Is using 0800 numbers in your advertising still the best way to get calls?

Telecoms /

I see it every week in the Essex Chronicle when I’m looking at cars for sale. I ask myself, why would you use an 0800 number in a local paper like the Chronicle? There’s no real right or wrong answer to this, I guess it comes down to personal preference. Or does it?

Why would you use an 0800 number?

You could argue that the majority of people reading the Essex Chronicle will be at home and so have access to a landline. Enabling them to call you on an 0800 number for free, is a great idea.

0800 numbers have been used for a number of years with proven results. People's perception of them is very important. Since they are widely recognised as freephone numbers, there is an element of trust associated with them. I got to ring one of these numbers the other day. It was a real novelty using my landline. But I was happy knowing it wouldn’t cost me to ring the number, as opposed to using my mobile.

However, with the number of mobile users rapidly increasing in recent years, advertising with 0800 numbers suddenly doesn't seem the most appropriate of techniques. I certainly don't want to pay 40 pence per minute to call a number.

What could you use instead of an 0800 number?

You could use local numbers. Using a Local Number in your advertising helps to appeal to not only landline users, but mobile users as well. Local numbers can be covered in free minute packages provided by mobile networks and give people a much more closer to home feel. They are now used in most advertising, with 0800 numbers beginning to fade.

I tend to feel more comfortable calling a local number, especially on my mobile, as it seems familiar and reduces any potential doubt at where the call is being received.

With numbers for a variety of area codes, they can provide you with more opportunities to advertise in different areas. Freephone numbers however, are not limited to a specific area and can offer the perception of a large business operating across the country.

What if you could use 0800 numbers and Local Numbers?

Why not give people a choice? Using both 0800 Numbers and Local Numbers can entice your callers by providing them with the option of a free call from either their mobile or landline. Providing your callers with an option gives the impression they are being considered. They're more likely to place their trust in companies that appear to be reaching a compromise, rather than just making money out of them.

David Orrell