When first introduced in 1967, toll-free voice services (commonly called 800 services) were an instant hit with businesses using catchy vanity phrases and “free” calling to attract new and existing customers alike. Providing an easy-to-remember toll-free number for sales and support was good practice for successful companies, and many landmark businesses through the years have made these numbers the center of their branding and advertising strategy. Popular toll-free numbers such as 1-800-FLOWERS, 1-800-THE-CARD, and the jingle from 1-877-KARS-FOR-KIDS have proven to be both memorable and wildly successful.
With the convergence of wireline, wireless, and enhanced VoIP services, new technologies are adding value to how businesses connect with their customers and provide new analytical data about their markets. With the growth of broadband e-commerce, mobile data, and flat rate VoIP calling plans, many have expected that the toll-free voice industry would simply fade away.
But nothing could be further from the truth! The toll-free voice and vanity number business is alive and growing, with new advertising models, personal enhanced services, marketing analytics, texting, and united messaging helping to drive renewed growth in the industry.
The toll-free industry has and is evolving in new and exciting ways. Online retailers and advertising firms nowadays take advantage of the virtual nature of voice and text-enabled toll-free numbers to establish a neutral and omnipresent geographical presence, and to enhance their global branding. The growing field of data analytics has also found an important application by using toll-free numbers to help businesses better measure and focus their marketing programs. Today, toll-free numbers support sophisticated advertising and campaign tracking, and are used as a communications vehicle to seamlessly support the customer journey.
To learn more, download our free white paper entitled “The evolving role of toll-free services”.