The Internet is Designed to Beat You

The internet is designed to beat you.
They surround your ad with other competing ads.

They charge you by the number of people who inquire, whether or not you are successful in monetizing that inquiry.

They even sell your own name to other people.

The internet cannot afford to allow anybody to dominate a category or an area or a location. If it did, the dominant player would eventually drive all others out, weakening the internet’s economic base. The dominant player would be driving the truck instead of the internet and social media giants.

The internet will always defeat you. It is designed to do so, so that it can retain control over its own income. Do you think Google would allow one company to take over the national spotlight and dominate? No. Every time you gets close, they change the algorithm and you’ve got to spend money trying to figure out how to do it all over again.

How do you defeat the internet?
By overshadowing it and not putting yourself in the position where you have to rely on it in order to grow your business. You do it by having a marketing campaign that ingrains your company into the hearts and minds of all the people in your community so that when they think of your product or service they think of you and call your unforgettable phone number. If people know your phone number, they don’t have to go to the internet and be exposed to the gauntlet of your competitors, directory sites and review sites.
Plus, when you drive people to your phone you sell more. Plenty of data shows that calls convert 20-40x more than web leads, which only convert 1-2% of the time. Even Google is pegging the value of a call at 10-15x more than a web form submission.

You can choose to fight a never-ending battle with your competitors for internet supremacy (a battle that you can never win), or you can build a lasting advantage that your competitors can’t duplicate. The choice is yours.

Your mobile marketing: How vanity phone numbers are integral to call commerce and increasing O2O conversions.

It is no longer up for debate: inbound phone calls are an important and increasingly valuable lead form. A recent study by BIA/Kelsey shows that calls convert to sales 10-15 times more than web leads. Thanks to smartphones, mobile calls to businesses are now totaling 85 billion annually with trends indicating that this number will swell to a staggering 169 billion by 2020. Mobile calls currently account for $1 trillion in U.S. consumer spending.

Calls are the primary form of contact in high-value and sensitive transactions. For these reasons the value of these leads will continue to grow, particularly because of today’s on-demand economy. Put simply, people want instant answers through human interaction. They want to have a quick and easy sales and customer service experience. This is why, according to a recent Accenture study, eighty-three percent of U.S. consumers prefer dealing with human beings over digital channels to solve customer services issues and get advice related to making purchases.

So where do vanity phone numbers fit in this equation?

Historically vanity numbers have served as easy-to-remember marketing tools, designed to ensure businesses got the highest response possible from their advertising (which is easier to remember 586-246-1180 or 1-800-MECHANIC?). While still serving that purpose today, their use has matured to accommodate today’s digital marketing needs.

The cornerstone of call commerce is call analytics. In order to have these analytics, advertisers will use different phone numbers in their digital advertisements to determine where each call came from and how the business interacted with that caller. The advertiser gets the satisfaction of knowing where each call came from, but ultimately their advertising dollars stop there, and little to no lasting branding is accomplished. This is because a different phone number in each ad doesn’t leave a lasting impression in a potential client’s mind.

Despite the most obsessive data gathering efforts, people are still more likely to buy based on marketing that has drilled something into their memories, such as a great jingle or an unforgettable phone number. 1-800-CONTACTS, 1-800-FLOWERS, and 1-800-GOT-JUNK demonstrate this by still being #1 in their respective industries. Their memorable phone numbers give them an advantage online and offline. Even companies that are more digitally oriented utilize these numbers. 1-800-GO-FEDEX, 1-800-SAMSUNG and 1-800-MY-APPLE are used by their respective companies to stay top of mind.

Circling back to how vanity numbers fit into today’s digital landscape and call commerce, the key is combining Dynamic Number Insertion with an unforgettable vanity number. Dynamic phone number insertion (DNI) is a process that marketers use to measure the impact of digital efforts on inbound phone calls. When a lead clicks through to your site from any advertisement, DNI technology displays a number that’s unique to the specific search engine, web page, keyword or other source.

Currently, companies lacking a vanity number will simply display a different phone number on every ad. But with a vanity number you have the best of both worlds because the vanity number is always displayed no matter what the ad is. When the consumer decides to click the ad and call, they are actually dialing a tracking number instead of the vanity number shown (the click-to-call hyperlink dials the tracking number). So the consumer sees the vanity number, remembers it, but where the call came from is still accounted for.

This is important for multiple reasons: first, digital ads featuring a vanity phone number receive 33% more clicks than random phone numbers. Second, a business won’t have to sacrifice their brand and advertising dollars for the sake of call tracking. And finally, with regard to O2O conversions (online to offline) consumers can recall the vanity number when they are no longer online which increases the likelihood of sales and referrals, because they don’t have to go back online to retrieve contact information. Thus avoiding exposure to online competitors.

