Vanity numbers: What is it and do you need one?

The Alltel Team
The Alltel Team

When we say vanity, it often refers to something that you don’t necessarily need, but is good to have. While this is true when it comes to designer bags, sports cars, and jewelry; a vanity number for your business is an exception.

Custom numbers are considered the best available numbers for business—and with good reason. These are a necessity for industries that are highly competitive and rely heavily on the memorability of their numbers like food, delivery, and trades services. Let’s take a closer look at vanity numbers to see if they are indeed a need, rather than a luxury.

What is a vanity phone number?

Basically, these are custom phone numbers that have better recall than the usual landline or inbound numbers. Other people refer to them as Smartnumbers or phone words. These come in highly memorable numerical patterns (1300 50 10 50) or spell out words when dialed on a keypad (1 800 PIZZAS). 13 numbers which are shorter that regular numbers, with only six digits, are also considered one of the best available numbers.

These are regulated by the ACMA and can be purchased from their website or through a phoneword provider. With the average attention span shrinking year on year, most businesses prefer to use these numbers on their ad campaigns to capture a distracted market.

How do they work?

Phone words function the same as regular inbound numbers. When a client dials your number, their call is redirected to whichever phone you wish to answer from. You can route calls to a landline, mobile, or a VoIP phone. You may also choose to direct calls to a phone answering service during after hours, while in a meeting, or when you’re on holiday. Because of this flexibility, you can move between sites or work on the road without the need to switch numbers and update all your customers.

Are there cheap vanity numbers?

The cost of Smartnumbers vary depending on how common or memorable the pattern is. Prices for each number starts at $250, and goes up with demand for it. The key to finding a good number is being creative with your number search. If your first option is not available as an 1800 number, try it as a 1300 number instead. Aside from your brand name, you can try words related to your industry. Another tip is to combine words with numbers that sound like words such as 4 (for).

Once you have acquired the rights of use for a number, you can get it connected to a provider of your choice. Your selected number plan will determine how much you will pay on a monthly basis. If you choose an 1800 smartnumber, your business will shoulder all call costs. If you go for a 1300 number phone word, your callers share part of the cost and are billed at local rates. 13 number calls are also charged the same way, but come with an additional annual government surcharge.

Where to get Smartnumbers for your business

You have two options when it comes to getting a custom number. You can either buy the rights of use or rent it from your carrier. More than a year ago, these numbers were sold through a vanity number auction. Today, you can purchase your own Smartnumber directly online.

So should you buy a smartnumber or just lease one?

When it comes to vanity phone numbers, buying is better than renting. Leasing your number leaves you vulnerable to sudden price increases. It also robs you the option of bringing your number to a different telco if you’re unhappy with your current service. What’s worse is that they can even give the same vanity number to your competition once your contract ends.

Buying gives you enhanced rights of use which means the number is yours alone, as long as it becomes active within three years of allocation. Once have secured your number, you can have it activated by your chosen carrier.

The bottomline

Spending on Smart-numbers is not a waste of resources. With the help of business communication specialists like Alltel, you can effectively use your number to differentiate your brand and connect with your market much easier. To get started today, give us a call at 1300 ALLTEL or visit our official website at ALLTEL.

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