In all the world, there's probably only one telemarketer who wouldn't have to work hard to get incoming calls. Her number is 867-5309. So, unless marketers have the mythical Jenny from the hit 1982 song by Tommy Tutone working in the call center, they have to figure out what digits consumers will want to dial.
That's where the debate about toll free phone numbers comes in. Some say they're passé. But many marketers still use them.
To weigh in on the pros and cons of toll free numbers that don't have mythical musical goddesses to answer them are: Todd Beam, business analyst, Westwood, Kan.-based marketing services firm DATACORE Marketing; Gregg Stewart, president of New York-based search marketing agency 15miles; Matthew Valleskey, senior marketing manager of mobile services for Sterling, Va.-based telecommunications services provider NeuStar; and Jeff Werlwas, channel sales manager, Beverly Hills, Calif.-based online customer acquisition platform provider MerchEngines.
The pros of using toll free phone numbers are:
1. Tracking. Beam explains how a Fortune 100 account he works on places print advertisements and tracks calls from thousands of 1-800 numbers: "They'll assign toll free numbers to a specific publication—or market vertical type of publication—where they have a range they've assigned to, say, music magazines … So when the media team will begin the planning for the next quarter, they'll start planning on all of their print placements and … they'll enter those temporary records into a system and what that system does is it identifies the publication and the campaign and the timing. And we will exchange that data with the client and they will assign us back an 800 number, based on the criteria on that record. so they already have the logic on their side that says that, 'This is a Q3 publication in this type of magazine, for this specific publication, assign[ed] this 800 number.'"