[This article was written by Pete Prestipino.]
We’ve all seen a vanity phone number used by lawyers, doctors, and other professionals to help boost their business.
Whether on billboards, commercials or websites, vanity phone numbers are a memorable way to put customers directly in touch with you. But vanity and custom phone numbers can accomplish so much more than just a means to connect potential clients with brands and services. Here are a few additional ways to get creative with vanity phone numbers.
Scavenger Hunt – If you’re looking for a compelling, buzz-worthy engagement tactic try hosting a city-wide scavenger hunt and give your audience something fun to discover about your brand as they search for clues. Using a vanity phone number to uncover a “clue” to a special promotion is a great way to engage without being overt. It’s a great way to get customers engaged and feel like they’re participating rather than just idly being advertised to.
Viral Marketing – Easter eggs are hidden in various forms of media, allowing intrepid individuals to uncover interesting content aside from what’s being directly served to them. Hiding a custom phone number among your other media is a great way to entice your audience to pick up the phone and dial. You can further engage with this audience by using an answering service to provide exclusive and tangential content for your promotion. For example, if you call 505-503-4455, you’ll be connected with the voicemail of the fictional lawyer Saul Goodman.
Personal Branding – Even if you don’t have a business, you can always use a custom phone number to promote yourself and your own personal brand. Whether you’re an influencer or you’re self-employed, establishing a vanity phone number as a means to connect with your audience is never a bad idea. You can use a vanity phone number for anything from having more personal communication, creating content, or even as a way to support one-off promotions or longer-term campaigns.
Anonymous Customer Feedback – Sure, plenty of brick and mortar businesses rely on services like Yelp.com or Google reviews to garner feedback from their customers, but a lot can be lost in translation. Instead of, or in addition to, getting those reviews online, setting up a custom phone number with an answering service can be a valuable way to get direct and honest feedback right from your customers’ mouths. You can receive honest and open feedback anonymously, which can be a great way to give your audience more of what they want and less of what they don’t.
Virtual Receptionist – While nothing beats the personal touch of having a personal receptionist to direct your calls, there’s also nothing more frustrating than just getting sent to an impersonal voicemail and hoping that you’ll get a call back. When neither one of these seems like the best option, consider using a custom phone number to connect your customers with a virtual receptionist. It’s a better way to connect with your customers and keep them engaged.
Daily Updates – If your company is in the business of keeping your customers up-to-speed with all the latest news and events, a memorable vanity phone number can do a lot of work for you. Providing daily information on an answering service is ideal for customers who want to stay on top of what it is you have to offer.
Charity / Causes – Another way to stay engaged with your audience is by leveraging a cause or charity to entice people to take a small action and get something in return. Specifically, set up a vanity phone number, and for each call it receives, your company will make a donation to a charity or cause. Not only is this a way to give back to the community at large, but also make your own brand stand out for doing something altruistic.
These are only a handful of ways that you can use a vanity or custom phone number to your advantage, but there are endless creative possibilities.
Pete Prestipino is a digital marketing executive with over 20 years of experience supporting clients looking to accelerate success on the Web.