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Toll Free Numbers for Social Media Marketing

If you are crafting a new marketing campaign, you may be trying to come up with new ways to affordably boost the success of your campaign and also involve social media tools. If this is indeed the case, you should consider using toll free numbers for social media marketing as a key tool in boosting the success of your campaign.

A customized toll free number fits well into a marketing campaign because it enables you to use the phone number of the company to define the brand. When you think of a vanity toll free number, such as 1-800-FLOWERS, you know specifically what the company offers when that number is dialed. If you dial 1-800-FLOWERS you are able to order flowers for any number of occasions.

Generally speaking, you can use a custom toll free number to do a number of things, including sharing the name of the business, communicating a benefit the business provides, and tracking marketing efforts for a specific campaign. Either way, whether you use toll free numbers for social media marketing or toll free numbers to advance your business in any other way, the toll free number should reinforce the brand’s image and clearly indicate how the company differs from its competitors.

Research has repeatedly pointed to the benefits of incorporating toll free numbers for social media marketing or any kind of marketing into a company’s marketing campaign plan. In addition to offering a way for the company to communicate something specific, incorporating toll free vanity numbers in a marketing campaign can provide additional meaningful benefits, including:

Increased Interest and Calls

A greater number of inbound calls and referrals. Because toll free vanity numbers are expressed with a word or words instead of a string of random numbers, vanity numbers are much easier to remember than a number that is composed of digits exclusively. This means that it is more likely that customers and potential customers will use these types of toll free numbers and also share them with their friends and family. In fact, research indicates that vanity toll free numbers have a rate of recall that is approximately 75 percent higher than the rate of recall for phone numbers that are exclusively numeric. Custom toll free numbers also generate a much higher response rate than regular phone numbers.

A Social Media Credibility Boost

Having toll free numbers for social media marketing or for all of the company’s marketing can improve a business’ credibility and enhance sales efforts. A toll free number shows customers that the business owner and marketing team have taken steps for them to contact the business with more ease and without having to incur any long distance charges for calls. Vanity toll free numbers and regular toll free numbers also make a business seem more established and larger than it actually is, which will help people to have more confidence in the company’s offering of goods and/or services.

Tracking Capabilities

When a company uses toll free numbers for social media marketing or any other marketing efforts, there is ease in tracking key performance indicators. These key performance indicators can help in analyzing the success of an ad campaign overall and allow for a company to adjust their message on an as-needed basis. Having the ability to do this is critical in aiming to generate the best results for a business. Tracking calls linked to a campaign is an affordable and effective way to identify what is working and what is not. The information that is gathered through the tracking of campaign efforts can help a business to improve in every way, whether it is social media marketing, sales campaigns, print ads, or other forms of marketing efforts.

Toll Free Numbers for Social Media
Source: Stockphoto.com O# 100220944824 ID#100200144052

Superior Customer Service

Depending on whether you use toll free numbers for social media marketing or for other types of advertising, toll free numbers can help a company to offer better customer service by helping the business owner determine why a customer or potential customer is reaching out to the business before anyone even answers the phone. When a company has an idea of why a person is calling, it allows customer service representatives to be better prepared to offer superior customer service.

Global Call Forwarding offers toll free numbers for social media marketing or any other type of marketing that a business would like to include in their marketing efforts. Global Call Forwarding has been offering quality products and superior customer service to each and every client worldwide for over two decades. With a knowledgeable and professional staff, GCF customer service representatives are able to best serve each client to ensure each and every business takes advantage of the most advanced services and features available to support business success.

Getting an 833 Number – How Much Does it Cost?

woman dialing 833 phone number

After the FCC announced 833 numbers, the latest prefix addition to U.S. toll free numbers, Global Call Forwarding received numerous requests from customers. We have provided toll free numbers for many years, and it has become one of our specialties. In this article, we discuss 833 numbers and answer some of the inquiries we received.

