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Do You Have This Important Tool in Your Marketing Arsenal?

By Sabrina Hinds
Posted Sunday, January 23, 2005

Many business owners do not understand the authenticity and validation that a simple toll-free number adds to their business presence.

It is particularly important that any business owner whose market is not exclusively local consider beefing up the image of the business with a toll-free number. Even for a business whose presence is local, it may be useful for current customers who may want to contact the business while travelling.

Make Access Easier for Customers - Prospective and Current

As a business owner you want to make it very easy to obtain leads and subsequently, customers. The simplest tollfree option to set up will provide you the ability to allow customers calling your tollfree number to ring through to a fixed number of your choice.

"Just" a Home Office? - Increase Your Business Presence

If you have a home office or are a small business owner, however, you probably need to be accessible wherever you are. Why? Because it's likely only you. You're the boss, customer service and technical support.

There are other toll-free options that will give you the flexibility you need. Some services will provide you the options to

- ring to voicemail ( often the voicemail system is included and some services will deliver the voicemail to you in digitized format, such as a .wav file.)

- ring to your cellphone

- ring to any other location you choose

- use it as a fax line as well (incoming faxes may be sent to a fax machine of your choice.)

This may be of particular importance to you if you are a home office user who does not want customers or prospects being redirected to your home line. You may have concerns if you have children around but can't afford a separate line, you may be using a shared line, or you may be on the move so much that a toll-free number bound to one location is simply not useful.

An added advantage is that these ring-to settings can typically be changed on the fly from the service provider's website and take effect immediately . There may also be the option to program the system to route the ring to different locations automatically at pre-determined times.

Take Your Marketing Up A Notch

One of the big weaknesses of marketers, whether affiliate marketers or small business owners trying to get the word out about their business, is the lack of measurement.

In order to know whether you are getting a return on your investment, whether you are targeting the right market, or using the right proposition for that market, you need to measure.

The good news is that obtaining a toll-free number is now inexpensive enough that you can set up one toll-free number per promotion, per slogan, per ad, or per target market.

Also a good service will provide you with backoffice records that offer excellent stats on how the promotion is doing. You may also have access to every number that has called your toll-free number - very useful for follow-up. This way you can maximise your advertising dollars and save a lot of money.

Now isn't that your bottom line?

About the Author
Sabrina Hinds uses experience gained through implementing and supporting technology in corporate environments to help you implement telecommunications and technology that works for you - whether in residential or business environments. Visit ( for more information about toll-free services.


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