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Insights for Entrepreneurs

Get a Memorable and Effective Business Phone Number Using Art and Science

Remember when people memorized phone numbers?

When I was in seventh grade, I knew about fifteen by heart (Mom, Dad, Mom’s work, Dad’s work, school, Molly, Jackie, etc.).

But now, I rely on my phone to store my numbers. I have the local pizza delivery guy on speed dial. If my phone dies, I’m in trouble.

That’s why it’s crucial for businesses to consider local and tollfree vanity numbers (numbers that substitute numbers for letters, like 1-844-EMMA-FAYE).

A memorable phone number sticks in your customers’ brains, helping them remember you when they’re ready to buy, or simply need support.

Why We Remember Words, Not Numbers

You might think you can remember a 10-digit telephone number just as well as you can remember a vanity number, but that’s probably not the case.

According to 800Response, there’s actually a 75% higher recall rate of vanity 800 numbers over numeric tollfree numbers. Consumers can even remember these numbers 58% better than a website’s URL.

Why does this happen?

The answer is association. We remember things by associating them with things we already know.

“A great example is that old trick where people would tie a string around their finger when they needed to remember something,” says Craig Borowski, VoIP and Telecom Researcher at Software Advice. “At first glance, it seems like a strange thing to do. After all, there doesn’t seem to be any obvious association between the string and whatever it is you’re trying to remember. But really, there is.”

Craig goes on to explain that when you’re tying that string on your finger (which, not coincidentally, does require a little concentration) you’re also thinking about that thing you’re using the string to remember.

“That same principle is at work whenever we remember things, whether they’re to-do lists, people’s names or phone numbers,” says Craig.

Why is this good for business?

Despite new fancy-shmancy productivity and communication tools, people continue to use phone and email for the majority of their business communication.

You want to be ahead of the game, equipped to answer calls no matter who they’re from.

There are several reasons why vanity numbers are good for business:

How to Choose a Number That’s Right For You

You’ve decided you want a vanity number, but now you need to figure out what to choose. Here are a few tips for getting the perfect number:

Make it easy to remember.

Communicate what your business does.

Avoid unique spellings.

Avoid hybrid numbers.

See if the number you want is available.

Sharing Your Number With The World

What good is a vanity number if no one knows about it? Here are a few places where businesses routinely place their numbers:

Does Your Phone Number Already Spell Something?

If you already have a phone number and are unwilling to get a new one, see if your phone number already spells something. It’s highly unlikely the words will have to do with your business, but it’s a fun exercise.

Visit PhoneSpell and plug in your number, then sit back and wait for the results:

phonespell

A Phone Number People Can Remember

A memorable phone number is just one aspect of running a business, but having the right one can improve your website conversion rates, increase customer trust, and help further brand your business.

Your Turn: Do you have a vanity number? How did you choose it? If not, why did you go with a standard number?

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