Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Low Cost 800 Numbers Are Here

Are you becoming convinced that an 800 number would really help your business? That is, if you could only afford one. Just put a toll free number on your business card or advertising and customers near and far won't hesitate to call. Not as long as you're the one paying for the call. But can you really afford the cost of acquiring an available 800 number and then paying for all those calls? You sure can when you go with the right toll free service.

I say toll free service because 800 numbers are only one of several number types that don't charge the caller, even for long distance calls from the other side of the country. To be precise, they are called in-bound toll free numbers and include 800, 866, 877, and 888. Why so many? Demand, that's why. The original toll free service was only phone numbers that started with the 800 code. It remained that way for many years, so "800 number" is what people think of when they want to call a business but not pay for the call. Customer service departments are huge users of toll free numbers.

But 866, 877 and 888 work the same way as 800. Why pick one over the other? Cost and availability of the number you want is the reason. Yes, you can still get 800 numbers. They're $5 each to set up and $5 each to maintain. That's your only cost to own and publish the number. You only pay more when people call. For that you pay 6.9 cents per minute for calls from the 48 states. There's a surcharge of 7 cents a minute for calls that come in from Alaska and Hawaii.

How about those other numbers? An 866, 877 or 888 number will run you $2 to set up and $2 a month, plus the same 6.9 cents a minute for incoming calls. It doesn't matter if your choice is just a random collection of numbers or if it is one of those easier to remember repeater numbers that end in something like 1111 or 1212. The price is the same. You only pay extra if you want a vanity number that spells out the name of your business or something else, or one of the limited number of premium 800 numbers that are really easy to remember.

Unless it's really important to have a particular number, you'll probably find something that will work just fine for you from the list of currently available numbers that are ready to go. You look through the list, pick the one you want and order it immediately online. By the time you're done inputting your credit card information and completing the order, you're number is ready to use.

The beauty of this particular service, called Kall8, is that you get an online control panel along with your number. You can set parameters for how many rings before callers are transferred to voicemail (included) and which phone number you want your toll free number to ring to. Many sales professionals and small business owners routinely change their ring-to number from their home phone to their office phone to their cell phone, depending on where they happen to be. The caller only knows that they can easily reach you anytime and not pay for the call. There's also an advantage that the only number you need to print on your business card is your toll free number.

Kall8 includes a wealth of features with your toll free service, including FAX to email that lets callers just send a fax to your toll free number. You get an email with the fax attached. Pretty handy, right? Caller ID can simply pass the caller's number or display your toll free number. That's handy when you have multiple numbers for different purposes, such as different offers, different ads, or multiple businesses.

Would a low cost 800 or other toll free number enhance your business for very little money? If you think it might, learn more and order your Kall8 toll free service now.

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