Knowing how vanity numbers work is critical to your brand’s marketing success.
1) Don’t search small-inventory websites for number availability
While I’m obviously biased, RingCentral’s Vanity Number Search is among the best search tools available. Chances are good that if the number is available, it’s on RingCentral’s site and is listed as part of their inventory. Too many first-time vanity number customers conduct a search for number availability on a single site. Conduct a more exhaustive search and remember that toll-free numbers can always be ported over to any phone service provider. Once you own a number, it’s yours – not a telecom company’s. So search high and low for that number and do invest time in the process.
2) Don’t restrict your choice of number by industry description or company name
Chances are, especially for 1-800 numbers, that your mnemonic number of choice may not be available. 1-800-Got-Junk is worth millions for a reason, but even 1-800-ABCplumbers may not be available. That shouldn’t deter you from getting a vanity number that’s going to be easy to remember at parties, on radio ads and on the web. Think of verbs such as “Go” or “Call” as additions to your brand or industry name in the vanity number. For example, 1-800-Go-Fedex is a simple but powerful example of adding an “action verb” to the addition of your brand. There are tons of other examples, so don’t settle for the first number you find!
3) Know the hierarchy of vanity number recognition with the public
As I’ve written before on this blog, even American Idol often repeated “These are 888 numbers folks, not 800 numbers.” That means that many people still perceive toll free numbers as being 800 numbers. The obvious ideal is 1-800 numbers, after that the second best choice is 888 numbers. IMHO 866 and 877 numbers are equally third choice. However, that being said, if 888 numbers worked well enough for American Idol … then the lesson is, it’s ok to have an 888 number and not an 800 toll free, but it may require an extra few seconds reminding folks of that in your ads. If I had to choose between getting a less desirable mnemonic in an 800 number format or getting a more desired name in 888 format – I would pick the 888 format every time.
Start exploring now and see what you can find. Just make sure you remember these three common mistakes while you make your search. See instructions for adding a Vanity Number to your RingCentral account.
Originally published Nov 18, 2009, updated Sep 13, 2022