You have probably heard about toll free numbers. Collect calling has been around since the 1960s, and toll free numbers are a great marketing tool because they’re free to call. Rather, the toll free subscriber, or the called party, bears the cost of the call.

Free phone numbers are so effective and in such high demand, that many 1-800 number combinations are already taken. As a result, the FCC has introduced new toll free prefixes over the years, like 844, 855, 866, 877 and 888. Most recently, the FCC announced that new 833 numbers will be released on June 3rd, 2017.

A lot of our customers want to learn more about 833 numbers – their capabilities, functionality and how much they cost. We’re happy to help you with the process and ensure that you have the best options for obtaining the toll free number you desire.

Let’s find out more!

What is an 833 Number?

Simply put, 833 numbers are being released because of the high demand for toll free numbers. 833 toll free numbers are just like 800 numbers, the only difference is the prefix. This just means that callers must dial 1-833 instead of 1-800.

Like any other toll free number, 833 numbers are a great marketing tool. They are accessible within the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. In fact, 833 numbers are free to call from these countries!

833 Vanity Numbers

833 vanity numbers are customized toll free numbers with a specific string of digits that you request. Companies will typically request vanity numbers with their company name, slogan or products/services to better communicate their business. For example, a company that sells dog food might request 1-833-DOG-FOOD.

We expect that 833 vanity numbers will be in high demand once the new prefix becomes available. Global Call Forwarding can help you reserve the right 833 vanity numbers.

How to get an 833 Number?

You will be able to get an 833 toll free number starting June 3rd, 2017. Contact a call forwarding service provider to get an 833 number. Providers are already taking requests for these numbers, and the numbers are provided on a first-come, first-serve basis. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • The allocation process for 833 numbers is updated from the previous process
  • Each provider is only allocated a maximum of 2,000 numbers up front, no matter their size. (i.e. Global Call Forwarding and Verizon each get a maximum of 2,000 numbers)
  • You can still get an 833 number after the release date, but the availability of certain vanity numbers might be limited

How much does an 833 number cost?

There are a number of toll free service providers, and the cost of 833 numbers varies among providers. Most providers offer 833 numbers at a monthly rate. The package will typically include the 833 number, the forwarding service (to route calls to your desired destination) and a set number of minutes to use throughout the month. The provider might charge a per-minute rate if you exceed your set number of minutes.

In addition to the cost of the number, it’s important to look at the reputation of the service provider. Be wary of hidden “activation” charges, and providers that require you to sign a contract. The service should be offered on a month-to-month basis with no termination fees.

Bottom Line

833 numbers are the latest toll free prefix. Call us today to reserve an 833 number! We offer free consultations over the phone and would love to help your business grow.

 

How to Get Ahead of the Competition in Developed Asian Markets

Developed Markets in Asia

Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan are major developed markets in Asia. Developed markets in Asia are soaring, and in 2017, analysts are more bullish on developed markets than emerging markets. China’s markets, including Hong Kong, maintain their steady growth, which is expected continue. Xi Jingping, who championed global trade at the Davos Conference in January 2017, is a positive factor in the economic growth. Projections are that Hong Kong’s economy will grow 1.8% in 2017 with GDP accelerating to 2.2% in 2018.

Experts project that Japan’s economy will grow in 2017, but there may be a mid-year market correction. That notwithstanding, Japan’s growth will continue through 2018.

Economists, reporting in FocusEconomics, project that Australia’s GDP growth will remain stable, aided by growth in the non-mining sector of the economy. Singapore’s economy rebounded in the fourth quarter of 2016 but may slow to 1.6% growth in 2017. Then it will increase to 1.8% growth in 2018.

Methods to Get Ahead of Competition

Considering the bullish predictions for developed markets in Asia, companies serving the Asian-Pacific sector need to be creative to stay ahead of the competition. The following paragraphs give insights on actions the will help you to get an edge over your competition.