Vanity numbers boil down to marketing’s essence, which is getting the consumer’s attention and making sure they remember you. Now you can do it digitally and in traditional media without sacrificing branding.

Risky business

We spoke with a medical practice the other day and their marketing director told us they were no longer putting their phone number on their billboards. This got us wondering how many people will drive past their billboards and think, “I’ll call them when I get home” – and then forget to do so.

By not placing a number on your billboards, you are risking three things when it comes to people who want to act now:

  1. They need remember to look your number up when they get to their destination. How many distractions do you think they’ll encounter before then?
  2. By making them go online, you have taken someone who wanted to act at that moment and delayed it. When your billboard got their attention, you were the only business on their mind. Once they go online, they will likely bump into your competitors.
  3. They may forget to call entirely. You had them for a few seconds, but you lost them.

All of these risks could be avoided with a simple and unforgettable phone number from Ignition Toll Free that consumers can instantly remember and dial. Call us at 1-800-Strong-Sales today.

Consumers 33% more likely to click mobile ad featuring vanity phone number

CONSUMERS 33% MORE LIKELY TO CLICK MOBILE AD FEATURING VANITY NUMBER

People searching online were 33% more likely to click on the ad featuring a vanity phone number compared to an ad featuring a numeric phone number. The test compared 100,000 impressions of two Google mobile ads. One ad featured 877-WINDOWS and the other 877-422-5878. The study found that the Click through rate (CTR) for the ad featuring the vanity phone number was .28%, resulting in 131 clicks from 46,429 impressions, while the ad with the numeric phone number was .21%, with only 111 clicks from 53,940 impressions.

 

 

Google says “Calls to a business are worth at least 3x more than clicks to a website.”

When you think about what you’ve been told regarding online advertising, it’s pretty hard to know what to trust. Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising was supposed to the a great value and drive traffic to your site and make you tons of money. Well, if you did it then you know it works sometimes and sometimes it does not work at all. You also know that it brings in some business, but not so much that you can stop doing all other kinds of advertising. Google is now focusing on “Call Only Campaigns,” that are designed to have people click to call your business from their search.Mobile click to call capption

Google is focusing on Call Only Campaigns because they found that phone calls are worth at least 3x more than clicks to a website. We’ve known this for a long time and agree with this statement, except that our data shows a call is worth 14x more than a click. Here’s why: Besides the most obvious reason of being able to speak with someone and answer their objections on the spot, your likelihood for making the sale or booking an appointment increases as well.

There are a variety of other factors that show the phone is the best way to generate more sales. For example when somebody clicks on your site and fills out an online form, you are then either responding back to them by email, waiting for them to respond in an instant chat, or you’re following up with them by phone based on the information they provided to you in the form. Now if that person doesn’t answer their phone, you leave a voicemail and then they call back. Maybe you miss the call or its after hours. Now you’re not stuck in phone tag mode and you have to allocate your resources to reaching out to this lead. All this effort and money could have been saved by just directing them to the phone, answering the call when it came in and talking to the client at that moment. Not only would you not have to put the resources into trying to contact them, but you would have already made a sale if you would have just spoke to them. A person who calls into a business is three times more likely to make purchase or book an appointment vs an online lead. Another way to say that is “people who call a business buy faster.”

So now Google wants to push their call only campaigns like it’s a new idea, but we’ve been saying this for a long time. Customers should be able to click on the ad and call you, and they should be able to see your number in your ad. That number should be a vanity number.  The reason it should be a vanity number is that a person clicking your ad may not remember how to find you a 2nd time around. Just clicking and calling doesn’t guarantee they’ll remember how to reach you. If they have to search for you and click your ad again then maybe you’re paying for the click to call twice .

If they just remembered your number you would not have to pay for that second click . You want to drive people to the phone, you want them to refer you, and you need something that’s as simple as pie in order to accomplish this. That’s why a vanity number is so effective. If you need a drywall contractor and you ask your friend and they simply tell you to call 1-800 Drywall, what could be easier? Nothing .

On a final note, if the customer clicks your ad and calls your business, then uses their call log to call you back at a later time Google does not track that second call, only the initial one. With Ignition and our vanity numbers, every call is tracked and recorded.

888CARPETCARE-SCREENSHOT-879x1030

Vanity numbers are not magic.

