If you use a vanity phone number for your business, or if you’re considering getting one, you need to know how it might affect your bottom line. While it surely has some benefits, there are also some downsides.
The main issue is your inability to properly track where phone calls are coming from. And that’s a big deal for most businesses because call tracking is one of the best ways to determine the success of your ad campaigns so you know what you need to improve for more conversions.
If you’re not convinced of the importance of call tracking, take a look at how it can help you, and find out why you need a dynamic number instead of a vanity number for best results.
The History of the Vanity Number
The vanity number has been around for decades but how and when exactly did they first start? Well, before the vanity number became popular, the toll-free 800 number was considered the best tool for businesses. Starting in the late 1960s, AT&T started selling toll-free 800 numbers to businesses for a high price.
Later on, in the early 1980s, the government decided the monopoly AT&T had wasn’t acceptable. They ordered the company to break up into several smaller businesses. This drastically dropped the competition—and cost—for 800 numbers, so more businesses starting buying them to use.
That’s when the vanity number made its debut. Suddenly businesses could choose a phone number that spelled out words or phrases that their customers could easily remember. Numbers such as 1-800-FLOWERS or 1-800-95-JENNY, became popular in the ‘90s.
Pros and Cons of Vanity Numbers
Vanity numbers are still available today. But due to newer technology, many businesses have experienced some downsides to choosing this option.
Pros of the Vanity Number
Like most marketing tools, the vanity number has some advantages and disadvantages. So what are the main benefits of vanity numbers? Well, they’re easy to remember. This is great for companies that want customers to call them after seeing a commercial or billboard, or hearing a radio ad.
In fact, one study found that vanity numbers have a 75.4% higher recall rate compared to the average phone number. Customers definitely have an easy time remembering them. And that’s good for branding and building trust between the business and its customers.
Cons of the Vanity Number
Despite having some perks, vanity numbers have a major downfall: you can’t track them. More specifically, when you use a vanity number for your business, you can’t track where the calls are coming from. And that’s a big issue!
You can’t find out whether your new customers found your contact information on your business card, TV ad, billboard, website, etc. because they all use the same phone number to contact you. That means you’re going to have trouble improving your marketing campaign in the future. Many businesses have backed off the use of vanity numbers in recent years as call tracking has become more popular.
Call Tracking Over Vanity Numbers
If you’re questioning whether call tracking is really essential for your business, it’s time to find out how it can benefit you. When you track where your phone calls are coming from you can quickly see which types of ads are performing—and which ones may be a waste of time and money.
With call tracking data, you can see which campaigns are best for your business. Are you using keywords, advertising methods, landing pages, billboard locations, etc? Call tracking allows you to know where to focus your resources for the best results. Basically, without call tracking, you’re spending your marketing budget blindly, since you’re missing important metrics that should lead your decision-making process.
If you’re still wondering how important call tracking is, note that phone calls to businesses have huge conversion rates. In fact, they convert as much as 15 times more than online leads. Phone calls from search, social, and other paid ad campaigns have increased by 110 percent since 2014 alone. So you can’t afford to not start tracking your calls when your profits depend on customers calling you.
What Call Tracking Can Do for You
When you have a vanity number for your business, or any static phone number for that matter, you can’t use some of the most useful tracking features. Keyword call tracking attaches a dynamic phone number to a viewer online so you can see how your targeted keywords are working.
Tracking phone calls in this way not only lets you know the phone call came as a result of a web ad but also tells you additional data about the caller. These could include location, type of device, demographic, and more, allowing you to adjust your SEO and PPC strategies accordingly.
If you want to experience the benefits of call tracking for yourself, come to Caller Insight to learn more about our software. It’s easy to use and allows you to get an idea of how effective your ad campaigns are. You can log in from anywhere and test or compare multiple campaigns, listen to call recordings and much more. Set up your free 30-day trial!