Looking to have your own 1-800 number but don't want to spend a lot of money? No need to. How's $5 sound?
Yes, you can get an 800 inbound toll free number for just five bucks. It will also cost you a mere $5 a month to maintain your use of the number and 6.9 cents a minute for the calls you receive. For most business users, that's a pittance.
But it's a pittance that can pay off big.
Here's why. Anyone who calls your 1-800 number is doing so because they saw it in an ad, on a business card, on a flyer, in the newspaper, on TV, on a billboard, or heard it on the radio. Anyone who is motivated to call that number has a serious reason for doing so. Usually that translates into a motivated customer.
Most business owners know that 1-800 numbers have a powerful attraction for new and existing customers alike. People just have an aversion to paying long distance charges to call a business. It's something like paying shipping costs. The actual cost involved may not be that much, but it's a big turn-off compared to free.
What many business owners assume is that a 1-800 number is going to cost them a fortune to buy and use. That may go back to 10 or 20 years ago when the phone company was the only source for toll free service. The perceived value was high and so was the price tag.
No more. Now there are competitive toll free service providers who've made it possible for anyone, even the smallest independent professionals or entrepreneurs, to have at least one toll free number.
Is $5 a month too much? OK, then how about $2? Yes, you can get an 866, 877 or 888 toll free number for just $2 a month to order and $2 a month to maintain. The same 6.9 cents per minute applies for calls coming in from the contiguous states. It's a little more from Alaska and Hawaii.
This is why I said at least one toll free number. At $2 a pop, many companies have a bunch of toll free numbers. There is one for catalog orders, another for customer service, another for specials running on TV, another for items featured in the newspaper, and so on. The more numbers you have, the more finely you can track your marketing efforts. With a separate number for each ad you'll know exactly what is pulling and what isn't.
The service I'm recommending, Kall8, makes it easy to track these ad campaigns. In addition to assigning you a number, you'll get an online control panel to determine how your number is assigned and track any and all calls coming in. You'll have a complete accounting report for each of your numbers that you can check from any Internet enabled computer. Take a lunch break at your favorite restaurant offering free WiFi and see how your ads are doing.
You can also pick up your voice mail from these numbers if you wish. If you don't have the luxury of having someone to take calls, you can have your incoming toll free calls go to voice mail when you aren't available. If you want, audio clips of those calls will be sent to your email at no extra charge. Any incoming fax messages will also go to your email. This way your office is wherever you happen to be. "Another latte, please. My toll free numbers are paying off big today!"