Vanity phone numbers: memorable phone numbers in letters

Mike Butts profile image December 18, 2023 | 4 min read

If you’ve ever found yourself singing a jingle or reciting a phrase to remember a phone number, you’re already acquainted with the magic of vanity phone numbers. In a time where attention spans are shorter than ever, having letters in telephone numbers can be a game-changer, especially for businesses aiming to make a mark.

But what exactly are vanity numbers? Simply put, they’re customized phone numbers that spell out a particular word or phrase using the corresponding letters assigned to phone keypad numbers. Some popular examples are 1-800-FLOWERS or 1-800-CONTACTS. Notice how much easier they are to recall than a long string of digits!

By having phrases or words in phone numbers, you make your number easy to remember, leaving a lasting impression on your clients and customers. Want to know how it all works? Keep reading to learn more about vanity numbers and how they can elevate your business.

The power of letters in telephone numbers

We’ve all struggled to recall a long string of digits. Words, however, are a different story.

According to a study by D&M Research, vanity phone numbers involving words were found to be five times more memorable than digit-only numbers. This is because our brains rely on associations and connections to remember things. The more we’re exposed to a certain information, the stronger our memory of it.

As a result, words like “flowers” or “contacts” are easy to remember because we understand and are familiar with what those words mean. On the other hand, sequences of random numbers are more abstract and lack familiarity, making them difficult to recall. One possible exception: The classic earworm song “867-5309 / Jenny” from Tommy Tutone.

So, when you convert a phone number into words or phrases, those phone words become a sort of mental anchor, making it far more likely that your customers will remember and dial your number. So, if you’re a business looking to be unforgettable, consider investing in a vanity phone number.

Vanity phone numbers in action

Countless businesses have taken advantage of vanity numbers to promote their brand and make it easier for customers to retain their contact information.

Take, for instance,, a flower and gift delivery company that fully embraced the power of vanity phone numbers by making one their brand name. The strategic move puts the company at the forefront of people’s minds. When the question, “Who do I call for a flower delivery?” is asked, the answer is obvious: 1-800-FLOWERS.

In the logistics sector, FedEx has successfully employed a vanity number for customer service: 1-800-GoFedEx. This clever play on words not only simplifies their contact information but also adds a sense of energy and accessibility to their brand.

J.G. Wentworth takes it a step further with the iconic 877-CASH-NOW. The financial services company didn’t stop at mere recognition. It transformed its vanity number into a full-fledged musical number. If you’ve ever caught one of their commercials featuring opera singers, you’ll understand the impact. The tune is so catchy it’s become inseparable from the brand. Every time J.G. Wentworth is mentioned, the melody of “877-CASH-NOW” echoes in people’s minds, proving the impact of a well-crafted vanity number.

How to get phone numbers in letters

Having a memorable vanity phone number is more than just a fun way to brand your business—it’s a strategic move that can set you apart from the competition. So, how do you pick memorable phone numbers that work for your brand? Let’s break it down.

First, you want to align your phone number words or phrases with your brand identity. Your vanity phone number is an extension of your brand, so make sure it reflects your values, services or even your tagline. This not only makes it easier to remember but also strengthens brand recall.

Another question you might be asking is, “How many phone numbers do I need?” Depending on your goals, you may want to consider having multiple vanity phone numbers for different marketing campaigns or product lines. This not only allows you to track the success of each initiative but also ensures that your audience connects with each number’s specific purpose.

Once you have a list of potential vanity numbers, you can contact your traditional phone carrier, VoIP service provider or a third-party phone number service and inquire about obtaining the one you want. Some may make you apply for approval of a specific number while others let you check the availability of your vanity number online first. Keep in mind that availability may vary and that there could be additional fees associated with securing a vanity number.

Invest in a business phone number that stands out

Standing out is essential for any business, which is why having a phone number that customers can effortlessly recall is such a great advantage. Ready to make your mark? Invest in a vanity phone number with Ooma. Elevate your brand, boost recall and make connecting with customers a breeze. Get a business phone number today.

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