Since the rapid rise of the internet, the proliferation of domain names, and the advent of search engine optimization, the world of marketing appears to have forgotten about toll free numbers. Many companies believe that toll free numbers have lost relevance in the marketplace, and so too have many consumers. Major companies have begun ditching their toll free numbers, preferring instead to use local numbers to save on their telecom costs. They couldn’t be more unwise. The following are all the reasons why your company should still be using toll free.
Vanity 800 Numbers Trump Domain Names for Recall and Response.
The goal of every marketing campaign is to provide a message that consumers can recall and respond to. Companies make use of a variety of tactics, such as jingles, rhymes, and other mnemonic devices to help those they reach remember and respond to their advertising. It should therefore be of no surprise that any tool that increases recall and response should be a valued tool in a marker’s arsenal.
In a recent market study, it was found that vanity 800 numbers, such as 1-800-FLOWERS or 1-800-HOMECARE, promoted higher recall and response than the associated domain name. The study demonstrated that there was a 44.9% higher recall rate of the phone numbers over the web addresses.
The study also found that vanity toll free numbers performed better on both print/billboard and in radio. This finding demonstrates that the toll free numbers were a better choice visually and for radio than web addresses.
Finally, it was found that the better response rates for the toll free numbers were consistent across all age groups, including the 18-25 year olds who are thought to completely ignore telephone numbers. Such a revelation is contrary to what many in digital marketing have been touting for the past few years.
In the world of big data, where does a toll free number leave you?
A toll free number is a way for a consumer to call your business free of charge. You foot the bill. Because you pay for the call means you have a right to the caller ID information of every person who dials your 800 Number. This has led many companies to create call tracking and recording software that allows you to gather mountains of data on consumers who engage with them through their phone numbers.
Phone numbers are unique, websites are not.
If you’re sending people to the internet to find your business, that means you are also sending them to where your competition are. Every business today has some kind of presence on the internet. Phone numbers, on the other hand, are exclusive. Only on person or organization may control any one phone number at a time in a given place. If you have a custom phone number, such as 1-800-FLOWERS, only you may have that number, and no one else.
Vanity phone numbers can be used as part of a marketing campaign as well as part of a company’s brand. If you sell flowers, for example, having the number 1-800-FLOWERS gives you a tremendous competitive advantage because it includes what you sell in the number, which is also the method of contacting your company. To best illustrate this point, think of one phone number for a flower shop in your local area. Can’t think of one? But you remembered 1-800-FLOWERS, right?
High value toll free numbers can be shared.
The power behind 1-800-FLOWERS isn’t that they sell flowers nationwide, it’s that small flower shops across the country use the number as their own. This is a system called shared-use, meaning multiple companies in different areas can use the number at the same time. The number is still exclusive: only one company may use the number per area code. But the value here is that even a small company can have access to a high value 800 number.
Is a toll free number right for my business?
Whether you are in concrete cutting or digital media, a toll free number is still a valuable asset. Companies with toll free numbers establish better legitimacy with consumers, and the numbers themselves still generate greater response rates across all marketing channels. The SOMOS database, the database where toll free information is stored, is poised to release 833 numbers precisely because toll free numbers (800, 866, 877, etc) are in such high demand. Companies across the country still see the value in toll free, and so should you.