Establish Virtual Offices in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan

Companies can establish virtual offices in target markets by subscribing to an international call forwarding service, like Global Call Forwarding, which provides local phone numbers and toll free numbers to its customers. The virtual office is a simulated presence. Incoming calls are forwarded seamlessly across borders to your headquarters, call centers, mobile phones, or computers using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Callers have no fees or roaming charges and are unaware of the destination locales. Callers think your office is local.

Global Call Forwarding provides the largest selection of local phone numbers and toll free numbers worldwide. Its international call forwarding service covers over 150 countries and thousands of cities around the world. Using a virtual office will enhance your company’s telecommunication to markets in the Asia-Pacific region and will stimulate the growth of your sales and services in that area.

Look to the Future

Many businesses dwell on the past. Yes, it is important to review history to identify missed opportunities and mistakes. However, it is prudent to look to the future to identify market shifts, new scenarios and competition trends.

Understand Your Competitors

Try to get a complete understanding of the actions, strategies and tactics of your competitors who cause many of your problems. With a full understanding of the competition, you will improve the way that you service your customers, and your business will prosper.

Prepare for Upstart Rivals

Upstarts frequently operate using new business models. They approach the marketplace differently. They may have new solutions to problems, and they may use new technologies to support their operations. Remember, there are many bankrupt newspapers that ignored the power and distribution of social media.

Refine Your Methods

When your staffs repeat their behaviors, your competition can begin to anticipate your actions. Be less predictable by changing your operational methods. You may find that different approaches can accelerate growth opportunities.

Customer Feedback

Customers usually tell you they want better, faster, cheaper. They will not tell you what your competitors are doing. Nor will they tell you when they are evaluating new solutions to problems that you may have created. In short, do not ask customers for advice but provide what they want, i.e., better, faster and cheaper.

However, outsiders, who are familiar with your business, can provide valuable advice on market desires. Listening to outsiders can help you become a stronger competitor.

Exercise Care When Cost Cutting

Do not allow cost cutting-steps to degrade your products and services. When that happens, your competition will take advantage and possibly steal business from you.

Learn from Product Testing

Planning and forecasting are necessary, but they may not predict the market impact of product or service changes. Rely on testing, either in-house or in the marketplace, to get insight into the market acceptance of changes. Testing allows you to make changes as needed prior to full market release.

Target Your Competitors

Identify the locked-in traits of your competitors. If those traits are weaknesses, attack them.

Reacting to Fierce Competition

Compete on experience instead of price

Customers are often willing to pay more for excellence in products and services. Strive to provide unrivaled products and customer service by doing the following:

  • Make it easy to do business with you.
  • Humanize your brand through effective marketing and communications.
  • Provide customer support even when sales are not pending.

Find your niche

Find new opportunity in market segments that your competitors do not service well. Conduct market research to find underdeveloped or under-served market areas. Identify customer needs in those areas and take steps to satisfy those needs.

Track your competitors’ moves

Follow industry developments, regulatory changes, market trends and competitors’ new product announcements. Buy your competitors’ products to learn their strengths and weaknesses. Try to visualize how competitors will respond to your business strategies.

Invest in talent

To do this, it is important to consider competitive salaries, benefits and perks, company culture, and opportunities for career growth. Engage prospective employees by searching social media like LinkedIn or Facebook. Advertise openings on your websites. When you make an offer, be willing to negotiate.

4 Reasons to Get a Virtual Phone Number for Your Business

Entrepreneurs should leverage every possible tool in order to get their new business up and running in the best way possible. In today’s business environment, telephone communication is vital to the success of a business. Potential clients will typically call a business with inquiries, to sign up for a service, or to place a large order. In addition, existing customers prefer to be able to reach out to a business with their concerns.

 

young businessman cellphone

With the rise of e-commerce, businesses have started to originate from all over the world. Companies based in the United States are able to transact with customers in Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Australia, etc. thanks to the internet. However, increased trade across countries boundaries created some communication issues.

