For business owners and maxed-out marketing teams, keeping your business top-of-mind with customers can be a tricky juggling act. Rolling out new marketing initiatives. Keeping the social media algorithms happy with regular content. Sending out weekly newsletters and sales emails. It's a never-ending cycle of keeping up with the marketing machine.
That's why many business owners, especially small business owners, add a toll-free vanity phone number to their marketing toolbox. A vanity phone number is remembered much more easily than a regular numerical phone number and can be a self-sustaining part of any brand strategy. A toll-free vanity phone also adds a layer of credibility to a business that can help it stand out from the competition.
But how do you choose the perfect one once you've decided to create a vanity phone number for your business? First, let's look at what exactly a vanity phone number is and how you can get one set up for your business in as little as five minutes.
What is a vanity phone number?
Unless you've been living off the grid for the last 40 years, you've probably heard a vanity phone number somewhere out in the world. 1-800-FLOWERS. 1-800-CONTACTS. 1-866-YOURNAMEHERE. A vanity number is simply a toll-free phone number that spells out words or easy-to-remember phrases.
Because they are highly memorable, vanity numbers are a simple and effective way to build brand recognition with customers and make it convenient for anyone to contact you.
But once you decide to get a vanity phone number, how do you choose the perfect word or phrase?
How to brainstorm the perfect vanity phone number
You want a vanity phone number with staying power, so you should spend a decent chunk of time carefully considering options before you settle on your new number. If you're feeling a bit of a creative block, follow this step-by-step guide to help you start generating ideas.
Step 1: Lead with your brand
If you own a business, you likely already have a well-defined brand identity and brand strategy, but it can help to sit down (on your own or with a team of other company decision-makers and marketers) and break down your brand into bite-sized ideas.
Start by determining keywords that you would use to describe your business. Don't just write down what your business sells or does, but how you want your products or services to make your customers feel, your mission and vision, and what significant attributes and features you feel your business has.
When brainstorming ideas for any new project, getting lost in the weeds can be easier than you think, especially if you're working with a group. Starting the process by defining your brand and pulling key elements from your brand strategy will help you stay true to your brand and set you on the path to finding the perfect custom phone number for your business.
Step 2: Start brainstorming
This is the fun part! The part where you throw a bunch of spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks! Even if you don't consider yourself the creative type, brainstorming a vanity phone number can be a lot of fun. At the beginning stages of brainstorming, don't limit yourself! Allow yourself to stretch those creative muscles and generate whatever ideas come to mind.
Here are some strategies to get you started:
- Word Association: When you think about your brand, what's the first word that comes to mind? When you look at each of the words on the list you made of different qualities and features of your brand, what other words come to mind? There's no wrong way to engage in free word association, so say or write down whatever comes to mind, no matter how silly it might feel!
- Word Mashups: Take some of those same words you used to describe your business and mash them up! Are there other words you can combine that concisely tell people what you do?
- Synonyms: Crack open that thesaurus (or just visit thesaurus.com)! Look up words that describe your brand and see if there are similar words that convey your brand's vibe or business's function.
- Local connections: If you're a small business that services a specific area, consider local words to which you are personally connected. Is your business located on a prominent boulevard? Does the building you work from have a name or any historical significance? It could even be as simple as the name of the town where your business is located.
Step 3: Narrow it down
Now that you've got your list of words and phrases, it's time to start narrowing it down. See if you can whittle things down to just ten words or phrases and then keep going from there.
Here are some strategies to help you nail down your top contenders:
- Research the words to make sure there isn't anything negative associated with them. A quick Google search should give you insight into what words might have a less-than-appealing connotation attached to them.
- Compare the words to the rest of your branding and marketing. If it doesn't match the vibe, then take it off the list.
- Remove any words that aren't easy to say or spell. Remember, the ultimate goal is to come up with a word or phrase that is memorable and easy to recall instantly.
Once you've got a condensed list of favorite words or phrases, visit Grasshopper's vanity phone number search tool and start plugging them in. This tool will tell you if the words or phrases you want to use for your vanity phone number are available and offer you similar alternatives if they are not.
Step 4: Get your vanity phone number
Once you've selected your custom phone number, the hard part is over! Signing up for a toll-free vanity number with Grasshopper is easy and takes less than five minutes. Simply choose the plan that works best for you and sign up.
Your vanity number will be attached to the unmatched functionality of Grasshopper's cloud phone system, which offers features that give business owners a full virtual phone system, including VoIP, voicemail transcription, call forwarding, mobile and desktop texting from your business number, call transfers, extensions, and so much more.
Step 5: Spread the word
Plan a communication strategy to reach existing and prospective customers and start building your brand recognition. Remember, communicating your new vanity phone number is more than a one-and-done marketing initiative. You'll want to integrate your vanity phone number into your ongoing brand management and think of ways to communicate it regularly to the world. Here are a few key ways to communicate your business's new toll-free vanity phone number:
- Display it on your website
- Post about it on social media
- Include it in any digital or print advertising
- Announce it in company newsletters or press releases
Give your business a boost with the perfect vanity phone number.
A vanity phone number is a simple tool that can do some seriously heavy lifting for your business. It shows your customers that you value the customer experience and are invested in your business and brand, and lends credibility to your business by establishing an attitude of professionalism.
Start searching for your perfect vanity number today with Grasshopper's vanity number generator, and try out the Grasshopper cloud phone service for free with a free trial membership.