If we told you that you might double, or even triple, the effectiveness and volume of your inbound phone calls to your business phone number for $250, is that something you might be interested in? From an offline marketing and brand management perspective, the use of Australian Smart Numbers to represent your brand of business is probably still one of the best kept secrets in business. In this article we'll talk about some of the advantages of their use and how they can be used to bolster your inbound inquires.
Conversion Rate Optimisation is not (and was never) a term reserved for use in the online world. Belief has always believed that any online campaign is only as effective as the weakest point in its conversion cycle, and many sales often reach a roadblock not because of the inefficiencies of digital efforts, but rather because an inquiry makes its way into the real world and isn't handled by way of best-practice or standard procedures. While outside the scope of this article, it's important to know that Belief take a holistic approach to marketing and assesses business practices to ensure digital leads will convert.
In every business there are multiple points of failure, or areas in a weakened state that potentially provides some sort of barrier against lead-generation. While not a mainstream consideration, your phone number may be one of these areas - not because it's ineffective necessarily, but because there is a means of improving upon its effectiveness.
Australian Smart Numbers (or those starting with 1300, 1800, and 13) are said to convert TV conversions by 5.5 times, radio 14 times, and print media by 6 times. A good Smart Number is said to be 5 times more memorable than standard phone numbers, and may attract 5 times more leads. The statistics go on and on depending upon where you source them; Roy Morgan research, however, have determined that overall the use of a Smart Number will decrease the cost per lead by 66%. The simple truth is almost indisputable: Smart Numbers work.
Buying a Smart Number
Smart Numbers are administered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) via the The Numbering System website. The cost of most numbers is $250 (with a once-off registration of $35). Highly patterned numbers or those with a premium value incur a higher cost.
You don't 'own' a smart number. Instead, you become the Enhanced Rights of User (EROU) holder with the option to sell or lease the number - something you can't necessarily do with a normal number. The entire process isn't entirely unlike a domain name registration.
Number ranges are provided to telecommunication providers, and these numbers are available to lease for a small monthly fee. The number patterns are usually generic and don't come with the advantage of spelling out a name (as discussed below), so they won't come close to delivering the same conversions as a memorable number - think of a number pattern as using an IP address instead of a memorable domain name.
It's always best to get your own number from the AMCA website so it remains as portable as your business and branded to your liking.
Smart Number Features
The most significant value of a Smart Number comes from its portability. Because it's a virtual number that sits on top of your existing phone number, you can simply redirect it to another landline or mobile if you change business address. Of course, the number is a real business asset that potentially has serious resale value (1300 HOMELOAN sold for 1.2 million after being purchased for $400 in 2004).
The range of features varies depending upon the provider you sign up with, with each feature potentially adding slightly more to your subscription cost. Just some of the advantage of the Smart Numbers are geographic redirections (by postcode or state), call analytics, voicemail to email, call introductions, sequential ring, simultaneous ring, call recording, smart redirections, call queuing, and call whispers. The number of available features makes the decision to buy into the feature a no-brainer for many. For any business serious about their marketing, the integrated analytics and possible integration into your CMS via a platform API makes the Smart Number a must-have service.
Since Belief Media has representation across various states of Australia, the call you make to our 1300 BELIEF phone number will usually redirect to the appropriate office. Additionally, keying in an extension during the introductory message will redirect you to the person you would like to be talking to. We also record selected inbound phone calls for quality control and training purposes; all available immediately after the call terminates. The call analytics are also closely connected with our own in-house management systems. For us, the system has injected a breath of digital fresh air into communications infrastructure that hasn't changed very much in decades.
The notion that the 1300 Smart Number adds a measure of trust to your brand also can't be ignored. The Smart Number certainly creates a stronger impression than a mobile phone number.
A good example of a branded Smart Number is our own number, 1300 BELIEF, or 1300 235 433. What's easier to remember? We actually purchased this number off the previous EROU holder that used it because it spelled out '1300 ADLIFE'. The AMCA website makes transferring the EROU between users simple and easy.
If you're looking at a 1300 service we'd almost always suggest you select a number that is branded or connected to your service and/or industry. We purchase phone numbers in much the same way as we do domain names, with each number used in various campaigns to split test the effectiveness of various efforts.
Connecting Your Smart Number
There are literally dozens of businesses that host Smart Numbers, all providing varying features and different costs. If you're not happy with your provider for any reason, or you require additional features your current arrangement doesn't provide, it's generally an easy process to migrate over to another company.
We have good relationships with a few companies that provide significant discounts for our customers and referrals.
Used In Digital Marketing
Because there's a latent mistrust of anything digital-media/online service related, using a Smart Number as the point of contact for digital marketing campaigns are said to improve upon conversions by at least two times, although we've seen much higher. Use of a 1300 number is just a small part of an offline strategy that we may recommend to our clients.
If your business name is unavailable as a default social media handle, consider your phone number; for example, @1300belief. It reinforces your name and your phone number. There are some seriously successful business, such as 1300FLOWERS, that brand themselves based almost entirely on their phone name.
If an individual is researching products online while making a purchase decision, a strong branded Smart Number is far more likely to be remembered (and make a strong impression) than any other number.
1300, 13, or 1800?
The 1300 number is the most affordable, widespread, and most easily recognised number pattern, and it's the service we're most likely to recommend. The 1800 number is similar in terms of its affordability and recognition but since it doesn't incur the cost of a local call, the call-rate is higher than the 1300 equivalent. While the cost of purchasing a 13 number is only slightly higher than the 1300 or 1800 number, it attracts an additional yearly fee of at least $6,500 (as opposed to 65 cents for the other two).
Smart Numbers Video Introduction
Grow With Belief
If you're interested in learning more about our highly effective digital marketing strategies, you may call us in Australia on 1300 BELIEF (1300 235 433). Outside of Australia you can email us via our contact form. Simply put, we're the best at what we do.