In the past, it was expensive and difficult for a customer in one country to call a business in a different foreign country. First, international calling charges from one country to another can be expensive, depending on the country. Second, the process of dialing an international number can be difficult. Have you ever seen a Hong Kong phone number? It begins with +852, followed by a string of digits.

International calling costs coupled with unfamiliar phone numbers can discourage a customer from reaching out to a business. A missed opportunity can mean less revenue for a business. Don’t miss out on potential business because your phone lines are inaccessible to customers in a remote location.

To solve this issue, virtual phone numbers enable businesses to source customers from any country they desire, no matter where the business is headquartered. In fact, some businesses that use virtual phone numbers have reported greater than 50% increases in call volume. Here are some valuable benefits that a company can realize with a virtual phone number.

  1. Become more accessible

Virtual phone numbers are convenient and free to dial from their corresponding country. In other words, it costs nothing for somebody in the United States to dial a US 1-800 number. When a business advertises a toll free number, customers know that they can access that business over the phone with relative ease.

A business that is accessible to potential clients will do better than its inaccessible counterpart.

  1. Improve customer service

Customers don’t want to pay money to call any business. That much is simple. If a customer has questions or concerns, and they can’t contact a business, they will not be satisfied. They might develop an unfavorable opinion of the business, or worse, move to a competitor.

It is important for businesses to provide great customer service. Also, a negative review can be pretty damaging.

  1. Project a professional image

Consider any successful multinational corporation – they all use local and toll free virtual numbers. Toll free numbers establish an air of professionalism with clients, while local phone numbers allow customers to perceive the business as a local and familiar operation. Prominent businesses use virtual phone numbers, and so should you.

In addition, a one-person operation can really benefit from a virtual phone number. Instead of relying on his or her personal cell phone to take calls, the entrepreneur can advertise a toll free business phone number. Virtual phone numbers also include a suite of advanced features to help scale a business.

  1. Run your business from the cloud

‘Virtual’ phone numbers are just like they sound – virtual. This means that they aren’t tied down to any phone line. Rather, they can be managed from an online control panel. Entrepreneurs are able to run their businesses no matter where they are in the world.

Bottom Line

Businesses these days are able to transact with customers from all over the globe. For a business with customers in foreign countries, it is important to provide a free and convenient point of contact. Virtual phone numbers are free and easy to dial and a toll free number can have a tremendous impact on sales and a company’s bottom line. Smart businesses around the world are getting virtual phone numbers and reaping the benefits.

Do you have experience using virtual phone numbers for your business? We would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to share your experience in the comments below.

 

The Difference Between 800, 844, 855, 866, 877 and 888 Numbers

What is an 800 number? How can owning a toll free number help my business? If you own a web business, you have probably asked yourself these questions before. Maybe you have already done a Google search about toll free numbers.

If you already searched the web for information, you probably realized that the benefits of owning a toll free number are pretty obvious. For those who are unfamiliar, we will explain.

For one, callers can reach a toll free number without being charged for the call. Rather, the toll free subscriber, or the owner of the toll free number, pays for the call. This presents a major benefit because customers are 40% more likely to call a business if the phone call is free.

Owning a toll free number also just makes your business appear more professional. Imagine a business that advertises a professional and corporate 800 number, and then compare it to a business that uses the owner’s cell phone. The company with the toll free number is probably more likely to get your business. Simply put, owning a toll free number is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your brand.

What is the difference between the 3-digit codes?

A toll free number will begin with one of the following three-digit codes: 800, 888, 877, 866, 855 or 844. The six formats are essentially the same, aside from a slightly different appearance. They all cost the same.

One simple explanation compares the different toll free codes to website domains. The company says that 800 is essentially .com, 888 is .net, and 866 and 877 are like .info and .biz. Each number is still a toll free phone number – it’s simply a matter of preference when deciding which three-digit code to buy.

Why is there more than one code?

Businesses have been using 800 numbers for almost 50 years. The 1-800 numbers first originated in 1967 and were used primarily by hotels and rental car agencies.

