Most lawyers know by now that they need a custom vanity phone number to compete with – and stand out from – other attorneys in their field. However, the next question can be more complicated. How do you choose the ideal phone number for your law firm?
On the surface, it might seem easy… find your name or a legal term and buy the number, right? Not quite. There are a few important considerations to weigh before you choose the marketing asset that could define your firm for years to come.
Here are some of the questions you should factor into your decision:
Do we need a local or toll-free number?
A local number helps to identify where you are, and a toll-free number provides a more polished, professional appearance, even if you only use it in your region. 800 is itself a brand among numbers. Each has their brand-boosting benefits, which makes the choice a strategic decision for your law firm.
If you operate in multiple areas, toll-free numbers are an easy way to connect regional offices and have a unified branding approach. Local numbers can speak to very specific communities and create a connection that way, but it can be just as hard to find pure 7-digit phrases in the right area code.
In both cases, if you want to convey a specific message with your number, you may have to be somewhat flexible and come forward with several ideas, in case the one you want is not available.
A trusted number provider like RingBoost can help you find great options in either scenario, but it’s important to be aware of the potential challenges.
For some attorneys, it’s simply best to offer both options and let clients decide. Providing a custom local phone number alongside a memorable toll-free vanity number can also help a law firm to understand which works best. In some locations potential clients may prefer a familiar area code, while others will prefer the size and stature conveyed by an 800 number.
If in doubt, work with both to find out what your clients want.
Should we have a vanity number or is easy-dial better?
Because vanity phone numbers act like a call filter, attracting only callers with problems matching the vanity phone number, some law firms don’t want to be pigeonholed into one area of law based on the spelling of a vanity phone number such as ###-CAR-CRASH or ###-DIVORCE.
Instead, an easy-dial number which has a memorable cadence can be used. Examples include repeaters, where all seven digits are the same number (e.g. ###-444-4444) or millions where the number is mostly zeros (e.g. ###-200-0000). Other patterns such as ones that alternate numbers can sometimes be just as memorable and are less expensive.
Are competing law firms already using a custom number?
With the popularity of vanity numbers in the legal sector, there’s a good chance other firms in your area will be using a custom vanity number in their law firm advertising. This furthers the case for your firm to jump on the bandwagon, but you’ll need to be more selective in the number you choose so your advertising stands out.
Look at how your competitors use their number in offline and online advertising. If it’s simply an afterthought, your firm can take the lead in creative vanity number selection and marketing.
However, if other law firms are already using memorable numbers at the heart of their marketing, you’ll need to find a unique message that stands out from the crowd. This will flow from the number you choose, so make sure it’s one that reflects a key brand value or selling point of your law firm. From that firm marketing foundation, you can build campaigns that clearly communicate why potential clients should call you first.
Should we use our firm’s name or area of expertise?
Attorneys value name recognition more than most, but a custom number isn’t always the place to promote that aspect of your brand. One of the key advantages of memorable phone numbers is how clear and concise they are, which rarely aligns with the many characters typically associated with a law firm.
There are several ways to get around this. One is to focus on your field of specialty, which can be explicit, like 1-800-DIVORCE, or implied, like 1-800-HURT-NOW or 1-800-HURT-911® for a personal injury attorney. Your number can also reflect a characteristic of your brand personality such as 1-888-WE-FIGHT.
There are advantages to each approach. Clear numbers help explain exactly what you do and how you can help a client in seconds, while more emotive numbers can have a greater impact in some areas of law, generating a stronger call to action.
Which type of vanity phone number you choose depends very much on understanding your target audience and the style of your law firm, but the broader concept of considering custom numbers based on your field of expertise will open up more options.
What numbers are actually available?
Depending on your answers to the questions above, the range of options available to you for a new number could vary a lot. If there are only a few numbers that meet your criteria, the decision will now be easy. If there are still plenty of choices on the table, work with a reputable provider to help you identify the ideal number for your law firm.
Companies like RingBoost have helped thousands of businesses raise awareness of their services and increase inbound leads with a custom phone number. If you have any questions about how to find the right one for your law firm, they are here to help.
To speak with a consultant about finding a number that is the exact fit for your business, call 1-877-RINGBOOST.
About Paul Faust
Paul Faust is Partner and Vice President of Business Development at RingBoost.com, the nation’s leading provider of memorable toll free and local vanity and easy dial telephone numbers. Paul is responsible for national business development as well as overseeing the company’s sales and marketing functions. As a recognized industry leader Paul organized the first industry-wide trade conference in 2010 and led the panel discussion on vanity numbers at the annual SOMOS Conference.
Paul has worked with hundreds of law firms across the country and exhibits or attends 8-10 industry conferences every year including: AAJ, MTMP, NTL, PILMMA & M&L. In 2017 Paul had the honor of being inducted into the PILMMA Hall of Fame.