Just what are 888 numbers? Almost everyone is used to seeing 800 numbers pop up on caller ID. But an 888 number is a little more unfamiliar.
You may have come across the chance to get one for your business and wondered if 888 numbers are even legitimate.
Yes, 888 numbers are legitimate numbers that are generated and assigned by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
But there’s a lot more to know than that. Here’s a brief primer.
What Are 888 Numbers?
888 numbers are toll-free calling numbers. 800 numbers might be the most recognizable toll-free numbers, but there are several others: 833, 844, 855, 866, 877, and of course 888. The FCC is responsible for managing these and it recognizes 888, 800, and other toll-free numbers as equally legitimate and valid.
The 800 prefix is the original toll-free number. And until recently, these were the only ones in use. However, 800 numbers quickly started running out, making it necessary for carriers to issue 888 and other toll-free numbers.
The Basics of Toll-Free Numbers
Now that we’ve answered the question of what are 888 numbers, let’s touch on what toll-free numbers are.
A toll-free number essentially provides a free way for people to call you.
People can call toll-free numbers without being charged for it. There are no long-distance fees, no matter how far you’re calling from. The receiver of the calls does have to pay charges which vary depending on the telecom service provider.
The only time someone might end up paying to call a toll-free number is if they are using a cellphone and their plan charges them for this airtime.
Toll-free numbers are available in a random sequence or in vanity numbers that spell out a particular word or number sequence. Using a vanity number can be strategic, helping customers remember your business. As long as no one else already has the number, you should be able to claim it.
Once an 888 number is handed out, it belongs to the person or entity who subscribed to it – not the company in charge of registering it. This means that 888 numbers can be ported or taken from one phone service company to another.
Related: The Difference Between a Virtual Phone Number and a Physical One
Benefits of Having a Toll-Free 888 Business Number
So, you may be wondering if you should bother getting a toll-free business number or just stick with a local one. Toll-free numbers are made for business purposes. There are many advantages that come with them.
The FCC requires all toll-free numbers to be portable. This means you can take it wherever you want, hold on to it for as long as you want, and keep it as an asset.
If you already have a vanity number with a provider you dislike, you’re free to move to a better service. An 888 number eliminates the risks inherent to local numbers. It represents business stability, resilience, and continuity.
Vanity Number Branding
You can use an 888 vanity number for branding whether your company is large or small. It always creates an impact. It’s a great way to stand out in a crowded marketplace. If you feel your business goes unnoticed, get a vanity number that makes a statement.
Even micro or solopreneurs can benefit from a vanity number. It demonstrates commitment, thoughtfulness, and brand cohesion.
Better Customer Service
Unless you’re a hyperlocal company, you should have a toll-free number for customers to contact you from anywhere without cost. It isn’t appropriate to expect customers to pay to contact you when they need service or assistance.
An 888 number will give your brand a friendlier, more accessible image. Your business still needs to hold up its end and provide great service, but some toll-free service providers will make this easier by including business-optimized features like call analytics and CRM integration.
Call and Text Abilities
You can use 888 numbers to call out and to text customers and prospects, making it more convenient to send reminders, promotions, surveys, and other communications that may not require a call.
SMS capabilities are critical now. Millennials and Gen Z are stereotypically more likely to text. But every demographic appreciates the ability to text a company instead of call.
An 888 number provider can display text messages in your account inbox.
If your company is local and ready to expand, it’s time to upgrade to an 888 number. Getting a non-local 888 number will actually serve to expand your presence.
An 888 number is perfect for companies selling digital products or remote-based services. It should also be used by e-commerce brands and any firm operating across multiple area codes.
Need a number that will give off a corporate impression? Or create the image of a larger enterprise? A toll-free 888 number is the way to go.
Acquiring your own toll-free line declares that you mean business. Since these numbers are used to communicate with customers across a large region, people tend to assume that you have national or multinational operations.
Related: Globalizing with International Business Phone Numbers
Best Practices for Choosing Your 888 Number
So, you’ve decided to go ahead with your toll-free 888 number. It’s perfectly acceptable to select a randomly generated one.
But remember that 888 numbers are portable and not tied to any geographic location. You don’t have to change them even if your location or service provider changes. And you shouldn’t change it for the sake of business continuity.
This essentially makes them long-term business assets that should eventually be embedded in your customer’s minds. So, it’s a good idea to think of a number that will be significant in some way or can at least be easily remembered.
Is a Vanity Number Right for Your Business?
Choosing whether or not to get a vanity number is the next big decision. Vanity numbers are great for branding and much easier for customers to remember, but they can come at a slightly higher price.
This mental stickiness makes them powerful when used for marketing purposes, particularly if you are doing television, radio, or podcast advertising. You are more likely to win business from people who hear it. This alone makes it worth considering.
If your business has a conservative or upscale image, take some extra time to make sure your vanity number is memorable but brand appropriate.
How to Create the Perfect Toll-Free 888 Vanity Number
There are a few strategies for choosing your vanity number, but you first need to decide if you want to use your brand name or go with something related to the service or product you offer.
- Do you want to use a portion of your company name? Gentle Giant Moving, for example, uses 1-800-Giant-Men.
- Do you want to link it to your service? A personal injury legal firm uses 1-800-Hurt-Now to bring in clients.
- Some companies with forethought create brand names and vanity numbers that work together, like 1-800-Flowers.
- You could use an action verb plus your branding like FedEx does with 1-800-Go-FedEx.
- Or take a witty approach like the Jazzercise’s classic 1-800-FIT-IS-IT.
Once you’ve brainstormed a list of words or tags, then plug them into a tool like Phone Word Maker to see what number it makes. Make sure you like the actual number along with the vanity phrase.
How to Choose a Memorable Toll-free 888 Number
You don’t need a word-based vanity number to stand out. There are tricks to making numbers more memorable.
Here are a few examples:
- Repeating number sets: 888-425-1313
- Repeating digits: 888-425-7777
- Repeating the prefix: 888-425-8888
- Mirroring digit pairs: 888-425-2727
- Consecutive digits: 888-123-4567
- Mirror consecutive digits: 888-425-2323
- Use numbers on the keypad’s corners: 888-793-1793
- Use numbers along a keypad’s column or row: 888-471-4717 or 888-456-5656
Number strings with more coherent arrangements are easier to remember. If you don’t want a vanity number, this can help your business still stand out.
So, what are 888 numbers? They’re long-term business assets, branding strategies, credibility boosters, and customer outreach tools. Phone.com has toll-free 888 numbers waiting for you with secure, cloud-based phone services. Sign up today.