With the importance of Internet advertising for lawyers, some attorneys have the misconception that the internet makes 1-800 vanity phone numbers less important then they used to be.
In the Internet Age, Phone Numbers Are Still Very Relevant
According to a study of US customers by research agency eConsultancy, phone calls were the most preferred method of contact, slightly beating out email, live chat and click to call.
ConversionSciences, experts in website conversion, says “Calls are king” because:
- Phone calls are 10X more likely to convert into a sale
- 61% of mobile searches result in a phone call
- 52% of mobile ad clicks result in a phone call
Toll-free numbers still carry the implicit trust that people have, over the years, come to place in that 800 prefix.”
“Even though we carry the world in our pockets, with smartphones that don’t charge extra for “long-distance calls,” we still trust a number first established over 50 years ago by AT&T.”
“What phone number you choose to make your business line might seem like a pretty small detail, but it really can have a considerable effect on the image of your brand and on your relationship to your customers.”
“Think you may want to avoid the ‘old days’ feel of the 800 prefix and register for a newer option? Not so fast: A study by Engine Ready showed that 1-800 toll-free numbers had far higher conversion rates than toll-free numbers with newer prefixes. For example, phone numbers beginning with 800 had up to 60% higher conversion than those beginning with 855.”
According to CountryCode.org, “Toll free numbers, however, remain a crucial element in business telecommunications. They continue to provide legitimacy for businesses and are particularly effective in one regard: vanity numbers.”
Most Lawyers Don’t Understand What A Vanity Phone Number Does
Most lawyers (and others) think the importance of a vanity phone number is that people will remember how to call you. That’s what the ABA Journal reported in 1-800 ADVOCACY Vanity Phone Numbers Make Your Firm Less Forgettable. It’s certainly a great feature but not even close to being the most important.
Attorney Big Al’s website
The most important aspect of a vanity phone number is that because it’s a brand it substantially improves the conversion rate and ROI of both off-line and online advertising and marketing.
According to CountryCode.org, “Not only do they [vanity phone numbers] make the number easier to remember, but they can lend credibility to a business, as well as function as an effective branding tool that can associate a business with its phone number.”
In other words, a vanity phone number is what makes people want to call you.
Why? The reason is simple.
- Vanity phone numbers are impressive. It’s like a lawyer wearing a Rolex watch and driving a Bentley. People just want you to represent them because you look successful; and
- Vanity phone numbers create instant branding. A brand makes you look important and people think they’ve seen your number before, even if they haven’t.
Used properly as on Attorney Big Al’s website displaying 1-800-HURT-123 in your face, a vanity phone number is what makes people want to hire you. A law firm name does not.
Big Al understands the power and simplicity of 1-800-HURT-123. He also understands Attorney Big Al is more brandable than his name. By the way, it’s not even his real name but it is brandable. What’s Big Al’s real name?
What brand characteristics create the best conversion and ROI? A great brand is striking, simple, identifiable, memorable, conveys a message, provides a solution to a problem and satisfies a need.
It’s possible to brand anything, but the important question is how much money is needed to create the brand and how much is needed to maintain the brand.
Because it’s not a natural brand, it took $100 million to brand Jacoby & Meyers and it takes a lot of money to keep it at top of mind.
Cellino and Barnes probably spent nearly as much to brand their name before they eventually bought the vanity phone number 1-800-888-8888 for over $1M. Now that Cellino and Barnes are breaking up (Cellino & Barnes breakup turns nasty amid poaching claims), their law firm name isn’t worth anything but their vanity phone number is. Barnes quickly got another even better vanity phone number 1-800-800-0000 for approximately $1M. They’re also suing each other over that vanity phone number.
If you were starting a new soda, what would you pick for the name? Coke, Pepsi or Cellino and Barnes soda. Maybe that’s why Dr. Pepper isn’t as big as Coke. A law firm is no different.
CBS Sunday Morning reported (9/24/2017) that people with shorter, simpler names are more likely to succeed and lawyers are more likely to make partner. People’s names are no different when it comes to branding.
When someone looking to hire a lawyer visits your website, what is the conversion factor that will get them to call you? Will it be your law firm name, large verdicts or maybe even a pretty website. Will they call you or a lawyer with a vanity phone number on their website?
Advertising savvy lawyers understand how to get the most of their vanity phone number brand by displaying it very large on their website.
But don’t use your vanity phone number on just your website and TV! Use it everywhere.
Because it’s what gets people to call, it’s very important to use a vanity phone number in online advertising. Use a vanity phone number in the title of your online advertising with Google Ads, Bing, and other online advertising. You should also use it in local listings like Google My Business.
Google doesn’t allow numeric numbers to be displayed in paid advertising and Google My Business listings but they do allow a vanity phone number to be displayed because it’s also a brand.
Testing with 1-800-HURT-911® vs. Franckel & Plevy, LLP in the title of Google Ads showed a 640% increase in ROI when advertising 1-800-HURT-911®.
In states that prohibit lawyers from using a trade-name as a brand, a vanity phone number eliminates the problem because you have the right to display your phone number. It just happens to also look like a brand.
Google My Business local listing displaying a vanity phone number
FRANCKEL & PLEVY, LLP uses the 1-800-HURT-911® vanity phone number on websites, Google My Business listings, T-shirts, pens, bumper stickers, mouse pads, mugs, event tent, and even plastic bags to put everything in.
1-800-HURT-911® vanity phone number on Tshirts at Personal Injury Advertising
Lawyers Levine & Wiss understand the power of a vanity phone number and brand their vanity number with a sign in front of their office which is larger and more prominent than their law firm name. A photo of their sign is on the homepage of their website to impress clients so they call.
1-888-GOT-HURT is the conversion factor on this law firm website
The 1-800-HURT-911 trademark is prominently displayed at the top of every page on our law firm website and our law firm name appears under the logo on the left column.
I can positively say our 1-800 vanity phone number is at the top of every page not just so people know how to call us but because it’s the conversion factor that gets people to call us.
This attorney’s website displays the vanity phone number 1-800-HURT-NOW so it’s easily seen although not as prominently as the other websites. The attorney’s name doesn’t appear on the homepage, just his vanity phone number.
1-800-HURT-NOW in white and red on a black background is easily seen (but should be larger) on this attorney’s website
If you use a tag line with your vanity phone number, don’t limit callers to car accidents like this lawyer did on the billboard with CAR ACCIDENT? IT’S A 911 CALL!™. Our tagline is ACCIDENT? IT’S A 911 CALL!™
I even advertise HURT911® on my license plate and 1-800-HURT-911 on my car signs. Motorcyclists often wave to me.