What Is a Vanity Phone Number & How Do You Get One?

December 9, 2023 9 min read

Alex Doan

Alex Doan

Vanity phone number

Small businesses must take every opportunity to stand out from the competition. Vanity phone numbers, those catchy numbers that often spell out a word or phrase related to a brand, are a powerful tool worth considering.

They can enhance your brand recognition, strengthen your marketing campaigns, and make it easier for existing and potential customers to contact your business. They’re also highly likely to drive conversions and are easy to set up.

Let’s explore how to secure the best vanity number for your brand and uncover a few tips for choosing a provider that meets your business needs.

What Is a Vanity Phone Number?

A vanity phone number is an easy-to-remember custom phone number typically associated with a specific word, phrase, or numeric pattern related to a business or brand. It’s an impactful tool for enhancing brand recall and brand identity, strengthening marketing campaigns, and improving the customer experience.

Generally, vanity phone numbers can be up to 10 characters, including numbers and letters. Famous examples of vanity phone numbers include 1-800-FLOWERS and 1-800-CONTACTS.

So, how do they work? Just like any other business phone number! When a customer dials the telephone number, it gets routed to your business’s regular phone line, such as a landline or VoIP. The only difference is that the number is more memorable and relevant to your brand.

Toll-free vanity phone numbers vs. local phone numbers

Vanity phone numbers can either start with a local area code or a toll-free prefix (1-800, 1-888, 1-844, etc.).

Toll-free phone numbers are free and convenient for nationwide and local phone calls from customers. They often work for business calls across the US and Canada. The business pays a per-minute fee for incoming calls.

Local business numbers provide a trustworthy route for customers based in a particular area code. They also help customers identify incoming calls from legitimate local businesses.

Here’s an example of a local vanity number: 1-904-ADOPT-A-CAT.

Types of business phone numbers

Why Do Brands Use Vanity Numbers?

Vanity phone numbers can be used in various ways to benefit your business:

Brands use a vanity phone number for these tasks rather than a random string of digits for the following reasons:

It’s easier to memorize

Vanity numbers are more recognizable, easier to remember, and quicker to share than standard numbers. Memorable numbers stay in people’s minds, making them more likely to recall and choose your brand over your competitors’ brands.

According to one study, 72% of consumers remembered a vanity phone number correctly after watching a 30-second ad, but only 5% correctly remembered a standard phone number after watching the same ad.

That may be why 58% of customers prefer vanity numbers — it helps them remember contact info without much effort.

It improves brand recognition

A catchy, relevant phrase or word aligned with your company, products, or services immediately catches people’s attention and tells them what your brand is about. For example, you know exactly what service 1-800-FLOWERS provides.

This brand messaging reinforces your brand identity, increases brand awareness, and helps distinguish your business from your competitors. It also strengthens your marketing outreach.

While local vanity numbers resonate with customers in your hometown, toll-free vanity numbers amplify your brand recognition nationwide.

It shows professionality

A clever vanity phone number projects a professional, trustworthy, and well-established business image. It can legitimize your brand and position it as an authority and expert in the field. 

Customers will appreciate that your company put the thought, time, and energy into making a phone number that’s easy and convenient for them.

It’s convenient for callers

Unlike a random string of digits, an easy-to-remember vanity number simplifies the process of customers contacting your business, making it more convenient for them to do so.

Research shows that consumers are three to four times more willing to contact a company with a vanity number. When more customers ring your line, you gain more opportunities to convert leads into customers.

It makes tracking marketing ROI easier

You can easily track vanity numbers, providing insights into the effectiveness of different inbound marketing campaigns and the level of customer engagement. Online advertising stats show that ads with vanity numbers outperform those with generic numbers by 33%.

It’s flexible and portable

Like virtual phone numbers, vanity numbers are not tied to a fixed location or landline. They can be transferred between service providers. 

Note: Nextiva doesn’t provide vanity numbers. However, you can obtain a vanity number from one of the top providers and then seamlessly port it over to Nextiva. This empowers your brand to combine the benefits of vanity numbers with Nextiva, voted the best business phone system by U.S. News four years in a row.

It integrates well with VoIP

Vanity numbers are compatible with VoIP service providers, allowing your business to take advantage of advanced features such as call analytics, auto attendant, call recording, call forwarding, and call routing.

How To Come Up With a Memorable Vanity Number

Now it’s time to flex your creative muscles! Follow these best practices for choosing a vanity phone number for your business.

Play with easy patterns and rhymes

Catchy vanity numbers often include memorable patterns or number repetition. An “easy dial” number has a pattern of repeating digits, such as 1-888-888-8888. So try to leverage repetition to make your number simple to recall and dial. 

Rhythmic or rhyming patterns are even better. Incorporating one of these can be akin to a jingle that gets stuck in your head. Think 1-877-CALL-KEN or 1-833-SAVE-BEES.

Create a narrative connection

Some of the most effective vanity numbers spell out words or phrases directly associated with a brand’s service or product. These create a narrative or image that’s easier for the human brain to store and recall than random numbers. 

