Your Guide to a Toll Free Number
So what is a toll free number? It’s a phone call where the charge is passed on to the party being phoned and is free for the person making a call. This service is sometimes called freecall or freephone. 1800 is the most recognized toll free number in the United States. 1855, 1866, 1877, and 1888 are also used. Companies worldwide use a toll free number to market themselves, and different prefixes are sometimes used in different countries. Companies utilize a 1800 number on promotional and direct response activities, including email and enewsletters, broadcast media, social media, digital marketing, direct mail, outdoor signage, product catalogs, pamphlets and sales sheets.
Toll Free Number – A Brief History
The 1960s was a decade of vast changes in politics, culture, and technology. You may not know that it was also when the first toll free number became available. The General Post Office (GPO) in the UK launched the service in 1960. AT&T launched 1800 numbers in the US in 1967 as a way to assist their operators in managing the overflow of collect calls. Only a few large catalog and direct response businesses adopted the toll free number early on – the original price tag to purchase and activate was too high. In 1984, the landscape shifted with the breakup of AT&T and the Bells. Companies began promoting their 1800 phone numbers in everything from infomercials to billboards, and its usage has skyrocketed. Some businesses utilize a virtual phone number to forward calls to any location worldwide.
Tips for Maximizing a Virtual Toll Free Number in Your Business
It doesn’t matter if your company is tiny or huge, a virtual 1800 number can help you extend your brand in other cities, other regions, and other countries. If you are a startup or do business on the go you might consider forwarding your toll free number to a mobile phone. If you work for a larger organization you can forward a 1800 number to a sales/customer care center to save on the cost and headaches of hiring staff or opening offices in other locales. You may want to feature a toll free numberthroughout your promotions and advertising, and consider getting more than one for the purpose of testing the efficacy of different campaigns. You may also want to get a vanity spelling for your 1800 number to make it more memorable. Also, don’t forget to register your number at toll free directory assistance.
A Toll Free Number Makes Your Brand Legitimate
Don’t make customers call you at a strange or international phone number. Minimize barriers and increase credibility by activating a local or toll free USA phone number, UK phone number, or other international phone number. Because your toll free number is not originating from a single provider, it will be yours to use for as long as you want.