Hotels and rental car agencies both take reservations from across the country. They also used to do a lot of business over the phone, before the internet was invented. It was important that customers could reach these businesses for free.

However, the market for 800 numbers became saturated as more and more businesses starting using toll free numbers. There was eventually a need for more prefixes.

To satisfy the demand, 888 numbers were created in 1996. 877 numbers were created in 1998 and 866 numbers in 1999. In 2010, 855 numbers debuted and most recently, the 844 number was created.

Which prefix should I choose?

The prefix that you choose depends somewhat on your advertising strategy. 800 numbers are more popular on common advertising media like TV, placards and radio. Business analysts consider traditional 800 numbers to be a sound decision. However, if the 800 number that you would like is taken, the decision to buy 888, 866, 855, etc. will not make a big difference.

Resp-Orgs and the FCC

Toll free numbers are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis by entities known as “Responsible Organizations,” according to the FCC. The FCC regulates the way toll free numbers can be used or obtained. The biggest advantage for consumers is portability – this means that a toll free user can “port” his number to a new provider when he changes providers.

Portability becomes especially useful when you have owned an 800 number for a long time. It eliminates the need to advertise a new number to clients. In addition, you might have a vanity phone number that is perfect for your business. You will be able to keep your toll free number – whether it is 800, 888, 866, etc.

Toll Free Warehousing

The FCC’s rules prohibit toll free service providers from warehousing, or hoarding, toll free numbers. This means that a provider cannot legally reserve a number without having a subscriber in place. The FCC regulates this activity to ensure that a fair supply of toll free numbers is available.

International Call Forwarding Explained

What is international call forwarding?

Have you ever dialed an 800 number before? Most people have dialed 800 numbers at some point – to make a product inquiry, book a hotel room, etc. Many businesses today offer a toll free number as a point of contact to allow callers to contact the business for free.

The businesses that offer you a free point of contact, in the form of an 800 number, utilize call forwarding. International call forwarding is a telephone service that redirects a call from one phone number (the 800 number) to another destination phone number. The destination number is typically a call center or company headquarters, but can also be a home phone, mobile phone, etc.

International call forwarding can be used in a number of ways to improve a business’ system of communications. The uses and benefits will be covered later, but first let’s break down how a call forwarding service actually works.

How does call forwarding work?

When a business buys a toll free number from Global Call Forwarding, they select a new phone number and a destination phone number. Calls placed to the ‘new’ number get forwarded to your destination number. The destination phone can be located anywhere in the world.

For example, a business in the United States will buy a US toll free number so that customers can contact them easier. Customers will call the new US 800 number, and the call will be forwarded to the existing business line – the destination phone number.

To explain this example further, calls placed to your US 800 numbers connect automatically to a local public switched telephone network (PSTN). Global Call Forwarding’s network then forwards calls, via your local carrier, to your destination phone number. The destination phone number will ring and customers can connect with the business.

International call forwarding is primarily designed for businesses to establish a virtual presence in any country. But there are many more advantages and additional reasons to use international call forwarding.

Reasons to use international call forwarding

Your competitors probably already use call forwarding to their advantage. Most successful companies advertise a toll free number so that business contacts can speak with a representative at no cost to the caller.

Businesses that use international call forwarding have many valuable advantages. The most significant advantage is increased expansion capabilities – a business with call forwarding can attract customers from any country. A second advantage is reliability of the business’ phone systems. International call forwarding enables users to receive calls anywhere and at any time of day. A third advantage of call forwarding is eliminating roaming charges.

Call forwarding allows businesses to establish a local point of contact in a foreign country. An important initial step when expanding a business is entering new marketplaces. After targeting a country with sales potential, use international call forwarding to answer calls from customers in the target country.

In addition to helping your business grow, a call forwarding service can make the business more reliable because of advanced call forwarding. Call forwarding services offer a variety of settings to ensure that your business is always available. For example, call forwarding with sequential ring will send calls down a sequential list of phone numbers when the first call fails. International call forwarding can make a business more accessible and reliable with advanced call forwarding features.