For example, a taxi service using 1-800-CAB-RIDE creates a mental image of the service provided.

To find word associations for your business, consider the following:

Ensure marketing consistency

Businesses use their vanity numbers across all marketing materials, creating a consistent point of contact. This repeated exposure in ads, on websites, and in physical marketing assets reinforces memory.

So, take a cue from your marketing materials to find a phrase that strongly correlates with your brand and your campaigns to motivate consumers to take action.

Choose a number that reflects your brand messaging and personality. For example, a spa may use something like 1-888-PAMPER-ME.

Choosing Your Vanity Phone Number Provider

It’s never been easier for small business owners to get a customized phone number from a reputable vanity phone number provider. Follow this game plan to secure yours:

Check the availability of the desired numbers

Most provider websites have an extensive database of available phone numbers. Enter your area code and prefix to see if your first choice is available. If not, you may receive a list of similar suggestions for new phone numbers. 

It’s a good idea to have a list of words, phrases, and numbers as backup choices in case you’re not thrilled with the suggestions.

Compare pricing and fees

Compare the pricing structures of your top providers, including initial setup fees, monthly charges, add-on options, and any additional costs for premium features or services.

Consider a provider that offers flexible plans to suit your business’s current and future scaling needs without going over budget.

Confirm if there are any port-out or cancellation fees — consider that as part of the cost of a vanity number, too. 

Verify number portability

Porting is the ability to move your vanity number to your new or existing business phone service. Verify that your provider allows you to keep your number even if you decide to switch services in the future. Bonus points if they help you seamlessly port the number out.

Look for additional features 

Evaluate the range of additional call-handling features offered, such as call forwarding, voicemail transcription, call tracking, caller ID, SMS capabilities, custom greetings, and integrations with other business apps.

Prioritize reliability, ease of setup, and customer support

Check review sites to find providers with a proven track record of reliable service and call management. If your phone number routinely goes down, that means not only lost business but also lost customer trust.

Your provider should also offer a simple and quick setup process. Check the estimated time it will take to get your number up and running.

And always choose a provider with responsible, knowledgeable customer support. Often overlooked when things are going well, the right customer support makes a huge difference when there’s a problem and your team members need help ASAP.

The Top 3 Vanity Phone Number Providers

Nextiva doesn’t offer vanity phone numbers. However, you can seamlessly port your vanity number from a provider. Nextiva includes free porting of any phone numbers you’re authorized to use.

Here are a few places to get a coveted vanity phone number for your business. 

1. NumberBarn

NumberBarn phone number management tool

NumberBarn is a leading provider of vanity phone numbers, offering a vast inventory of easy-to-remember and memorable phone numbers for businesses of all sizes. They specialize in helping companies find the perfect vanity phone number to match their brand, target audience, and marketing goals.

Here’s a rundown of their most popular plans:

NumberBarn offers email/chat support. Their no contract, no commitment, month-to-month plans make it easy to scale or cancel at any time.

2. 800.com

800.com vanity phone numbers

800.com is a leading provider of toll-free and local vanity phone numbers. Their built-in call tracking tool helps businesses improve customer engagement and achieve their inbound marketing objectives. 

You can search their online database to see if your perfect pattern of numbers/keywords is available. Then, you can select one of three plans:

There’s a one-time $35 activation fee for toll-free vanity numbers, and it will take approximately three to five days for them to be activated. 800.com charges a one-time port-out fee of $100, and the process can take up to six weeks to complete.

3. eVoice

eVoice vanity phone numbers

eVoice is another leading provider of vanity phone numbers, offering a wide selection of memorable phone numbers for businesses of all sizes. However, its process has more hoops to jump through than NumberBarn or 800.com.

First, you’ll need to request a vanity number by submitting a short form or calling the customer service team.

The customer service team will contact you by phone to confirm whether your number is available. If you give them the green light, they will add your vanity number to your eVoice account, and you’ll receive a temporary number until your vanity number is fully activated (after 72 hours).

eVoice doesn’t allow you to port your vanity number to your existing business phone service provider, so you’ll need to sign up for their virtual phone system, which starts at $14/month per user.

Become a Memorable Brand With a Vanity Phone Number

Vanity phone numbers are an impressive tool for small businesses striving to enhance their brand presence, improve customer engagement, and track marketing ROI.

Once you brainstorm and select a memorable number, you can harness the power of vanity numbers across print, digital, and outdoor advertising avenues.

Follow our tips for partnering with a reputable provider and ensure that you can port your new number to your existing business communications platform.

Remember, you can seamlessly port your vanity number to Nextiva to leverage the best business phone system for your brand’s soon-to-be-skyrocketing growth.

Now it’s time to ignite your creative spark and craft a few witty, catchy, on-brand vanity numbers to grab your customers’ attention and keep your phone ringing with new business!

Alex Doan


Alex Doan

Alex Doan is an experienced senior marketing professional specializing in propelling growth for both B2B and B2C companies. Proficient in streamlining marketing operations for seamless sales transitions, utilizing analytics and consumer insights to achieve measurable outcomes. Committed to enhancing lead and customer experiences through effective journey mapping.

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