Higher Response Rates and More Leads Fool-proof Advertising “Do’s” with Vanity Numbers

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Business owners experience a thirty percent increase in ad response when they use a vanity 800 number as the response and tracking tool in their advertising. Some are doubling, even tripling their response rates.

Vanity phone numbers, like 1-800-FLOWERS, are proven to pull more responses and generate more leads when used in advertising. In fact, many business owners experience at least a thirty percent increase in ad response, and some are doubling, even tripling their responses. They attribute success like this to using a vanity phone number in all forms of advertising, like broadcast, print and outdoor.

Just ask Ron Henson, General Manager of an auto dealership in Utah. Ron increased his call volume 650%, which enabled his sales team to move more units off the lot. He compares the number of units sold in November 2005 to previous years and attributes the up tick to more phone-ups coming into his dealership. Ron says, “We are shattering previous sales records by 50% and I attribute this success to our new advertising, which prominently features a vanity 800 number.”

Follow the advice below to make sure you use a vanity 800 number as effectively as possible to maximize the power of your advertising budget, increase lead generation and get results like Ron.

1.    Lather, Rinse n’ Repeat. We all read the back of shampoo bottles and laugh at the obvious instructions to “lather, rinse and repeat.” But, this is great advice when you think of it in other contexts, ones that may not be so obvious. For example, make sure you feature a vanity phone number in all advertising. And, when you are using your vanity number in broadcast (TV and radio) be sure to repeat the number at least three times - once in the beginning, in the middle, and as the last bit of information to finish off the commercial. For example:

“Call 800-NEW-CARS today for more information on in stock new and used vehicles. We have hundreds of affordable models in all shapes and sizes. Call Jim’s Dealership today at 800-NEW-CARS for a car quote that you can afford. Call 800-NEW-CARS today.”

2.    Say It Loud and Proud. Put your phone number on everything – from business cards to company cars. Hire a troop to scream it out from the top of the tallest building. Seriously, make sure people know how to contact you. Use it in all of your advertising. Radio, print, television, billboards, collateral materials, even on your website for local searches. Think big, think branding, think billboards or better yet, moving billboards. Using your vanity number on all marketing materials and in all advertising campaigns delivers consistent messaging and ensures that the number will pull more leads and sales.

3.    Say it in a Song. Everyone loves a good jingle. And, they have been proven to stick with people forever – for example Folgers - “The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup.” Using jingles in radio and television ads have been hugely successful for businesses in food, package goods and even the automotive industry. They create an emotional connection with consumers. And, they can last for years and years (as long as they are not too cheesy or annoying). The cost of creating one jingle has HUGE pay off if you use it to brand your business, run it in all broadcast ads, and increase your leads and sales as a result.

4.    More is More. Make sure you give your advertising campaign, and direct response tool (remember we are talking vanity phone numbers here, trackable vanity 800 phone numbers) a chance. Run a moderate to heavy ad schedule. If it is a radio ad, be sure to run on several stations that target your audience, and run the ads at least several times a week on each station. Same goes for television, and print – come to think of it. We all have a better chance of remembering a phone number if we hear it several times a day. The more impressions you provide the better the retention rate by your audience.

5.    Brand, brand, brand. When you activate a vanity 800 phone number, be sure to get one that ties into your product or service. Follow steps 1-4. This will help. A car dealer who uses 1-800-NEW-CARS is stating the obvious, but we need that as consumers. It enhances the brand, the ad message and the opportunity to be remembered by your target audience. If you are selling real estate services 1-800-NEXT-HOME is a clear indication of what you have to offer. As a matter of fact, apart from your company name, a strong call to action, and a branding vanity phone number, you do not need to include much else in your ad. That will avoid clutter and the chance of overwhelming consumers with too much information.

Finally, test it and track it. Create two separate ads using the same creative elements, just switch up a toll-free phone number for a vanity 800 number in one of the ads. Then track the response you get from each ad. It has been proven that people will remember a vanity phone number (one that spells something, like 1-800-PICK-UPS) in a radio ad fourteen times more than they will remember a numeric number. So you will be able to test ad campaigns, specific media channels, and find out which ones in your local media/advertising market are best for your success.

When using a phone number as a direct response tool there is no question that true vanity 800 phone numbers are the easiest to remember, and produce higher response rates.

Laura Noonan is Vice President of Marketing with 800response. She can be contacted by email at news@800response.com. For additional information on increasing advertising response rates visit http://www.800response.com.

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Jeanne Landau
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