Is 310 the New 90210? eVoice® Survey Reveals Area Codes Have the Edge Over Zip Codes in Boosting Small Business Image

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National customer survey identifies recognizable area codes and 800 Numbers as key business drivers

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“What’s interesting about the survey findings is that it’s an area code, not a physical address that now seems to have the most positive impact."

eVoice®, a "Radically Better Phone Number" and brand from technology leader j2 Global Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: JCOM), today released the results of its new “Small Business Communication Strategies and Challenges Survey” that highlights the significance of area codes and toll-free numbers in projecting a professional business image. eVoice® is a virtual phone number that enables small businesses to easily manage business communications from anywhere, anytime through call routing, screening and recording; virtual receptionist and personal attendant features; and voicemail transcription as text messages.

j2 Global’s extensive worldwide network provides voice and fax numbers in over 4,300 cities in 49 countries, giving small businesses a valuable competitive edge in creating a local presence while building a professional image.

The majority of respondents in the eVoice “Small Business Communication Strategies and Challenges Survey” said that the right area code carries more prestige than a desirable zip code, suggesting that the right area code can provide a competitive edge in acquiring customers. Additional key findings from the survey include:

  • The majority of respondents (68 percent) say having the right area code or 800 number gives them a competitive edge.
  • Seventy-one percent of respondents believe their area code carries more prestige than their zip code.
  • The majority of respondents (56 percent) confirmed that the biggest benefit to having an 800 number is that their business appears larger.
  • Seventy percent of respondents stated that their mobile phone is their primary business phone.
  • When asked “What does a recognizable area code say about your business?”, the number one answer from survey respondents was “Legitimacy.”

“Some things never change, like the importance of a first impression,” said Mike Pugh, vice president, marketing of j2 Global Communications, Inc. “What’s interesting about the survey findings is that it’s an area code, not a physical address that now seems to have the most positive impact. eVoice enables a small business to be connected to the community – via a local area code – even though the business may be in another city or state. And for businesses that want to present a broader national image, eVoice offers toll-free numbers.”

Location, Location, Location: Area codes are the new zip codes

According to the survey, the majority of respondents (72 percent) believe that the right area code carries more prestige than a desirable zip code. With internet and mobile communications playing a major role in business sales and customer service, leasing an expensive storefront in a trendy, high-trafficked neighborhood isn’t always necessary, desirable, or cost-effective. Only eight percent of small business respondents said that location was the most important factor for their business image.

Gaining the Edge with Toll-free Calls

Sixty-eight percent of respondents see the competitive advantage of having a desirable area code or 800 number. The ability to make a business appear larger is the most-often cited benefit to having a toll free number. Improved customer service and increase in recognition and credibility are other benefits.

In August 2010, Robin Feltner, owner of Supernatural Botanicals, was featured in the television program “Every Day with Rachel Ray.” To prepare for the exponential growth this appearance would bring to her business, she chose eVoice to organize her calls, handle the increase in call volume, and help her business make the right first impression by projecting a professional appearance.

“I cut the cord on my local landline and gained a toll-free number and a virtual receptionist with eVoice,” said Feltner. “I save $70 a month and now have multiple extensions that route calls to my cell phone or to different extensions, each with specific greetings for shoppers looking to buy eco-friendly products.”

eVoice offers three plans, starting as low as $12.95 a month, with a selection of options such as a local or toll-free number, auto attendant, call routing (forwarding, transfer, screening), voicemail-to-text, conference calling, and more. Free apps for the iPhone®, BlackBerry® and Android® mobile phones are also available.

About the Study

The survey was available in all 50 states to current eVoice customers and visitors to eVoice’s website from May 16, 2011 – June 7, 2011. More than 300 random participants responded via online and email. Survey participants were not compensated. For more information on the survey please visit this page. Complete survey results can be viewed here.

About eVoice®

eVoice is a brand service and trademark of j2 Global Communications (NASDAQ:JCOM). eVoice, one of the industry's leading virtual phone services, offers a wide selection of local or toll-free numbers and provides personalized U.S.-based VIP setup and support for new accounts. eVoice is online at http://www.evoice.com/.

About j2 Global Communications
Founded in 1995, j2 Global Communications, Inc. provides outsourced, value-added messaging and communications services to individuals and businesses around the world. With offices in eight cities worldwide, j2 Global's network spans more than 4,300 cities in 49 countries on six continents. The Company's websites appear in numerous languages, including Dutch, French, German, Spanish, English and more. Payments are accepted in currencies that include the U.S. Dollar, British Pound, Canadian Dollar, Japanese Yen, Euro, Hong Kong Dollar and more. j2 Global provides live sales and customer service support in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Dutch, German, French, Cantonese and more. j2 Global markets its services principally under the brands eFax®, MyFax®, eFax Corporate®, Onebox®, eVoice®, Campaigner®, Electric Mail®, and KeepItSafe™. As of December 31, 2010, j2 Global had achieved 15 consecutive fiscal years of revenue growth. For more information about j2 Global, please visit j2global.com.

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