Do Toll-Free Number Prefixes Matter Online?
Do people behave differently on a Web site when the marketer provides a 1-800 phone number vs., say, a 1-866 phone number? That's the question Engine Ready took a stab at answering with a lead-generation test it conducted in the first quarter this year.
The San Diego-based search marketing software and services firm sampled 18,100 visits to a single lead-generation site. The visits were driven by paid search ads on Google, producing 2,614 call-in and online conversions. Visits were split evenly among four landing pages that were identical save for call-in response options that featured toll-free phone numbers with the 800, 888, 877 and 866 prefixes.
When isolating performance for call-in responses, the 800 prefix pulled best with a 4.38 percent conversion rate; for online responses (in this case, form fills), the landing page displaying an 888 prefix barely edged out the other options with an 11.36 percent conversion rate. And Engine Ready found that the combination of call-in and online conversions led to both the 800 and 888 prefixes working well.
But if companies value call-in leads more highly (due to urgency behind the lead, better ability to cross-sell/upsell, etc.), then this research indicates marketers will generate more revenue by providing 800-numbers on their Web sites for phone responses. Finally, if call-in and online leads are considered equal, then the 888 prefix draws better revenue.
Based on the results from its test, Engine Ready advises marketers to:
- better understand the value of both their call-in and online lead conversions to inform their landing and barrier page approaches; and
- consider testing toll-free phone number variations when optimizing their landing and barrier pages.