Quick: what do you remember about the last three ads you saw or heard? Can you even remember the companies or what they were trying to sell? When I think about how successful a business is in attempting to sell to me, I’ve found that most times, I don’t have a very good memory about the business itself. Whether it’s that I am distracted, or just not immediately drawn to whatever good or service is being advertised, nothing is setting these businesses apart from their competitors. Therefore, my brain skips over the ad, and the company’s message is lost in translation.
But, I’ve noticed that those few ads that really pique my interest have one thing in common: the advertisers plainly, frequently, and often humorously, share how I can reach them if I want to know more. Even more interestingly, this is often done through sharing one small (but important!) piece of information: their toll-free numbers.
Easy, right? And effective, too! Here’s why using a toll-free number means business:
1. Toll-free numbers grab—and keep—your customers’ attention.
Do you remember the opera-singing Vikings who demanded, “It’s my money, and I need it now!” If you’ve seen this ad, then you’re probably humming the tune right now. Or, maybe you don’t know what I’m talking about; if not, check out this video, but beware: it may be stuck in your head for weeks to come!
It’s for a firm called J.G. Wentworth, and the entire gist of the spot is to point their core customer group to calling their toll-free number. According to financial analyst Lance Margolis, “the appropriate combination of quality television commercials and excellent financial services spelled success and national recognition.” But I’m going to go one step further. The ads were catchy not only because of the quality television commercial, as Margolis said, but because of the key pieces of information provided in the 30-second spot.
As ridiculous as the premise of Opera is, the ad is a good example of direct branding, in this case the 877-CASH-NOW phone number, said Carl Marucci, the managing director and senior editor of Radio and Television Business Report.
It was catchy, yes, but also an extremely effective means of sharing a toll-free number that ultimately drove the commercial to viral success: winning national and international awards and, most importantly, driving record inbound phone and web volume to J.G. Wentworthâ€™s sales center.
2. A toll-free number is all about location, location, location; but not like you may think.
With a toll-free number, you can do business anywhere and provide your clients a single toll-free number to use to reach you. If you have team members working from locations across the country, or if you don’t need your customers to know where you’re located geographically, toll-free numbers centralize your business to the customer and signify both a local and nationwide presence.
You own your number, so as your business grows and changes, transferring the toll-free number is easy and automatic; your toll-free number will work wherever you do.
3. The toll-free number you choose is unique to your business needs.
Think back to the earlier J.G. Wentworth example. What set the company’s approach apart from its competitors was knowing its business well enough to utilize its strengths; for instance, its use of the toll-free number 877-CASH-NOW. In choosing its toll-free number, the company not only provided viewers a good experience, but drove people to action in a way that resulted in record-setting business. Toll-free numbers give you the features you need to ultimately improve your bottom line, and they are tailored to your business’ needs with the flexibility to grow over time.
4. Your business’ toll-free number isn’t just digits. With it come the features you need to control and improve your business.
Call tracking data, used in conjunction with your toll-free number, shows how your business is succeeding in its efforts, and also gives you the ability to see how the money and time you’re spending can be used more effectively to share your message. Without excellent data to back up creative messaging, it is purposeless, and, to your company, without value.
5. Authority and Credibility.
It’s true of most relationships in life and absolutely in business: we want to partner with, work alongside, and give our business those we have faith in. Toll-free numbers, on a smaller scale, begin customer relationships well by first establishing trust and convenience. For a smaller company with an excellent reputation but that is relatively unknown, the credibility of a toll-free can draw in customers who may have initially shied away. It then becomes the company’s duty, through top-notch service and product, to leave the customer saying “wow!” and sharing his or her experience with other potential customers.
At first blush, it may seem like an insignificant detail to include a toll-free number as a prominent part of your campaign or branding material. But it’s not! For me, and for many potential customers like me, a toll-free number is that small but significant feature that we remember about your company. Ultimately, a toll-free number has the potential to differentiate you from everyone else and increase business, and therefore, your bottom line!