Marketing numbers are split into three different categories, and each has its own specific benefits:
Premium rate numbers
Premium rate numbers(090), although not strictly marketing numbers, are also worth a mention, as the premium rate industry is worth well over £2 billion in the UK alone.
They are generally used for technical support, chatlines, phone-ins and competitions. Calls are charged at a higher rate to callers, some tariffs are 25p per minute, others are as high as £1.50 per minute.
The caller pays for the entire phone charge, and the revenue generated from it is split between the telephone operator and the business receiving the calls. If, for example, your company set up a premium rate phone line charging £1 a minute, typically you could expect to earn as much as 56p per minute on each call.
Premium rate numbers do, however, have strict user guidelines, so make sure you enquire about these, when considering your options. The guidelines can be viewed at the PhonepayPlus website - www.phonepayplus.org.uk - which regulates the content and promotion of the UK's phone-paid services.
An alphanumeric number is where a word is dialled in place of a number. For example, ‘Freephone Flowers’ would be 0800 356 9377 (freephone=0800 and then f=3, l=5, 0=6, w=9, e=3, r=7, s=7}.
Alphanumeric numbers can be freephone, local rate or national rate numbers and, the more memorable they are, the more expensive they are to purchase.
A large number of companies feel that the novelty value and high memorability of alphanumeric numbers draws customers to use them. Not all handsets have numbers etched on to the keys so always make sure you print the full number, and you're also fixed to a minimum of six characters.
Sometimes known as One number or Follow me numbers, Personal Numbering services start with 070 and replace up to three different numbers by routing one number to a selection of numbers specified by you.
The service gives you control to forward all incoming calls to a phone of your choice such as your office, mobile, home or another temporary number.
The user may change the forwarding instructions instantly at any time, from any location in the world by simply dialling their 070 number and entering a six-digit pin code.
The user can also provide a list of up to three numbers that they can be contacted on and set a series of priorities in terms of what telephone line they are most likely to be contacted on at specified dates and times.
For example, between 9am and 1pm, the highest priority number for a user might be their office line, from 1pm to 2pm a mobile number, from 2pm to 5pm the office again and from 6pm to 10pm their home line.
The network you choose then processes each incoming call to the 070 number and routes it against the priority table, in addition secondary priorities can be set so that if the highest priority number is busy or unanswered the call will route to another number.