Why 1300/1800 inbound numbers are good for business

Isn’t it interesting that I can still remember the inbound numbers for Yellow Cabs and Pizza Hut but I have to check my contacts to look up my partner’s mobile number?

There are a number of reasons as to why this is. Firstly, our brains are normally only capable of recalling up to seven items in sequence at a time. Generally, though, this can be extended if you’re starting with a common pattern such as 13, 1300 or 1800. We only have to try to remember what comes after that.

Secondly, both Yellow Cabs and Pizza Hut had clever marketing campaigns highlighting their inbound numbers. Those jingles will remain stuck in my head for all eternity.

Both companies have since moved away from their jingle days, however, and now focus on what is known as phone words. Yellow Cabs often market themselves today simply as “13CABS,” which translates to 13 22 27. Not only is it an easy-to-remember sequence, but CABS is relevant to their business, complementing their marketing strategy.

In Pizza Hut’s case, they changed their number entirely from 13 11 66 to 1300 PIZZA HUT in 2008. This was in a bid to compete with their opposition 1300 DOMINOS.

Do you notice something about the length of these numbers? 1300 PIZZA HUT translates to 1300 749 924 88. In this instance, the numbers 88 at the end are superfluous. The phone call would start dialing once you entered the first ten digits. This is known as an over-dial. To avoid confusing your callers, SmartNumbers recommend limiting an over-dial to no more than one number for the 13 range and three or four numbers for the 1300/1800 range.

We’ve established inbound numbers are good for marketing, what about their practical application?

Inbound phone numbers are nationally recognisable. If your business operates nationwide, this can be useful as it won’t lock you to a specific locale like a landline number can. If necessary, you can set the inbound number so that calls from certain locations can be diverted to local offices. Continuing with the Pizza Hut example, if you dialled 1300 PIZZA HUT, your call would be routed to your nearest store.

While a mobile number won’t connect you to a locale either, an inbound phone number can make your business appear more established. In our blog, Encourage Business Growth with Virtual PBX, we explain that customers prefer dealing with big businesses. Therefore, the inbound phone number can instil confidence in your customer base – even if the calls are just forwarded to your mobile.

You can change these settings at any time to suit your business needs, including by call demand and time of the day, or in the event of an emergency. For example, if there are technical issues in one office you can send incoming calls to an alternative location.

Plus – as an added bonus, if you’re moving office there’s no need to reprint stationary or promotional material that showcases your number!

So which one is best for your business – 13, 1300 or 1800?

Cost is ultimately the biggest difference between the three options. There is an allocation fee ranging between $250 and $20,000 depending on the type of number you want. Numeric and word patterns are valued significantly higher than numbers with no patterns.

It’s also important to note that 13 numbers are generally more expensive on an annual basis. This is because the annual numbering charges (ANC) charged by ACMA are higher. You can learn more about allocation and ongoing costs for Smart Numbers here.

You will also need to consider incoming call costs. Traditionally, a 13/1300 number splits the incoming call charges between the caller and the business. On the other hand, 1800 number call costs are paid entirely by the business.

If you’re using a virtual phone system such as Virtual PBX or VoIP telephony system, the inbound call rates are the same irrespective of whether you have a 13, 1300 or 1800 number. Calls made to an 1800 number will still be free for the caller. MOVOX’s Inbound Phone plans show the call rates as all the same; only the setup fees vary.

Before making your decision, consider your telecommunications budget alongside your marketing strategies. If everything aligns, the ROI could be well worth the upfront costs. If you have any questions, we’d be more than happy to assist you.

Can you remember any clever smart number marketing strategies that have remained stuck in your head over the years? Let us know in the comments.

Rohan Doyle


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