How to Choose Your Lucky 844 Numbers

Jumble of white numbers on black background

Have you ever thought of a genius idea for a toll-free number, only to find out it’s already taken? Brush the cobwebs off all those ideas, because the FCC has announced that it’s releasing the 844 toll-free prefix on December 7, 2013.

To help get you started, we’ve put together a few quick tips for choosing your new toll-free numbers (TFNs).

Make TFNs Easy to Remember

With 61 percent of adults in the U.S. now owning smartphones, memorizing phone numbers is not as vital as it was in, say, the ’90s. It’s easy to whip out your phone and do a quick search for the phone number of the company you need to get in touch with. So while having an easy-to-remember phone number doesn’t serve the practical purpose it once did, it does help make your company memorable.

Take 844.732.6464, for instance. Do you associate this number with any particular brand? Probably not. But, for the purpose of this example, let’s say you’re interested in our RECOGNIZE voice speech-recognition software. In all the advertisements you see for this product, you’re told to call 844.RECOGNIZE for more information. Now, instead of seeing a random jumble of digits, you associate this number with a specific product and in turn a specific company (i.e., Who's Calling).

Make TFNs Relevant to Your Business

Hedgehog looking straight aheadWe’ve established that choosing a memorable TFN is important, but we’d like to add a caveat: If a number is memorable but has nothing to do with your business, it’s a no-go.

What if we chose to use the number 844.HEDGEHOG for our RECOGNIZE campaign? People might remember it, but unless our campaign features a hedgehog, that number isn’t going to do much in terms of brand recognition. The same goes for abbreviations that most people won't recognize (no pun intended), such as 844.RCGNIZE and 844.WHCLLNG.

Act Fast

We’re dubbing the release of this new area code the 844 number gold rush. Since the introduction of the 855 prefix in 2010, it’s been nearly exhausted, so be prepared to jump on the 844 numbers you want for your business. Because TFNs are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, think of all the TFNs you think you’ll need for your ad campaigns and request them sooner rather than later.

Here's hoping you get your lucky numbers!

Three Quick Tips for Beating the B2B Email Marketing Slump

'Tis the season for consumers to spread cheer, be jolly and (our personal favorite) shop around for the best holiday deals. This year individual holiday spending is expected to be up 11 percent from 2012, meaning the average consumer will spend $646 on gifts.

That much shopping is a B2C email marketer's Christmas wish come true. If you're a B2B marketer, however, you're probably wondering how in the world you're going to get the attention of people who are busy worrying about which trendy toy they're going to have to track down for their child or whether or not to buy grandpa yet another tie. So how can do you break through the holiday haze?

Here are some tips to make your email efforts successful.

Harness the Added Value of the Holiday Season

With overcrowded holiday inboxes, marketers need to come up with enticing designs and subject lines. Do your best to incorporate the warmness and generosity of the holiday spirit into your emails.

In your subject lines, consider leaving out mentions of  discounts and opt for a holiday-themed sentiment instead. Everyone's trying to sell consumers something during the holiday season, so set yourself apart by adopting a service tone instead of a sales tone.

Finally, the holidays are a great time to integrate charitable giving into your email campaign. Be sure to include an eye-catching and enticing link encouraging consumers to join your cause and give back to those in need.

Make It Easy to Get in Touch With You

In this day and age, when most adults don't leave home without their mobile phones, a mobile-friendly email campaign can pay dividends for your business.

Around the holidays, people are on the go more than ever, so figuring out how to get in touch with your business shouldn't be like trying to find the North Pole. Include clear calls to action such as a button to a landing page, a toll-free number in a prominent spot or a Click To Talk button.

Research, Research, Research

Research doesn’t always elicit feelings of holiday cheer, but running a few numbers can make the magic happen when it comes to your email marketing campaign. By looking at last year's results, you can establish a baseline for this year's holiday email marketing.

Use your favorite email analytics software to find out what day of the week and time of day your customers opened your emails last year and use this information to determine the best time to schedule your email blasts. Also know what subject lines, offers and calls to action got the best response and incorporate similar ones in this year’s campaign.

Emulate what has worked in years past and don't be afraid to change up what's not working. (This principle applies to all your holiday campaigns — not just email campaigns. More on that here.)

Each holiday season brings abundant opportunity for marketers. By using data from past holiday seasons coupled with a sharp attention to detail, you will increase your holiday revenue and leave prospects and customers alike with a warm feeling about your company year-round.