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The Beauty of Vanity Numbers


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Vanity phone numbers can provide a highly effective marketing lure. A few decades since the introduction of 1-800-FLOWERS and 1-800-LAWYERS, both are still going strong. Fast forward to 2013, and not a whole lot has changed. The positive impact of vanity numbers on marketing primarily boils down to leveraging the power of mnemonics. One study found that advertisers can expect an 84% improvement in recall rates for vanity 800 numbers vs. numeric phone numbers shown in visual media.



(As a fun aside: Sprint recently started allowing its wireless customers to use a personalized name. I’ll admit – it would be quite satisfying for my friends to dial (917) MICHAEL to reach me, though I think I’ll just stick with my current phone number.)

Alas, whether your vanity number is for true vanity, business or both, odds are the obvious numbers are already taken. Vault over this hurdle by creating an even more unique combination of letters that is easy for customers to remember and share with others. In addition, you can leverage systems like the RingCentral Vanity Number page, which offers a flexible search engine to make the search process relatively enjoyable.

RC vanity number

It’s helpful to take these factors into account if you’re looking to acquire a catchy number:

More Than Words

Aside from being clever, vanity numbers are cost-efficient and extend the reach of your business well beyond local headquarters. Without any concern for area codes or long-distance charges, it’s reasonable to expect calls from leads nationwide to skyrocket. RingCentral offers toll-free numbers that can help you make this happen.

One thing to recognize is that different situations may call for different numbers. Newsletters, magnets, holiday cards and trade-show giveaways should certainly be branded with vanity numbers for quick recognition. Newspaper ads and websites should include the full, dynamic number, considering potential clients are probably close to a phone already.

It’s also worth remembering that your vanity number will mean nothing without access to an alphanumeric keypad. With some smartphones and even softphones, the alphabetic cross-reference simply isn’t there. In this case, parenthetical representation of the digits corresponding to the letters in your number are crucial.

A website in which I’m involved, Drupal development services offers a prime example of a vanity number in action. The site displays our custom RingCentral vanity number in the header and footer of each page. We can attest to the degree with which it helps with conversions – and because “Drupal” is represented in letters, the phone number becomes significantly easier to remember.

vanity number

Verbal Flow

The final element of making your vanity number high-impact is to seamlessly integrate it into your virtual calling system, auto-attendant and online advertisement vehicles. As more customers embrace online shopping and e-commerce, this application will become important for small/virtual business owners, large-scale brick-and-mortar operations and everyone in between who care about e-commerce customer service.

According to a recent article in TechCrunch comparing local and e-commerce, about 5 percent of these businesses are competing online without the aid of a storefront; with the remaining percentage being physical outlets. Nevertheless, both breeds were found to utilize virtual means such as online advertising to bring “customers to the stores, increase conversion … reduce overall costs for the retailer via better analytics on supply and demand” – overall, create an optimal and attractive customer experience.

Magnifying your branding efforts comes in many forms, with vanity numbers being a time-tested method that simply works. They generate continuity of interest and ensure that your business is unforgettable … in every way.

All things considered, when it comes to your company’s marketing success, the small one-time fee typically applied to vanity numbers pales in comparison to having a memorable, shareable alphanumeric marker. See instructions for adding a Vanity Number to your RingCentral account. 

Originally published Mar 26, 2013, updated Aug 07, 2020

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