Buy a phone number: toll-free, local, and vanity phone numbers for sale
Your business phone number plays a large part in the impression you give to potential customers. But if it’s forgettable, expensive, or based in the wrong area, it won’t do you any favors.
Newsflash: You don’t have to stick with the specific phone number assigned by your carrier partners There are many service providers offering local or toll free vanity numbers which can help you look more professional, improve brand recognition, and boost revenue.
Here, we’ll explore the various options, and how to choose the best provider with the widest choice of numbers (and call management features like call forwarding and call recording)
What’s a vanity phone number?
A vanity number is a custom phone number that spells out a word with its corresponding keypad letters. These usually represent a business name or associated phrase, plus catchy numeric sequences—such as 888-555-8855 or 800-FLOWERS.
Because the human brain is wired to recognize patterns, an easy to remember number will stick in people’s minds, whether they see it visually or hear a jingle. A custom vanity number is a great way to promote your brand, product, or slogan.
Similarly, easy dial phone numbers have simple patterns with repeating or alternating digits instead of a random sequence. Local or toll-free vanity phone numbers are widely available.
What’s a toll-free number?
A toll-free telephone number means that customers can call it free of charge. They were first introduced in the 1960s by AT&T, and were originally the preserve of large companies.
In 1993, the FTC ruled that toll-free numbers must be “portable” (moveable between phone number providers), so owners were no longer tied to telecom companies. This made the numbers more accessible to small businesses.
All USA toll-free phone numbers used to have an 800 prefix. Due to demand, 888, 877, 866, and 855 prefixes were developed. Toll-free numbers are housed in one national directory, which communications companies like RingCentral enable customers to search.
What’s a local number?
Local phone numbers are linked to a specific location by an area code. They’re available for purchase by businesses who wish to be associated with a certain area, even if their premises are based elsewhere.
For example, your company could have its offices in the suburbs, but use a custom phone number with a city-center area code. Or you could use “porting” to route inbound or outbound calls through your cell provider, so you can still use the local number when you’re off-premises.
Unlike toll-free numbers, local numbers aren’t kept in a national database—they’re distributed to phone companies in batches. So, you need to pick a provider with good access to local codes, like RingCentral (which has 200+ to choose from, alongside unified communications including video conferencing).
What’s a virtual phone number?
Why do I need a virtual phone number?
- Improve brand recognition
- Extra professionalism
- Attract local customers
- Simplify your advertising
- Increase traffic and revenue
Memorable vanity phone numbers make your company stand out, which means better brand recognition and more sales. If you buy vanity phone numbers, you’ll improve ad response rates, get more word-of-mouth referrals, and simplify your marketing with one all-purpose number for business calls
Cheap phone calls aren’t necessarily a deal-breaker these days, but everyone appreciates saving, right? Toll-free numbers still give customers an incentive to call you. And they help to imply an established business, especially if you use an auto attendant or live receptionist
Local numbers are perfect if you have your HQ in one place, but do most of your trade in another—or you want one number to cover multiple branches. Also, customers prefer to dial a hometown number or answer the phone to one.
Local and toll-free numbers are ideal for business owners who are home-based or don’t have a physical location. An apparent local presence can make a small business seem bigger, while startups can run a company from mobile applications but still look professional on every business call.
Are there any downsides?
If you have your heart set on a specific vanity number for your business name, you may be disappointed as there’s a limited supply. Vanity toll-free 800 numbers are also limited, so vanity phone number providers offer other choices.
But many people still think of 800 as the only toll-free number, and may not recognize a variation as being free.
Finally, if customers all use the same phone number to contact you, it can be harder to determine where they saw your ad (TV, billboard, website).
What do I need from a phone number?
Which is the best provider?
With a huge choice of phone numbers, alongside cloud-based unified communications like video meetings, VoIP phones, and messaging, RingCentral is your best bet. You can create your own custom vanity toll-free or local number (including 800), or choose a unique memorable vanity number from a large inventory.
It’s super-easy to search for available numbers and add them from your online account, as well as adding extensions.
RingCentral lets you customize greetings and on-hold messaging for incoming calls and provides a variety of call management features, including:
- Auto attendant
- Call forwarding
- Caller ID
- Call recording
- Call logs
With call routing to any number, anywhere, anytime, you’ll never miss an incoming call—especially since RingCentral’s VoIP phone system allows number-sharing across multiple devices and mobile applications.
RingCentral numbers are competitively priced, with packages to suit every budget. They’re available with every RingCentral MVP edition, which also gives you a unified communications suite with one number covering all channels from SMS to fax and video conferencing.