Toll-Free vs Local Numbers for Pay Per Call Campaigns

As you can imagine, a key part of pay per call are phone numbers. You simply can’t run a campaign without them. But have you thought about the different kinds of phone numbers you can use for pay per call offers? Do you know why it matters?


The main takeaway here is that the type of number you use on a pay per call offer can impact your strategy, execution, and in the end, the overall success of your pay per call efforts.


To help you out, here is the difference between toll-free and local phone numbers every affiliate needs to know for pay per call success.

when-to-use-toll-free-or-local-numbers-in Pay Per Call

Toll-Free Numbers

At some point in your life you’ve seen a toll-free number. They’re on billboards, in print ads, on TV, radio, and more. In fact, you’ve probably called a toll-free number. They typically start with “1-800”, “1-866”, “1-888”, or some other similar variation. The “1-800” numbers are classic. Many brands latched on to these numbers and added their own unique twist known as a vanity number.


A vanity number is just like a vanity license plate. It is a unique number that businesses can purchase. You typically create a vanity number that spells out your business’ name or what your product/service is. The goal here is to be catchy, memorable, and fun. I bet you can still remember some jingles from radio and TV commercials that spell out the phone number for a business. But don’t blame me when they get stuck in your head for hours!


When to use Toll-free Numbers in Pay Per Call Campaigns

When you sign up for a pay per call campaign and pull a toll-free number to promote it, this will likely be the only number you have to use. This number generally serves a large audience, so you’ll want to expand your targeting to include the entire service area for the business. Campaigns that can benefit by using a toll-free number includes state wide or nationwide campaigns, or offers that are available to a large geographic area.


Local Numbers

Every area is broken down into codes that serve to identify the numbers as local. This was important back in the pre-mobile era when phone calls were landline based and phone companies were focused on long-distance vs. local calling. You recognize a local number by the first three digits of the phone number.


Local numbers are popular for SMB, and larger businesses with multiple locations. The purpose is to make it easy for local audiences to find the business closest to them.


The emergence of mobile has made local numbers relevant in an entirely new way. As more and more consumers turn to their mobile devices for all of their daily needs, they have an expectation that their searches will be for businesses near them. So if you are running a pay per call offer that target specific cities or area, using a local number along with a well defined location targeting for your ads may be more beneficial than using a toll-free number.


When you’re applying for new pay per call campaigns, pay attention to the campaign details and target regions. This will help you recognize whether you should be using toll-free or local numbers. Once you know which type of phone number you are working with, you can strategize accordingly. Ready to pull the right promo number for your campaign?

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