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What is the Difference Between Toll Free and Local Phone Numbers?

In the market for a new business number but cannot decide if local phone numbers or toll free numbers are the way to go? Here’s a rundown on the difference between these two kinds of numbers and what to keep in mind when choosing one for your company.

Local Phone Numbers vs. Toll Free Numbers

Telecom technology has advanced in such a way that individuals have access to a variety of business telephone numbers for their communication needs. Toll free and local phone numbers are two types of contact numbers that can be used by start-ups, small businesses, large corporations, and more. Before you decide which numbers to purchase for business needs, you need to consider how they differ in utility.

Local Phone Numbers: The Basics

Local phone numbers, as the name suggests, are telephone numbers for specific areas and are used to call locally. Local numbers, also known as geographic numbers, target people within a specific geographic region. A local number often has a designated area code for the city, town, or state it is issued in. For example, a Miami local number will likely be a 786 area code or 305 area code number.

Calls made to these numbers are not free and callers pay what their provider charges for local calls. Local geographic numbers are able to receive calls from outside the country as well as mobile networks.

A local business number makes for a suitable regional contact as it makes your company available to yet another geographical location. And with a virtual number, you can do so without actually physically moving to the location or opening a local office. Interested customers can contact you without having to pay extra charges and have their concerns resolved through the phone. If you buy bulk local numbers, you can target different markets and demographics from one central location. Multiple numbers can:

  • Provide easy access to different customer bases
  • Establish a local presence without a physical one
  • Come with advanced features that come with virtual numbers
  • Streamline marketing efforts with call tracking
  • And, of course, help you expand globally

Toll Free Numbers for Businesses

Toll free numbers differ from local numbers in that they are not necessarily tied to specific local areas. And so, with such a number, the dialer is not privy to the exact location of the business. But, the key difference is that calling toll free numbers is free of cost for callers. Receivers get charged instead of callers. Large corporations, therefore, choose to have a toll free business number as a way of attracting customers to call.

Toll free numbers usually have a distinct code at the beginning of the number. For example, the United States has different toll free number codes: 1800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, and 833. An 800 number presents your business as professional and established. And it gives potential and interested consumers a free and easy way to get in touch with you.

With virtual phone service providers like Global Call Forwarding, you can purchase international toll free numbers as well. These numbers work with an international toll free service (ITFS). And they enable businesses to reach contacts from overseas countries without paying exorbitant international calling charges. Instead, they pay a lower fee to a call forwarding company. Call forwarding companies allow you to appear as though you are from said overseas country.

Which Does Your Company Need?

So, how do you decide which virtual number type will boost your business communications? There are a few things to consider:

  • Can your company benefit from multiple “virtual” local presences?
  • Do you need to target specific locations, markets, or demographics?
  • Are you a local company or a national/international one? Does it matter what your consumers view you as?
  • Is it time for your business to increase its global reach?
  • Do you have a high volume of international customers?

Toll free numbers are ideal for companies, even small businesses, looking to expand their services to more states and countries and go beyond their local restrictions. Local business numbers, on the other hand, may seem more suitable for solopreneurs and start-ups or organizations with remote offices and employees.

Toll free numbers are convenient and have a good reputation because most consumers associate 800 numbers with large, professional organizations. Unfortunately, these numbers are not always reachable from outside of their origination country. Local phone numbers are a more suitable option, if you are looking for a regional contact phone number.

Therefore, the decision about your business number depends on what plans you have for the future of your company. You can also experiment with both number types. Have a running toll free number and 4-5 local ones for target markets, and then see how that affects your communications.

Get Local Phone Numbers and Toll Free Numbers from Global Call Forwarding

Have a better idea about what type of number is more suitable for your enterprise? Call 1 (561) 908-6171 to learn more about how each number type would work best for your needs.

Using Local Phone Numbers to Increase Global Lead Generation

For almost any business in the world today, the choice to not expand globally is practically like handing your business over to your competitors. With this said, like any other significant undertaking, important questions need to be asked and answered and realistic goals have to be set. Using local phone numbers to increase global lead generation is a great way to boost sales. 

Is Global Expansion the Next Logical Step for My Business?

It takes some serious commitment and readiness to determine if global expansion makes sense for your company. You should ask yourself questions like, “What am I hoping to accomplish, both personally and for my company?” Also, “How will an expansion affect my current operations?” and “Are we ready to commit financial resources and time/energy resources to the development and implementation of a global expansion strategy?” 

Benefits of Global Expansion

One of the primary benefits of expanding globally is diversification. Though we live in a society where cross-border economic issues affect everyone, different nations are at different stages of growth in their economic development. Global expansion offers an opportunity to become less dependent on the domestic economic situation and diversify instead. 

Another benefit of expanding globally is to increase revenue. Foreign markets offer additional sources of revenue as well as new sources for profit margin expansion. According to a recent report, 45 percent of mid-sized companies make over half of their revenue from nations outside of their home country. 

Competitive advantage, access to a worldwide talent pool, access to new customers, and the ability to take advantage of foreign government incentives are other benefits of expanding globally. 

local phone numbers for lead generation
Source: DepositPhotos.com – O#63051687 #27446420

How do I Generate Global Leads?

There are many ways to generate global leads. Here are a few of them:

  • Outbound and inbound marketing
  • Mobile-friendly websites
  • Social media outreach
  • Developing informative content
  • Purchasing of leads
  • Guest blogging
  • Email marketing (direct engagement)

However, one of the easiest, most effective, and most cost-efficient ways to generate global leads is to purchase a local phone number in the country you are expanding to and use it to market the news of your expansion. 

Local Phone Numbers for Global Lead Generation

Using local phone number to increase global lead generation is super easy and you can get started right away. You purchase a virtual phone number that is local to the new market you are entering and make the announcement of the expansion on your website and any other marketing materials. Make sure to include the local virtual phone number, and you are off to establishing yourself in that new market without ever having to set foot there. Long gone are the days of having to spend a large amount of the budget on travel, hiring people overseas, setting up an office in a foreign market, and more. You can become a global business without ever leaving your home country. 

What is a Virtual Phone Number?

Virtual phone numbers work through the use of the Internet. With virtual numbers, you can get local phone numbers set up for any locations you need a local presence in. Then, you can have all calls made to these numbers automatically forwarded to your office, home, or mobile line. The convenience is immeasurable and the cost-savings are often quite significant. 

What Are the Benefits of Using Local Phone Numbers for Global Lead Generation?

In addition to the gift of mobility and cost-savings mentioned above, virtual local phone numbers give you the ability to access your market and establish yourself locally without physically being there. For some consumers, it is easier to trust a company that has invested in their community, in their local market, so calling a company with a local phone number helps to build trust. Having this phone number to communicate with the new global market gives you the ability to establish relationships with clients, potential clients, and other business contacts in the new market. 

In Closing

Building relationships and trust is the key to a brand’s success and longevity and using local phone numbers to increase global lead generation is one of the best ways to accomplish this. This method allows you to expand quickly and communicate affordably with foreign, lucrative markets. For more information on purchasing local virtual numbers, contact Global Call Forwarding today.