You’ve probably heard, “Call us at 1-800-XXX-XXXX Toll Free!” in television commercials before. But what exactly is a toll free number? See, the American consumer is trained to think positively when he or she hears “free;” it means there is no cost to the buyer. Therefore, if something is free, it is good; if you are advertising something free, then people will want to use it. As their name suggests, toll free numbers allow people to call a business without being charged; rather, the called party (the business) is billed for the call. So while it’s all well and good that Your Company Inc. will be billed for a call instead of a consumer, how does that help you market your business?
It’s simple: If people know what toll free numbers are, then they will see the obvious advantage to calling your business as opposed to one of your competitors. If I’m looking to buy flowers for my wife’s birthday, do I want to spend money on the actual phone call while I am making the order? I love my wife, but I’d rather not spend money on a phone call in addition to the money I’m spending on the order. Therefore, toll free numbers are advantageous because they are the cheaper, easier way to lure the consumer in to calling your business and, eventually, purchasing your product.
But wait: Isn’t the called party, such as your business, the one billed for the call? Doesn’t that mean that you’ll have to pay for the call, even if it doesn’t result in a sale? The answer to both of these questions is “yes,” but this doesn’t mean that a toll free number is a negative for a new business. On the contrary, if you’re advertisement budget is slim to none, then you’ll want to use a toll free number because the number of successful customers you get from the promise of a toll free number outweighs the amount of money you’ll need to spend on these toll free calls. So, if you don’t have much money to put towards advertising, then save your money and focus on advertising the toll free number; it’s simple, easy, and will probably result in more business for you!