What's your business phone number? Chances are, you're the only person who can recall that random string of digits. If you rely on prospects and customers calling you to get business, traditional numbers just don't cut it.

Here's what we mean: Who do you call to get flowers? 1-800-FLOWERS. What about refilling your contact lenses? 1-888-CONTACTS.

Don't underestimate the power of brand recognition made possible by a vanity phone number. It makes your brand instantly memorable so customers can reach you when they need your products or services.

Here's what you need to know about vanity numbers and how to use one for your business.

What is a vanity number?

Vanity numbers are customized to spell out a word, phrase, or acronym using the letters associated with each number on the telephone keypad. Companies can spell out their brand names, products, or slogans to capture attention.

Vanity numbers vs. toll-free numbers

Vanity numbers can be local or toll-free numbers. A toll-free vanity number (e.g., 1-800-FLOWERS) combines the best of both worlds — they're memorable, promote brand recognition, have a national appeal, and encourage more people to call because callers don't incur charges.

The benefits of vanity numbers

If you assume vanity numbers are for big brands only, think again. They're even more important for small local businesses that rely on phone inquiries to make sales and win business.

Vanity numbers are easy to remember. They help you make an impression, augment your brand presence, and enhance brand recognition. The increased brand recall helps your marketing and advertising dollars go further to generate more leads. Moreover, they elevate your professionalism and credibility by strengthening the perception that you're not a fly-by-night operation.

How to get a vanity number

Here are some practical considerations when getting a vanity number for your business:

Selection criteria: What makes a good vanity number?

Choose a vanity number relevant to your business or product to communicate your brand message and identity. Ensure it's simple and easy to pronounce while avoiding complex spelling. Of course, it must be available — use this number lookup tool to check availability.

How to procure your vanity number

Brainstorm a list of options, check the numbers' availability, and choose a provider with a plan that meets your needs. It will help you purchase and register the vanity number and show you how to port an existing phone number to a vanity number.

Use a trusted vendor and be cautious of unrealistically low prices — if it's too good to be true, it probably is. Also, ensure you have the legal rights to use the vanity number and that it doesn't infringe on any trademark.

Understanding costs and associated factors

The cost of a vanity number varies depending on the provider and the popularity of the word or phrase you choose. You may incur charges, such as setup fees, transfer fees, monthly fees, per-minute call charges, and renewal fees.

Vanity numbers in action: Examples and Best Practices

Need some inspiration? Here are some examples of successful vanity number campaigns:

How to maximize the impact of your vanity number

Keep your vanity number short and straightforward. Test different ones to see what works best for your target market. For instance, you may analyze the type of customers who call each number and the conversion rates to see what works best.

Promote your vanity number consistently by featuring it on all your marketing materials (e.g., print or online ads, business cards, websites, social media profiles.) You may also register variations of your vanity number to protect your brand and prevent competitors from using a similar number.

Common questions and misconceptions about vanity numbers

You may have heard mixed information about vanity numbers. Let's set the record straight to help you make an informed decision:

Debunking vanity numbers myths

Understanding vanity number usage, portability, and more

You can use vanity numbers for marketing, customer service, sales, etc., and transfer them between different service providers, just like you would port a regular phone number. You can also send and receive text messages via your vanity number.

When you purchase a vanity number through Grasshopper, you can access powerful features like VoIP, voicemail transcription, call-forwarding, and more. Additionally, you can use our mobile and desktop apps to manage all the calls so you don't miss a beat.

Augment your business with a vanity number

A vanity number can help you enhance your brand image and make your business more memorable to generate leads and sales. It's a cost-effective marketing and customer engagement tool that can benefit companies of any size.

If getting a vanity number seems intimidating, don't worry. At Grasshopper, we make finding and using a vanity number as simple as possible with our user-friendly mobile and desktop apps. Getting started is easy — just pick your number and choose your plan, and you're off to the races!