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The Value Of Vanity Numbers

Jul 10, 2008
Vanity numbers are specialized types of 800, or toll free number, and are the alphanumeric equivalent of a regular numeric telephone number. Most of these numbers are also mnemonic devices, that is they spell out words, usually the name of a business or some phrase associated with it like 1800-FLOWERS, or 1800-YELLOW Pages. These numbers are a good way to brand a company in the minds of the consumer, so choosing just the right number is vital. Since these 800 numbers are free for customers, they are more motivated to call them, and these calls often result in sales, and increased customer service and satisfaction.

Some carriers offer the option of purchasing a vanity number with call tracking which allows salespersons and other involved parties to target sales areas geographically and also determine where the highest volume of calls are originating from. If it is determined that a company is a high volume of calls from a specific region, they can increase their marketing efforts in this area in order to generate further business. Conversely, if it appears that calls from certain areas are scarce, marketing efforts to those locations via commercials, radio spots, TV ads, and other marketing methods can be increased. Customer satisfaction and the level of customer support given can also be measured when a vanity number is used and its usage is recorded.

The first 800 numbers were created in 1967 by AT&T as a way to reduce the need for extra human operators, who were becoming overwhelmed by the number of collect calls that they were required to process daily. This service was called INWATS, or Inward Wide Area Telephone Service, and the first business to officially adopt the new system was the Sheraton Hotel Chain in 1970. Roy P. Weber is credited with inventing the modern toll free number system, which he called the Data Base Communication Processing Method. This was slow to catch on, and AT&T did not anticipate that in a few short decades, the toll free number would become an integral part of the marketing strategy for countless new and established businesses.

When you are choosing vanity numbers, make sure to pick a combination that is memorable. The carrier or service that you choose should be able to assist you in picking just the right one, and should have an up to date list of available numbers for you to choose from. Keep in mind that these numbers are meant to be easy to remember, and should directly reflect some aspect of your business.
About the Author
Dial 800 is a marketing optimization company and service bureau that has the distinction of being one of the worlds leading providers of call tracking solutions.For more information visit vanity numbers
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