Have you been asked by your boss or the marketing department to find a number that contains certain numbers? Are you searching for something that will give you a bit of an edge over your competition? A custom phone number—or vanity phone number—might be for you. Custom phone numbers provide many benefits to businesses of all shapes and sizes. And they do more than just put customers in touch with a business—they serve as a simple, yet effective, brand and marketing tool.
AVOXI gets questions all the time about how to create a phone number. We summarized our learnings based on our 17 years+ experience from selling communication solutions to global clients. Let’s start with the basics.
What is a Custom Phone Number?
A custom phone number is a local or toll-free telephone number designed for easy recall and recognition for marketing purposes. These are typically comprised of “phone words” (like 1 800-GO-AVOXI) or an all-numeric number (like (XXX) 444-4444).
You’ve seen them before—a business with a phone number that spells out a word or phrase rather than just a string of numbers. Perhaps you even heard one integrated into a jingle on the radio or in a television commercial. Custom phone numbers are everywhere, and if you select the right one, it gives you that extra edge to bring in more clients and customers. Why? Because the vanity number is an easy to remember phone number that helps build recall.
Is it Really That Easy to Create a Custom Phone Number?
When it comes to creating a custom phone number, there are a few restrictions that you need to keep in mind before you start turning your creative wheels:
- You can’t “create” your own number. Though it may sound super simple to create something easy to remember (like 123-456-7890), there are some restrictions. Local numbers are determined by your physical location, so though a different area code might spell a more appealing word or be easier to remember, unless you move your business to that area code’s geographic location, you’re stuck with your less appealing one.
- You can only work with the last seven digits of a phone number in the United States. We mentioned the local number restrictions above, but the same goes for toll-free area codes, where you have a choice of 800, 888, 877, 866, or 855. But beyond that, the possibilities are endless! Also, vanity numbers are possible for other international toll free numbers, but similar restrictions apply. You cannot alter the dialing prefix.
- You can’t take a number that’s already taken. Makes sense, right? If something is already taken, then you’ve got to go another route. (Never fear—there’s a little bit of wiggle room here. If a phone number is taken, but inactive, there MIGHT be a way for AVOXI to secure it for you. Give us a call and we’ll help you out. We search high and low. If it is possible, we make it happen.
How Do You Choose Your Custom Phone Number?
Now that you know the parameters you’ve got to stick to, it’s all marketing practices from here. Consider these steps to help you pick your best available custom phone number:
- Brainstorm. Let’s be clear. There are no bad ideas, but there are ideas that just simply do not work well in the world of custom phone numbers. Whatever do, make it easy to remember. If it’s a convoluted message, a misspelled word (think using Z’s for S’s or saying UR instead of YOURE). There’s much more opportunity for confusion. And try your best to avoid using numbers. The point of this is so it’s easy to remember, easy to say, easy to promote, and easy to call.
- Build out some ideas. If you’re a pen and paper kind of person, simply grab your phone and look at the keypad and write down ideas for your custom phone number. Remember—there are no letters on 1 or 0, three letters on numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8, and four letters on numbers 7 and 9. Check out this handy tool to speed up the process!
- Check to see if the number you want is available. Because there are so many letters that correspond to one number, you may find that your desired number is already taken. But either way, let AVOXI know what you’re thinking. We’ll help you figure it out.
- Secure your number and promote it! Once you have your number nailed down, it’s time to get it out there! While a radio jingle and a TV commercial sound exciting, there are some much more important places you’ll want to get your number. Check out our blog on How to Publish and Promote Your Toll Free Number for more helpful tips.
- Still confused? Not sure if a custom number is what you need? Unclear about what type of numbers are available? Download our FREE Guide to International Toll-Free Numbers. This guide provides information to help you make an informed business decision in selecting the type of number that will work best for your business needs—including vanity (or custom) numbers.
Let us show you the way.
For the last 17 years, AVOXI supported a multitude of customers with an extensive portfolio of services and products, backed by knowledgeable technicians. We’re here to deliver innovative, high-quality, cost-effective solutions that enhance your operational efficiency, improve performance, and optimize customer service. Give us a call on our custom phone number today at 1-800-GO-AVOXI, and let us help you with your brand awareness initiative using a custom number for your business.