How to set up call forwarding

International call forwarding is very easy to set up and the service can be activated in a matter of seconds. The easiest way to set up call forwarding is to buy a local or toll free number from Global Call Forwarding.

On the “View rates” page, users can select a local or toll free number from one of many countries. After choosing a local or toll free number, view our competitive rates to determine which plan best fits the needs of your business.

Next, decide whether or not to add rollover minutes. Rollover minutes can save a business a lot of money if the firm has unpredictable call volume. Click “add to cart” and enter your information. Your new toll free number will be activated as soon as possible.

Once you buy a toll free number from Global Call Forwarding, there are a number of features that can be used with the service. You can set up call forwarding from an online control panel on our website. Log in to your account and click the call forwarding tab.

Bottom line

Call forwarding makes it possible for customers in a foreign country to call a business without incurring expensive per-minute costs. International call forwarding will automatically forward calls from a local or toll free phone number to a destination phone, which can be anywhere in the world. A call forwarding service is a great sales & marketing tool. The bottom line is that your business has greater sales potential with an international call forwarding service.

 

 

What is Call Forwarding?

What is Call Forwarding?

Good communication is a major key to the success of any growing business. Successful businesses understand the importance of being accessible over the phone in order to coordinate operations and close sales. A call forwarding service is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve business communications.

Call forwarding allows you to forward all of your incoming calls to a ‘destination’ phone number anywhere in the world. Users can purchase a virtual phone number of their choice – choose from an inventory of local and toll free numbers across the world. Once activated, incoming calls to your new virtual phone number will be automatically redirected to a ‘destination’ number of your choice. Popular destinations include landlines, mobile phones and calls center. This service can make your business accessible 24/7.

How does Call Forwarding work?

For example, suppose you purchase a US 800 phone number and choose to forward calls to your cell phone in the United States. Once this number is advertised, prospective customers will call your US 800 number. Incoming calls to your US 800 number will connect to GCF’s network and our call forwarding system will automatically forward the calls to your cell phone. This service allows businesses to operate from remote locations.

Grow your business in a new country

International call forwarding is a great way to establish your presence in a new country. We offer local and toll free phone numbers in more than 150 countries. If you are a business looking to expand into a foreign country, simply buy a virtual phone number in that country and start advertising. Local and toll free numbers encourage people to call your business. When somebody in that country calls you, the phone call will be automatically routed to your predetermined destination.

 

cellphone call bearded man

Call forwarding is cheaper than setting up a brick-and-mortar store. If you are testing out a new region, it is prudent to utilize a virtual office. A virtual phone number is a cost-effective alternative to paying a lease and employing additional staff. In addition, you can cancel your call forwarding service in minutes. It is much more complicated to close a physical office.

Call Forwarding with local and toll free numbers

A call forwarding service reduces the high costs associated with international calls. Prospective customers can reach your business without being charged for the call. Rather, the toll free subscriber incurs the cost. By providing a free phone number to business contacts, you will see more incoming calls to your business. Phone forwarding gives you more opportunities to close sales and increase revenue.

Research shows that customers are more likely to do business with a local firm. Call forwarding can make your business appear local when you can be situated thousands of miles away. A virtual phone number enables you to advertise a phone number with a local area code that is easy for customers to dial. Customers will see a local area code and assume your business is close by, increasing the likelihood of them calling you.

Many successful businesses also use call forwarding with toll free numbers to project a professional and corporate appearance. Contacts see 1-800 numbers and automatically associate the phone numbers with established businesses. Our network helps you enhance your corporate appearance by processing incoming calls to your toll free number and redirecting the phone calls to a destination of your choice. Call forwarding with toll free numbers can give your business a great reputation.

Call forwarding is one of the most cost-effective ways to grow your business. Rather than establishing a physical office in a foreign region, you can buy a virtual phone number and have calls forwarded to your headquarters. The bottom line is that your business has greater potential with a call forwarding service.