Brands Using Custom 800 Numbers

Looking at major brands is a great way to learn about marketing in general. Specifically, it can show smaller companies how to best use vanity numbers in campaigns, whether on the local or national stage.

Here's how some household name brands have used custom 800 numbers in recent years:


DirecTV has long promoted their custom 800 number 1-800-DIRECTV on their national TV advertising campaigns. Each ad prominently features the number for maximum exposure.

With a memorable phone number that matches both their brand name and domain name, they are effectively managing their brand consistency and memorability. While we can’t say how many more phone calls they receive from using their custom 800 number over a random 10-digit number, it’s obvious it’s a significant boost to their marketing response rates.

1800directtvAdditionally, what you won't see in the ads is that the phone number is tracking each ad’s performance behind the scenes.

Toll-free numbers are set up to be able to split their routing geographically. Callers from California who dial 1-800-DIRECTV can be routed to a different destination than callers from New York. What this system allows DirecTV to do is to track the number and quality of calls received from each market in which they advertise—the routing instructions for the number can be as granular as the ZIP code level. This, in turn, allows them to determine the effectiveness of their ads in each market.


It’s one thing to use a custom 800 number to boost your brand; it’s another entirely to use one as your brand. One of the most recognized custom 800 number brands is 1-800 Contacts.

1-800-CONTACTSIndeed, this company is one of the best examples on the market of just how powerful a custom 800 number can be when utilized effectively.

Since their brand is a phone number, every impression with consumers they receive is one more person who has seen their easy-to-remember phone number. Whether they advertise online (which they do) or on TV and radio (which the also do), their brand actively promotes and encourages more calls.

One of the things that 1-800 Contacts does better than most is to leverage mnemonics. Mnemonics are tricks people can use to improve their memory. Businesses use mnemonic devices to help consumers remember their brand. While a custom 800 number itself is a mnemonic device, 1-800 Contacts took it a step further by creating a jingle to match. Now, when consumers think about buying contacts, they may recall the song, which happens to include the company’s primary method of communication. No need to turn to Google for those consumers.

J.G. Wentworth

1-800 Contacts may have a jingle, but J.G. Wentworth hired the whole opera. The financial services company's commercials, which target people who have a structured settlement, make use of an entire song around what they do and how to call them. It is exceptionally catchy and memorable, and one of the best applications of a song and custom 800 number in recent memory. All together now... "call 877-CASH-NOW!"


As we saw with 1-800 Contacts, a custom 800 number can make a brand exceptionally memorable. Additionally, as we discussed with the example of DirecTV, such numbers possess tremendous versatility. One brand who has leveraged both aspects of their custom 800 number is 1-800-FLOWERS. Their business model began as a shared-use phone number. What they initially offered was for local flower shops to lease the phone number, and any local calls that were dialed to the 1-800-FLOWERS phone number rang directly to the local florist.

1-800-FLOWERS on PinterestAs market forces began to change their industry — mainly through the advent of online flower shops — the company expanded their service to include selling flowers online on behalf of their local partners. Today, orders made through their website are fulfilled by local florists, and local florists also answer calls made to their phone number. They have built a favorite and memorable national brand, as well as created an affordable, expedient service through their partner network.

Business Sectors Using Custom 800 Numbers

It's not just big brands making the most of memorable toll-free dialing. Some sectors seem to embrace the increased call volume and service benefits of 800 numbers even more than others.

Here are some of the industries who take custom 800 numbers to the next level.


For a sector that thrives on one-to-one conversations and the personal touch, it's no great surprise that real estate agents need vanity numbers.

'For Sale' signs are everywhere, but custom numbers are only on some of them. That's where the sign stands out and the real estate agent shows potential buyers that they're eager to speak to them about this home.

What's more, there's a great vanity number for realtors at every level. Whether it's unforgettable local repeater numbers, as used so successfully by Holdy Realty in Florida, or a custom 800 number suitable for a national chain, such as1-800-MOVE-NOW or 1-866-NEW-HOME, real estate and recognizable phone numbers are a perfect fit.

home-for-saleLaw Firms

We could show you legal marketing case studies for as long as you can pay attention, but all you really need to do is look at any legal ad or local law firm business listing to tell how important custom numbers are in this sector.

Legal issues tend to have a certain urgency about them. Whether it's getting out of an immediate legal situation or understanding the basis for a potential claim, people who call a law firm need to talk to someone knowledgeable ASAP.

Random digits don't inspire confidence, but custom 800 numbers speak to the size and stature of a law firm, while simultaneously making it easy to remember how to get in touch in future.


If you've ever tried to e-mail a home improvement expert or even a local handyman, it probably wasn't more than one or two replies before they asked you to give them a call. Something about being on the move and working with your hands obviously makes the phone their tool of choice!

The natural extension of wanting customers to call is trying to get more business over the phone, which is where custom 800 numbers come into play for contractors. 

If you have an urgent roofing job and have only seen a few local adverts, are you going to ask around and wait for recommendations or call 1-877-USA-ROOF to connect to a local professional and get an estimate as soon as possible?

When your air conditioning breaks down at the height of summer, will the family wait until you engage the right company online or would they prefer you dial 1-800-AC-REPAIR to immediately get an answer? Or 1-800-GET-PLUMBER in case of an emergency leak? We already know the answer, but does your marketing department?!

To learn more about how custom numbers can be used to boost your brand, contact a RingBoost marketing expert today. 

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