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Written by
Katy Ratican
4 Apr 2022
4 minutes

Are custom business phone numbers worth it?

A vanity phone number is a custom-made set of digits that either spells out a word or are memorable in some way. Thinking of getting one?
Custom business phone numbers

A business phone number reveals a lot about a brand. To make their brands memorable, some business owners choose custom or vanity business phone numbers. Here’s everything to know about these custom numbers if you’re thinking about getting one.

In an intensely competitive world, businesses have to use everything at their disposal to stand out from the competition. From the name of the business to the logo on the website, every piece of identity is an opportunity to differentiate from others. A custom or vanity business phone number is one such way to be memorable.

What are custom phone numbers?

A custom business phone number (also called a vanity number) is a customised set of numbers or letters that either form a word or are memorable in some other way. The numbers correspond to the letters that one would find on a phone’s keypad.

Vanity or custom phone numbers are toll-free numbers except for the customisation through words and letters. Businesses advertise these numbers in marketing campaigns or as customer support numbers. In most cases, it’s not the caller but the recipient who pays the charge for the call.

How are vanity phone numbers different in the US and UK?

The use of custom phone numbers varies from country to country. The vanity numbers in the US usually spell out words. These words are chosen to remind customers of the company’s product or service. Some examples of US vanity phone numbers (also called 800-numbers) are 1-800-COLLECT, 1-800-LEADS, 1-800-CAPITAL, and 1-800-FLOWERS.

Vanity phone numbers in the UK are based not on letters but numbers. Businesses choose repetitive numbers for greater recall. These toll-free numbers, known as freephone numbers in the UK, include 0800 887766, 0808 626262, and 0800 757575. These patterns of repeating numbers make it easy for people to remember the number.

Benefits of using custom phone numbers

Businesses use custom phone numbers because, compared to phone numbers with random digits, they offer certain visible benefits:

They're memorable: The biggest benefit is that it will be easy for people to remember your business phone number when they see it on a hoarding or company vehicle.

They're unique: Custom business phone numbers look creative and unique, making your business seem different from the competition.

They increase brand awareness: If the word you choose spells out a benefit, people will associate your business with the category, like in 1-800-GETFIT.

They increase leads: With greater recall, it’s safe to assume that your marketing message will get a higher number of leads.

They make you seem bigger: You could be a small business but a carefully chosen vanity business phone number will make you seem like a big player.

Drawbacks of using custom phone numbers

Difficult to measure: If your marketing is trying out different methods, it will be difficult to analyse their performance if you use the same vanity number.

Difficult to attribute: You wouldn’t know whether your customers found out about you from a website or a delivery truck if you use vanity numbers everywhere.

How businesses use custom phone numbers to their advantage

Custom business phone numbers can be used as toll-free numbers to generate leads. Using them in marketing with a carefully chosen and unique word will make the campaign more memorable. Using them across various touchpoints, from business cards to delivery vehicles, will further help the recall of your brand.

Businesses can also use vanity numbers as customer support numbers. If customers can easily remember and call the number, they will be less likely to take their complaints online, which will hurt business credibility.

Chalkboard: The best business phone solution

If you’re looking for a business phone number as both a communication and marketing tool, Chalkboard is the ideal solution. You can easily add this virtual number to your current mobile phone, without worrying about having to carry two phones.

You can choose your own number, organise your contacts and broadcast messages to groups and its advanced chat features are designed for conversational marketing.

Add team numbers to any phone
Keep work separate, personal numbers private, and share calls and texts with your team 🚀
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