Marketing Secret #36 Using Toll-Free Numbers
One of the things that we teach people to do, that seems to work over and over and sounds kind of simple and kind of stupid. It’s also one thing we have trouble convincing people to consider. What am I talking about?
I’m going to explain the idea and rationale behind 1-800#s and why you could use them, both for all of your marketing and for having clients and customers call personally.
One of the negatives that people think of, is the cost of having a 1-800#. Everyone worries that the cost will not be worth the benefits received. So, let’s discuss this in a little more detail.
First off, with any carrier, a 1-800# will run you about $50 – $100 a month as far as a fixed cost, and could be anywhere between $.10c to $.30c a minute, depending on what you require, the carrier and etc.
Now, for example if your 1-800 usage in one month totalled $100 in phone bills from people calling you, and that $100 expense generated $10,000 of income – would you think it was worth it? Would you think it was worth it to bring in all that revenue that might not have come in if you had just had a regular number?
You see, one of the myths we hear frequently is that somebody who is local won’t hesitate to call you on a local number, because basically people think local calls are free.
In other words have a 1-800# is “overkill”; you don’t need to have a 1-800# because all your prospects and clients and customers are local. Why waste the money?
Let me shatter the myth rather quickly. It has been proven time and time again in study after study, test after test, for whatever reason, people will call a 1-800# more often and more readily than they will a local number.
Now, you may not think this is the case, or that shouldn’t be the case because in fact, you call local numbers as readily as 1-800# yourself. It doesn’t make any difference to you.
But remember, it doesn’t matter what you think or what you do. All that matters is what the public does!
Another interesting fact is that most of the large producers we talk to – the people with a really big client base that makes them a lot of money – most of them have a 1-800# coming into their office, into their own private voice mail and they use 1-800# for their marketing.
Now, which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Did they become big producers, which meant they could afford to use 1-800#? Or did they use 1-800# to help grow their business big? I can’t answer that question, of course. All I can tell you is, I’ve used 1-800#s before and the cost, which I consider to be quite small, is far exceeded by the number of leads and new customers I get because they can call on my 1-800 line.
One way to test this for yourself is any time you are doing any kind of marketing, try going one way (with an 1-800# for example) and then compare it to the same exact marketing without the 1-800#. Which one works better over time? Which one generates more calls, leads, appointments or sales?
If you find that there is even a slight increase – for example, if you got even one extra sale a month on the 1-800 line – it would probably pay for any costs five or ten times over. So even a small increase in response because of the 1-800# can generate large dollar volume increases that far exceed costs for the line.
Another issue that comes up with 1-800# is that sometimes people can get the lines a little cheaper if they have extensions. For example, “Call 1-800-123-4567, extension 2196”. Again, don’t ask me why, but we have found that those numbers don’t work as well as plain 1-800# that allow people to call in directly.
This applies to offices, voice mail, or marketing devices. So don’t try to save pennies on a fixed cost to avoid having your own 1-800 without extensions.
Like everything else that we are discussing, this is based on human nature and the fact that people like things for free.
1-800#s are free. People will use them more often. And the more often they use them, the more they will be calling you. And the more they call you, the more money people will buy or invest through you.
Think about this hard and try not to be cheap here, because this particular area of marketing is very low cost and has the potential for producing dramatically increased results.
It is critical to have a 1-800# that generates leads from all your marketing campaigns.
One more point that is very important. We strongly recommend also setting up an 1-800 for people to call after they’ve received your free report. These prospects are “hot” if they’re calling you off the back of the reports and should be able to call you directly. If you work in an office with others, you don't want your leads to go astray!
We call a lot of our members back when they call or email us with a question. And we’re often asked, “Would you like to be transferred to Janice’s voice mail?” To which we reply that we would. And, we frequently get transferred to another person’s voice mail or get disconnected! This is very bad.
Now, you can do all you want to try and prevent incompetent help from sitting at the front desk but it won’t make any difference. Things like this are going to happen when you depend on others to take care of very important things.
Anyway, there is a simple solution that you should consider for the voice mail line that you have on your cards and listing sheets, etc.
Get Your Own Private 1-800# Recorded Message Line!
This should specify that it is separate from the lead generation lines. Do not confuse the two!
If someone calls your office and you’re out, why not skip the office line altogether?
Get people to call your own private 1-800# message line. They’ll be calling you directly and there is no chance that anyone except you can mess up getting the message.
This is very important. If a client decides that they’re going to buy something while thinking about this at 2am, they can call you 1-800# line and leave a message for you to call them in the morning. Anytime anyone wants to call you, they can and will, because you have made it easy for them to call!
In fact, you can check the line frequently for messages, or get a box with a beeper function that beeps you anytime you have a message!
I get a lot of resistance when I mention this: clients say they don’t want another expense. I understand the feeling, but it is plain wrong. Spending a fixed cost of around $50 – $100 a month to have a dedicated, private 1-800# recorded message function is a no-option matter for me. There just isn’t any excuse not to have this powerful marketing tool in your bag of clubs!
Don’t be cheap on the wrong things. Keep in mind that you’re going to have a whole new budget available from having stopped wasteful marketing expenses that don’t work and from generating a whole lot of new business!
Last word…be smart and savvy!