Vanity numbers are not magic. You need to use them for them to work. If you create a consistent brand image that incorporates your vanity number you will see huge results. I am highlighting a local Michigan company in this post. They embraced their vanity number and have thrived using it.

For the businesses that thinks they don’t need a vanity number, just look at the images below. No amount of advertising will ever produce anything as memorable as a solid vanity number baked into every facet of your marketing. Yes, with enough advertising, people might remember your company but they won’t remember how to reach you. Not like they will with a great business phone number.

You may read this and say to yourself, “they sell toll free numbers, so of course they tell me they work.” But we are not biased, we’re just informed. And know you are too. Call Ignition and start making your phone turn into your best salesperson. 1-800-STRONG-SALES.

877-dry-mich toll free number

Confusion, Chaos and Good Intentions – When Marketing Backfires

Hybrid phone number. Partial vanity. Whatever you call them, business phone numbers that mix letters and words are BAD for sales. Numbers like 888-423-PAIN just don’t work, and produce far worse results than just using a regular phone number. 800-HURT-911 and 866-4-Cookies are the rare exception, can you think of any other variations like these?

Just look at the photo below. Not only is the toll free number totally confusing, but they include another number immediately below it, making it even more difficult for the person trying to read it. Investing in a high quality toll free business line is essential to your brand and your bottom line. You don’t want your customers to remember the competition.

confusing 800 number

Often is the case that someone will try to make their marketing more effective but what ends up happening is the opposite. Here are some examples that we’ve documented to show you what we’re referring to.

87-chaos

Here’s an examples of something truly confusing to consumers, trying to create a vanity phone number by using the numbers in the area code. The company above is using an 877 toll-free phone number and trying to use the last 7 of the area code as an “S”. Consumers just don’t understand these numbers and it make dialing them very confusing.

enterprise large

cropped - enterprise

The above is actually a great example of very good business phone number next to a very bad one. Enterprise obviously invested in their main phone number, 1-800-RENT-A-TRUCK, but was not as concerned about the number used to sell their trucks, 1-877-4-trk-sales. It is pretty clear which number is better, but you won’t believe the difference it actually makes. A bad partial or hybrid number like 4-trk-sales can result in 70% or more fewer calls, and that equates to a staggering loss in sales. The rules here are simple – complete phrases only: no abbreviations.

mich vet

karnuts

The last two images are two examples of perfect vanity numbers. Easy to spell and direct. If you have questions or would like to learn more about good vs bad numbers gives us call.

A Perfect Business Phone Comparison

compare 2

Once in a while you get a perfect shot. Today was the day for me. I was sitting in traffic on my way to work when I saw the best real world comparison that I’ve seen in a long time. Two trucks idling in traffic with thousands of eyes on them. One had a truly unforgettable vanity phone number, the other a regular numeric phone number. Ask yourself two questions when you look at this picture:

  1.  Which number would you be most likely to remember?
  2.  If you had to spend money and advertise, which number would you rather put in your advertisements?

How much you pay for your business phone number each month is irrelevant if it does not generate business for you. In fact, the less it generates the less it should cost. That is why you can get any random phone number for $10/month from any phone provider. You go to Ignition when you want a number that generates sales. And the best part about it is that even though our numbers cost more than a random one, they generate wayyyyyy more business for you and in the end they are less expensive because they pay for themselves several times over each month.

You can stand out or you can blend in. This picture represents why a vanity number is so important.  Call Ignition. Get a vanity number. Increase your sales. Simple.

 

MasterCard uses vanity number for new card

Everyone knows MasterCard, but when they decided to launch their new line of credit cards called “Luxury Card” they made sure to use a vanity number to market it. They used the memorable phone number 844-LUX-CARD for two main reasons:

First, a company their size, and with their advertising experience, knows that it is vital to be easy to remember and that nothing accomplishes this better than an unforgettable number. They know that in today’s digital world, people who call a business are serious and more likely to buy.

Second, they feature their number boldly on all their commercials and on their website. If you want to get results with your vanity number then you should do this as well. You can’t use a vanity number in some places and not in others. Consumers need brand consistency.

MasterCard is not the only company utilizing vanity numbers. Next time you see a commercial for a new prescription drug pay attention, they always have a vanity business number as well. Using an unforgettable toll free number is one of the best ways to stretch your advertising dollars. You get more calls per ad and people can remember how to reach you.

What do you think? Call us at 1-800-STRONG-SALES to learn more.

 

luxcards

844-lux-card – vanity number used by MasterCard for launch of new cards

luxsite

Fact vs Fiction: Vanity Toll-Free Phone Numbers

fact vs fiction